Friday, July 22, 2016

Sarah, The Master and Margarita

Yesterday I highlighted Sarah's tattoo inspired by a cover of a Neil Gaiman collection.

Normally, I wouldn't split a post unless it was long, but I felt Sarah's other tattoo that I took pictures of on the Broad Street platform warranted its own post.

First, the tattoo:


Inked on Sarah's inner arm, this is an image of a large black cat, swinging from a chandelier. It appears to be holding a gun. Below is the inscription "manuscripts don't burn."

The explanation is simple, this is another literary tattoo inscribed on Sarah, hearkening this time to Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. The cat is named Behemoth and the scene depicted is one of the more memorable in the novel. The phrase "manuscripts don't burn" is uttered by a major character and is an integral message, both literally and figuratively, that permeates the text.

Before proceeding, a shout-out to Gerald Feliciano (@geraldfelciano) at East Side Ink (@eastsideink), who captured this scene so wonderfully.

When Sarah told me it was inspired by Bulgakov, I was familiar with the author's name, but had not read anything by him. Sarah emphatically insisted it was one of the great novels of all time. Not a huge fan of Russian literature, I was skeptical, but intrigued. Anyone who shares tattoos with me gives us something, but when that tattoo opens the door to curiosity and a feeding of the mind, it is truly something special.

By the following week, I was into the book, but I read it slowly. It is multi-layered and fantastical, peppered with history and satire. I'd point to one review that helped with perspective (here) and encourage reading the Penguin Classics edition which speaks to the history of the novel, published decades after Bulgakov had died, and includes pages of notes to assist with obscure references, making for a clearer reading experience.

This is one of those novels that changes you. Would I say it is the greatest novel of all time? No, probably not, but it's the first one I've read in a while that has threatened to break into my top twenty. And I think further consideration warrants inclusion.

The character Behemoth is a shining point of dark comic humor in The Master and Margarita. When the chandelier scene finally danced in front of my eyes, I was euphoric. I felt fulfilled. The novel is masterful and carries a wallop.

And quite honestly, with all the amazing books in the world, past and present, I don't know if I ever would have cracked the cover of this one had my path not crossed with Sarah's, had she not been so kind as to share her tattoos, to share them with us here on Tattoosday.

So thank you, Sarah, from the bottom of my book and tattoo-loving heart, for sharing this special tattoo with us here on Tattoosday. I hope that at least one Tattoosday reader will follow my lead and pick up the book and see why Behemoth is so special, why this novel is so important, and how a stranger's tattoo can change lives.

This entry is ©2016 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, July 21, 2016

Sarah, Smoke and Mirrors

At the beginning of June, I met Sarah on the Broad Street platform in Lower Manhattan, and had a nice conversation about her tattoos. This was the one that sparked my interest:


This is a tattoo adapted from one of the cover versions of author Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions.


I'm a sucker for a good literary tattoo, and Gaiman (@neilhimself) is Sarah's favorite writer. She wears this art, adapted and tattooed by Gerald Feliciano (@geraldfelciano) at East Side Ink (@eastsideink), with pride.

Now, I'm going to do something unusual here. Instead of sharing Sarah's other tattoo that I photographed, I'm going to make you wait until tomorrow. It's likewise literary, but it had a much greater impact on me, and I want to devote a fuller post to it. Come back tomorrow to see what the fuss is about!

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 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, July 20, 2016

Allie's Tiger is Rip-Roaringly Lifelike!

Another quick update from this past weekend's New York Empire State Tattoo Expo.

On Friday, I met Allie, who had just finished receiving this stunning tiger tattoo:


This bengal tiger, ripping out of Allie's thigh, was completed by artist Amber Joy (@AmberJoyTattoo) from 546 Tattoo Studio in Sandusky, Ohio.

Not much else to say, except wow! Beautiful work from a talented tattooist!

Thanks to Allie for sharing her new tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 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, July 19, 2016

Brewsday Tuesday: Flying Dog Edition

It's time for another installment of Brewsday Tuesday on Tattoosday!

If you missed our initial post, this new feature highlights the body art of someone from an American brewery and shares, not only their tattoos, but a little bit about their company, their role, and a little beer talk, as well.

Today we are honored to be featuring Flying Dog Brewery (@flyingdogbrewery) in Frederick, Maryland!

Meet Heather Ault, who is Flying Dog's Director of National Accounts and Export:

Photo courtesy of  Jessica Patterson Photography 
Before we talk about Flying Dog, let's first take a look at some of Heather's tattoos.

We see she's got quite a bit of ink on her back, so let's take a closer look:


I asked Heather about the lilies on her back and she replied:
"...The lilies are ... Stargazer Lilies ... Funny enough, lilies actually represent purity…..which I would say I lost a long time ago. However, the Stargazers represent prosperity..and well…who doesn’t want to be prosperous? They are actually also my very favorite flower."
As cool as these lilies are, she shared this awesome owl tattoo, as well:


Heather explained the origin of this tattoo:
"There are few reasons behind the owl. First, my grandmother loves owls and has them around her house. Knick knack owls, not actual owls of course. Also, Athena, Greek Goddess Wisdom, warfare, and courage is often depicted with an owl on her shoulder. And, well, I would like to be wise and courageous. So it’s just a little reminder. I added the MD flag shield because I am born and raised in Maryland and I love my state and my flag."
Heather credited Gary Gerhardt (@ggtattoos) at Classic Electric Tattoo (@classicelectrictattoo) in Frederick, MD with both of the lilies and the owl.

Heather has been with Flying Dog Brewery for 11 years. Initially, it was Frederick Brewing Co, which was bought by Flying Dog about a year into her tenure there.

I first took notice of Flying Dog because of their labels. They stand out like works of art on the beer aisle, thanks to the brewery's partnership with the great Ralph Steadman. Steadman is most famous for his collaborative illustrations with the late great Hunter S. Thompson; his artwork for Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas is epic, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Heather raves "I would totally NOT be doing our brand justice if I didn't say something about our label art and Ralph Steadman, our artist." It's hard to disagree when she says, "I would argue that our labels are the best in craft beer because we have Gonzo Artist Ralph Steadman, an icon!"

Just take a look at the six-pack of Raging Bitch I bought:


I've had quite a few of the Flying Dog brands over the years, but Raging Bitch has become one of my favorites, and definitely tops among my favorite IPAs.

Heather was happy to sing its praises and explain why it's such an outstanding brand:
"Raging Bitch is a pioneer beer in the Belgian Style IPA category. Actually, THE pioneer. First of its kind. We were the first to use a Belgian yeast in an IPA and many other breweries have tried to make this style but I don’t think anyone has nailed it like we did yet. She’s very special to me."
I like it because it's not too hoppy, right in the mid-range of the IBU scale and it just has an amazingly pungent robust flavor. And at 8.3% ABV, it packs a good punch, like you would expect of something called Raging Bitch.

I encourage Tattoosday readers to head over to Flying Dog (www.flyingdogbrewerry.com) and check out all their brands, and the great labels, as well.

Honestly, when I first thought about Tattoos and Beer together on Tattoosday, Flying Dog was one of the first to come to mind, because their visual art seems ideal for tattoo enthusiasts. In fact, Flying Dog just celebrated "National Tattoo Day at the Brewery" on Sunday, July 17. Customers visiting their tasting room receive a 25% discount for life, just by showing a Flying Dog tattoo. They even had artists on hand to ink customers. See the flash, and the details about the event here. Maybe I'll drop in next summer!

I want to thank Heather Ault from Flying Dog for sharing her tattoos and her thoughts on working at the brewery. "My favorite part about working with Flying Dog is that I can be myself," she told me, and then added one of their mottos, "Flying Dog is made up of a small, dedicated band of craft beer mavericks who stand tall and never eat shit."

Also thanks to Rohry Flood, Flying Dog's "Master of the Content Universe," for helping me assemble this feature with Heather.

And as a thanks to Tattoosday readers for visiting Brewsday Tuesday, Flying Dog is giving away a special gift pack with a t-shirt, koozie, and bottle opener. All you have to do to enter is either a) comment on the post naming your favorite Flying Dog Brand; b) comment on the post on Tattoosday's Facebook page here, or on Tattoosday's Instagram (@tattoosday); or c) re-tweet this post. How cool is that!?

Cheers!


This entry is ©2016 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, July 18, 2016

Aleisha's Stunning Tattoo (at the NY Empire State Tattoo Expo)

This past weekend marked the 2016 NY Empire State Tattoo Expo (@nyempirestatetattooexpo) in Midtown Manhattan, and I spent a nice chunk of time on Friday and Saturday soaking in the sights. In years past, I have reported on tattoo conventions in greater detail, but this time around, I just wanted to meet people and talk about their work. So no big recap here, folks. Rather, I'll be doing the regular Tattoosday thing - small posts about specific tattoos with links to the artists and their shops.

That said, I will start off with what is likely one of the most amazing pieces I photographed.

This. Just this:


This amazingly breathtaking work belongs to Aleisha, who was kind enough to share with us. Tattoo shows are generally wall-to-wall spectacles of fabulous body art. This piece, by Ron Russo (@ron570tattoos) at 570 Tattooing Co. (@570tattooingco) in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was quite possibly my favorite (among a long list of astonishingly great works) from the weekend.

"I just wanted a nature-type of theme," Aleisha told me, "I pretty much let Ron decide." She noted that this stunning ocelot and the green hornet below it were actually a two-portrait cover-up.

I have found that, when you give your tattoo artist free reign to do what they want, giving yourself up as a canvas, the artist's appreciation for the freedom to create often yields the most breathtaking results.

Thanks to Aleisha for sharing this wonderful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! We'll be seeing more from the Expo in weeks to come!


This entry is ©2016 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, July 15, 2016

Kevin's Flower on Water Street

Check out this cool tattoo I spotted last week down on Water Street in Lower Manhattan:


This cool flower, in the "ditch" of the forearm, belongs to Kevin, who was kind enough to share his tattoo with us.

He credited Alice Carrier (@alicerules) at Wonderland Tattoo (@wonderlandpdx) in Portland, Oregon with the design and execution of the piece.

It's a lovely tattoo and we here at Tattoosday thank Kevin for sharing it with us!

This entry is ©2016 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, July 14, 2016

David's Winged Tattoos

I met David on Broadway last month and asked him about his tattoos, two of which rested colorfully on his inner forearms:


"I wanted a knight," David told me, "and I found an image of a knight with wings and thought that was cool."

And on the other arm, some snakes, the Eye of Horus and a goddess:


"This is the Egyptian goddess, Isis, and she's got wings," he noted, remarking that the two pieces and their wings provide a certain symmetry.

David credited Kris Magnotti (@krismagnotti) at New York Adorned with these tattoos.

Thanks to David for sharing his winged body art with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 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.