Friday, July 29, 2016

Luke's Death's-Head Moth

I met Luke on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan this month. I spotted his tattoos as he was walking toward me and I flagged him down.

Luke was visiting on vacation from Australia, and he had just recently received this Death's-head Moth tattoo on his thigh:


"I knew I wanted the Death's-head moth," Luke explained, "I just got divorced ... and it represents just the old and the new."

He credited the work to Joseph Bryce (@josephbrycetattoo) at Allied Tattoo (@allied_tattoo) in Bushwick, Brooklyn, adding, "he's a fine line artist and he did really well."

Thanks to Luke for sharing his transformative tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! Wishing you well on the new chapter in your life!

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 28, 2016

Anna's Colorful Map

I met Anna earlier this month on Wall Street, after spotting her colorful map tattoo:



No huge story here. Anna just likes to travel and has this colorful world map on her arm to illustrate that.

She credited the work to Tom Yak at Electric Tattoo (@electrictattoonj) in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Thanks to Anna for sharing this cool, colorful 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 27, 2016

Marta's Tattoo Sustains Her

Earlier this month, at the entrance of Battery Park, I met Marta, a tourist from Spain. I saw this tattoo on her back and asked if she would share it. She graciously agreed.


Marta described this as a "floral crown," with the phrase "I will sustain you" within.

Marta told me that the phrase is from the book of Isaiah, in the Bible:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4, New International Version)

Marta explained to me what this meant to her, but later wrote me and expressed in writing:
"... I was passing a really bad moment, and I was in bed for weeks. Then I realized that there was something more, something helping me. And this strength I was receiving through the love of my sister, parents and aunts should be the reason to start fighting again. I don't know how, but my faith appeared in this very moment. 
And this sentence from Isaiah has been essential in my life. These four words are what I say to my students when they feel upset or worried and these four words were the first said in my wedding." 
It's such a lovely tattoo and a beautiful story, and I am happy that Marta agreed to share the tattoo with us.

She credited Zeila Ruiz (@zeilaruiz) with the tattoo work at Italiano Diablo Tattoo (@italianodiablo) in Madrid, Spain.

Thanks to Marta for sharing her 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 26, 2016

A Colorful Mask, with a Dagger (at the 2016 New York Empire State Tattoo Expo)

Today we're checking out a cool mask tattoo that I spotted at the New York Empire State Tattoo Expo earlier this month in Manhattan:


This is on the back calf of Chuckie Needles (@chuckieneedles), a tattoo artist out Bomber Crew Tattoo in Carbondale, Illinois.

This devil mask, with a dagger through it, was inked by Brad Fink (@bradfink), at Iron Age Tattoo, in St. Louis. Fink is also one of the proprietors of New York City's DareDevil Tattoo (@dardedeviltattoo).

Thanks to Chuckie Needles for sharing his 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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sarah Bartlett, Tattooed Poet of the Month

As we swelter through July, it's time for another tattooed poet of the month! We are continuing with our Tattooed Poets Project with a monthly taste to get us through to April 2017!

Our july contributor is Sarah Bartlett, who shared this lovely tattoo:


Sarah explains:
"For me, the ouroboros represents the cycle of rebirth and wholeness. I've wanted to get one for awhile, and finally arrived at the right design and placement a few months ago. The magnolia flower at the center offers the same basic idea of regeneration. Outside the first apartment I lived in alone, there was an incredibly beautiful magnolia tree. It bloomed furiously right up against my picture window. So, that particular type of flower is an important character in my life story."
Sarah credited this lovely tattoo to Alena Chun (@alenachun) at Icon Tattoo Studio (@icontattoo) in Portland, Oregon, adding, Alena's "very talented and the studio is fantastic."

Sarah sent us the following poem, from her new book, Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Out:

All The Little Lights Turn On

I wake up with a forest growing
on my back, and instead of being alarmed,
I open my window and lay
very still so the birds will move in.
Cutting it down was a possibility
early on, but the birds sing to me
all day while they make their nests,
and I use their feathers to plump
my pillows. My friends are concerned,
but I tell them not to touch it.
They sweep up fallen leaves
and bring me high-energy snacks.
They worry about how fast it’s growing,
whether or not they should try and move me
before the room becomes overgrown,
and about the fox tail they see disappearing
into thickets. Paws make me feel
like I’m holding something.
They start sleeping over in tents.
Your body is going to be a killing field,
they warn. But I don’t care

about hypocrisy anymore.

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bartlett lives in Portland, OR. Her debut poetry collection, Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Is Out, was released in 2016 from Subito Press. She is the author of two chapbooks, My Only Living Relative, published by Phantom Books in 2015, and Freud Blah Blah Blah, published by Rye House Press in 2014.

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading 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 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.