Friday, June 23, 2017

The Eyes of Heidi's Owl

Yesterday I met Heidi on Broadway in Lower Manhattan. She shared this cool owl tattoo:


Heidi explained that she was in recovery, and that one day she was out walking and there was a moment where she saw an owl, and there was a connection. "I looked into the eyes of the owl," she explained, and the experience remained with her.

She credited the artist Zim from Vancouver Tattoo Company in Vancouver, Washington.

Thanks to Heidi for sharing her owl tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, June 22, 2017

Jill's Mermaid (35th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade)

This past Saturday, I went out to Coney Island to catch the 35th Annual Mermaid Parade (@medmaidparade). This annual tradition has been ideal for Tattoosday inkspotting and this year was a banner year, having interviewed a dozen or so folks with cool tattoos, which we'll be sharing in the weeks to come.

Our first contributor is Jill. who shared this theme-related piece:


Jill's daughter had a bit to do with this tattoo, especially the top section. "Make me a mermaid," she said, and Jill went to her artist, Timmy Cronin (@TimmyTattooCronin) from Timmy Tattoo in Huntington, New York.

"I like his style," Jill told me, and I have to agree. I actually met Timmy at a supermarket in Brooklyn seven years ago (recounted here) and have featured work from his shop a few times over the years.

Thanks to Jill for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, June 18, 2017

Danielle Celebrates Her Father, "King Jack"

I met Danielle last week on Broad Street in Manhattan. She has abunch of tattoos, but I asked if she wouldn't mind sharing this one:


Danielle explained that this crown tattoo is dedicated to her father, Jack, who is "the king" in her world, adding that Jack doesn't like tattoos, but when she showed this one to him, he started to cry.

It seemed a tattoo worthy to share on Father's Day.

The tattoo was done by the amazing Myles Karr (@myleskarr) when he was at Three Kings Tattoo. He now runs Escapist Tattoo in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Danielle for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! Happy Father's Day to all, especially to King Jack!

This entry is ©2017 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, June 15, 2017

POW! Jes Has a Super Heroic Tattoo

In the last week, we lost the great Adam West, who originated the role of Batman on television.

Anyone who has seen an episode of the series that ran during the 1960's would be reminded of the show if they saw this tattoo:


I saw this yesterday on Broad Street in lower Manhattan, on the arm of Jes, and she told me she got it because it was an expression she and a friend of hers would say to one another all the time. It was done at True Blue Tattoo (@TrueBlueTattooNYC) in Queens, several years ago.

Jes shared a bunch of other tattoos, as well, but I'm saving them for another post.

I just didn't want to wait to post this one, which reminded me of the passing of the Adam West, who many of us regard as the "original" Batman.

Thanks to Jes for sharing this with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2017 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, June 14, 2017

Jessi's Musical Bird

I met Jessi at the beginning of the month, while walking up 8th Avenue.

She shared this really cool tattoo on her forearm:


Yes, it's a bird, but it is a design created entirely out of musical notations and dynamic markings. The sharp symbol (hashtag/pound sign) represent the feet. The forte marking (the f) is the wing. The crescendo (the < shape) is the beak. The head and eye are created by the symbol for fermata, or pause. Finally,  the slur, which forms the underbelly, is represented by an arc.

"I'm not a music major, I'm just a music fan," Jessi explained, adding that she saw the design online and "stole" the idea for her own tattoo.

Jessi had this done at Neptune Tattooville (@neptunetattoo), but does not recall which artist did the work.

Thanks to Jessi for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, June 4, 2017

Nico's Tribute to Kiel

On Friday, I met Nico, another visitor from Germany, at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets in lower Manhattan. I saw the bottom of his tattoo and was interested in seeing what it was. Check it out:

The tattoo is a tribute to his home, the city of Kiel, Germany.

The figure in the middle of the tattoo is Kiel's coat of arms:


The tattoo was done by Eddie from East Coast Tattoo in Preetz, Germany.

Thanks to Nico for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, June 1, 2017

Melanie's Jacaranda-monium

Anyone familiar with the jacaranda tree knows how beautiful they can be. It is this time of year in Southern California, in the months of May and June, when they explode into bursts of purple blossoms that are simply breathtaking.

It only seemed fitting that my wife Melanie, who loves jacarandas, feature them in her next tattoo, and this was the end result:


Here's a closer look:


Melanie elaborated a little more on what inspired her to fill her arm with jacarandas:
"First of all, I love purple. And when I got the purple flower tattooed on my ankle, I realized purple looks really good on my skin.
Also, they remind me of our time in California where we met, the college campus where I met my husband, and so many of my friends, and Pasadena, the only place I really liked living in California.
It was on my list, there were two or three other ideas I really wanted. I knew I wanted this one.
Since I've gotten this, talking to people who were familiar with jacarandas from South Africa, which we only discovered was a place they grew while researching them. This makes me want to go there and visit."
One of the sources for inspiration was this street in Pasadena, Del Mar Boulevard:


This lovely tattoo was done by the incomparable Alex McWatt (@alexthreekings) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Manhattan.


He met with Melanie to discuss the concept and just ran with it, turning this:


into the explosion of purple on Melanie's arm, with the finest attention to details:


Thanks to Alex at Three Kings for another great tattoo, and to Melanie for sharing her jacarandas with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 30, 2017

Marius Shares a Sugar Skull from Germany

I met Marius, a tourist from Germany, outside of Federal Hall, after spotting his tattoo:


He told me that this tattoo is five years old, and the colors are still bright and vibrant, so he is very happy with it.  It is a very interesting and creative take on a sugar skull.

He credited the work to Hennes Wasserme (@HennesTrueLove), an artist at True Love Tattoo (@TrueLoveTattooDuesseldorf) in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Marius told me he likes Hennes' work because he does "good, old-fashioned tattoos," as opposed to the newer art brut style of tattoo that many European artists have embraced.

Thanks to Marius for sharing this super cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Correction: An earlier version of this post credited the work to Olaf Lobe (@OlafTrueLove). It has been updated to reflect Hennes Wasserme as the artist.

This entry is ©2017 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, May 29, 2017

Reposting Mike's Marine in Honor of Memorial Day

The following post is from 2009. I reposted it in 2013 and, here we are, four years later, so it seems appropriate to post yet again. This was originally shared to commemorate Memorial Day, and seems well worth sharing again:

It only seemed fitting that, on this Memorial Day, we feature a tattoo that honors our men and women in uniform.

A week ago, I was fresh off of my experience at the New York City Tattoo Convention, and everything I saw on the street was uninteresting. Until I passed by Mike and did a double-take.

This is the tattoo on Mike's inner right forearm:


Mike explained that, as a United States Marine, he was choosing to honor the corps by building a sleeve of iconic military photographs.

If you think this is an impressive tattoo (which it is), seeing the source material further magnifies how phenomenal a replica the artist has created on Mike's flesh:


A page on About.com explains this image further:
"While units of the U.S. Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command made an all-out effort to aid embattled units of the First Marine Division and Seventh Infantry Division, the men fighting in Korea were trying desperately to link up in their battle for survival. This marine is shown just as he reached the crest of the ridge at the link-up point. Wet, stinging snow and ice made the operation the most difficult sort, as unleashed hordes of communist troops charge again and again into the United Nations forces. (circa December 1950) "
In addition to this tattoo, Mike has a Vietnam-era photo of a Marine sniper inked on his right biceps.

This astonishing tattoo was created by Randy Prause at Permanent Buzz Tattoo, in Denville, New Jersey.

A hearty thanks to Mike for sharing this tattoo with us here on Memorial Day. More importantly, Tattoosday expresses even more gratitude to Mike and all his fellow soldiers and who have so bravely served our country to ensure the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day!

This entry is © 2009, 2013, 2017 Tattoosday.


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kris and Her Lovely Leg Tattoos

I met Kris last week while walking on Broadway in lower Manhattan. She had two great tattoos on her legs that she was kind enough to share:


This cool gypsy tattoo represents luck and was inked by Eddie Peralta (@angryeddie) at Powerhouse Tattoo (@powerhousetattoo) in Montclair, New Jersey.

On her right leg, Kris has this beautiful flapper:


"I love the Twenties," Kris explained, adding that this was done by Anna Waychoff (@annawaychoff), also from Powerhouse Tattoo.

Thanks to Kris for sharing her cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 23, 2017

Brewsday Tuesday: Left Hand Edition

Last summer we launched our Brewsday Tuesday on Tattoosday feature, and we're back with more great tattoos and beer (and a super prize giveaway) from the good folks at Left Hand Brewing (@lefthandbrewing) in Colorado!

Left Hand was founded in 1993 in Longmont, about 30 miles outside of Denver, and they have been an award-winning brewery ever since, racking up medals and awards and, most importantly, producing great beer.

I recently had a chat with Ryan Call, Left Hand's Western Regional Manager, and we talked beer and tattoos. First let's look at some of his tattoos:


That's a pretty cool koi swimming up Ryan's arm...


There are some great elements in this half sleeve.


Ryan told me that he had been a fan of traditional Japanese tattoo art, but he had been working for a distributor in Kansas that didn't allow tattoos. When he landed the gig at Left Hand, there were no such restrictions, so he celebrated and "went big" with this beautiful tattoo.

He credited Ron Miller (@miller.tattoo) at Ichiban Tattoo in Lawrence, Kansas . Ron has since opened his own shop, called Miller Tattoo, also in Lawrence.

Ryan also has another tattoo, as spotted in this photo:


That is a pocket watch on his wrist with a banner that says ...


"Live for Today."

Ryan told me that this watch in the tattoo is a family heirloom, that was handed down to him when his grandfather passed away. The watch has been in his family since 1888 and, since it's locked away in a safe deposit box, this way he gets to see it every day.

He got this as a walk-in at Mercy Seat Tattoo (@mercyseattattoo) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Thanks to Ryan for sharing his tattoos, photographed by Kearby Milliner at Left Hand.

Now, let's talk about the beer. Left Hand has a slew of brands and, as familiar as I am with some, I got a nice sample for this post:


I had a lot of fun drinking this beer, I can honestly say. I've been a fan of Left Hand's Milk Stout (far right) and, although I tend to favor darker beers, I found the lighter ones, like the Travelin' Light kolsch and the Polestar pilsner, to be crisp and flavorful. The Extrovert IPA is a solid brand with a great hoppiness that stands among the best IPAs out there. The shining gem in this family portrait, for me, however, was their Fade to Black (pictured second from left). This seasonal "foreign stout" is a palate-buster for me, with licorice notes that really made drinking this beer a treat.

Ryan told me his favorite brand is the Black Jack porter, which is one of their perennial brews that rocks a great espresso and dark chocolate flavor.

Left Hand has a solid lineup and it was a pleasure and honor to partner with them in this celebration of tattoos and brews!

They are also very generous, in that they have offered up a super "Ready to Rock" prize package for Tattoosday readers:


This includes, a Nitro Sherpa Hoodie, a Pour Hard Knuckles t-shirt, a Red Pour Hard Nitro t-shirt, a Colorado Trucker Hat, a 64 oz Ecovessel, a Left Hand cooler bag and belt pack! WHAT?! All apparel is size M.

Readers who comment below or on social media will be entered automatically into a random drawing and the winner will get this box of awesomeness shipped to their doorstep. Commenting with your favorite brand from Left Hand will double your chances, as I will count your entry twice.

Thanks to all the great people at Left Hand Brewing Company for making this an awesome Brewsday Tuesday! Special thanks to Sarah Watson for coordinating this with me, and to Ryan Call, for sharing his tattoos with us, as well as all the others on the Left Hand team that helped make this post possible.
Cheers!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 22, 2017

Reconnecting With Amber

Over the years, I've passed out a lot of cards, hoping to open a dialogue with people about their tattoos, but often never hearing from them again. That's just the way it goes. Occasionally, I will run into them by chance, and we'll be able to connect and put something together.

Such is the case with Amber, who I had met and talked to a couple of times a year or two ago at my favorite local beer garden, where she had worked for a very short period of time.

Imagine my surprise when, last week, I sat down on the subway next to her and was able to capture one of her spectacular tattoos:


Amber credited this great black and gray thigh piece to Nico Negron (@niconegron) from Tattoo Afterlife (@afterlife) in Huntington, New York.

She told me it was based on several references and took about seven hours to complete.

Thanks to Amber for sharing her amazing tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 21, 2017

Two Tattoos from Lucy

Last week on Wall Street, I met Lucy, who was visiting from England, and she was kind enough to share a couple of her tattoos.

First is this tattoo on her upper arm that is so fresh, it almost looks like a sticker:


Lucy explained that this image is from Princess Mononoke, a 1997 Japanese anime classic. The tattoo is the mask worn by San, otherwise known as Princess Mononoke, who was raised by wolves.

This was tattooed by Matt Daniels (@stickypop) from Studio IX in  Salford, located in Manchester, England.

Lucy also shared this piece on her back:


This was also done at Studio IX, but by artist Emma Louise Dunphy (@emm.dots).

Thanks to Lucy for sharing a couple of her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 19, 2017

Two Spooky Tattoos from Alexis

I met Alexis earlier this week on the J train in Lower Manhattan. She has several tattoos on both arms, and she offered up these two pieces on her right arm, which she called her "spookier arm":


Alexis explained that the "Tomb Sweet Tomb" piece is a nod to a feature in The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando. It's her favorite ride and this was inked by Chris Fernandez (@chrisfernandeztattooing) at Kings Avenue Tattoo (@kingsavetattoo) in Manhattan.

The heart-shaped piece below it is actually a planchette from a ouija board. This was a Friday the 13th flash tattoo that Alexis got at Grit N Glory Tattoo (@gritnglory) in Manhattan.

Thanks to lexis for sharing her cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 18, 2017

Andrea's Awesome Arm

I met Andrea yesterday near Federal Hall in lower Manhattan.

She shared the tattoos on her inner right arm:


These beautiful tattoos were inked by Spencer Evans (@spencerevanstattoos) at Easy Tiger Tattoo (@easytigertattoos) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,

Andrea said that the first rose (pictured, far right) is for her grandmother, but that the other rose, the compass rose, and the moth, are all just part of the design on the arm, art for art's sake.

Thanks to Andrea for sharing these awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 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, May 17, 2017

Edwardo's Lady of Guadalupe

Yesterday I met Edwardo outside of Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, and he shared this tattoo on his right forearm:


Edwardo explained that this is Our Lady of Guadalupe (click on the tag at the end of the post to see other similar tattoos we have featured over the years).

He added that this was a cover-up - there had originally been an M-16 inked on his arm, and he joked, if you look carefully, you can barely make out the rifle peeking out from Guadalupe's skirt.

Edwardo credited the work to Brazilian artist J.P, Rodrigues (@jprodriguesnyc) from Acqua Santa Tattoo (@acquasantanyc) in Manhattan.

Thanks to Edwardo for sharing his beautiful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2017 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, May 16, 2017

Some Tattoos in the News

Tattoos are in the news daily, but a few items have popped up in the New York Times that are noteworthy and worth reading.

Just yesterday, was this story about a 100 year-old woman in the Philippines carrying on and keeping alive the country's historical tradition if tattooing:

At 100 or So, She Keeps a Philippine Tattoo Tradition Alive

Maria Fang-od Oggay at her home in the village of Buscalan, in the northern Philippines, last week. She belongs to the last generation of her ethnic group bearing a full set of traditional tattoos and is one of the few who remember how they are done. Credit Jes Aznar for The New York Times
Then, there was this piece, from January, also in the Times:


In December, the Times also ran a feature on artist Jonathan Valena, who has become famous for his "tiny" tattoos on celebrities and fashion models:


Hailey Baldwin’s “pray” tattoo on two fingers. Credit JonBoy        
And, finally, a story about the increasing demand for cover-ups:


An old tattoo is seen peeking through the cover-up artwork in process. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times        
The finished product. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times 


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Repost for Mother's Day! Sean's Tattoo

On this Mother's Day, we're celebrating with a beauty of a "Mom" tattoo from our archives, this post from 2011:

~ ~ ~

When I met Sean last month, he had several tattoos to choose from. We ended up selecting this piece, on his left wrist:

Granted, there's two tattoos in this photo, but I was fascinated by the pineapple and cherry tattoo. That's not something you see every day. Sean, who is a hairdresser from the Boston area, explained:
"My best friend Sandrine Schaefer is a performance artist ... she did work where she would use pineapples and cherries on her body, because they're also used as common meat garnishes. And her artwork is a lot about feminism and veganism."
Ms. Schaefer, whose website is here, is a prolific artist worth checking out.

The tattoo was inked by Lucky Matthews at Fat Ram's Pumpkin Tattoo in the Jamaica Plain section of the greater Boston area.

As for the "Mom" tattoo, above it on the forearm, there is really no explanation needed, but I did want to credit the artist, Edwin Marquez at Regeneration Tattoo in Allston, Massachusetts.

Thanks to Sean for sharing his ink with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2011, 2017 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, May 10, 2017

Rachel's Hamsa

Last summer, at a family gathering after the funeral of our cousin Beth, I had a chance to take this picture of a hamsa tattoo belonging to another cousin, Rachel:


This hamsa is on Rachel's inner arm, and was tattooed by Eric Lao (@biggetatz), who currently works out of Sub Q Tattoo in Middletown, New York.

The hamsa is a symbol, popular in the Middle East, that is used to ward off the evil eye. This protective amulet is often found in Jewish and Muslim culture. You'll see that the star of David figures prominently in the piece. Rachel says she "saw [the design] on his wall the first time [she] went in for a tattoo." She remembers telling Eric she was going to come back and get it, and she did.

Check out other hamsas we have featured on Tattoosday here

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

This entry is ©2017 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, May 4, 2017

May the Fourth with Anthony's Astonishing Star Wars Canvas

It's May the 4th, the day when, in the past, we have occasionally celebrated Star Wars tattoos and, this year, we have a special treat. Last month, I was introduced to Anthony, who a mutual friend advised had some amazing Star Wars tattoos. Boy, was he not exaggerating. Check this out:


I mean, come on! Even a person unfamiliar with the Star Wars universe has to recognize the mastery in this tattoo work.

The detail is just incredible:


And Anthony's work blends into his sides:



And meets on Anthony's chest in a fantastic battle scene:




Anthony proudly bears the work of an artist named Needles (@darthneedles), who has done all of his work. He started working with Needles in the early 2000s (perhaps, 2004) and estimates that he has spent 40 hours on the back alone.

The chest piece is one of his favorite parts and was named "Best Star Wars Tattoo" in the January/February 2007 issue of Star Wars Insider.

Today, on May 4th, Anthony will be visiting three New York City children's hospitals in full stormtrooper gear to help celebrate the holiday. Here's Anthony in one of a few uniforms he dons:

Photo by Alberto Vasari
Anthony is commanding officer of the Empire City Garrison for the 501st Legion.

If you're unaware of what he's referring to, "The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate." He adds, "The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work...".

The Empire City Garrison is the New York branch of this organization with outposts in multiple states and on several continents.

For more information, visit the 501st Legion's website here

Anthony's work is astounding, when viewed in its entirety and he likens his collection of body art to "the Star Wars journey through tattoos.: His favorite part? "The fact that [it] is on me forever," he says.

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

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The photos were published with the permission of Anthony Paladino.

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, May 1, 2017

One More Tattoo on a Poet! Natasha Dennerstein's Awesome Octopus

National Poetry Month may be over, but I couldn't close the chapter on this year's Tattooed Poets Project without sharing this breathtaking tattoo from one of our "alumni," Natasha Dennerstein:


Natasha first appeared on Tattoosday back in 2012 here.

Natasha was our first New Zealand poet, but she has relocated to Oakland, California and recently got this phenomenal piece from Jeramie Hamilton (@thethickwillstick) at Scholar Tattoo (@scholartattoo_sf) in San Francisco. She notes that "the tentacles come right around as if to attempt to wrap around my neck."

She shared the following poem, which she feels is a good companion to this tattoo. The poem, "Clifftop," is from her collection Anatomize from Norfolk Press. She collaborated often with an Australian-born, L.A. artist named Kaye Freeman (@kfreeman1701) and Natasha included a painting Kaye did on piano-roll paper in conjunction with this poem. "This was part of a joint series we did called Skeleton Dreaming," she told us.


In case you can't read from the image, here is the poem again, by itself:

Clifftop

On a Wild Turkey night under an Ativan moon I stagger around

the cliffs to lift my dark spirits.  One too many times you arrive

with the slime  of  her on you and  expect  me to lick it away.  I

slip or fall or plunge  into the bitch-slap, ice-cube sea where the

fish   nibble   my   flesh and  gropers  take sustenance from  my

innards til all that's left is bones, a  home  for  hermit-crabs  the

dome of my skull.  Plankton  colonize  my  ribcage.  My weary

bones  roll on rocks: I've found  my  salty  home  on the seabed

floor, where currents pass through me  and   gently  carress me.

My   heart   is  devoured by  bottom-feeding  creatures  of   the

deep. A lobster eats my pancreas; a crab consumes my pituitary

gland. They  may  end up on your table as you have a penchant

for seafood.   Take me, sea,  I'm  yours; eat  me, lover,  I'm fish-

food.

~ ~ ~

You can read more about Natasha Dennerstein here.

Thank to Natasha for sharing her wonderful poem and tattoo with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lynne DeSilva-Johnson's Body of Work on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our final tattooed poet in April is Lynne DeSilva-Johnson.

I've been talking to Lynne about contributing for over four years, and I finally met her last summer at the annual NYC Poetry Festival on Governor's Island.

Here are some of Lynne's tattoos:


Lynne explains:
"The hand tattoos are from 2007. On my left hand is an eye, radiating out -- the all seeing eye combined with the classic symbolism of eye-in-hand, familiar via the Hamsa in particular, and ancient to both Jews and Arabs in the middle east. The all seeing eye, unfortunately connecting us too frequently to illuminati or other ridiculousness, is actually an ancient esoteric visual symbolizing divine light and our connection to it as divine beings. It is consistent in all ancient religions/sacred imagery, predating organized religion but carrying into all faiths. On the right hand is a human heart, similarly radiant. In energy work and healing, it is believed that the left hand receives energy/is negatively charged, 'allows things to happen,' and that the right hand is positively charged/emits energy, 'makes things happen.' My hands symbolize (and stand as a constant reminder to me, and a point of public dialogue) that while we receive light and information via our minds eye/senses, that it must be translated in the body and find a home in the heart, that decisions and actions should come in through the eye but channel out, to the world, through the heart. In keeping with this, I used the following image, (ceremonial rattlesnake disk, found in Moundsville, Alabama) on the cover of my first chapbook, Ground. (2012)"
rattlesnake_disc_hamsa

Lynne also gave us a view of her body of work:


Lynne elaborates:
"All the tattoos you see are from the same artist! Alex Sherker. He is amazing. You can find him at Wizard Mountain Tattoo, and often as a visiting artist at shops all over the US, and NZ. Oh wait, not the split star on the wrists...  They're from around 2004 - and were done at Flyrite, 3 blocks from my childhood home and 1 block from my family's old house in Brooklyn. My old partner (now deceased) had the same split stars. They were slightly altered in scale for our different wrists but you couldn't tell when we put them together. The thinking was that you are never a half -- you are always a whole by yourself (complete your own star), but when you join in partnership with another person, you create a new whole. The totally anti-ownership/tagging version of a relationship tattoo. We always said that our future partners, or children, or friends could in fact also get the same piece (still a possibility!) to indicate the new wholes created with our knowing and sharing with each other.
On my back, in the plaque area, in white (hard to see, this tattoo is pretty old at this point) is a quote from Sartre, in French, but which translates to 'have no illusions and do only what you can' -- a bit of a mantra of sorts for many years about balance and duality in life and work , which I always took to mean, boiled down, 'give yourself a break while kicking your own ass.' I got this as I was in a bit of a divorce with the illusions I'd had about academia and the relationship of disciplinary scholarship to ontology and enlightenment, as well as to a necessary distancing from the former partner, who battled opiate and alcohol addictions. It was a bittersweet reclaiming the core of my intentions/desires, as well as a leaving behind a lot of what I thought my life would hold. The female figures are not angels, a common confusion, but rather are from two paintings of Alphonse Mucha -- the left is from his panel representing 'the arts,' this figure being 'Dance' (from 1898) and the right representing 'spring,' from another panel painting of the seasons. I was always very entranced by art nouveau, its marriage of biological/botanical forms and the new technologies of the modern moment -- steel and glass and concrete. As with most back tattoos, and the ceiling of the UN, this is perennially unfinished -- there was a whole plan for botanical and architectural elements surrounding what you see now...!
Somewhere, on the neck, near the nautical star, on a ribbon it also reads 'to thine own self be true,' gotten the day I left a job I felt I had shrunk down and diminished myself to stay at -- a reminder to never do that again (and, by and large, I've kept to that promise!)
On my biceps are tattoos for my daughter, Beckett -- Love Always, on my right, Beckett Rose, on my left. From 2010. My daughter was born in February 2010, conceived manually in a room by myself, the daughter of me and a gay couple, Matthew and Dan, long time friends of a good friend of mine. She was adopted by them fully (the only legal option) in May of 2010. On the day of her adoption I sat for 8 or more hours in Carnegie Hall listening to the Dalai Lama talk about the Bodhisattva path, non attachment, duality, and enlightenment, what I seek here in every way. I do not believe that this legal document controls or defines our relationship, and I continue to be very much her 'Mama Lynne,' a constant part in her life. These tattoos are a reminder for me that I carry her with me every day, and that love is never about ownership or title, love is never about volume of time but quality of that time, of intention and attention and consciousness and being a model for her of the possibilities of family, parenthood, self-hood. 
Shoulders, most recent, are my design in collaboration with Alex - lotus based epaulets, traditionally a military symbol, here transformed with lotus -- symbol of peace, enlightenment, and our path through the mud into bloom -- I call them my spirit warrior epaulets, because indeed I am fighting a battle everyday here, not only of my own but in my community, humbly hoping to improve this place." 
Lynne also shared the following poem:

NOVENA

two swing in unison, one opposing;
the sun's warmth a surprise
amongst fallen leaves, so that
every arm is graced by
unnecessary jacket, armor
for what we thought was coming.
their dog will not pose
for the camera, her every hair on its end,
her nose an antenna for the infinite scents
alit on the wind, on whispers
from the sky's million and one mouths.
look up: that blue is bigger
than anything you can imagine.
why can you feel this wind
on your face, why hear the insistent
caw of unseen birds? the grace
of these mathematics, demurring
behind the face of the mundane --
this is divinity.
I'll write this poem whenever I can,
over and over again
until I die
and what I see before me
will never grow old, will
never cease to be
miracle.

~ ~ ~

Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is a willful subject feminist killjoy queer official-narrative battler making her way through image, text, and code in the world, currently stationed in Brooklyn, NY. She runs the self-hacking arts organization/press The Operating System, and is an Assistant Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute.

You can find her on the web in these various locales:

http://lynne-desilva-johnson.strikingly.com
http://theoperatingsystem.org
twitter.com/@onlywhatican
twitter.com/@the_OS_
instagram: @thetroublewithbartleby, @the_operating_system

You can also enjoy this recent interview with her: http://culturedesigners.com/the-operating-system-detournement-radical-documentation-with-lynne-desilva-johnson/

Thanks to Lynne for sharing her poem and tattoos with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 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.