Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plumeria flowers and waves

I love the stylized waves seen in japanese style tattoos, so I tried to reproduce them. With plumeria / frangipani flowers, because I like these flowers ;)

Plumeria flowers tattoo

2011-02-26: And a derivate version with, in my opinion, eye-hurting colors, that does not at least give a link to the original. Sigh, I'm kinda used to it. 
2011-10-24:  funny

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"First Taste" Art Show at Bound for Glory Tomorrow Night!

In case you're wondering where I'll be on Friday night, the plan is for me to attend the opening of Bound for Glory's first art show.

Now, I'm not a big fan of Staten Island (nothing against the people, just my least fave borough), but the fact that the show is curated by Friend of Tattoosday, Magie Serpica, makes it worth the effort. Magie originally appeared on Tattoosday here.

Here is the spiel from the show's Facebook page:

"First Taste"

This is our first art show at Bound For Glory! It will feature the art of many awesome local Staten Island artists, as well as select works from some tattooers nationwide.

The art will be for sale and a portion of the proceeds will go towards Project Hospitality, a local charity which feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless and cares for people with HIV/AIDS.

...The opening reception will be on Friday Jan 28th at 8pm. There will be refreshments, which will be generously donated by local businesses such as Starbucks, Jeans Fine Wine & Spirits, and The CupCake Bar NYC.

Everyone is invited!

This show is curated by Bound For Glory's lady tattooer Magie Serpica

Participating Artists:

Mike Shane
Richie Clarke
Kev/psyn of RobotsWillKill
Chris of RobotsWillKill
Ethan Morgan
Cynthia Von Buhler
Dave Borjes
Brendan Coyle
Amanda Curtis
Chris Sorrentino
Lauren Monardo
Terry Lee Chandler
Charles Tagle
Marina Inoue
Frank Kempo
Chelsea Bunn
Danny Loveridge
Justine Lordo
Veng of RobotsWillKill
Vinny Rega
Tara Anne McCloskey Chillemi
Jennifer McMenemey
Magie Serpica
Nick Caruso
Emma Griffiths
Alexander Rivera
Tom Connors
Victor Modafferi
Sarah Smith (sas photos)
Scott Bakoss
Steve Lapcevic
Miss Elvia
Demetrius Felder
Maya Ventura
Bert Krak
Gina Venosa
Mike Hooligan
Eric Perfect
Alex Sherker
Dennis Del Prete
Charlie Foos
Steven Huie

We will be selling raffle tickets for an awesome gift package including: a gift certificate from Comic Book Jones, Some T-Shirts from Robots Will Kill, & "An hour in the chair" with Magie Serpica!

Assuming I can dig my sister's car out from under a new foot of snow by tomorrow evening, I plan to attend and report on it next week, with a photo or two, to boot. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tattoorism: Sean Returns, Part 2

Last week, I shared more of reader Sean's vast tat-alog here. It's time to finish off our inventory of this very generous fan o' the site. Let's see what we have:

...I got a clipper ship on my upper arm.  The ship is navigating through a background of clouds and lightning bolts and has a banner underneath reading “Hope.”  Its meaning follows the same idea behind my anchor tattoo.  Hope is a huge part of having a positive mental attitude, which I try (sometimes with little luck, of course) to hold at all times.  It’s a reminder that you can make it through stormy parts of your life, no matter how bad they get.  It’s also done in the traditional style I love so much.  The tattoo was done by Mike Schweigert at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

While attending [the 2010] Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, I decided to get a tattoo to commemorate my first convention.  For as many years as tattoos have been a part of my life, this was my first convention...I got a blue rose with a candle spouting out of it in between my sparrows and flower on my outer elbow. 

I’m a firm believer in everyone having a different reasoning for getting tattoos.  Some are used as place markers in one’s life, some are used to remember an event, some have deep profound meanings and some are just aesthetically pleasing. I could probably come up with some in depth meaning behind the tattoo, but in the end, I got it to commemorate my first tattoo convention and that’s pretty much the only reason.  Done by Rocco at Death or Glory Tattoos in Westbrook, Maine.

Finally, I got my outer elbow to forearm done with a snake coiling through a skull and dagger and impaling itself on the dagger’s blade.  

I usually try to go out of my way to ensure that my friends/family/other people in general are happy, more often than I would like to admit, putting their happiness before my well-being.  This tattoo serves as a reminder for me not to do that so much, and to focus on myself sometimes.  The snake can be viewed as a protection figure, coiling around and through the rest of the tattoo, but has also caused injury to itself by doing so.  Basically, its my reminder that as much as I would like to help others, I need to keep my own happiness and well being in mind before I choose which action to take or I’ll end up injuring myself in the process.  Done by Mike Schweigert at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

A hearty thanks to Sean for continuing to share his tattoos with us over the years!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Newsday on Tuesday?

Newsday on Tattoosday?

So winter makes me consider desperate measures. As I've trickled down to two or three posts a week (believe me, it hurts me more than it hurts you), I've occasionally toyed with the idea of reporting on other things in the tattoo community, other than the Bill-o-centric encounters I have in the City That Never Sleeps. I've even gone so far as to write a few posts and then never published them. The reality is, however, I am facing a scarcity of inkspotting occurrences, and I'm just going with the flow.

So, here we go.....

I recently got an email from someone representing a Guide to Art Schools website, listing Tattoosday among the top 45 tattoo blogs. Considering how specific the site is, I'm honored to be included, especially among some of my favorite tattoo cyber-destinations. You check out the list here:

And since we're throwing around the work "Best, " I received word about a  new tattoo reality show currently in production for the Oxygen Network. Its working title is "Best Ink" and it sounds rather compelling. Check it out:

Capturing the drama and culture of the tattoo scene, "Best Ink"(WT) will feature approximately 12 top tattoo artists as they compete for a cash prize and bragging rights. These unique artists will produce bona fide masterpieces on skin -- something rarely seen in the competition world. The permanent artwork will be created for -- and on -- real people in a variety of challenges to showcase the artists' talents. Only one artist will win the ultimate prize of BEST INK (WT)

Casting details are here.

And, finally, in a creepy news story, but one that certainly nipped at my curiosity, the artists at Sacred Art Tattoo Studio in Tucson are getting some publicity, as they had the dubious distinction of tattooing Jared Loughner last fall. Not to feed into the media frenzy surrounding this guy, but I was curious, so I just had to look into it. Read all about it here.

So what do you think? Should Tattoosday Newsday becoming a regular feature? Feel free to comment below.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tattoos I Know: Paul's Taíno Ink

Last summer, my friend Paul had some new work done by Pierre at The Fort Apache Tattoo Studio near Penn Station. You can see some of his old work here and here and here and here (yes, he's a regular!).

Fort Apache is up several flights of stairs, but it is conveniently close to my day job, which makes up for the aerobic ascension to the shop on 31st Street.

This is what Paul had tattooed on his right forearm:

These four symbols are petroglyphs from the Taíno culture in Puerto Rico. They are one way Paul has chosen to acknowledging his and his ancestors' culture, in ink.

From top to bottom, the symbols each have literal meanings, and then personal meanings for Paul. The triangular piece is a zemis, pointing in three directions - to the sky and the Creator, to the underworld and the realm of the dead, and to the world of the living.

The second petroglyph is Sol, or the sun and the fourth design is the coqui, or frog.

Thanks once again to Paul for sharing his latest installment of ink here with us on Tattoosday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A kind of tribalish symmetrical star tattoo, and a sewn one - not sure about the polka dots...
Actually, this was a "no inspiration" day. :(
Star tattoo, symmetrical

Sewn star design

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Niki's Memorial Foot

Alas, with winter setting in, spotting tattoos in public is seasonably challenging. Thank goodness for ink on uncovered extremities, like hands and the occasional foot!

Case in point, earlier this month I met Niki in Penn Station after spotting this dagger on her foot:

She had this, one of her three tattoos, done three or four years ago a couple of years after her father had passed away.

It is a memorial that is based on a necklace her dad wore. When I asked her, after the fact, if she still had the necklace, she said she didn't, but said it was a lot like this one. She added "my dad bought it the Christmas before he passed away and it really showed off his sarcasm and style because he was very much into motorcycles and whatnot".

Wisely, in my opinion, she kept the design, but excised the words on the necklace from the tattoo!

Niki had this done by Marc at Ink Link Tattoos & Piercings in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tattoorism: Sean Returns, Part 1

Back in 2009, one of our loyal readers, Sean, submitted a whole slew of his work for our viewing pleasure. You can read the original posts, here and here.

Why do I bring this up now? Last summer, Sean sent us more of his tat-alog of work and I had been saving it for a rainy day. Since it's a rainy, sleety, snowy day, I thought I should share more of what Sean sent along. And since he sent a lot, I'm splitting it into two posts. What follows is the first installment. Italics represent direct quotes from Sean.

I got the ditch of my elbow done probably about a year or so ago.  It is a flower of sorts, of my own design, made up of various geometrical shapes.  The tattoo represents two parts of our world, nature (the floral shape itself, petals, leaves, etc.) and science (the geometric shapes making up the flower).  I believe that one should not base their ideals solely on nature or science/technology, but on a mixture of the two.  It represents my appreciation for both nature and science.  Basically, I am fascinated by technology and the sciences that are its basis, but at the same time do not feel that science should trump nature all together but rather, have the two working together in harmony.  It was done by Robert “Binky” Ryan at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

The sparrows circling my outer elbow were my next pieces done.  I had attended a Marine museum in Philadelphia which had a great exhibit on the tattoo culture surrounding the Navy and sailors in general throughout history.  According to the exhibit, sailors would earn the right to a single sparrow tattoo after traveling 5,000 miles at sea and a second sparrow after 10,000 miles.  I am not much for sailing, but the idea of the sparrow representing travel and all the hardships, journeys, and successes that surround that travel appealed to me.  Further, I have a general appreciation for American Traditional tattoos and their overall aesthetics.  These were done by Rich Heller at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ. 

Don’t quite remember when I got my feet finished up, but it was sometime within the last year and a half or so.  My feet are tattooed with a sun and moon, which I drew myself about 6 years ago.  The duality of the sun and moon, and various meanings that these two symbols hold are why I had them tattooed.  The idea that each represents night and day, or two opposites that work together to make up a whole, are what drew me to having the designs placed on my feet.  Further, it represents the two sides that I have to myself, a lighter, happy, and caring side and a darker, selfish side.  I feel a person cannot fully understand themselves without acknowledging and accepting all parts of their personalities.  I also gave the sun and moon, a dark, kind of macabre, look as I am a huge horror fan and have always been attracted to the darker side of things.  Originally, I had them inked by Robert “Binky” Ryan (then at Body Art World in Pt. Pleasant, NJ but now Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ) in 2004.  They were done in grey wash and I was happy with them for about 5 years, in which point I decided to have them colored in, and had some background added.  The color and background were added by Brody Longo at Slingin’ Ink in Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ.

The next piece I got was an anchor on my inner forearm.  The anchor represents all the things that drag me down in life.  Across the anchor is a banner that reads “P.M.A.” the abbreviation for positive mental attitude.  I feel the first step in pushing through any kind of hardship in life is to have a positive attitude, and the rest will follow.  I want to say the original use of PMA was in a Bad Brains song, but I pulled it from its use in the Glassjaw song “Piano.”  This tattoo is also a throwback to the band Glassjaw, as they have been my favorite band for I would have to say at least 10 years now and I have experienced just about every emotion possible while listening to their albums.  So as an added bonus, the tattoo brings me back to all those memories.  The tattoo was done by Rich Heller at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

Thanks to Sean for sharing all of this with us here on Tattoosday, and for patiently waiting for me to post it!

Stay tuned for part 2.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tree of rain, tree of snow

Now I wonder where the tree of sun is...

Tree tattoo, rain

Tree tattoo, snow

Clark's Tattoo Incorporates Utah Wildflowers and a French Surrealist

Back in October, I briefly met Clark when I was passing through Penn Station at the end of the day. He was waiting for a train, so we didn't have a lengthy discussion, but he did let me photograph his right forearm:

There are two significant elements to this work. Clark is originally from Utah, and he has chosen to acknowledge this in ink by having Utah wildflowers incorporated in the piece.

The figure is bordered by the French phrase "Nul n'est censé ignorer" which can be translated as "ignorance is no excuse." The figure is based on the work of French painter and poet Francis Picabia.

Clark credited both Jonah Ellis and Joss Macetti at Graceland Brooklyn for work on this tattoo.

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

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Diversion: A Tattoo Across Time

Well, folks, at one point I had over fifty days of material backlogged, but I've been rationing of late, and tattoobernating a bit. I've less than seven days of posts remaining and this cold weather has everyone hiding their ink because of the cold.

So, until it heats up, check out this piece by writer Shonna Milliken Humphrey in tomorrow's New York Times.

It's a very nice essay and it is ink-related.

Read more about the author here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Celina's Tattoo Gives Her Strength and Courage

Last month, I received a phone call when I was walking through the Borders at 2 Penn Plaza. I sat down in one of those comfy chairs and noticed, once I had finished speaking on the phone, that the young lady sitting next to me had an interesting tattoo on her right wrist. I asked her about it and Celina kindly shared it with us here:

Celina explained that she had originally hoped to have this done in Aramaic, but that she and her artist couldn't find the proper script, so she chose this one instead. It's an old Hebrew script, which I can recognize a significant part of, thanks to my many years of Hebrew school in Hawai'i.

The words translate to "Be strong and courageous," from Deuteronomy 31:6:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
The Hebrew phrase,     
 חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ
is spoken by Moses, on behalf of God, addressing the Israelites after they have fled Egypt and are about to embark on the journey that takes forty years and eventually leads them to the Promised Land.

This phrase resonated with Celina, who had this tattoo done before she moved to New York from the San Francisco Bay area, and was about to embark on a journey into the unknown.

She credited the artist Chris Evans, in Santa Cruz, California, with inking this tattoo.

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

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tattoorism: A Bee-autiful Tattoo from the Pacific Northwest

Among the several people who voted for my Thanksgiving tattoo last November, Jude sent along a photo of a tattoo she had recently received, on November 5, her first in fact.

I'll let Jude explain:

My married name is Beeman and next year will be our 20th anniversary. I had been searching for the perfect bee image for years.

The image is by William Wasden Jr from Alert Bay, BC. I found the bee online, one of a series of prints. I found contact info for William, and both called and sent emails twice over a two month period.  Unfortunately I did not hear from William. This due diligence did satisfy my tattoo artist, Shoko Sonoda, of Sumiya here in Vancouver and we proceeded with the work.

The tattoo measures 4" by 4" which Shoko thought would be the smallest  she would want to go to catch the details. The colours used are 'bee' yellow, black and white."

Thanks so much to Jude for sharing this tattoo with us here at Tattoosday. It's really quite lovely!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Three's Not a Crowd

I met a trio of friends hanging out in Penn Station in early October, waiting for their train back to Rhode Island.

I spotted Darius first, which was understandable, as he has seventeen tattoos. Kenny and Katie, his friends, each boasted a modest three tattoos apiece, and offered up theirs as well.

Let's start with Darius, who has this traditional Mom and Sparrow tattoo on his forearm:

He said that he and two other friends got the same tattoo.

This was done by Jae Audette at Mcinnis Tattoo Company  in Providence, Rhode Island. Work from the shop appeared previously on the site here.

The other tattoo, on his bicep, is this set of brass knuckles that says "Knuckle Up":

This was done by Forrest Curl at Altered Images Tattoo Studio in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

Also from Altered Images is this still-in-progress rib piece on Kenny:

This is a depiction of The Crimson King from Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. As you would imagine, Kenny is a huge fan.

Rob Young is the artist who is working on this piece.

Katie then generously offered to show me her tattoo, which runs down her spine:

When I asked if she wouldn't mind sending me another photo, since the tattoo was partially obscured by her bra strap, she didn't hesitate to unhook it so I could photograph the whole tattoo, unobscured:

Katie explained that her heritage is Armenian, and that the letters down her spine spell the word for "family".

She added that two of her cousins have the same tattoo, but inked on their arms.

She also noted that the infinity symbol at the base of her neck speaks to the Armenian text and symbolizes, for her, "family forever".

She did not recall the name of the shop where she had this done, but recalled it was on Long Island, New York, and that the artist was "Joey D".

Thanks to Darius, Kenny and Katie for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jill Walks On with Her Ink

I spotted Jill in the beginning of November sitting in the New Jersey Transit waiting area at Penn Station.

She has eight tattoos, five are symbols and three are word-based, including this one on her forearm:

The one she shared with us is based on the song lyrics of U2 and their song "Walk On".

The letter G and the date refer to her grandmother and the day she died, March 2, 2010.

The lyrics are "And I know it aches/And your heart it breaks/You can only take so much/Walk on".

Jill said that listening to music got her through a difficult time and this song, in particular, carried and sustained her through the mourning process.

Coincidentally, March 2 marked the anniversary of her meeting the band in 2009.

She chose an Edwardian script and the tattoo was inked by Mike at Fat Kat Tattoos in Keyport, New Jersey.

Work from Fat Kat has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Jill for sharing this special tattoo with us here on the site!

A little extra treat, video of U2's "Walk On":

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amanda's Irises (and a Quote)

This start-of-the-year post is courtesy of Amanda, who I met at the end of October in the Borders at Columbus Circle.

It was her sleeve of irises that first captured my attention:

These are inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh, perhaps this one:

The tattoo was done by Dennis Halbritter when he was at Incognito Tattoo in Pasadena, California. He has since moved to High Voltage Tattoo, Kat Von D's shop on L.A. Ink.

Dennis also inked this on Amanda's inner right bicep:

This quote "IO FU QUELLO CHE VOI SIETE E QUEL CH'IO SON VOI SARETE" is taken from an Italian fresco credited to Masaccio. This is the artwork in question:

The Holy Trinity, with the Virgin and Saint John and donors, in Florence
If you look at the bottom of the fresco, right above the skeleton is the phrase Amanda has inscribed on her arm.

The phrase is translated as "I once was what you are and what I am you also will be".
These words remind her of her own mortality.

Thanks to Amanda for sharing these lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snowflakes - and happy new year! :)

Some snowflake with dots shading - how original for the season. :p
snowflake tattoo 1
snowflake tattoo 2

Oh, and happy New Year everyone! I hope you're fine and didn't make too many  of those New Year's resolutions that no one follows.
Hmm... Now that I think about it, maybe I should try a "I'll stop dotwork" resolution, actually... :)

flower in dotwork
(Same image license as above.)