Welcome to another installment of the Tattooed Poets Project!

This will be our sixth April celebrating National Poetry Month with a month full of tattooed poets’ work – both written and corporeal. Every day this month at 3:00 AM EDT, we will post a tattoo (or two) belonging to a poet, along with a sample of their work. Because interest has been unprecedented this
year, most days we will post TWO poets, with the second one appearing at 3:00 PM EDT. If you are a published poet interested in contributing, we will be featuring additional tattooed poets weekly, starting in May, or you can volunteer now for 2015. Please email tattoosday@gmail.com for details. And please, everyone, enjoy April on Tattoosday and thank you for visiting!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Spot of Hawaiian Ink on the New York City Subway

Earlier this week, I posted about my experience on Ink Master, getting a tribal tattoo that was inspired by my upbringing in Hawai'i. Do note that I have not referred to this as a Hawaiian tribal piece, which is a whole different thing altogether.

Just to illustrate, one of my "leftover" posts from 2011 is this tattoo:


This was a real treat for me, spotting an authentic Hawaiian tattoo, in New York City of all places.

Looking back to last June, I had just attended a networking event at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square and was headed home to Brooklyn. On the 8th Avenue subway platform at 42nd Street, I spotted a bunch of folks with t-shirts bearing Hawaiian names. I got to chatting with them. Turns out they were affiliated with Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i, an outrigger canoe club from Wai'anae, Hawai'i, and they were in town to compete in the 2011 Liberty World Outrigger Competition. 

I was shocked. Outrigger canoes in the East River? I've lived in New York for almost 15 years and never knew that this existed in the Big Apple!

There was a whole lot of local folks from Hawai'i on the platform, and when an express and local train pulled in simultaneously, chaos erupted as the visitors scattered into both downtown trains.

I sat down on an "A" train next to a handful of the group and struck up a conversation with a few people. I spoke with one guy, in particular, named Sam "Kamu" Kapoi. Go figure, the talk turned to tattoos and Sam stretched out his left leg to show me his ink.

Sam and I have kept in touch, so I was able to get some additional information on this piece.

Sam is a filmmaker and was accompanying the group as they competed in New York.

The art of Hawaiian tattoo has deep roots in the culture of the islands, and every aspect of a tattoo has personal meaning that is often held very privately by the tattooed individual. You just don't go up to someone with a Hawaiian tattoo and ask, "So what does it mean?" 


Sam said it himself in a message to me, "the tattoo itself ... is my family design, very sacred." He credited his artist as Keone Nunes, who specializes in traditional Hawaiian tattoos and uses the tapping method.

Here's a nice clip on YouTube with Mr. Nunes discussing the art of kakau:



The juxtaposition of this illustration compared to my own experience getting a tribal piece on a tattoo reality show is stark. Whereas I love my new tattoo, I in no way hold it in the same high regard as the traditional art of kakau in Hawai'i. I feel honored to have been lucky to come across an example, by chance, in New York.

A big mahalo nui loa to Sam for sharing his traditional Hawaiian ink with us here on Tattoosday.

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 25, 2012

Tattoosday Goes Tribal on Ink Master

What’s the hardest thing about being an ink-blogger and getting a tattoo on a televised competition show? Keeping my mouth shut for almost six months about the experience.
This is the tattoo that  I received back in August in the course of my stint as a "human canvas" on  the set of Spike TV's Ink Master.

What you didn't see on the show (if you watched last night) was the consulting session in which I sat down with the artist and hashed out the ideas and concepts that I wanted represented in this tribal piece that ultimately ended up on my left thigh.

The two main elements are the honu, or Hawaiian sea turtle, and the hibiscus, which is the state flower of Hawai'i. Having grown up in the Aloha State, I wanted something that represented my childhood home.
  
The end result far exceeded my expectations. I want to again thank Heather Sinn, my artist, for giving me an exceptional tattoo under less than ideal conditions. 

I also want to share a little bit more about how I lucked into being tattooed by such a wonderfully talented artist.

The episode that aired last night was dubbed “Botched Head Tattoo” by the network. Fortunately, mine was not the botched head tattoo, although I have stayed in touch with the human canvas who chose to have his scalp inked and can say, with 100% confidence, the only thing botched about it was that it wasn’t completed in the five-hour time limit. The artist, Bili Vëgas, ultimately finished the piece at his shop in New York, and Ryan, who shared one of his other tattoos with us here on Tattoosday back in August, is very happy with the end result.

Photo Courtesy of
Bili Vëgas @ www.bilivegas.com
Back in July, I wrote here about Ink Master’s call for candidates looking for a cover-up. Shortly after posting the piece, I sent in my own idea for a tattoo for the show, thinking it was a long shot.

Within the hour, I got a response asking if I could come in and discuss the idea in person. Fortunately, I was off that day, and I went into Manhattan and met with production staff, discussing what I wanted in terms of a memorial piece for my step-father, who passed away in April 2010. This discussion also included a mention of my almost having been tattooed with a Hawaiian tribal memorial band.

Things moved quickly from there and after a series of phone calls, my original idea was scrapped and I was confirmed to be a human canvas on an episode dedicated to tribal tattoos. I am not generally a fan of tribal ink, but I thought that if I could get something with a Hawaiian influence, I would be cool with that. Having grown up in Honolulu, and with family still in the islands, it made sense to get something along those lines. I was concerned, however, whether whoever was tattooing me would approach the challenge with an understanding and respect for the culture of Hawai’i.

On the designated day, I met at the rendez-vous point with three other human canvases near Times Square to be transported to the set by shuttle. The studio was set up at an old church building in Newark. We were shown to a holding room with five other canvases and, as is typical in television production, we waited.

We didn’t know who the judges were until moments before being led to the set, which was quite impressive, as is evident on the show. I was initially happy to pick the skull with artist Heather Sinn’s name on it and, after our consult, during which I threw idea after idea at her about what would be ideal in the tattoo, I was excited to see what she would come up with overnight.

On the shuttle from Manhattan to the set the next day, we all chatted about our artists and talked about how we thought it would go. Ryan, who was about to have his head inked, was chowing down on a big bowl of red jell-o, a trick some tattoo artists recommend to minimize bleeding (the gelatin aids with blood coagulation). We were also still abuzz about the one canvas who was dismissed because of his psoriasis. The guy had been a veritable comedian in the holding room, and his absence was surprising.

After getting miked up and led to the set, we met with the artists in their work rooms and saw our designs for the first time. I was blown away by what Heather came up with, especially having looked at her online portfolio the night before, and noticed that she wasn’t an artist that did a lot of tribal work.

There was one glaring concern that I did have, however. Heather was not a happy camper. This was episode 2, so they had just started production, and one show was already in the tank. Mind you, they don’t wait a week between episodes, they are often shot in succession, and the hours are long and grueling, even to artists who spend hours on delicately maneuvering a vibrating machine doing meticulous work on a canvas that moves.

Heather did not hide this sentiment from me, the client, and I was concerned, especially since the challenge was rigorously timed, and had dropped from 6 hours to 5 hours after the initial cover-up challenge of episode 1.

She assured me that she was going to do her best under the not-so-ideal circumstances. I would direct readers to this interview that recently ran with Heather in the LA Weekly. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and does not back down from her feelings.

Heather told me she would not be very talkative when she was doing the initial line work as she was not accustomed to this type of tattoo. Fine by me. The cameras were around us constantly and Heather was very concerned that she would not have the time to finish the piece. She also expressed to me that she was not very fond of any of the judges. After seeing the flash challenge that preceded our meeting, I can see why.

When all was said and done, however, she powered through it and knocked it out with time to spare. The result left me with an awesome tattoo, and I have nothing but praise for her craftsmanship.

As for the show itself, so much footage went unused, including scenes in which the human canvases saw their tattoos for the first time in a full-length mirror, met with the judges, and did candid interviews with the producers.

I can say that, despite all the tattoo flaws picked out by the judges in the show, none of the canvases on my episode were disappointed with the final result of their sessions with the Ink Master artists. And, as much as I would like to bemoan the massive amount of "canvas" footage on the cutting room floor, ultimately the artists were being judged on the quality of their work, not on the stories behind their clients' tattoos, or their feelings about the final product.

I think that this is one of the compelling aspects about Ink Master that makes the show so interesting from a technical standpoint. Sure, there's the reality show drama involving the artists' personalities, but the show seems committed, more than most of the other "reality" shows out there, to celebrating the tattoos for art's sake.

I'm not on any more episodes, but I'll keep watching. 

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.


If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 22, 2012

Wesley Shares Two Significant Blossoms

I met Wesley in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, earlier this month, and she shared these two tattoos from her forearms:


These two flowers are (pictured from left to right) a Cherokee Rose, which is the state flower of Georgia, and a Nile, or Egyptian Lotus.


Wesley explained that the Cherokee Rose is generally white in color, but white flowers don't generally translate well to white skin. Fortunately, they can occasionally grow pink, so that's the shade she chose for the tattoo.


Wesley explained the whole process of these tattoos in detail:
"I was born in Macon, Georgia and my dad's from Georgia and the whole myth is that when the Cherokees were driven out ... by the white people, they cried ... The Trail of Tears ...and the flowers that sprang up where their tears [fell] were the Cherokee Rose. And [the flower on the left arm] is a Nile Lotus ... an Egyptian lotus, you see it a a lot on the sarcophagi ... Egyptian tombs, and it's about death and rebirth.... I got them ... in 2005 ...in Seattle by a guy ... Ian at Lucky Devil Tattoo in Capitol Hill, Seattle ... it was a year almost since I had been diagnosed and treated for cancer and it was sort of my celebration of 'I'm okay'  and I had some whole elaborate - I was going to have insects on the inside of my wrist and flowers on the outside, and there was a possibility of a snake, there was a whole big thing and ... the great thing about this artist was that he was like, 'here, let me do a temporary version of what that would look like,' and I was like, 'that would look really cluttered and ridiculous' ... and I realized that I really wanted them to be something I could see and I was more attuned to the flowers ... I wanted something that was close to home from my past and then something that was from another culture from farther away - there's the birth thing and the death thing. Yeah."
Thanks to Wesley for sharing her beautiful tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.


If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 20, 2012

Will Is Well-Armed for the Opera

Occasionally, one of my posts will fall through the cracks and I only discover it by chance.

For example, earlier this week I was passing through K-Mart in Penn Station when it struck me: the guy I had met several months earlier in there never ended up on the site! How did that happen? I'm still scratching my head over that one, because how could I forget this tattoo?

Will explained to me that he has the signatures of twenty-seven female opera singers that have, in some way, touched his life. The photo above is only a fragment of the whole array, which covers his left arm and runs down the side of his chest.

"I'm a big opera fan ...[it's] just a form of music and expression that has always meant a lot to me," Will told me. He explained how he had waited for two hours for a singer to emerge from a venue after a performance, but she never came out. That missed autograph opportunity gave him the idea to recreate the signatures of an array of great singers on his flesh.

Among the names visible in the photo above are Maria Callas and Grace Bumbry.

The signatures were inked by Dave Wallin at Eight of Swords Tattoo in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Will for sharing his operatic arm with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 17, 2012

Ink Master Premieres Tonight!

Regular readers of Tattoosday may recall this post, last July, when I mentioned that a production company was looking for volunteers to get tattoos on a new reality tattoo competition series.

That was six months ago and the first installment of that project, Ink Master, is scheduled to debut tonight on Spike TV, at 10:00 PM (and 11:00) EST. 

I strongly encourage people to watch, as I’ve seen the line-up of artists competing, and know for a fact that they are a talented crew.




 Unlike New York Ink, which seems to have evolved very quickly into a faux-drama in a tattoo shop that just happens to have great tattooers, the focus of this show is about creating body art in a reality-competition setting.

That’s not to say there won’t be interpersonal conflicts - even shows like Master Chef and Project Runway have their share of drama. But, I am optimistic that this series will not disappoint.

Check out the trailer below:

SPIKE
Official Ink Master Series Trailer
www.spike.com
Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook


And here’s a bit of a tease ..... I know with 100% certainty that at least three of the volunteers on a couple of the episodes have appeared previously as subjects on Tattoosday. I’m looking forward to not only seeing who wins each week, but as USA Today put it, “who on earth decides to get inked as part of a reality competition?”  

This won’t be the last you hear about Ink Master on Tattoosday. Trust me.


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 15, 2012

Meister's Memorial Sparrows

Last month, I was leaving the Muhlenberg branch of the New York Public Library when I spotted a woman with two birds on the backs of her calves:

These two sparrows belong to Meister, who is also known as The Nervous Cook.

I love how these are not your typical tattoo sparrows, but are more lifelike than the traditional bird flash that is much more common.

She explained that these, two of her eight tattoos, are memorial tattoos, that she has "for three people that I lost, roughly around the same time." Meister elaborated:
"A best friend of mine passed away in a scuba accident - she's the female sparrow [on the left calf] ...


...and then two good friends of mine died within two weeks of each other ... totally just a a devastating series of unfortunate accidents."

These, along with most of her other work, were tattooed by Myles Karr, who works out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn. Meister indicated that these sparrows were done a while back, when Myles still worked out of the now-defunct 334 Bowery Tattoo. Work from Myles has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Meister for sharing her beautiful sparrows with us here on Tattoosday! Be sure to visit her over at The Nervous Cook.

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 13, 2012

Tattoosday Loves Friday the 13th!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.....

My lovely bride is a Friday the 13th baby, so it's a lucky day for me, in general.

As for Tattoosday, my visit stats have already been robust since December, but this week they have shattered the records, with yesterday being the best ever. My sitemeter points out that folks are visiting our old Friday the 13th posts in droves this month, which is fine by me, but I thought I'd link them here for fun.


Our first Friday the 13th adventure was in 2009, on Melanie's birthday, as documented here.

And, in 2010, we got the readers involved, and started here, and documented my first (and so far, only) Friday the 13th tattoo here. And followed up with another one for Melanie here.

There was only one such day last year, back in May, and we missed it, but this year we're starting early and, I just realized, thanks to the Leap Year, there are two additional Friday the 13th observances in 2012!

We're planning on getting inked today at Hand of Glory in Brooklyn, and there are plenty of other options, as well, including Dare Devil in Manhattan and Three Kings in Williamsburg.

If you know anywhere else, in New York City and elsewhere, please post in the comments section so our readers can find a place to go.

Check back tomorrow or see when our Twitter page may light up for more details later today.

Have a safe and lucky 13th!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 11, 2012

Little Darling's Ink: Pinups for Pitbulls

Last spring, I met Deirdre, aka Little Darling, as she was leaving Penn Station to cross Seventh Avenue.

I snapped these pictures of her upper right arm:


Deirdre explained that she is the president and founder of a non-profit organization called Pinups for Pitbulls.

The two pups pictured are portraits of two of her dogs, as interpreted by skin artist Jon Clue.

Little Darling invites people to check out her company's website PinupsForPitbulls.org if you are interested in supporting the ongoing effort to help fulfill their mission of working "to educate the public about the history and temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier and pit bull type dogs [and] to raise awareness about Breed Specific Legislation and Breed-Specific abuse."


One of the ways that Little Darling and her company strive to "reestablish the defamed reputation of pit bull type dogs as America's premier companion animal, war hero, and therapy dog," is through fundraisers and the sale of Pinups for Pitbulls merchandise, such as their annual calendar. Many of these products can be purchased through Amazon (see link below).


Other Pinups for Pitbulls Merchandise can be found by clicking the hyperlink in this sentence.

Thanks to Deirdre for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday, and for waiting so patiently for this post to appear.


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 10, 2012

Meghann's Ink Inspired by Nikki McClure

This past November, I met Meghann in Penn Station and spotted this tattoo on her arm:


Meghann explained that this work is based on a paper-cut by an artist from Olympia, Washington named Nikki McClure.

There's no real deep meaning behind this. Meghann is just appreciates the art for art's sake: "I just liked the design a lot. I really like [McClure's] work."



The tattoo was done by Sam Gosson at Oddball Studios in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks to Meghann for sharing this cool work with us here on Tattoosday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cecelia's Trio of Bats, or, The Girl with the Dragonlance Tattoo

Back in October, I met Cecelia on the D train in Brooklyn, and she shared these tattoos on her left forearm:


Those three bats, named, from top to bottom, Ralph, Roberto, and John, were a birthday present from her friend Dan. Roberto, in the middle, was named after a fruit bat that appears in a couple of books by Christopher Moore (namely, Island of the Sequined Love Nun and The Stupidest Angel).

The bats were inked by Steve Kane, owner and artist at A List Industry Tattoo, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Cecelia also told me about another tattoo she had, but it was not one she could show me on the train, as it wasn't the day of the No Pants Subway Ride.

Fortunately, she did send us a cell phone photo later with this piece on her left thigh:


She explained:
"This tattoo was inspired by a Dragonlance book, The Dragons of Winter Night. Started in '95 by an artist from Buffalo, it was finished 10 yrs later by Seven O'Brien @ Tattoo Mania [Staten Island]. He is now at another shop.  He came up with the fantastic background and border."
Thanks to Cecelia for sharing her trio of bats and her dragon tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!




This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.


If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 7, 2012

Cleaning Out My Inbox: January Edition

One of my New Year's resolutions is to share more of what gets sent to me from various parties looking to promote their tattoo-related projects. What follows are a few items that have been lingering in my inbox, and may be of interest to our readers:

This is "Pencil and Ink: A Film About Justin Klein":


Pencil & Ink : a film about Justin Klein from DannyGregory on Vimeo.

Justin Klein is a New York-based tattoo artist. You can see some of his work here on his Facebook gallery.

~~~
Occasionally I get e-mails introducing me to new shops, or at least shops that are new to me. Suzanne Sawyer is co-owner of Relentless Ink Custom Tattoo in Newburgh, New York. She writes:
"...Thought Id let you know about a newish (March of 2011) local tattoo studio in Orange County, NY, that my husband and I own. Not sure how you get your inspiration for the blog posts and I notice you do write several! Just wanted to point you over to http://www.facebook.com/RelentlessInkTattoo. We have several artists, a couple of whom have been published in tattoo mags or become Featured Artists on sites like Ink Army (Check out owner and my hubby Hal Sawyer & also Jack Hammah) and do tattoo conventions all over, soon Hal and Keith Zahra will be working Tattoolapalooza in Miami."
Tattoolapalooza, actually, is going on this weekend.

~~~

Alexei Nunes, a scriptwriter and producer for Mellow9 Productions, reently pointed me to a video of their interview with well-known Tattoo Artist, Lou Molloy, as part of there "9 Scoop" Interview Series. Check it out here:




~~~

I received a heads up from NOWNESS.com, which is presenting an exclusive extract from filmmaker Ryan Hope’s documentary Skin. The film follows five skin-art collectors on their journey to be tattooed with designs created by major contemporary artists like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince. Check it out here.

~~~

And finally, a fan named Shannon messaged me:
You might dig these videos - photorealistic animated tattoo adventures!
The making-of video is pretty cool too.
http://www.joshuafrankel.net/Kabar.html

~~~
Thanks for checking these out, and have a great weekend!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 6, 2012

Tattoorism: Naveed's Cobra

Occasionally we'll post a reader submission, referring to it as "tattoorism," as this is, for the most part, a New York City site. There are plenty of websites that cater solely to reader submissions but, I figure, once in a while, it's nice to see someone making the effort to send me a photo with a narrative.

The following submission comes from "across the pond":


This cool tattoo belongs to Naveed, who writes:
"I am 18 years old currently a student in the UK and I live in Bristol. I would like to submit a tattoo, I know you prefer to upload tattoos from people you've met but I am particularly proud of this tattoo as it is my third. It is a king cobra wrapped around a harp with jasmine flowers surrounding it. They are all national symbols of my ethnicities, the king cobra is the national snake of India, the jasmine flowers are the national flower of Pakistan and the harp is the national symbol of Ireland. It was done by Phil Webster at Tattoo House in Dewsbury."      
I should note that Phil Webster is not on the Tattoo House website, but is currently be co-owner of Integrity Tattoo Lounge in Ossett, West Yorkshire. I was able to find a much crisper photo on his Facebook page, so I am reprinting it here for the sake of fully representing what a nice tattoo this is:


Thanks to Naveed for sending along this tattoo to us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 5, 2012

Michael and The Legend of Zelda

I was walking up Seventh Avenue back in August when I spotted Michael, taking on break on the sidewalk, soaking in the summer pedestrian traffic.

He is a video game programmer who works for a firm called Atom Apps and has his own company called Broken Home Studios.

I noticed he had tattoos and, given his vocation, it made sense that the ink he shared with me had a gaming theme:


These logos are from the classic video game, The Legend of Zelda, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011.  When I asked why he had an affinity for Zelda, Michael explained:

"It helped me get through a very violent parent thing. It was like, the little boy, sent into the world, by himself, alone, to fight all the bad things coming at him. And, he didn't do this on his own. He was put into this against his will, like I was, with my situation. He was able to survive and fight and conquer and have a happy ending, and that's why I have that affinity for that character and that game - because I vicariously lived through that character to escape my own issues."

He got both Zelda pieces at Screamin' Ink Tattoo off of Route 4 in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Ian Shafer did the piece on the left


and he attributed the piece on the right to an artist he only remembered as Bob.


I'm familiar with the artists at Screamin' Ink, having witnessed their work up close at the last two NYC Tattoo Conventions. In fact, the work highlighted in this post, by Ian, is among the more amazing tattoos I have had the privilege to see up close.

Thanks to Michael for sharing these tattoos with us here on Tattoosday, and for being so forthright about the inspiration behind them as they related to his difficult childhood.


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.


If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 4, 2012

Escher, Anyone?

I met Justin in Penn Station last month and snapped this quick photo of his right forearm:



Justin said he was familiar with Tattoosday because I had previously featured work by his friend Erick Lynch at Redemption Tattoo. He was likely referring to this post.

This work on his sleeve is based on the work of M.C. Escher. The tattoo artist responsible is Chris Dingwell, whose amazing work has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Justin for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 3, 2012

Jenn's Lily of the Valley

I stopped Jenn outside of Madison Square Garden when I noticed the cool floral tattoo wrapping around her right ankle onto her foot:



Jenn identified the artist only as Roland, at a shop in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. "I had the idea for the design and he drew it," she explained. The flower depicted is a Lily of the Valley.

When I asked why she chose this flower, she elaborated:
"I'm not super religious, but there's a story that, whenever Mary cried after Jesus' death, a lily of the valley would grow. I happen to believe that, through tears and feelings, that it really brings a person to life."
Jenn is a therapist, and this expression of emotion leading to new life goes hand-in-hand with her vocation. The full context of the flower in a religious context can be read here.

Thanks to Jenn for sharing her lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.


If you are reading this on another web site 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, January 2, 2012

Tattoosday at the Cincinnati Airport: Patrick’s Ink

Happy New Years from us here at Tattoosday! We still have some old 2011 encounters to recall which, for one reason or another, got postponed until now.

Regular readers may recall that I went briefly to Covington, Kentucky at the end of April and I spotted a few tattoos in my travels.

On my way back to New York, I was navigating the maze that is the TSA security checkpoint when I spotted a guy with a lot of interesting ink. However, common sense dictated that a crowded airport checkpoint was likely not the best place to start taking pictures and interviewing people.

So I put on my shoes and headed off to the gate. I just missed the little shuttle that transports travelers 150 yards or so from one section of the airport to the gate section of the terminal, so I waited, and who should walk up and stand next to me, but the guy I saw at the security checkpoint.

Knowing I couldn’t possibly ignore a clear sign from the fates that this gentleman should be on Tattoosday, I started up a conversation about his ink and five minutes later we were at the airport bar, talking about his tattoos, as I snapped photos of his sleeve, between sips of a very tall frosty glass of Shocktop Ale.

Patrick was kind enough to not only answer all my questions, was also nice enough to buy my beer for me. He works as a bartender on a river barge in the Cincinnati area and has a full sleeve, along with a separate piece on his left biceps. The work was finished in 2004 and took about four to five years due to the fact that he took some breaks between ink sessions.

Patrick is a Christian, and many of his tattoos are reflective of his faith.


For example, this quote, that reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart/with all your soul/with all your mind/ And with all your strength”.

The text on the forearm says “that was/to the/Rose/make/tenfold”.
 
  
The roses reflect the rose of Sharon.


The kanji on Patrick's right biceps, he told me, symbolize “truth, love and happiness.” The bird inked nearby is a dove.

The triangle at the top of the arm represents Christianity’s Trinity. And obviously, the crosses are also representative of his faith.

The tattoo on Patrick’s left biceps is a design representing the eye of God.


He got that tattoo in 2003 from Kenny Smith at Karmic Tattoo in McDonough, Georgia. Kenny Smith and Kenny Thompson, also of Karmic, are the two artists responsible for all of Patrick’s ink. It should be noted, however, that both Kennys are not listed as staff on the current Karmic website

Thanks to Patrick, not only for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday, but for buying me the beer, and helping me pass the time at the airport.


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.