Friday, 27 December 2013

Alfredo's Back Piece Honors Mexican History (from the 4th Annual NYC Urban Tattoo Convention)

One of our lost posts of the summer was from the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention. I met a guy named Alfredo who shared this back piece:


Alfredo explained, “It’s all Mexican history … all about independence about Mexico … from Aztecs … to the independence from Spain.”

He credited Marco Rodriguez from Inked City Tattoo in Trenton, New Jersey with this amazing work.

Thanks to Alfredo for sharing this with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Barred For Life: An Encounter and A Tattoosday Book Review

As a Gen-X child, the Black Flag bars are familiar to me. I’ll be honest, I was never a huge fan, but I had friends that were, coming of age in the 1980’s.

I remember first seeing Black Flag on film in the groundbreaking The Decline of Western Civilization, screened at the University of Hawaii Physical Science Auditorium, whose film series had a cult following  among teens in Honolulu in the early 80’s. It was there that I saw Rocky Horror (many times), Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, Russ Meyer's Up!, The Song Remains the Same, and the Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult concert film, Black and Blue.

And, Decline.

The film didn’t shake my core like it did many of my friends, but my middle-aged memory cites it as my first encounter with Black Flag. Their emblematic bars found their way onto my notebooks, sharing the doodling of metal band names and logos. The bars remind me of adolescence and rebellion.

Other people’s rebellion, not mine, mind you.

I won’t claim to be someone I’m not, or someone I wasn’t.

I don’t have any Black Flag tattoos on me, and I never will.

This past summer, on my way to a job interview, I was in lower Manhattan in a suit on a sweltering day when I met Harley, a woman with a lot of ink. I had a few minutes before my interview and asked her about her work. She showed me her back:


Running into Harley and having her share this tattoo seemed fortuitous, as I had just received a copy of Barred for Life in the mail. Subtitled “How Black Flag’s Signature Logo Became Punk Rock’s Secret Handshake,” this book was on my list of titles to review, and there had just been several events in New York celebrating its release.

I envisioned a big post, combining Harley’s tattoo and the review. This is that post (obviously), but just fashionably late to the party.

A word first about Harley’s tattoo, which she credited to Troy Denning at Invisible NYC. Harley told me, when I asked her why she got the "Rise Above" tattoo, simply, “to rise above.” She added later, “And to … let nothing keep you down...”

As for Barred for Life, I can’t think of a more compelling gift for someone who is either a 1) punk/hardcore fan; or 2) a fan of simple tattoos that mean a whole lot. So, if you know someone looking to use a bookstore gift card this holiday season, tell them to special order this book.

Let’s face it, the Bars are fairly rudimentary – four rectangular blocks offset in equidistant parallel orientation. Barred for Life unveils a wide array of variations on the tattoo, which anchors album art and other punk sentiment. The really compelling aspect of each tattoo is that of the interview that accompanies it.
We get an inside view into the minds of people who have been “barred for life,” including the fan’s relationship with the band, the story behind the tattoo (right up our alley!), and the favorite singer/song/album trifecta. We’re also treated to interviews with current and former band members, with Henry Rollins noticeably absent.

The scope of this volume is magnificent. The number of people who are “barred for life” is staggering, just based on this sampling alone. Think of the thousands of others who have been similarly branded – where a tattoo of a band logo goes above and beyond one’s appreciation of the group itself.

That said, this is more than just a tattoo book – it’s a chronicle of a mindset, a visual exploration of a family that united around a symbol that inserted itself as a logo of a punk band, and evolved into a cultural icon.
Thanks to Harley for sharing her Black Flag tattoo with us here on Tattoosday, and to Stewart Dean Ebersole for putting together such a great chronicle of bars tattoos.

More info on the book here.




This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thanksgiving Re-Post: A Holiday Tattoo from 2010

Every year at Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things, with my lovely wife and two amazing daughters at the top of the list. My new job cracks the top five this year, although it might appear as though my intense love of this blog is suffering as a result. As I've said before, you, the readers out there in the world, are also people for whom I am thankful. Mahalo, as they say in my childhood home, for visiting often.

Posts have been few and far between, I realize, this fall. Nonetheless, I wanted to celebrate the holiday with this post from Thanksgiving 2010, slightly edited, which appeared here.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the holiday, I am sharing this, my newest tattoo, located above my knee on my right thigh:




This was done at Hand of Glory in Brooklyn yesterday as part of the shop's $75 Thanksgiving Tattoo Special ...


For those of you just tuning in, check the pre-post here, which includes all the Thanksgiving flash designed for the occasion. I asked readers to vote on which tattoo to get, and this one sneaked out a narrow victory over the traditional Native American profile.


I like this design because it combines a lot of traditional tattoo elements and delivers an image with a sociopolitical subtext. We have the traditional American flag and handshake designs, but the added element of crossed fingers serves as a reminder that, despite apparent good intentions, there was subsequently a historical betrayal of that initial good will.


But that's just one perspective, of course, and the Thanksgiving holiday focuses on the positive in our society. The mere existence of the tattoo reminds me to be thankful, which I alluded to in my original post.


I was fortunate enough to have BJ as my artist again. He had inked my Friday the 13th tattoo last August, and I appreciate that he works quickly and concisely.


BJ at Work
It was nice, also, that this design was one of his contributions to the flash sheet, as he was kind enough to embellish slightly on the original design, and it always seems better when an artist is tattooing his or her own design. As for the idea behind it, he was trying to represent graphically a broken treaty. I'm extremely pleased with the end result.
...

I want to thank all of the readers who voted for designs, and for everyone who reads and supports the site.


And thanks again to ... BJ at Hand of Glory, and to my family, at home in Brooklyn and across the U.S., for their support


This entry is ©2013, 2011, 2010 Tattoosday.



If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Jeff Shares Some Amazing Work by Caesar Tattoo

Last Sunday, I met a guy named Jeff at my local laundromat, where I happen to meet a lot of the contributors to Tattoosday, it seems.

Jeff has a ton of work, including neck tattoos and some amazing black and gray sleeves. Turns out tattoos were created by Caesar, an amazing artist who works out of New York City.

He allowed me to grab a few samples of his work:




And this spine running down the length of his arm:


Unfortunately, these photos really don't do the work justice, but I was able to find some of the work on his Facebook page here.

Photo Courtesy of Caesar Tattoo, ©2010 Caesar Tattoo

Photo Courtesy of Caesar Tattoo, ©2010 Caesar Tattoo

Photo Courtesy of Caesar Tattoo, ©2010 Caesar Tattoo

You can check out more of this amazing artist's portfolio at Caesar Tattoo in Manhattan's East Village. Our friends at Needles & Sins ran a short profile of Caesar here. Jeff even told me that some of his work has ended up in one of Marisa Kakoulas' black and gray tattoo compendia.

You can see an even more extensive collection of Caesar's work on his Facebook page here.

Thanks to Jeff for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Five Years Gone: I Still Miss You, Tom

When Tattoosday was but a wee little blog, with big hopes and dreams, one of the early champions and supporters was my friend, Tom.

Five years ago today, he died suddenly and tragically. I still miss him.

Although the memories fade, his spirit still lives on in the pages of Tattoosday.

That said, I share this post, from 2007, featuring my friend Tom's tattoo:



"This is the sole tattoo of my friend and co-worker, Tom.
Tom designed and drew the art upon which this tattoo was based.
The Reaper is posed on Tom's biceps/deltoid and has resided there since 1984, when its host was a young lad of eighteen. 
This is Tom's only tattoo and he has no plans to get more. He is proud of the fact that, because he designed it and because he then tore up the original design, it is a one-of-a-kind piece. He said that it was very painful because of the amount of black ink that went into it.
The tattoo was inked by Dean at Lola's Tattoos, then in Cliffside Park, but now in Bogota, New Jersey. Tom got this tattoo "because it was cool," although the tattooer tried to convince him not to get it because it was "too mean" for him. Twenty-three years later, Tom says he has no regrets about his ink.
Thanks, Tom!"

Last night, on the eve of this somber anniversary, my Google Play shuffle served up the following song, which I had the pleasure of seeing live with Tom at Jones Beach just a few months before he died:




Thinking of you, Tom, I still miss you, and Tattoosday misses you too.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Darcy Shares Some Words of Wisdom

This fall, I found myself in a new neighborhood during the days, down on Broad Street. One of the new people in my life, Darcy, is an employee of a local coffee and pastry shop. I noticed she had some ink on her inner wrists, and one day, after her shift, she let me take this photo:


Her wrists state "90% Work - 10% Talent."

Darcy explains:
"I had a teacher ... his recipe for success was that, if you work at anything, you can become good. It's your talent that will make you great. You can't rely on your talent alone - talent's only 10% of that equation."
She got this at a vegan tattoo shop in Portland, Oregon called Scapegoat Tattoo.

Thanks to Darcy for sharing these words of wisdom with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Andrea's Dancing Bears Show Her Dead-ication to Her Favorite Band

A couple months back, I met Andrea, on 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, and she shared these bears which are one of the many graphic representations of the band, The Grateful Dead:


I recognized the design right off, so I asked Andrea why she chose a Dead tattoo. She responded, "because they were my favorite band ever since I was a little kid." She added, "my dad used to listen to them, so I kinda got into 'em that way."

When I asked how many times she had seen them, she told me, "I've only seen Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. I saw them two summers ago."

She initially credited this tattoo to Jim Palmer at Moon Gravel Arts in Milford, Pennsylvania, but later corrected me, via e-mail:

"i actually did that one it was the first tattoo i ever did as practice... jim did ...all of my other tattoos however ... he has great work ... u should still check him out, jim palmer is his name and moon gravel arts ... is his shop ... have a grateful day:)"

Thanks to Andrea for sharing her self-inked dead-icated tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Taylor's New Tattoo Bridges Time and Oceans

We're returning from a hiatus with a visit from an old friend, Taylor.

Taylor first shared her work with us here back in 2010. We saw more work from her last year when she shared this incredible back piece inspired by Banksy:


Recently, Taylor shared her latest tattoo with me and I'm passing it along to you:


As you may have guessed, these are actually a pair of tattoos of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Taylor elaborates:
"My mom and I got matching tattoos. It was also her first. For some [people] the Verrazano Bridge is just a pretty bridge connecting Staten Island and Bay Ridge [Brpoklyn]. For me and my mom its where it all began. She moved to Shore Road [which runs along the Verrazano Narrows] from Germany when my parents got married.
Every childhood memory I had was by that bridge. Unfortunately my parents got divorced and I moved with my mom back to Germany.
I've been living in the neighborhood for almost 10 years again without my mom, but the Verrazano is somehow a piece of her."
Here's another, healed perspective:


I love how, not only do these tattoos, bridge the past with her mom, but they also bridge the ocean that currently separates them, bringing them closer together.

Taylor credits local tattoo artist Angel Bauta, from Puncture Tattoo here in South Brooklyn with this work.

Thanks again to Taylor for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tattoosday in the Berkshires: Sean's Corpernican Title

I met Sean last month at Shakespeare & Company, in Lenox, Massachusetts.


Sean was working at the snack bar at the Tina Packer Playhouse, but I had seen him earlier in the week in an amazing performance as Trufaldin in an adaptation of Molière's Les Faux Pas.

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is the title of a book published in 1543 by the Renaissance astronomer Copernicus. The title, translated from the Latin, is On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.

Sean elaborated about the origins of this tattoo, which he had done at a shop in Seattle:
"I was looking at the root of the word revolt or revolution and it comes from Copernicus ... so I was wanting something that had ... the idea of revolt and revolution ... I became curious as to where the word came from ... [and] I started reading about his theory."
As regular readers of this site can tell you, I love textual tattoos, and the idea of inscribing the title of a book almost 500 years old is fascinating, because it's not just about the title, but about the ideas espoused therein.

Thanks to Sean for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Re-Post: Paul's Memorial

I posted this originally in 2008 and re-posted it again in 2009 and 2011. As I've said in the past, it only seems appropriate to re-run it again today:




Earlier this month, I mentioned meeting Paul here, on the bike path that runs along the southern tip of Brooklyn.

I saved the other tattoo photo I took of Paul's work for today, the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

What I didn't mention in the previous post is that Paul is a federal agent who grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

From his vantage point there, he watched the World Trade Center being built in the late 1960's. He was working in 6 World Trade seven years ago for the U.S. Customs Department when the towers came down, and he spent four months at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, searching for remains.

The tattoo is a poignant piece, with the sun shining between the towers. Below is Paul's badge from the Department of Homeland Security, which has evolved into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Particulatly unusual is the depiction of 9/11 in Roman numerals:

IX XI.


I don't believe I had ever seen it represented that way before.

Like the tattoo in the earlier post, this piece was inked by Joe at Brooklyn Ink.

Thanks to Paul for sharing this WTC memorial piece with us here on Tattoosday.

~ ~ ~

We here at Tattoosday send our thoughts and prayers to all the families of  people who died on 9/11, and to the families of all of the men and women who have died since then, serving our country.

This entry is © 2008, 2011, 2013 Tattoosday.



If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Tracy's Owl for Jamie

I ran into Tracy last month in a drugstore in Penn Station.

She agreed to share this tattoo on her arm:


The name "Jamie" refers to her son. This is a mother owl with a protective wing over a baby owl, whose head can be seen resting in the middle of the mama owl's chest.

This was inked by the talented John Reardon at Greenpoint Tattoo Company in Brooklyn. Reardon's work has appeared countless times on Tattoosday, and it's always an honor to feature his work on the site. Readers may remember this narwhal by him which we featured back in June.

Thanks to Tracy for sharing this lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Cecilia's Spiritual Dreamcatcher (at the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention)

Even though the 4th annual NYC Urban Tattoo Convention was at the end of June, I'm still reliving the experience through posts of tattoos I saw there.

While speaking with one attendee named Cecilia, she pulled her shirt up to reveal this dreamcatcher tattoo on her ribs:



I recently followed up with Cecilia and asked her specifically about the tattoo.

First, she credited this lovely work to Kristin Lowery, owner/artist at South Seas Tattoo in Hilo, Hawaii, who used a feather Cecilia had found in New York as reference material. She said she was "pretty sure, after researching, [that] it's a hawk feather."


Cecilia was very detailed, explaining the spirituality behind this dreamcatcher:

"... I wanted to incorporate something like a dream catcher using the symbol of the 3rd chakra ... the hawk - in animal spirit medicine/as a totem in Native American tradition means
-messenger of the spirit world
-focused power
-power to see/clear vision
-connection to spirit, spiritual awareness
I got [the tattoo] on my left side which represents the feminine and I got it on my rib cage for it to land close to my heart and aligned with the 3rd chakra solar plexus and heart chakra.
Chakras are energy points in the human body.
3rd chakra is a energetic center for empowerment, where your ego lives, where your inner warrior develops and where you decide who you are and project it out unto the world. It is from this place that our principles are born and developed, and where our codes for living get created and maintained. It is from here that we assert our will and stand up for 'who we are.' Self-esteem is the result of the third chakra.
[This tattoo] represents for me a rite of passage to connect with my true nature, to gain spiritual awareness, to own my power and to become the person I was meant to and fulfill my purpose in this lifetime!"
Cecilia's spirituality should come as no surprise, as she is an New York-based artist, whose photography can be seen here. You can also visit her Etsy shop here.

Thanks to Cecilia for sharing this lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.
If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Tina's Lovely Lace Tattoo

Earlier this summer, I was standing on the subway platform at 34th Street, waiting for the A Train, when I noticed an incredible tattoo on the hand of the woman sitting on the bench next to me. I introduced myself to Tina, and she allowed me to take pictures of this very unusual tattoo:


That's the outside of the wrist. Here is the inside part:


Tina credited this work to Laura Babsie Gardner, formerly of Kitchens' Ink Tattoo & Art Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Laura is currently working out of Madeline Hair Design in Denver.

She explained to me that Babs had told her she "always wanted to do a lace doily tattoo and I said 'Sure, let's do it.' "

It's a really interesting application of grey and white ink.

Thanks to Tina for sharing this wonderful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Tattooed Poets Project: Jonathan Moody

Generally, we celebrate tattooed poets during National Poetry Month, but is there ever a bad time to embrace poetry and the inked wordsmiths who ply the trade?

Earlier this month, we received this photo from Jonathan Moody:

Photo by Ricardo Alanis
Jonathan wanted to share the tattoo you can see on his right forearm. He explains:
"In anticipation of my first-born seed, Avery Langston Moody, who will be due on October 29th, 2013, I wanted to get my first tattoo. After searching on-line, I found a salient piece of artwork that contained two tattoos in one: an ankh superimposed over the Eye of Horus. The latter symbolizes my philosophy on fatherhood and writing, and the former underscores my wife’s personal struggle to conceive a child. In Egyptian mythology, The Eye of Horus represents protection and sacrifice. In other cultures, it symbolizes a human’s capacity to 'see beyond.'  As a husband and a soon-to-be father, I am a protector and am willing to offer myself as a sacrifice if my wife or son were ever in harm’s way. As an artist, I perceive the world via an alternative (i.e. creative) lens. At times, what appears in front of the artist can prevent him or her from focusing on the big picture; however, those who can access a higher plane of consciousness can look into the world as opposed to at it.

Possessing the ability to interpret and/or create metaphor is one byproduct of accessing a high level of consciousness. Technology, comet, dinosaur. To the person looking at the world, those three words are unrelated. A person looking into the world could create a metaphor that shows how all three words are linked: Technology is a comet obliterating any dinosaur roaming in the field of education. Metaphor is a bridge between seemingly bizarre connections. The Eye of Horus tattoo on my right forearm reminds me that my poetry should 'see beyond' what is possible to the eyes of the average reader.
The ankh is symbolic for life and fertility. Over the course of five years, my wife has struggled to achieve the latter. She’s battled endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Injected numerous fertility drugs. Endured a failed IUI. Fortunately, in January of 2013, her first IVF attempt was successful. Now, seven months into her pregnancy, she has a three-pound hyperactive boy kicking her right side nonstop.

Anyone who looks at my forearm tattoo will merely see an ankh superimposed over the Eye of Horus, not my wife’s fertility struggle intertwined with my struggle to become a paternal figure. As Larry, the tattoo artist at Dago’s (off of 45 South), pressed the stencil against my forearm and started doing the outline, I had considered telling him the background story. Instead, I focused. Focused less on the pain and more on keeping my right arm still for thirty minutes. Did not want the ankh to be mistaken for a lollipop."
We're honored that Jonathan chose to share this very personal story behind this tattoo. Congratulations to him and his wife on the upcoming birth of their son!

Jonathan also sent us this powerful poem, which references his ink:

SPAWN

I came to Half Price Books
hoping to find hidden Todd McFarlane
gems in graphic novel bins,
but there were as many cop cars
behind my ride as there are traffic
lights in Fresno, Texas.

My fam told me that’s how Pearland
police rolls: pulling
people over for driving three miles
above the speed limit; for not
signaling when switching lanes.

Green paint dripped
off my Chevy Caprice as if it melted
in the triple digit heat, but I was chill
chill even though the white furry dice
dangling from the mirror served as a reminder
that Driving While Black was a gamble;

I’m a veteran actor. Spent
my whole career playing the role
of an innocent man who’s convinced
himself he’s done something wrong.
This scene, no different.
Only one take to look terrified
cops would discover Colombian
raw hidden beneath
the passenger seat.

My motivation: stay alive
& return home to my pregnant wife,
so I turned down the bass
& stopped rhyming
along with Chuck D.
Exercised the right to remain
quiet on the set.

Thought I was chill chill,
not the irredeemable
monster spawn who made
a deal in Hell so he could

come back to Earth & avenge
the deaths of defenseless people
whose lives were snuffed
by the police bullets
their taxes bought.

But I felt the six hour copacetic
cosmetics job it took for me
to look human became ruined
from the sweat trickling
down my forehead:
probable cause that deep
inside I resembled
the irredeemable monster spawn
Society made me out to be.

Regrouped. Visualized
my Freedom scraping
against the coral reef of hard time.

Stuffed the license,
registration, & proof of insurance
into my smart mouth,
& feared my acting chops
would peel away like the dead
skin around my freshly
inked ankh.

~ ~ ~

Jonathan Moody received his MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and his BS in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana. He’s also a Cave Canem alum whose poetry has appeared in African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Xavier Review, and numerous other journals. In 2012, he was selected by a committee to be a featured reader in Houston’s Public Poetry Reading Series. Moody also appeared in Houston’s 2013 Word Around Town Poetry Tour lineup. He is the author of The Doomy Poems (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and lives in Fresno, Texas, with his wife.

Thanks to Jonathan for contributing to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday here in August!



This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Jenny's Tattoo Speaks No Evil (at the Urban Tattoo Convention)

Last week I posted Erika's cheetah tattoo from the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention at the end of June. When I met her, I also met her friend Jenny, who had this cool piece on her inner arm:


This piece was also done by Splinter.

This is a take on the whole "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" motif, but Jenny said it has the extra meaning for her of "To each his own ... no judgment."

Thanks to Jenny for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Kris Shares An Original Tattoo That Embraces a Love of Wine

Although the tattoos on Tattoosday come, for the most part, from people I've met on the streets of New York City, I occasionally get submissions from surprising sources.

Take, for example, this awesome tattoo:

Photo Courtesy of Kris Wilson
This tattoo came to me from Mary, an old friend from high school who discovered Tattoosday through the wonders of Facebook. This isn't actually Mary's arm, but that of one of her friends. I'll let Mary explain:

"I love your blog about tattoos, and wanted to share one of my favorite tattoos with you. It's from a friend [Kris] who lives in California who is passionate about food and wine. She was married in an old barn in Healdsburg (Napa Valley region) last year. On her wedding invitations, she had a wine glass stain. She took that same stain and had an old tattoo artist in San Francisco bleed the ink to make it look like the wine stain. She had an old tattoo of two tusks made into old fashion wine openers. The French words la vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin mean life is too short to drink bad wine."
I can see why Mary loves this tattoo so much. There's a lot of meaning in it and it's done exceptionally well. I reached out to Kris to get some more detail.

She credited the artist Rob Merrill at Goldfield's Tattoo Studio in North Beach, San Francisco. Kris told me that she "brought in a really loopy French font that would have been too thin to do in the space needed so Rob actually drew this font on his own." She acknowledged that Mary pretty much described the origin of the tattoo above, but added, "The quote has a double meaning for me, with the other meaning being live your life however makes you happiest."

Thanks to Kris for sharing this great tattoo with us here on Tattoosday, and to Mary for sending it my way in the first place!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

"Awesome Minimalist" Harry Potter Tattoos (via Buzzfeed)

A few weeks back, my lovely wife sent me a link to another fabulous Buzzfeed list. The subject this time was Harry Potter tattoos.

via Buzzfeed
Check out the whole list here, along with a link to a Tumblr dedicated to Potter ink.

And here you will link to several Potter tattoos that have appeared previously on Tattoosday.

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Erika's Cheetah by Splinter (at the Urban Tattoo Convention)

This is another post about some cool work I spotted at the 4th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention.

Check out this cheetah:


This piece was done by an artist named Albert Martinez who tattoos under the name "Splinter."

When I asked why she got a cheetah, Erika indicated it really fit her personality. "I just got it 'cause I'm wild and ... I do what I want," she told me.

Thanks to Erika for sharing this wild and colorful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Arielle's Lion of a Tattoo (at the Urban Tattoo Convention)

I posted last month about attending the 4th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention here.

I've been periodically posting some of the amazing tattoos I saw there, and wanted to share this one as well:


This incredible lion tattoo is on the left arm of Arielle, who credited the work to the artist Dee Whitcomb at Wyld Chyld Tattoo in Merrick, New York.

Arielle told me her name means "Lion of God," so she went with this design which Dee drew up and tattooed on her. It's really a beautiful tattoo that certainly captures the grace of this majestic animal.

Thanks to Arielle for sharing her lion with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Johnny Shares His Angels and Demons

I met Johnny on the Coney Island boardwalk, and he allowed me to take a photo of his back to share with Tattoosday readers:


The top of the back reads "Brooklyn" and the bottom sums it up: Angels & Demons.

Johnny explained:
"It's just the passions of my life. I went through turmoil and came out of it. So, basically, I'm wearing on my skin, my griefs, my sins and my dislikes."
He couldn't be specific about who did what, but he said that the majority of the work was done by Coney Island Vinny and Michael Angelo, two staples of old-school Brooklyn tattooing.

Thanks to Johnny for sharing his back tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Taylor's Colorful Thigh (Tattoosday at the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention)

I posted last month about attending the 4th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention here.

I wanted to share some of the amazing tattoos I saw there, starting with this one, on the left thigh of Taylor:


Here's another angle:


Taylor credited this colorful hummingbird to the artist Richard "Made Rich" Parker at Think Before You Ink in Long Island City. Made Rich is currently vying for the title of Ink Master on the show's third season.

Taylor said that Made Rich free-handed the drawing directly onto her skin, and that it took four sessions, because, as she put it, she was a "cry-baby."

This tattoo was one of the highlights of the convention for me, and I am happy Taylor allowed me to share it here on Tattoosday! Thanks, Taylor!

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.