Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tattoorism: Dean's Samurai

Last Saturday, I posted some tattoos sent to us from Tammy in Texas. Her son Dean is also tattooed and, in a much bigger way. We'll let him explain:

My very first tattoo was done on my 18th birthday in 2005...[it is] a black dragon with kanji above it. About a year letter I had a koi fish done on my calf...both of these tattoos were just drawings I had found. In 2006 I started working on my rib piece and in 2007 I got together with John from A Different Drummer here in Wichita Falls (he is now at the Lawton, OK location), and the two of us collaborated on bringing the rib piece together. Once the drawing was to our satisfaction, it took a little over 2 months of 3-4 hour sittings weekly until the tattoo was complete. 16-plus hours and worth every minute!

In 2009 I decided it was time for an arm piece and went back to A Different Drummer and Tuan who was in Art Class with me in high school listened to what I wanted... and the arm piece came to life...this one was done in one day and took a little over 7 1/2 hours:

Both pieces are marvelously done.

Thanks to Dean for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday! And a hearty thank you, as well, to Tammy, for being a cool mom, sharing her pride in her son's amazing body art!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tattoorism: Tammy from Texas

Last summer, my wife Melanie met Tammy on the staff message board of their company's website, where she and other employees across the country can exchange ideas and feedback. As a leader for Weight Watchers, Melanie often comes across members and co-workers who have used tattoos for inspiration and to mark milestones.

When talking to Tammy, a leader in Texas, she learned that she was inked, as well. She sent her the link to Tattoosday, and Tammy sent us photos of a few of her eleven tattoos.

We'll let Tammy describe them for us:

"I got my very first [tattoo] when I was 21 in Virginia while getting a tattoo for my younger brother but I didn't get another for several years at which time I had my uncle in Arkansas place a rose under the butterfly I had done first. It is old and faded but holds so much meaning to me as my uncle passed away in his 40s about 5 years ago so I have him with me at all times...I then waited a couple more years and had a dolphin put on my left ankle as a reminder of a trip we had made to Florida. About a year later an apprentice in Shreveport added an ankle wave under the dolphin.

I then took a long break from tattoos and the rest have all been done in the last 5 years here in Wichita Falls, Texas, with the exception of the tribal butterfly [seen below]. I had it done in Lawton, Oklahoma, when my son was getting his rib piece finished up [a subject of a later post].

On my right thigh I have the New York Yankees logo:

On my left shoulder blade my husband and I got kanji symbols for Eternity for our 19th wedding anniversary. I have a tribal butterfly (the only tattoo I have ever picked off a wall) put on the top of my left foot and I love it:

When I hit 50 pounds gone, my oldest son paid for the star that everyone sees in pictures I post:

And a Pisspot with my husbands name [pictured left]. My husband just retired with 26 years in the service and was AMMO-I always wanted this but was never brave enough nor skinny enough for that so called "tramp stamp"... it actually looks awesome although this picture is a little blurry.

And of course when I hit Lifetime [when a Weight Watchers member reaches their goal and maintains it for six weeks], my rib piece came alive:

The photo above is the tattoo right after it was completed. Here is how it healed:

Most of Tammy's work was done at A Different Drummer Tattoo Studio in Wichita Falls.

Thanks to Tammy for sharing some of her photos with us here on Tattoosday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Lull

On January 20, I logged the following notes:

12:10 PM. Rather than wander in search of ink, I am trying something else. Staying put, here in front of the Amtrak Departures board in Penn Station, and seeing what walks to me.

I have only successfully met 2 of the inked nation in the last 27 days, and I'd like to resume posting more regularly.

I figure, sooner or later, this wintry drought will end.

12:20 A woman walks by with two interlinking gray hearts behind her right ear. I hesitate and decide not to approach her as she walks by. The tattoo didn't speak to me.

12:35 Still nothing. 5 minutes left in my little experiment.

12:36 Ed Hardy baseball cap.

Experiment Fail.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Daniel Returns with Another Machine Head Tattoo

Last month I featured a leg tattoo belonging to Daniel, who was visiting from Australia. At the time he alluded to the fact that he had a pretty cool chest piece, as well. Understandably, he wasn't about to whip his shirt off in Penn Station in December.

Anyway, Dan was kind enough to send me this picture. Although not the best quality from a photographic standpoint, it's clear enough to see what a great tattoo this is:

The inspiration from this art, also related to the band Machine Head, can be seen on their main web page here. Like his other tattoo featured previously, these pieces were done by Jonny at Abandoned Art in the Wanneroo section of Perth, Australia.

Daniel says they took two sittings and about five hours to complete.

Thanks to Daniel for following up with this photo here on Tattoosday!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eric Shows His Dedication to Being a First Responder

In what was the first new instance of inkspotting outside of a tattoo shop since Christmas Eve, I met Eric in Penn Station and he shared this, the newest of his four tattoos:

Eric explained that he is a volunteer firefighter and EMT out on Long Island, and he wanted a tattoo to represent both sides of his service to his community.

This was done by Debbie at Skin Deep Tattoo in Levittown, New York.

Work from this shop has appeared previously on our site here.

Thanks to Eric for sharing his new tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tattoorism: Jeremy Shares a Derek Hess Tattoo

Although we're not a fan submission site, we'll occasionally post tattoos from fans with interesting work to share. It often helps us through the lean months when most ink is hibernating in the colder climates.

Jeremy recently e-mailed me, having found us via the blogroll of the awesome Needles and Sins site and felt, as he said, compelled to share this tattoo:

Jeremy explains:

"The piece is [based on work] by Derek Hess and it's called 'Flood Damage'.

I got it in April of '09 after 2008 was one of the worst years of my young life (I'm 25 now) to mark the fact that as much as I was flooded with bad things in '08, I was moving on. It was done by a..."Low" [who recently left] Lucky Draw Tattoos in Kennesaw, Georgia. I got it tattooed on the outer portion of my right thigh. The piece took just about 3 hours...I absolutely love it. Everytime...I get a chance to look at it, I remember that I'm not the same guy anymore and that I've moved on with my life."
We featured a tattoo based on the work of Derek Hess previously here on Tattoosday.

Jeremy also apologized for the fact that the photo is in black and white, but there is color in the tattoo. His camera on his phone, however, would not shoot in color.

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Eagle and the Parrot

We here at Tattoosday have been biding our time over the past week, a seven-day drought of posts to match the scarcity of ink visible in the Frozen Apple of a brittle New York winter.

So today I am posting work not spotted in the streets, but work on the legs of Pete, who meticulously crafted this lovely piece on my upper back last year.

I snapped this shot of an old-school parrot on his left leg late last summer:

And then, last week, on January 2, while peeking on the Year of the Tiger hullabaloo at Thicker than Water, where he is tattooing when not at New York Hardcore, I photographed this cool bald eagle on his right leg:

with this skull in the eagle's talons:

Both tattoos were crafted by old-school Brooklyn tattoo artist Steve Delgado.

I thank Pete for his outstanding work, and for sharing some of his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright!

This is my fourth tattoo and the one I pondered the least.

If you've been reading, you know the premise: 2010 marks the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac, and when I heard that Thicker Than Water Tattoo Studio, a new shop on the Lower East Side, was doing a special tiger-inking event for the new year, I grew interested.

When I saw the flash drawn for the event, I knew I wanted one. And, after talking with artist Shon Lindauer, he drew up a special one for me, and the rest was history. Because he wanted to put more time into it, we scheduled the session for Sunday, after the Saturday of the Tiger, and did it on the third, happy half-birthday to me.

So why a Tiger? Aside from the topical (thank heavens it wasn't year of the Rabbit), I can say I have connections to tigers.

My favorite baseball team is Detroit, and I spent four years at Occidental College in L.A., home of the Tigers. In that sense, since 1985, I have been part-Tiger.

But like most tattoos, meanings grow and new meanings emerge. I am a poet, and what writer is worth their salt if they heard the word tiger and didn't think of William Blake?

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


And so I strode onto Avenue B with a sense of purpose, and a desire to go under the needle again. And the snow flurried but I did not feel the cold. I knew, soon enough, that I would feel the fire from the tattoo machine.

Even in my most positive frame of mind, I didn't dream that this great drawing

would become this much bigger and more colorful tattoo:

And one of the many things I love about it is, that at a slightly different angle, the perspective shifts significantly:

Lucky me, Shon worked with mechanical precision, and I was his first client that got to experience his new custom shader, built by Seth Ciferri.

The tattoo was done in under two and a half hours, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. I love it.

Thanks to Shon Lindauer for his hard work on this awesome tattoo and the staff at Thicker than Water for welcoming me into their shop.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Year o' the Tiger Has Begun...

Happy New Year from all of us here at Tattoosday!

2009 was a banner year for us as we reached an even broader audience, racking up 317,000 hits, almost triple what we had seen here in 2008. We're looking forward to welcoming even more visitors in the coming year.

Yesterday, I paid a little visit to Thicker Than Water Tattoo Studio on the Lower East Side where, as I mentioned in the previous post, the good folks were inking tiger tattoos to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Tiger. At $50 a pop for these tiger specials, the artists had a steady stream of clients asking to get their tiger stripes for the upcoming year.

Despite frigid temperatures with single-digit wind chills, clients were still drifting in when I left later in the evening.

I did get to watch as Shon Lindauer worked on Jennifer, who added this cute little tiger to her collection of over thirty tattoos:

Jennifer was born in the Year of the Tiger, so it seemed appropriate to take advantage of this super deal that the artists at Thicker Than Water were offering.

It was also great to see Peter Caruso again, who tattoos at the shop three days a week. Pete appeared here on Tattoosday and subsequently inked this piece on me last Spring. He even had his own set of flash for the January 2 promotion:

As I bundled up to brace myself against the cold, customers were drifting in from Avenue B and a young lady checked out the flash to decide on another tiger tattoo. With a few more hours to go, it looked like the artists were going to be busy.

As for me, many may be wondering if I joined the ranks of the tiger-tattooed. Check back tomorrow to see if I have anything new to share...

Happy New Year and thanks for continuing to visit us here on Tattoosday.