Wednesday, 31 July 2013

We Are Six!


I never did a big 5-Year Anniversary Celebration last year, but I also didn't want to let the day slip by without noting that it was 6 years ago today, on my old BillyBlog, that I "introduced" Tattoosday. See the original post here.

Appearing weekly for a bit on BillyBlog, until September, when Tattoosday earned its own URL, this is our 1522nd post, and we have racked up 1.7 million hits and 2.5 million page views.

I want to thank everyone who continues to support Tattoosday, including the tattoo community as a whole, but especially my readers, first and foremost.

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, 30 July 2013

Tattoosday in the Berkshires: Bob & Sue's Excellent Tattoos

Back in June, we took a trip up to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts to drop my older daughter off for a summer program in Lenox. I had anticipated seeing some cool tattoos on the weekend trip, but came up empty-handed. That is, until we were headed back to New York, and took a small detour in Stockbridge, MA, where I ran into Bob and Sue.

We spotted the couple in a shop along Main Street and talked to them about their tattoos. They had been up at Tanglewood the night before to hear the Boston Pops perform a "Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration," which made sense, when we took a closer look at Bob's tattoo:


Bob explained:
"The sun is from the Filipino flag - it's my heritage. The hills are covered with trees from New England, that's where I grew up. The road is not straight, it's narrow ... that [Yamaha Stratoliner] is based on my bike, and I'm a Grateful Dead fan."
The artist is Canman out of Visions Tattoo Gallery in Medway, MA.

Sue shared these two tattoos:


This portrait, inked six months ago, depicts their children, who are in their thirties now. Their daughter is twelve in the portrait and this, too, was done by Canman, as was this other piece on Sue's opposite arm:


This piece is about four years old, yet it's still fairly bright.

Thanks to Bob and Sue for sharing their 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.

Friday, 26 July 2013

A Brief Glimpse at Megan's Bluebells on Fifth Avenue


I know that this looks like I took this photo surreptitiously, but trust me, I had the woman's permission.

I spotted Megan on Fifth Avenue, near the Mid-Manhattan Library, last month. Unlike many of the people I interview, she was not interested in stopping to talk to me, but did share, as long as I walked with her. The photo was snapped when we waited for the light to change.

She got the tattoo somewhere in the East Village, she said, and explained a bit about the tattoo:
"I collect agricultural books, like pieces from old books from the 1800s, early 19th century, and the bluebell is my favorite flower and I came across a few that were bluebell dissections ... it's taken from that."
Thanks to Megan for sharing her favorite flower 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, 25 July 2013

Phil Shares a Portrait of His Kids

One of my daughters' teammates on her lacrosse club was immortalized, along with her big brother, on her father's arm:


At the end of the season, I got a chance to chat with Phil, the father of these two kids, about his work. The son was three in the portrait and the daughter was one. Now, they're both teenagers.

He told me that he got this piece almost twelve years ago from a European artist named Zsolt. The artist in question, Zsolt Sárközi, hails from Budapest, Hungary, and works at a shop he founded called Dark Art Tattoo. The tattoo was done here in New York City, at Sacred Tattoo in Manhattan.

Thanks to Phil for sharing this wonderful portrait of his children 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, 23 July 2013

Katrina Shares a Pair of Audrey Kawasaki Designs in One Tattoo!

Earlier this month, I rode my bike in the Tour de Queens. At one point in the ride, all the riders had stopped in the hot sun as we waited for traffic. I looked at the person next to me and noticed she had an amazing tattoo on her right thigh. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Katrina. She told me a little about the tattoo and allowed me to take a picture of it:


I know, I know, the photo seems a little washed out. I shot it in bright sunlight and that was the best I could do. However, Katrina gave me her artist's info and I was able, with permission, to post the tattooist's photo from his online portfolio:

Photo Courtesy of Andy Pho
So, you can see, it's a pretty amazing tattoo.

Katrina later e-mailed me with her explanation of the piece:
"The whole piece on my thigh just basically gives me a representation of who I am and who I can be.
It took me 3 years to finally go with it. The artist who did it is Andy Pho (www.andypho.com) who at the time tattooed at Omni Ink in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I've always admired geishas for their perseverance and aiming to be better performers. The whole presentation of them is just beautiful and broken at the same time. Their make-up covers their whole face so you can't really tell what they're thinking or how they feel. Just a piece of mystery.
I found the geisha from one of my favorite painters, Audrey Kawasaki. I absolutely love her work. I basically combined two paintings into one. The geisha (Yuuwaka) and the anatomical heart (My Dishonest Heart) are probably my two favorite ones from her. I'm very keen on detail and Andy just did a phenomenal job for someone who had only been tattooing for a year and a half at the time."
Here are the two Kawasaki paintings in question:

"Yuuwaku" 誘惑 allure

oil and graphite on wood 20"x 26"
"Hajimari"@Jonathan Levine Gallery in NY 2009 
© Audrey Kawasaki 2004 - 2013
and

My Dishonest Heart

mixed media on wood 10"x12"
'The Drawing Show' @ Thinkspace 2008
© Audrey Kawasaki 2004 - 2013
Andy Pho, the tattoo artist responsible for this great tattoo, has since left Brooklyn and Omni Ink for his own shop in Las Vegas, called Skin Design Tattoo.

Andy adds, by way of a bio:
"We are currently undergoing a major relocation to a larger studio set to open in late August. Please follow the artists there as well (the artist roster and work will be updated for the grand opening).
I am a Brooklyn native (born in Coney Island, lived in Midwood, Flatbush, Boro Park, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Gravesend, before relocating to Vegas)."
For the latest on Andy and Skin Design's progress, you can follow him on Facebook here.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing her awesome Audrey Kawasaki two-in-one tattoo, and to Andy Pho, for helping us really appreciate his fine work!

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, 20 July 2013

Vicki's Words of Inspiration Get Her Where She Needs to Go

I'm always interested on what people choose to permanently inscribe on themselves, especially when the tattoo is textual.

Earlier this week, I met Vicki in my local grocery store and she had this inked on her inner wrist:


Her tattoo reads "Motivation Dedication Hard Work."

Vicki explained,
"I'm a marathon runner. So, when you get to, like, mile 20 and have six to go, you need a little motivation, dedication and hard work ... I started living by that about ten years ago, and it gets me where I need to go."
In October,  Vicki will be running her 5th marathon.

This script and tattoo was done by Mr. Kaves at Brooklyn Made Tattoo in Bay Ridge.


Thanks to Vicki 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.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ink Master, Season 3: Who the Hell Are These Guys?


Say what you want about "reality" tattoo competition shows, but they are relevant to tattoo blogs, regardless of how you feel. Personally, I find them fascinating on so many different levels.

The third season of Ink Master premiered this week and, while I won't run down the entire roster of this season's contestants, I do want to note that a couple of them have had their work showcased on Tattoosday previously.

The first person who jumped out at me was Craig Foster, from Skinwerks Tattoo & Design in Carrollton, Georgia.


Craig had two pieces appear on Tattoosday in 2008. This one:

Read about this tattoo here.
and this one:

Read about this tattoo here.
Many of the names are familiar, and we all remember Tatu Baby from season 2.


I featured one of her more recognizable pieces back in 2011:

Read about it here.
Something about one of the other contestants rang familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. The artist with the moniker Made Rich had my ink-sense tingling and then, I realized, I interviewed one of his clients just a few weeks ago at the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention.


Based out of the Queens shop Think Before You Ink, one of my favorite pieces of the night was this thigh tattoo on a woman named Taylor:


I haven't published this one yet, but I'll retroactively link it once it's done.

So I'll be tuning in this season just to see how these three artists fare, along with the others. The judges, Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck, and Chris Nunez, are hyper-critical in their assessments, which lends a certain degree of authenticity to the show's claim to find the best tattooer among the bunch to crown Ink Master.

Keep an eye on the three artists above, because I think they have a good chance of going deep into the competition.

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, 17 July 2013

Krystina and a Krooked Ken Tattoo

I met Krystina in my neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn last month, after stopping to ask her about her tattoos.

Turns out, she works as a manager at North Star Tattoo in Manhattan, a wonderful shop with some amazing artists.

She shared this small tattoo of a black cat, a skull, and the number 13, credited to Krooked Ken, who owns Black Anchor Tattoo in Denton, Maryland and Powerhouse Tattoo Company in Montclair, New Jersey:


Krystina explained how she came by this tattoo from Krooked Ken:
"I'm good friends with him. I used to work for him and we went to Rodrigo Melo's [the owner of North Star Tattoo] wedding ... the day after Rodrigo's wedding, we were staying at the same hotel in Jersey, I went to Powerhouse ... and he did this tattoo that day. Daniel Cotté did the flash. The only copy of it, he never did prints or anything, just the hand-painted flash, is at Powerhouse, and Daniel Cotté works at North Star, as well."
Thanks to Krystina 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.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Amherst Tattoo Company is Looking for Talent (and New Clients)!

You may recall that Tattoosday went on the road a few months back, spending a few days up in Massachusetts.

At one stop, the family and I stopped at a Starbucks before our scheduled tour of the U.Mass campus in Amherst.

I noticed, as we were leaving, that there was a tattoo shop nearby. I peeked in and saw that they were still working on the shop, which was scheduled to open the following week. I introduced myself and left my card.

Just last week, I received an email from Josefa, owner/manager at Amherst Tattoo Company. Turns out they were renovating the former Holeshot's Preimum Tattoo & Body Piercing location, whose work was featured previously on Tattoosday here.

Josefa tells me that they are looking to expand their staff, seeking a quality tattoo artist and piercer. Here's more info on the shop, if you are interested:
Amherst Tattoo Company is a studio located in down town Amherst, MA. ATC enjoys plenty of walk-in business and also appreciates a steady and consistent repeat clientèle.

We are in the location of a former studio that spent 10 years with a pristine reputation thanks to their lead artist, who opened ATC in April when the existing shop closed. ATC is ready to bring in new, committed talent.

If you are a licensed or licensable tattoo artist or body piercer please get in touch with us at amhersttattoocompany@gmail.com with a brief professional history, an electronic portfolio or example of your work and a resume or cv if you have one. If you do not have extensive photographs or an electronic portfolio, please also indicate when you would be available to come to the shop with your book. 
You can check them out on their website here and their Facebook page here.

If you are qualified and interested in working at ATC, you can reach out to Josefa at 413.253.0972 and/or
amhersttattoocompany@gmail.com.

Anyone who has recently had work done by artists Michael Williams or MJ Beaton, and would like to share, feel free to email photos to Tattoosday@gmail.com.

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, 14 July 2013

Bastille Day Special - Jessica Loves "La Tour Eiffel"

It's Bastille Day in France, so I thought we could celebrate by sharing a tattoo from Jessica, who I met last month at the end-of-season gathering for the Brooklyn Crescents lacrosse club here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn:


This lovely tattoo of the Eiffel Tower, France's most recognizable landmark. Jessica got this from an artist named Kurt in Wilmington, Delaware. It just reinforces her love of the Eiffel Tower and French culture.

Thanks to Jessica for helping us celebrate Bastille Day 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, 10 July 2013

Joe's Lacrosse Stick Reflects His Love of the Sport

Last month, I attended the end-of-season event for the Brooklyn Crescents, a lacrosse club with which my daughter has been affiliated for the past two years.

Part of the festivities include friendly games between alumni and coaches and, while my daughter was warming up for the women's game, I spotted a guy with a tattoo appropriate for the occasion.

I introduced myself to Joe, a Crescents alumnus who had recently graduated from high school, and is headed to Mount St. Mary College to play Division III lacrosse next year. He was happy to share this great lacrosse tattoo on the back of his calf:


The artist was the extremely talented Evan Lindemann at Revolver Tattoo in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Work from Evan has appeared previously on Tattoosday here and here.

A lacrosse stick is no easy image to tattoo, the cross-hatch of lines from the net is extremely complicated, and the work above is simply exemplary in the quality of the line work.

Thanks to Joe for sharing this amazing 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, 9 July 2013

Alina's Tattoo Commemorates Being in the Big Apple

I don't normally disturb people while they are working, but I made an exception for Alina, who I met on the outskirts of Bryant Park last month.

Alina was part of a German movie crew that was filming in the city, and she allowed me to talk to her while she had some down time.

She shared this cool tattoo:


She had this done by Cookie at Pop's Tattoo Emporium in Kingston, NY, after her first trip to New York City. "We're shooting movies here every summer," Alina explained, "and this reminds me of being in the Big Apple."

Incidentally, we featured work from Cookie almost five years ago here.

Thanks to Alina 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.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Daniela's Spiral of Stars

I met Daniela a couple weeks back in Bay Ridge, stopping her after spotting a text tattoo on her forearm. However, she preferred to share this tattoo:


She got this spiral pattern of 15 stars on her fifteenth birthday when she was living in Argentina. I always try to remain objective, but as a parent of two teenage daughters, I asked what her parents thought when she came home with this tattoo on her neck. Daniela told me that they actually took her to get the tattoo and expanded on why she chose such a visible spot for her tattoo:
"I do kinda regret the tattoo at times, but ... at that age, I was going through a lot at school, and I just wanted to stand out from everybody else. In Argentina, basically all the people are the same, so I didn't want at all to be like them."
She was born in Argentina and lived there for almost seven years, and she acknowledged that this tattoo was one way for her to express her own individuality.

Thanks to Daniela for sharing these stars 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, 4 July 2013

Celebrating Independence With a Captain America Tattoo

I ran into Kristin recently on Third Avenue in Brooklyn and she shared this tattoo on her arm, which seemed appropriate to post today:


Kristin is a big comic book fan, and she chose this Captain America shield because "he's the great American hero" and "he's my favorite Marvel [Comics] guy."

This was done by an artist named Kattan at Liquid Expressions Tattoos in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Kristin for helping us celebrate Independence Day by sharing this cool tattoo!

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, 3 July 2013

Born on the Third of July (Dispatch from the Urban Tattoo Convention, Part 2)

When I went to the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention last weekend, I was expecting a lot, but I wasn't anticipating walking out with a fresh new tattoo. It was an early birthday surprise, to say the least.

My night changed for the better when, turning a corner, I ran into Phil Phlash aka Phil Sheridan aka inkone aka Flex Sinatra. Phil and I worked together years ago, before he left for bigger and better things. He left the office and picked up a tattoo machine, but before he did, we had many office conversations about tattoos, and he was an early fan of Tattoosday.

Fast forward to Saturday night at the UTC, Phil and I were catching up, and he asked me if I wanted to get tattooed. I knew he had recently started working at Tuff City Tattoos and was trying to figure out how to make it to the Bronx, when he clarified, "No, tonight."

I've been following Phil's work on the various social media and have seen his talents develop over the years. It had always crossed my mind that, one day, he might be adding to my collection, but it was not in my immediate plans. Until now.

Phil brought me back to his booth, and he showed me a flash book of some classic old-school traditional designs. If you check him out on Instagram (under Flex_Sinatra), you'll see that his traditional work is solid, and his tattoos are done with confidence and passion. My head was spinning as he suggested designs, I kept wanting to defer to his better judgment. This wasn't going to be a tattoo with great, complicated meaning. It was, however, going to be my first tattoo inked by a friend.

He turned a page and showed me an eagle. His face lit up. Mine did as well. It was decided. We figured out the particulars and the placement, and when I came back a bit later, the stencil seemed to have grown. This was no little Sailor Jerry shark; this was a big piece going on the side of my calf.

When all was said and done, this was the final result, a traditional American Bald Eagle:

What better way to celebrate my upcoming birthday, on the eve of Independence Day, than with a traditional  piece of American flash?

I even captured a snippet of the convention chaos while getting tattooed:



And, after we were done, Phil and I went around showing our work off to fellow convention-goers. Despite his expression below, he was fairly pleased with the end result:

Self-Inflicted Photo with Phil Phlash
I still have lots more to report from the UTC, so stay tuned. This moment, however, was the high point of the show, for obvious reasons.

Thanks to Phil Phlash for this awesome new tattoo in my collection!

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, 2 July 2013

Dispatch from the 4th Annual NYC Urban Tattoo Convention (Part 1)

This past weekend, the 4th Annual Urban Tattoo Convention (UTC) was held for the first time in Brooklyn, in a cool refurbished factory space that is part of the up-and-coming "Industry City" section of my fair borough.

After chatting with organizer, Al Fliction, don't be surprised if the UTC returns next year to the same venue. He was really happy how things had been going after the first two days of the show.

I didn't know what to expect, honestly. But I had a really great time on Saturday, when I spent the most time at the show.

Walking in, I was very impressed by the bright, open space that the venue afforded:


The booths were laid out nicely and there was little feeling of claustrophobia. Behind the main room was a huge courtyard that allowed people to congregate, eat, drink, and take a break from the visual overload in the main convention room:


You may have noticed in the top photo that there appeared to be a topless woman standing on the convention floor, with someone attentively staring at her chest. Actually, there were a handful of models being body-painted by several artists, culminating in a competition on Saturday evening.

The Model on the Left Was a Favorite for Many
The UTC is an event that really celebrates and showcases work from a lot of artists and tattoo enthusiasts who are from communities not always represented by the mainstream tattoo media.

Case in point, I had a great discussion with K.C. Washington, owner of Brooklyn-based Noir A-Go Go, a company dedicated to "selling Black pinup girl-themed compact mirrors, greeting cards, magnets, and more." Her business "puts the black in the magic that is 50's Americana." When I stopped to think about it, I realized that the standard idea of the pin-up model is predominantly White. I love how Noir A-Go Go is committed to breaking down this cultural stereotype and celebrating a look that has previously been associated mostly with one segment of the population. You can check out their products at http://www.noir-a-gogo.com/.

I also ran into my old friend, Ry, who was working the bar for the show. People may remember him as the human canvas who was a pivotal plot point in the "Botched Head Tattoo" episode of Inkmaster, on which we both appeared.


But, as you might expect, the high point of these shows are the tattoos. I will have a bunch of stand-alone posts later this month from people I met at the show. Plus, I'll have more comments from Al Fliction about the success of the show.

The high point of the evening for me, was running into my friend Phil, who I knew before he took up a tattoo machine, and started working as an artist. Let's just say, he and I spent several hours together at the show, and I will share what he worked on tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

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.