is a visual artist, illustrator, and graphic designer who has been tattooing for close to three decades. Throughout his multifaceted career, Rich has received over 400 local, state, national, and international awards.
He is a four-time recipient of one of the highest and most coveted awards in the tattoo industry; the National Tattoo Association’s “Best Tattooist Award”. Due to the association’s prestige and a number of international artists competing at its annual conventions, many consider an N.T.A. award the equivalent of an Academy Award in the motion picture industry.
Rich has achieved a record 81 N.T.A. awards or “Golden Eagles” in every category offered, including best overall male and female, best black & grey tattoo, best sleeve, most unique, fine art, design sheet, cover up and others. The association even honored Rich with the Terry Wrigley Award, an achievement award given to the person the association feels has done the most for the entire tattoo world.
Both Rich’s fine art and photos of his one of a kind skin creations have been on display in art galleries throughout Colorado as well as other states. His one of a kind tattoos and illustrations have been published in many trade magazines since the early 1990s.
Being a spokesperson for the National Tattoo Association Rich has appeared on many news programs and his voice has been heard on both A.M. and F.M. radio stations. He or his artwork has also been featured in television documentaries including The Travel Channel’s “World of Tattoos”.
It is usually necessary to have a consultation or “brainstorming session” with Rich before the artwork is developed, although many of his traveling clients prefer to do this via phone, e-mail or FB Messenger.
Embracing the creative process works much better if you explain in detail what you want the artwork to represent and not pick from ideas found on the internet from apps such as Pinterest. In other words, it is better to explain the “why” than to choose the “what”, especially considering there are thousands who may have chosen the same “what” that very day.
Once the nature of what Rich prefers to call a “personal illustration” is decided upon a tattoo rough is rendered using various methods. These methods may include photographing places, things, landscapes or models, hand-painting in different mediums including airbrushing, then utilizing the most up to date digital media programs such as Photoshop.
Rich schedules his traveling clients months in advance so, clients closer to Pueblo can usually be tattooed within in three or four weeks from the time of their consultation.
“One should never make a permanent decision based on a temporary whim, wardrobe, insecurity, or worst of all, trend!” – Rich Ives
Aside from tattooing, Rich is also available for illustration, graphic design, logotype design, murals, portraits, and lecturing on all aspects of tattooing.
He speaks at both high schools and colleges about topics such as the history of tattooing as well as the permanency of tattoos and the dangers of hasty tattoo decisions.
Since the 1990’s Rich has been creating breathtaking dedications to one’s family members who have passed, adding the loved one’s ashes to both to the original as well as numbered prints for family members. While some may consider the idea morbid many more consider it a great holiday gift idea!
Having been blessed with amazing art teachers himself, Rich offers free tutelage to anyone of any age who wants to learn illustration or fine art techniques from the ground up, starting with graphite. He does NOT teach tattooing.
Overall prices vary based on the intricacy of the illustration and time required to complete the tattoo. Rich charges per session with sessions starting around $300 (two hours).
The general rule is the more photorealistic the tattoo the longer it will take to complete.
Your skin is considered your largest organ and if abused, i.e. repeatedly sunburned, long periods of dehydration, etc., it can make for a lengthier process to complete a multi-session tattoo, therefore end up costing more. In other words, “stay healthy my friends”.