Thursday, January 19, 2017

Skylar's Message: Love Yourself

I met Skylar (@abuses) at one of the booths at last summer's NY Empire State Tattoo Expo (@nyempirestatetattooexpo) in New York City. She is an apprentice at First Class Tattoo (@firstclassnyc) in Manhattan.

She shared the following tattoo from her arm with us, credited to Douglas Grady (@douglasgrady) from Magic Cobra Tattoo Society (@magiccobratattoo) in Brooklyn.


Skylar explained how this tattoo came to be:
"I got this tattoo ... after me and my ex broke up ... I was going through a weird time in my life when I was really depressed, had a lot of anxiety. I wasn't really wanting to do anything with my life and I kinda had poured all of myself into this one person ... loved him a lot more than I loved myself and after we fell apart, I realized, 'Shit, I don't have anything for myself ... fuck that. I gotta go and make something of myself instead'... So I decided if something's going to make me commit to doing something, it's going to be putting it on my body forever. So I went, on an impulse ... walked in and was like, 'Doug, I need you to tattoo this on me.' He tattooed it on me and literally, from that moment, I've just been working real hard and trying to better myself and just reminding myself that I come before anyone else, even if I do love them. Because, how am I gonna love somebody if I can't love myself?"
A great lesson indeed!

Doug Grady's work has appeared on Tattoosday previously, here.

Thanks to Skylar 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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Adrian's Tattoos Represent Family

This past weekend I was in South Florida and I met Adrian in  a Walgreen's. He had a bunch of tattoos and kindly shared some of his work:


"Each animal is for a different member of my family," Adrian told me, pointing out pieces on his forearms as well. His mom likes owls, his dad likes eagles. The wolf on left hand is for his brother and the spider is for himself. Why the spider? "Because I like creepy things," he explained.

He had these done at Love Tattoo in Jenison, Michigan, although the artist, Preston Mashburn (mr_mashburnratc), is now at Mos Eisley's Tattoos in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thanks to Adrian for sharing these 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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Seth's Wrists Bridge the River

I met Seth on a lower Manhattan train platform in August.

I noticed he had some interesting tattoos on his wrists and I asked about them.


These skyline tattoos are super cool, even moreso when you see that they wrap entirely around his wrists:


Seth explained that, "both wrists feature the Brooklyn Bridge, but one is as if you were going from Brooklyn to Manhattan and the other the opposite direction."

He added:
"Being a transplant, I had set a goal of living in NY for one year at some point in my life. After doing it for 8 years, I decided it was finally time to make it part of me permanently, thus the tattoo."
He credited the artist Patrick Conlon (@lurkus69) at Speakeasy Tattoo (@nyspeakeasytattoo) in Peekskill, New York. Patrick is no stranger to Tattoosday, we've featured his work previously here, here and here.

Thanks to Seth for sharing his cool wrist 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, January 13, 2017

Revisiting My Friday the 13th Tattoo from 2012....

Well, it's Friday the 13th, and I'm travelling today, but I though it would be cool to go back five years, to 2012, and revisit the time I got one of my Friday the 13th tattoos:


People familiar with Tattoosday have seen my Friday the 13th tattoo posts. [As of 2012], Melanie has two and I have one, and I remember watching enviously when she got her first (here), but it was her birthday, so it didn't make sense for me to get one then.

Someone commented on the site back then that I should check out Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn, that we wouldn't have to have to wait all day like at Dare Devil, but when the next opportunity came along, we were already looking at Hand of Glory, which was a little closer to home. 

This past January, we missed our chance and as our turned out, HOG was packed and a late arrival would have been for naught.

But there are three Friday the Thirteenths this year, and in April, I called Three Kings. "Sorry," I was told, "we're not doing it this month." Well, I thought, there's always July.

However, it didn't look good for July. My company is closing and as head of Human Resources, I have been coordinating and overseeing layoffs. We had twenty separations scheduled for Friday the Thirteenth.

I didn't want to wait until next May, so I reached out to Alex Mcwatt at Three Kings to see if maybe they could squeeze me in. Not really following the first-come first-served rule, but I thought having showed his work on Tattoosday before (here, here, and here) and showcasing a lot of work from  the other amazingly talented artists at the shop (a full history here), he might consider it. The worst he could do was say no, right?

Alex promptly replied, but he had an unexpected response. My heart sank when he told me they were no longer doing the event. However, he did say he would tattoo me with a piece of old flash if I wanted, just without the Friday the Thirteenth mayhem.

I was, as you might imagine, completely stoked. I got why they decided to stop doing the event. most likely why Hand of Glory also skipped this month as well. Its a great deal if you want a cheap tattoo experience, but who can blame artists for tiring quickly of people wanting cheap experiences? Especially when many of the people getting these novelty items were not always loyal customers, but merely bargain hunters who would only show up once or twice a year to zip in, zip out, and that was that. I totally got it.

It just so happened we were in the neighborhood last Sunday, so Melanie and I stopped in to meet Alex and nail down the details. We confirmed I'd come in on Friday, after a brutal day of work, and I'd pick something off the walls. I had also invited Alex to draw up something new, if he wanted, and that I would be very open and receptive to it, as long as it didn't "gross out my daughters or piss off my wife".

I had once been told by someone I once interviewed that he liked to go into a shop, ask an artist what they were drawing, and ask for that to be tattooed on them, if he dug the art. The concept is, an artist will be much more excited about doing something new and fresh than doing something they modified or have done before. The more enthusiastic the artist is about the design, I believe, the more care and passion they'll put into their work. That's not to say they'll do a poor job on an old piece, but they'll be happier doing something more interesting, and that can only positively impact the final product.

So, I arrived on schedule Friday and Alex showed me something new he has drawn up, a profile of a knight in armor. Way cool. I love the image and I immediately started relating to it. My name, "William," has etymological roots in Europe and derives from Wilhelm, which is a compound of will (or desire) and helm (protection).

I had also been doing some work earlier in the week, looking at my family ancestry on my mother's side. I descend from Englishmen on one branch of the family tree and the Scottish clan Graham on another branch. The design, which he had only recently drawn up resonated with me. When I told Alex this, he nodded and said, "it was in the ether".

From his perspective, when they had been toying with the idea of doing more Friday the 13th flash, Alex said he had been considering drawing from Masonic and the Knights Templar. There's a lot of 13 imagery in those deep mysterious traditions, and back in 1307, there was even an infamous event when a French king had many of the knights arrested on Friday, October 13. See the 13's in the date? I am oversimplifying here, but these arrests led to a wave of anti-templar frenzy in Europe and in the Catholic Church. Many of these knights were tortured and executed, and that initial date of Friday the 13th has often been cited as one of the earliest example of the superstition surrounding the unlucky thirteenth day.

But, I digress. Let's cut to the chase. Alex did a phenomenal job:


This is just above my right ankle, on the outer side of my leg. The lines and shading are brilliant. The photo above was taken by Alex on my Samsung Galaxy IIs, so it is still a little bloody, but you can see what a great job he did. 

Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, to Alex McWatt, for making this an awesome Friday the Thirteenth to remember!

This entry is ©2012, 2017 Tattoosday.

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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Erika's Hyena Skull

Last summer, I met Erika, a graphic designer, at the New York Empire State Tattoo Expo. She was working in a artisan's booth, helping friends sell jewelry. Her website, here, has the subtitle "illustration ~ animal photos ~ dead things." Needless to say, she has some cool tattoos, and I had a great time chatting with her about them.

One, in particular, jumped out:


This is a hyena skull inked at the top of her chest, on her left side. She explained that the hyena is one of her favorite animals and that
"I had traveled to South Africa a little while before I got the tattoo. I was trying to sleep in a tent and felt a vibration, a rustling, outside of the tent. There were a clan of hyenas (five or six of them) - I heard them crunching bones, it was all I could hear. I could smell them - it was an amazing experience ... I needed something to commemorate that."
This was tattooed by Jon Clue (@jonclue) at East Side Ink (@eastsideinktattoo), although he has recently moved to Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc). Both are top-notch shops in Manhattan.

Here's another look at the tattoo from Clue's on-line portfolio:



Thanks to Erika for sharing this 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, January 8, 2017

Kelly Shares Some Meaningful Tattoos

Last June I met Kelly across from Federal Hall on Wall Street.

She was visiting from Ohio, and shared several of her tattoos.

First up is this koi:


Kelly explains:
"My older brother took me for my first tattoo when I was eighteen and got this whole party started.  He passed away three years ago and he had this tattooed on his calf, and I knew that I was gonna get one of his tattoos tattooed on me ... koi in Japanese is a homophone, so depending on what context it's used in, the meaning is understood, so it means the fish, obviously, but it also means love and affection, so that's how I chose the one that he had, that's how I picked it."
She also has these lovely flowers on her inner forearms:


Kelly elaborates:
"The writing here I had on both arms first and this [pictured on the right], in Sanskrit, means pratijna, it means a promise or a vow ... it's my promise to do my work in life. And this one [pictured on the left] on my right arm with the purple flowers, it's dharma, which is the principle that, if everyone does their life's work, the universe will come into working order.
And then the two different flowers I have, they're both just different types of flowers, but both named for Joan of Arc."
Lastly, Kelly shared this piece:


She explained that "this one is my feminist fist of revolution with kundalini the snake from Hindu mythology integrating herself in my feminist fist."

She credited all her work to artist Mike Hutton (@mikehutton) from Tattoo Faction (@tattoofaction) in North Olmstead, Ohio.

Thanks to Kelly 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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Brooke and Josh, Ganesh and Ram

With 2017 upon us, we've still got some stragglers from 2016, but we're also celebrating. Later this year, Tattoosday will be celebrating a landmark. Tattoosday will be Ten!

That's practically venerable in blogyears - and to help celebrate we'll be revisiting some of our old contributors and see what's new on their skin.

She may not realize it, but this celebration of sorts was inspired by Brooke, a friend and former colleague, who first appeared on Tattoosday here in 2007 and again here, in 2008.

Last month Brooke sent me photos of her new tattoo, and her husband Josh's, as well.

Let's check out Brooke's first:


Brooke and Josh got tattooed on a trip to India, so it only seemed fitting that their new body art have deep roots in this wonderful country's culture.

Brooke went into greater detail with me:
"For Me, Ganesh is my favorite deity in Hinduism. He's the remover of obstacles and is known for wisdom. In total, I've now spent 5 weeks in India and felt it would be good to commemorate my time there by getting a tattoo of my favorite idol."
She credited Vikas Milani from Body Canvas Mumbai (@bodycanvastattooart) as the artist that tattooed her Ganesh.

Vikas Milani tattoos Brooke while her husband Josh looks on

As for Josh's new tattoo, check out this beautiful work:


Brooke explained that "Josh loves the story of Lord Rama or 'Ram.' Ram epitomizes everything Josh strives to be: The perfect Husband, Teacher, Son and Brother."

After his tattoo was done, Brooke and Josh hopped in an auto rickshaw with Shyam Waghmare (@shyam_waghmare), his artist, and get professional pictures taken at a photo studio. This is the result, in stunning three-panel perspective:


Brooke estimated that Josh's Ram tattoo took about twenty hours in all.

Thanks to Brooke and Josh for sharing these wonderful tattoos with us here on Tattoosday. And a special thanks to Brooke for being one of our earliest contributors, back when Tattoosday was in its infancy. We're blessed to have Brooke and Josh helping us celebrate our tenth year of publication!

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.