Friday, July 3, 2015

Rating My Ink, A Birthday Celebration

Often, when I meet someone with tattoos and, knowing the limitations of a blog post, ask them which one they want to share, I will get that “You gotta be kidding me” look. Ask a parent who their favorite child is and they give the same look.

So, in an exercise of pure narcissism, I’ve decided to rank my tattoos from least to most favorite. Not worst to best, nor least meaningful to most meaningful. Just which ones I like, and the order in which I like them.

Hell, if I ask people to do this occasionally, I should be required to do the same. This also is a snapshot of how I feel about my tattoos as I begin my 48th year.

So, without further ado, and the disclaimer that I love all my tattoos, to varying degrees, here is the 2015 ranking, with links to the original post when it appeared on Tattoosday. Do note, I am a collector, my fourteen tattoos were inked by thirteen different artists.

This one’s the tattoo with the least meaning. I got it because it was free and I was unemployed at the time. I still like it, but it even looks out of place next to the larger tattoo. In hindsight, I would have placed it elsewhere. A fun exercise, for sure, but the one with the least emotional attachment. Read about the Sailor Jerry event that got me this baby here.

13. Friday the 13th Anchor by Brian Faulk, 2010

Photo from July 2015
This was my first Friday the 13th tattoo and it’s memorable because I had readers of Tattoosday vote for the flash I would get. Their votes were accompanied by contributions. So, it was a tattoo chosen and paid for by fans of the site. Money was tight at the time, and I appreciated the interest from a  whole group of people that helped me get this piece. Read about the Great Friday the 13th Tattoo Experiment here.

The only reason this is so low on my list is because, being on my back, I sometimes forget I have it. The origin story is lengthy (read about it here) so I’ll spare you. However, it is a piece that stems from my work on Tattoosday, and it remains the only tattoo I have that took multiple sittings. Also, that flower still hurts when I think about it.

Another experiment with reader voting. This one was paid for by a sponsor, Skin Actives, whose tattoo cream remains my healing product of choice. I was this close to having the readers vote for a Native American shivering under a smallpox-infested blanket. This piece on my right thigh has held up remarkably well. Get the whole story here.

Inked on the side of my right calf at the 3rd Annual NYC Urban Tattoo Convention, this classic traditional image was tattooed by Phil Phlash, a friend who had worked at my old company. We stayed in touch after he left the company and I watched Phil develop and hone his skills via social media. When the opportunity presented itself for him to tattoo me, I jumped at the chance. The design is classic traditional Brooklyn flash. Recap here.

When I reached out to Alex McWatt at Three Kings Tattoo about a Friday the 13th Piece, he told me their shop was no longer doing those events, but he offered to draw something up for me, special. I love the knight’s image and the helmet recalls the origins of my first name, William, which meant “helmet”  in its Germanic origins.  Read about it here.

7 (tie). Keikikalani Rocks by Peter Cavorsi, 2005

My second tattoo, representing Shayna, my younger daughter. This really should be tied with #7, but it’s here by virtue of being newer (sorry, Shayna). Read the story here.

7 (tie) The Lynx, by Sikki the Kid, 2003

My first tattoo, back when I thought all you had to do was pick a design off a wall. Predates Tattoosday by four years and was done in July 2003 as a tribute to my older daughter Jolee, whose Hawaiian middle name may or may not mean “Lynx.” Read about it here.

This was a birthday gift and just suits me to a tee. Everyone raised in the 70's knows Bill from Schoolhouse Rock. Recent appearances in popular culture reinforces Bill as a cultural icon. The original post about the tattoo is here.

5. Samoan Crab, by James Delzel, 2015

My newest tattoo, ranked as high as it is by virtue of its newness and because I think it's an awesome tattoo, I believe. The story recounted here.

4. Anniversary Ink by Gunny, 2015

If this were a most meaningful list, this would sit atop all others, just based on what it represents. But there are more factors at play here, and it's still top 4, so we'll let time determine how the rankings change.

In honor of my twentieth wedding anniversary, this is another 2015 tattoo. My only chest tattoo, which made me respect people who have their whole chests done even more. The full story here.

3. Honu Tribal, by Heather Sinn, 2011

If you never knew I was a human canvas on a "reality" TV show, you do now. Inked on the second episode of the premiere season of Ink Master (before the show became a formulaic juggernaut) by a talented artist who hated being on the show. My biggest tattoo and near favorite. I often wish it was positioned lower so more people could see and appreciate it. Read about it here.

The story is here. My most recognizable piece and a symbol on the back of my left calf.

1. Golden the Rooster, by Megan Massacre, 2011

      From an episode of NY Ink. What could have been a boring solid tribal silhouette had Ami James done the tattoo turned into my favorite piece. Second smallest on my body (upper right arm, inner side), Megan went above and beyond and whether she meant to or not, showed up the other artists who just did basic solid silhouettes. Because the inspiration for this was a deceased pet rooster of my parents in Hawai’i, Megan went the extra mile and layered in plumage and shaded this piece spectacularly. Also, provides endless hours of entertainment for my friends who ask me to show them my cock. Cock jokes aside, this is indisputably my favorite tattoo. Get the whole story, soup to nuts, here.

      So that's it folks, my tatalog, my body of work, my own personal celebration. Thanks for indulging me!

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