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I met Amanda in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on a cold day in January. She wasn't wearing gloves which, despite the cold, was a good thing, as her hands bore a couple of nifty tattoos that really flashed in the sunlight.
Unfortunately for me, I was bogged down with a bag of groceries and dry cleaning, so I wasn't in any position to take pictures.
I did manage to chat with Amanda briefly, and I told her about Tattoosday. I passed her my card and asked her to email me if she was interested in sharing.
I was happy to hear from her a day or two later and, this past weekend, sat and chatted with her at a local Starbucks. It was there that I got to see her tattooed hands in all their glory:
Amanda hails from Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to New York several years back to pursue her dream of an artistic career. She estimates that her body is 30% inked, most of which was done by her home town artist Steve Drew, who works out of a shop called Irezumi Body Art.
She was looking around for an artist in New York, when she accompanied a friend to Red Rocket Tattoo in Manhattan. There, Mike Bellamy was working with her friend on a concept sleeve. Amanda liked what she saw and started working with Mr. Bellamy on her hand guns.
You can see other Tattoosday-featured work by Mike Bellamy here.
So, why put guns on your hands, of all places? Amanda says it was an aesthetic decision, and not any sort of moral or political statement. Nor, she says, was it necessarily a nod to her roots in Kansas City.
Rather, Amanda wanted a whimsical tattoo that anchored what will become, eventually, full sleeves. The old six-shooter style of revolver is a traditional tattoo, in some senses (see previous gun-themed tattoos here).
But Amanda wanted her hand guns to be colorful and depict a feminine side, reminiscent of a weapon tucked into a saloon-girl's garter belt. The red roses, set into the handles, give the guns a softer edge. Their placement on the hands recall a childlike innocence, reminding one of the gesture kids make when they pretend their hands are toy guns.
Amanda said that she had these inked in one sitting, each gun taking about an hour and a half each. Mike Bellamy inked the outline on each hand first, then went back and did the color and shading on both. How did it feel? "The most intense pain I've ever felt," said Amanda, "especially on the knuckles".
Thanks to Amanda for sharing her guns here on Tattoosday! We look forward to seeing more of your ink in the future!
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