Fireside Tattoo Network

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Helping Tattooers Become Tattoo Artists Since 2013

Podcasts, Tutorials, Workshops and Courses Designed for the Tattoo Community

Start Your Tattoo Education With The Fireside Method

"Nobody solves a problem by adding complexity".

Thats why we focus on design principles rather than "tattoo tricks".

Fireside Foundations is our flagship beginner course which introduces the Fireside Method of Tattoo Design. If you are new to tattooing or have been tattooing a while without a great understanding of fine art principles, this is the course for you.

Fireside Simplify was designed for intermediate to advanced tattooers who are looking to become more efficient and define their personal style. This course will help you to make better choices quickly by using "if/then" scenarios. You will follow Jake's design process from consulation to full color design, to stencil on skin.

Not sure which to choose? Join the Inside Fireside Tattoo Club to spend some time getting feedback from your peers, participating in drawing challenges, and get real prizes mailed to your door.

Finally, if you aren't ready to purchase, just join our Tattoo Tips Tuesday newsletter and cruise around the site watching and reading the huge amount of free tattoo content we offer

Videos & Livestreams

Tattoo Stencil Placement: Essential Tips - Jake Meeks

Are you tired of dealing with stencils that barely cling to the skin or bleed into a blurry mess? In this Fireside Archives Episode 12 of Fireside Technique, we've provided essential tips for laying down a clean stencil and making precise placement decisions.

Hosted by Jake Meeks, this episode delves into the nuances of the stencil application process, offering insights into everything from the choice of applicators to the delicate art of dry-fitting the stencil to the client's body.


The Stencil Application Process

Choosing the right stencil applicator is key to successfully transferring from paper to skin. Jake prefers a traditional mix of green soap and water, applied generously for optimal results. Stencil creams offer longevity for intricate designs but require a lighter touch to prevent blurring.


Dry-Fitting the Stencil to the Client

Before committing to the stencil placement, Jake recommends a quick dry-fit to ensure alignment with the body's contours. This step helps identify potential problem areas and allows the stencil to conform to the skin, facilitating a smoother application.


Applying the Stencil

Achieving the perfect stencil application demands moderation and precision. Finding the right consistency is crucial in using soap and water or stencil creams. Jake advises wiping the stencil farther than the design area to avoid unintentional blurring and allowing it to settle for optimal transfer.


Removing an Unwanted Stencil Placement

Need help finding your stencil? Jake recommends using green soap and alcohol for easy removal, leaving behind a faint guide for adjustments. For expert insights and practical advice on mastering stencil placement, tune in to Fireside Technique.


Learn more tips on stencil placement here: 

Tattoo Techniques: Tips for Placing Tattoo Stencils Fireside Technique EP 12


Tips for tattooing Hands and Knuckles - Jake Meeks

Mastering Hand and Finger Tattoos: Tips from the Fireside Technique Episode

Welcome to another insightful session with Jake Meeks on the Fireside Technique series. Today, we delve into the unique challenges of tattooing hands, knuckles, and fingers, where longevity and strategic placement are paramount for a lasting masterpiece.

  1. Strategic Design Placement:
    • Knuckle and finger tattoos are prone to fading, so start by strategically laying out the design on areas like the upper hand that hold up better over time.
    • Focus on simplicity and abstract shapes around knuckles and fingers to ensure consistency despite potential fading challenges.
  1. Limiting Linework:
    • For finger tattoos, opt for dark gray washes rather than bold lines. Abstract shapes can mitigate potential fading and give a more intentional look.
    • On the top part of the hand, use bold, crisp lines to draw attention to the focal points of the tattoo.
  1. Patience and Deliberate Techniques:
    • Take your time with shading and color packing, using smaller needle configurations and a slow, deliberate approach.
    • Position the client's hand for optimal skin stretching to minimize slicing or tearing, especially around the thin skin of the fingers.
    • Simplify shapes and edges intentionally to address potential fading concerns.

Remember, the goal is to minimize the need for multiple sessions while ensuring a long-lasting and visually striking tattoo.

For more tattoo education and resources, check out the Fireside Tattoo Network, home to the Fireside podcast, the Fireside Technique video series, and the inside Fireside tattoo club. 


Stay tuned for more insights, techniques, and inspiration to elevate your tattooing skills.


Need an accountability group? Learn about INSIDE FIRESIDE TATTOO CLUB. 


Join the Inside Fireside Tattoo for community, continuous learning, and growth in tattooing.


      Learn more about this epsiode: 

Tattoo Techniques: Tips for tattooing Hands and Knuckles Fireside Technique EP 20

All Fireside Tattoo News


This course has really changed me as an artist, it's changed the way I look for references, it's changed my approach to tattoos, it's changed my mindset to tattooing. My wife still brings up the course a lot, actually, every time I do a tattoo that she likes, she praises this course.  I couldn't thank you guys enough for allowing me a chance to take it.  I appreciate what y'all do for tattooing.  


The reason I joined  this course is because I found myself stuck in my mind after two years of a tattoo apprenticeship. I thought I could draw but actually I do lack of a solid foundation and logical understanding about the way I drew.  After joining the course, starting from a basic concept - shapes/ values/ shadows/ edges that really helped me to rebuild the core structure of a drawing. This is important for me to realise what kind of mistakes that I used to make. Furthermore, I think this course is very well-planned, from a foundation concept to the creative thinking process which is all we need to know as an apprentice or young tattooist, the sooner the better. I know it is a long way to keep going and become a good skilful artist, however really appreciate what Jake trying to combine his knowledge from different fields and share it with the new generation artists.  Last but not least, I learnt not only the skills but also the true attitude from the fireside team. I wish every success to the Fireside Tattoo Network  in the coming future. You guys rock! Respect!