Thursday, 31 January 2013

Melissa Got Her Gun

Last May, on the first day of the New York City Tattoo Convention, I was almost thirty blocks away from the Roseland Ballroom, where the three-day event takes place, when I bright flash of yellow hair caught my eye on Broadway.

I was about to meet Melissa "Alabama" Graves.

Her bright yellow hair was not the only thing I noticed - she was also heavily-tattooed.

I stopped to talk to her, but she was on her way to an appointment, but she seemed open to being featured on Tattoosday and she assured me she'd make time for me to interview her the next day, Saturday, at the convention.

Melissa is a model and she is a striking figure - despite her tiny frame, she fills a room with her personality and she commands a great presence.


Not to mention, her bright hairstyle makes her easy to spot in a crowded tattoo convention. She was kind enough to spend a significant amount of time with me talking about her tattoos. I could have written much more, but had to pare down our conversation for brevity's sake.

Incidentally, this is my last remaining item from 2012, and I'd like to think I've saved one of the best for last.

Among her tattoos, Melissa chose to share the gun inked on her right thigh:


Here's a closer look:


She credited this work to Gene Coffey at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn, explaining that she was thrilled that he was able to depict so well this image of a .45 Magnum, tattooed to scale.

Melissa gave me the nitty-gritty about why she had a gun, specifically this gun, inked on her thigh:
“I met this guy a long time ago, his name was Blackie ... he was ripped and tattooed and rockabilly and sexy and he had this, you know, powerful thing about him … He moved away with his girlfriend, it must’ve been … five years ago and the girlfriend and him had been together for a while, and I had a crush on him for a long time …[when] him and the girlfriend are breaking up and, this must’ve been 2008 ... I went on vacation from my job at the beginning of 2009 ... He talked me into going out to California with him and ... I went out to California and we had a week-long vacation together that was probably the most ... fun time I ever had with somebody. And the best sex I ever had in my entire life.
And one of the things we did together was we went to the Downtown L.A. gun range and I fired his .45 magnum in that gun range wearing a mini skirt and six-inch stiletto heels … the chunky heels ... and the guys in the gun range were like, this girl cannot fire this gun … it’s like a cannon of a gun ... it’s life size, compared to little me ... and, you know, um, I weigh a little bit more now than I did back then, but only like five pounds more, and they were like, she still can’t fire this gun. In those heels? No. And I said, Oh yeah I can fire this gun, and I was just ballsing it and I took the gun and I fired it and I asked for the most bizarre absurd targets. And I fired that gun and I hit every target. And ... he was so impressed. It turned him on. And we went back home after I fired that gun. I saved every target and we had the best sex afterwards, I mean, he was just so turned on that I could fire a gun that well. And I’ll never forget that experience. It was like, I could fire a gun and hit a target in the forehead and it was just like really exciting, girl power kind of thing and I left L.A. and he left me at the airport and said ... I’ll see you later kid.”
She added that "he was cordial enough after we broke up when I got the idea for the tattoo to scan the gun and send me the image of the gun."

Melissa praised Gene Coffey, the tattoo artist, to no end. He was responsible for the art on her left leg, which she said he had worked on while he was still an apprentice.

What's cool about the tattoo, as well, as that it circles the thigh, with a garter and a badge:



Melissa added,
"The gun signifies a lot to me because I have a broken heart [seen in top photo on her lower abdomen] ... that's broken and stitched back together ... the gun is protecting it ... this gun, I can pull out and say Don't break my heart ... but it's a metaphorical thing - I would never want to hurt somebody ... I'm the sheriff of my heart. I guard my heart and I police my heart and I have my gun to protect it."
She wanted to make sure we credited Gene for this work that she entrusted with him. "He's a really talented artist and ... he's going to do the rest of my right leg." We also featured a really cool sleeve by Gene last year here.

Thanks to Melissa for sharing her gun (and time) with us here on Tattoosday! You can check out her website 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.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Steve's Sleeve and the Narrative Behind It

Earlier this month, I was in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn for a mixer for The Brooklyn Crescents lacrosse program.

The event was held at Der Schwarze Kolner, a beer garden that offered up some tasty beverages. Over the course of the evening, I noticed one of the employees who was diligently passing out frosty steins to patrons. I introduced myself and asked if I could photograph his sleeve:


Since Steve was working, I asked him to e-mail me with details about the tattoo, and he didn't disappoint, even sending along a collage of the sleeve so our readers could get a better look at the full scope of the artwork:


One of the aspects missing in both photos is this part, which I captured when Steeve bent his arm:


Steve explained:
"First, one needs to know that this tattoo was about 4-5 years in the making before I sat for my first session. So I definitely thought about it for a long while. It was originally inspired by a Bansky stencil in which a woman in a dress is shooting herself in the head. From this bloody mess emerges a number of butterflies. Interpret what you will... I took this to mean rebirth after death and the cleansing properties of fire. I had studied medieval alchemy heavily as a graduate student, and this symbolism of death and rebirth through flame resonated with me greatly. Plus, I know that each of us has a fiery  self-destructive side and I am no exception. I wanted to honor that side of myself and also to silently pay homage to those friends over the years that I have lost to suicide.

So working closely with Joy Rumore at Twelve 28 Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we designed the upper sleeve [that] would show a woman, slightly cartoon-like and pin-up styled, holding a gun to her head. Rather than a bloody mess like in the stencil, I wanted her face to be content and pretty. Her hair burns red and orange like the fire elemental she is. From the gun, which has been fired, emerges stars and smoke. From the smoke, moving down the sleeve, emerges a spiral galaxy and more stars in negative space. The bottom sleeve is dominated by a salamander and a phoenix inside of a retort.

These two creatures are mythical symbols of fire, as they both burn up and rise from their own ashes. Fire blows from the top of the retort, and a 1up Mario Mushroom [visible in the top photo at the bottom of the sleeve, near the wrist], the one overt pop-culture reference on my arm, comes forth again illustrating rebirth and 'extra' life after death. Other features of the sleeve are the bullet casing, which is haloed inside my elbow pit, and the final black star on the inside of my wrist, which has the alchemical symbol for Mercury within. Mercury is the activator, the 'invisible, secretly working fire' of the purification process. Lastly, the Latin words MUNDUS VULT DECIPI are inscribed on my arm. They translate to 'the world wishes to be deceived.' I agree with this saying, attributed to the Roman Petronius (1st c. AD), as many individuals live life 'asleep.' Only though the fire can one truly awake into a higher self.
Still, despite the short novel of meaning I find and imbue into this tattoo, overall it is a beautiful piece of art and I couldn't be happier with Joy's work. She was very patient with me as we completed the piece over the course of three years! Money ran tight at times and our schedules conflicted, but in truth the time allowed for us to work together and for the tattoo to organically take shape. For instance, the bottom sleeve was not designed at all when we began the top sleeve. I remember suggesting to Joy the idea of the 1up Mushroom blasting from the retort, only to have her laugh with enjoyment at how nicely it would bring things together. You know you have found an excellent tattoo artist when they are genuinely interested and excited to work to create a shared piece of art.
I guess that's my sleeve's story then. Oh, and by the way, the girl has no name and I doubt she ever will!"
Steve's praise for Joy Rumore is not unfounded. She's a remarkable artist who has had work featured on Tattoosday several times before (click here to link to all previous posts tagged with her shop).

I greatly appreciate Steve sharing his sleeve with us, and for taking the time to give us a full and thoughtful explanation of the design process. Thank you Steve!

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, 27 January 2013

Tom's Portrait of Ghost Bear Watches His Back

Someone on Tattoosday's Facebook page had recently inquired about an artist on this post which featured some great work on Tom, who I met on the Coney Island boardwalk last summer.

I reached out to Tom for some additional details and not only did he clarify the reader's question, but he sent along a new tattoo, inked less than two weeks ago:


This was done by Kyle Proia, the owner at Tymeless Tattoo & Piercing in Baldwinsville, New York, just west of Syracuse. It was based on this photo:


Tom explained that this is a picture of Ghost Bear, a member of the Crow Nation. This version of the image was created by Wendelin, based on an original black and white photograph by Edward S. Curtis:

photo from Library of Congress (here)
Tom elaborated:
"I have loved [this imagery] from the very first time I learned about the history, way of life these people that populated the American Plains before the arrival of the Europeans. I have another Native American on my left shoulder that is black and grey. I now have two warriors watching my back. I am planning on doing the rest of my back with a scene from the Black Hills, Badland area in The Dakotas."
Thanks to Tom for sharing this awesome new 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.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

I Link, Therefore I Am

Modeling this after one of my favorite poetry blogs (Thank you, Ron Silliman), here's my attempt to share some links....

Photo by Michael Short/special to the Chronicle (via SF Gate)

Saturday morning, while standing in line for Brooklyn bagels that, as they say in Hawai'i, broke da mouth, I spotted an item ("Tatt-tle Tales") on the cover of the New York Post: Read about San Francisco '49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's tattoos.

Speaking of the 49ers, a Vallejo tattoo shop is offering 49er logo tattoos for, you guessed it, $49.

Yesterday, my lovely friends over at the Needles and Sins blog alerted me to the existence of a new online explosion of awesomeness called Tattoo Culture Magazine. I envision hours of time lost in these digital pages.

Ok, that's not a really impressive list of links, but the Tattoo Culture Magazine should keep you busy for a while.

Maybe I'll be back next Saturday with more links, maybe not.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Fun Tattoo Links for a Friday!

With my backlog nearly eliminated, and the bone-chilling temperatures of the northeast making exposed skin a rare and unusual sight, we here at Tattoosday are always looking for new ways to entertain our vast international audience of tattoo connoisseurs.

Earlier this week, my lovely wife Melanie sent me a couple of iVillage links that featured slideshows of tattoos. I'd be remiss if I didn't pass these goodies along.

First up is this slideshow of fifty-plus "tattoos for mom and dad". My favorite is below.

“I chose a drawing that my son had done of his cat, Peter Parker to go on top of the Braille when he was 3-years-old. I love it and it makes me very happy.”
-- Jessica of Dallas, Texas
The link is here.

Note that, as tattoos go, a significant amount of these would not meet Tattoosday's standard of "high quality" body art. The reality is, most Americans can't afford (or choose not to pay) high-end artist prices. A lot of these entries, reader-submitted, are evidence that people love their ink, often regardless of quality.

Which brings us to link #2, "What to Know Before Getting a Tattoo: 8 Awful Mistakes". That link is here. No slide show, but some practical advice.

If anyone wants advice, or has a question, feel free to e-mail me at Tattoosday@gmail.com. I will do my best to answer your inquiries.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Craig's Hand-Held Camera

This is an orphan, of sorts, from 2012.

Back on July 14, I met Craig, at the Chelsea Bazaar in Manhattan. There were several food vendors in attendance, including Craig's business Eat Me Sweetly.

I took a picture of this incredible tattoo on Craig's hand:


Unfortunately, my recording of our meeting is a bit garbled because of the noise at the bazaar. I e-mailed Craig a couple weeks back and haven't heard back, but I'm trying to clear out the last of the 2012 posts, so if he does write back, I'll be sure to update the site.

That said, all I know about the tattoo artist is that his name is Ray.

One of the specialties that Craig and his partner Jessica have at Eat Me Sweetly (and what drew me to their table) is pickles.

This is what I had:


They were delicious!

As for the camera on his hand, Craig explained:
"I used to be in the film business before I turned to making pickles for work. I was in post-production and pre-production. I was on both sides of the camera. I used to do a lot of talking head interviews for Citibank and then I started film scanning, film restoration, things like that."
Thanks to Craig for sharing his camera tattoo with us on Tattoosday (and for the awesome pickles)!

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, 22 January 2013

Why Don't Millionaires Have Better Tattoos? Or, Inkasaurus Rex

As a tattoo blogger and enthusiast, a lot of my non-tattooed friends often ask me, "Why do professional athletes have such lousy tattoos?"

A good point.

When you think "great tattoos" you don't picture your favorite basketball, football, or baseball player. Even the majority of Olympians with ink seemed to have rather plain and unimaginative work. But they're (for the most part) amateurs, so I can understand a little more their lack of great body art.

On Sunday, during the AFC championship football game, a friend of mine tweeted: "I make a million dollars a year but still get tattooed in my friend's kitchen" --60% of the NFL.

I often fantasize about coming into money and listing the top ten artists I would have work on me. They are justifiably expensive.

So, I was shaking my head recently, when news of New York Jets' Head Coach Rex Ryan's fairly awful tattoo exploded in the media.

If you missed the story, check it out here. Don't get me wrong, if you want to get a cartoon of your wife wearing the jersey of your starting quarterback, that's your prerogative. But if you make $2.875 million a year, you can afford a better tattoo. Seriously.

Before you blow up my comments section with angry rebuttals, take a deep breath. Look at the link and the photo of Ryan's tattoo. Could you do better? Unless Mark Sanchez tattooed it himself, I think Rex Ryan got a bad deal.

Shannon Shares Work by Stacey Martin and Noon

Sometimes a quick run to the grocery store brings an unexpected bonus.

Last September, for example, I ran into Shannon, whose tattoos prompted me to stop and inquire.

As it turned out, Shannon is one of the owners of Triple Diamond Tattoo, which opened last summer on Third Avenue in Brooklyn.

She shared two tattoos, including this back piece:


This tattoo features yellow roses and a fan and was inked by Stacey Martin at Dovetail Tattoo in Austin, Texas. We have featured Stacey's work previously on Tattoosday, namely this piece from last summer.

Shannon also shared this unusual tattoo on her leg:


The tattoo on her leg was done by Noon, a modern abstract artist based in Troyes, France, who travels to the U.S. once a year.


I always ask about back story, of course, but also recognize their is a significant segment of the tattooed population who get tattooed for the sake of the art. Regrading these pieces, Shannon identified with the latter, stating simple, "I like what I like."

Thanks to Shannon from stopping and sharing with me at Foodtown, so we could present these cool tattoos 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, 18 January 2013

John's Incredible Art-Themed Sleeve by Stefano Alcantara

If you go back to the beginnings of Tattoosday, one of our earliest contributors was John Sorezza, a friend of the neighborhood who I see quite often. He shared his first work, the beginning of a leg piece, here.

In the years that have passed since I first met him, John has taken up work as a tattoo artist and tattoos out of Brooklyn Made Tattoo.

Over last summer I ran into him down the block and he shared some of his latest ink, all inspired by his new vocation:


As I've said before, sleeves are always a challenge to capture on a web page, especially when the photos are taken out on the street, where natural light differs, depending on the angle. Despite my amazing photo editing skills, the collage above is marred by totally different tones, but you can still see the gist of the tattoo - the phrase "ART IS PAIN" carved from the inside with an X-Acto knife, with a dripping paintbrush, pen and pencil, all tools of the artist's trade, poking through the letters in the flesh.

And if you weren't impressed by that, check out this phenomenal tattoo machine on the inner part of John's forearm:


And all of this is punctuated by this mask on the back of his hand:


John pointed out that the eyes are fashioned with pen quills, to keep with the theme of this art-inspired sleeve.

This amazing work is the product of the great Stefano Alcantara, who hails from Lima, Peru, and tattoos out of world-famous Paul Booth's Last Rites Tattoo Theater here in New York City. You can also check out Alcantara's Facebook fan page here.

Thanks again to John for continuing to share his work with us here on Tattoosday! You can find John at Brooklyn Made Tattoo in Bay Ridge.

See John's other tattoos here, here, here, and 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.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Bruno, World Traveler, Shares Two Impressive Tattoos

On a lovely fall day, back in October, I met Bruno on 32nd Street, just south of Greeley Square.

This was the tattoo on his calf that caught my eye and inspired me to stop him:


Bruno told me he was "travelling the world, trying to get some good waves everywhere I go." He had this Hannya mask done "back in Brazil, four years ago,"

But, despite spotting the mask on his leg, he was more proud to show me his latest tattoo, still healing on his thigh:


This tattoo on his thigh was done in Indonesia. He identified it as "Barong, a god from the Hindu-Balinese religion." It was inked at Shotonk Tattoo, by Shotonk, who Bruno said is "one of the best tattoo artists in Bali."

He added, that Barong is "one of the protector gods for the island, so I really feel like he's going to be protecting me in all my journeys."

Thanks to Bruno for sharing his cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday! We wish him safe travels as he journeys the earth, looking for those awesome waves.

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, 15 January 2013

Daisy Shares Some Lovely Work from East River Tattoo

This past fall, I ran into Daisy as she was exiting a subway station on the Upper West Side. She was displaying some interesting tattoos and she was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with me about them.

Daisy explained that she had only just recently started getting a lot of tattoos "all in the last year and a half." She elaborated "[I] just very quickly became this extremely tattooed person ... it just felt so right to meet these amazing people ... I love Sue and Duke, they're just so cool."

She was referring to two of the artists responsible for the majority of her new work, Duke Riley and Sue Jeiven, from East River Tattoo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

This amazing piece from Duke graces her upper left arm:


Daisy explained that this is based on a tarot card of the moon. She explained, "this card just speaks to me a whole lot - I brought in ten different versions of it and this is the one [Duke] came up with."

A small tattoo from Duke appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Daisy also shared some work from Sue Jeiven, including these pieces on her forearms:


Daisy explained that the piece on the left (her right), which she called the "Tiger Lady," is emblematic of Sue's work. Sue has been battling cancer. I'm not up to speed on her current condition, but she appears to still be going strong.  "She has the emblem fight the good fight underneath this and a lot of her closest friends have this tattoo," Daisy told me. She added, "She has it on her cards now and she has a stamp of it, but she just came up with it one day and it sort of became, this is like illness, the girl is... we don't know whether she is getting swallowed or she's coming out or she's peeking out or making peace with the tiger, you don't really know."

And the tattoo on the other arm? Daisy said, "It's just kind of a companion piece ... I just sorta liked the girls looking at each other, with the tiger and the fox."

Daisy also shared this tattoo from her upper right arm:


Daisy explained:
"Ship lady is one that Sue drew. She was just drawing some flash up and sometimes she'll start drawing something and be like, oh this is my friend, and this is my other friend, and so she said this one was me."
What was particularly nice for me, in meeting Daisy, was that I had met Sue Jeiven previously, by chance, at Penn Station, a year earlier. In fact, Sue shared a tattoo she has, a phenomenal piece by the artist Deno, here.

It was truly a pleasure meeting Daisy, and I'm happy we were able to highlight some of the fine work from Sue and Duke at East River Tattoo! Thanks Daisy!

~ ~ ~

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, 14 January 2013

Phil's Sleeve Captures Conflict

The occasional reader might notice we don't feature a lot of full sleeves on this site, partly due to the difficulty of properly capturing the artist's work. Every once in a while, however, I see something quite good and feel I have to give it a shot.


I ran into Phil this fall at one of my local grocery stores. He shared this sleeve with us:


It was done by Wil Scherer at Sanctuary Tattoo in Portland, Maine.


Phil explained that the work is "revolved around Zen Buddhism ... the figure at the top is one of the guardians from the Emerald Temple in Thailand."


It is in conflict with another guardian at the bottom of the sleeve.


This battle between the guardians reflect the conflict in life.

Thanks to Phil for sharing this amazing sleeve 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.


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Kevin's Medieval, Mystical, Musical Sleeve

The other day we saw Olivia's "Hippie Chick".

With her was Kevin, who let me photograph his sleeve:




Kevin explained that the sleeve is "a medieval and mystical, musical kind of deal, a battle of what exists and doesn't exist in your own mind."

This work was done by two artists from upstate New York: Joel Mentnor from Hyperion Tattoo in Buffalo, and Josh Avery at Davie Mac's Rock Solid Tattoos on Grand Island in the Niagara Falls area. Kevin sat for the sleeve, by his estimate, approximately twenty-five hours over a two-year period. He has about thirty-five hours of tattoo work on his canvas. [Update: this piece was previously attributed incorrectly to Bob Bieber, but Joel Mentnor confirmed that he and Josh Avery both worked on the sleeve.]

Thanks to Kevin for sharing his sleeve 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, 10 January 2013

Olivia's "Hippie Chick"

Back in September, I met Kevin and Olivia in Penn Station. Both have tattoos and were kind enough to share their work. Today we get to appreciate Olivia's tattoo, which she described as her "hippie chick":


Olivia explained:
"I drew her myself. I draw all of my tattoos ... It's ... my inner personality brought out ... I play the keyboards. There's a hidden paintbrush in there. My name means 'peace' so I have a peace dove."
She had this tattooed by Esther at Beyond DMT in Buffalo, New York.

Thanks to Olivia for sharing her 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, 9 January 2013

Emily's Sugar Skull Butterfly

At the end of July 2012, I bumped into Emily on the West 4th Street subway platform in Manhattan.

By her estimates, she has "about twenty" tattoos.

She offered up this stunning piece that wraps around her forearm:


Best to click on the image to see it in greater detail.

This hybrid sugar skull butterfly is a custom piece designed and tattooed by Brad Stevens at New York Adorned.

A piece by Brad appeared previously on Tattoosday here, back in August 2010.

Emily blogs over at Rougetheday.com.

Thanks to Emily for sharing this great 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, 8 January 2013

Steven and Melissa's Friendship Tattoos

This summer outside of Penn Station, on the corner of 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, I met Steven & Melissa, who marked their friendship with matching tattoos:


This is how our discussion went:

Tattoosday: "So what's the story with that tattoo?"

Melissa: "It's a friendship tattoo..."

Steven: "Yeah, I'm a Cancer, so that's a moon, and it kind of describes our relationship, because she's an Aquarius and the moon controls water, it's a push and a pull, we balance each other out."

Melissa: "But he doesn't control me though...our first thing was that we found out that the moon controlled insanity and stuff, and we think we're really weird and crazy...that's what we were going with..."

Steven: "So a little of everything..."

Melissa: "Yeah."

You could tell they are close friends because their sentences overlapped and they seemed to be finishing each other's thoughts.


They credited the design and tattoo to an artist at NYC Kulture on St. Mark's Place in the East Village.

Thanks to Steven and Melissa for sharing their friendship 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.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Kaci Shares Her Skytree Tattoo

I met Kaci on Seventh Avenue in the fall, close to 14th Street. She was walking by me in the opposite direction and I had to ask her about the tattoo on her right leg:


Kaci told me that this is an illustration of Skytree, a character in the He-Man story.

Having absolutely no general understanding of the narrative, Kaci gave me an abbreviated version of the significance for her:
"I just really like the story, it's Skytree. He's the oldest living thing in the world and He-Man has to destroy him to save She-Ra's father ... [and is] frozen and is held captive by this dragon who's the second oldest thing in the world ... He-Man finds out that Skytree basically gives life to everything else in the world so [He-Man] refuses to cut him down and goes back to the dragon dude and is basically he didn't do it. [The Dragon says]  You're the only one that's opposed me and showed some faith in humanity so I'll release [him] anyway."
Kaci got this at Black Hive Tattoo in Jacksonville, Florida, crediting artist Gary Doyle. He's no longer on the Black Hive Tattoo site, so it appears he has moved on.

Thanks to Kaci 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, 2 January 2013

See Naomi's Tattoo: Life Doesn't Frighten Her

Well, it's a new year here on Tattoosday, and we still have leftover posts from 2012. But since it's in the 20s today in New York City, and we don't see a lot of work over the winter, I'm always happy to share posts from warmer days.

Going back to July, I was on the DeKalb Avenue subway platform in Brooklyn when I passed Naomi and had to stop and talk to her about her forearm tattoo:


Being a big fan of books, I recognized this as the cover of Maya Angelou's children's story Life Doesn't Frighten Me. Of course, while talking with Naomi, she reminded me whose art graced the cover.


The book is beautifully illustrated with the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a popular New York artist whose paintings exploded into popularity in the 1980s.

She told me she got this more than fifteen years ago from a tattooist named "Batman" who worked out of Sacred Tattoo at the time.

She explained, "I really like Basquiat and then I saw the cover on the book and I really liked the book and thought I have to have this done."

Thanks to Naomi for sharing her tattoo with us for the first post of a new year!



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.