Under The SeaWeed


Another classic Mike De Masi Piece, he of the pink lady in the 'submit your tattoo' pic on the right.

Hello Sailor!


Anon reader submission, done at Ed Hardy's Tattoo City, San Francisco.

Hello Sailor!


Anon reader submission, done at Ed Hardy's Tattoo City, San Francisco.

Love Hoots

Another trilogy of reader submissions today...
Amanda sent in Rutherford, above. Why Rutherford? ... 'simply because for some reason he looks exceptionally british to me -- British in that intellectual, landed gentry way which is silly because owls don't technically live on the land per se'. Done by Sam Roper.


Steve sent in the above owl - great detail for the size of the piece! - done by San Lee.


And to round it off, Angelina, above.

I always appreciate reader submissions, thanks for supporting the blog, all submitters past and present!

Jason's Lucky Devil

I spotted Jason walking among the crowds during the annual Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Festival.

He had sweet tattoos on his forearms but he chose to share one, near and dear to his heart. His wife chimed in that it was her favorite as well.

Where once there was a "bad tribal/skeletal dragon," there is now this phenomenal new tattoo on his left bicep:


This was, he told me, his groom's gift, a tattoo commemorating his marriage, and the fact that he is a "lucky devil".

The piece was inspired, in part, by the artistic style of Coop, and includes a lucky seven (rolled on the dice) juxtaposed by the lucky number 13.

This cool tattoo was inked by Johan Florendo at Mean Street Tattoo Studio in the College Point section of Queens, New York.

Thanks to Jason for sharing his awesome lucky tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Snow Good


New Joe Capobianco Snow Queen.

Snow Good


New Joe Capobianco Snow Queen.

Brian's Amazing Angelic Ink

On Saturday, I was at the park, playing ball with my daughter, and I noticed a guy off in the distance with some dark ink on his upper arm. When we were ready to leave, I ambled on over to him.

What I initially spotted was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Brian was more than generous in rolling up his sleeves and sharing his astonishing work. He showed me both biceps and his back piece which, combined, he estimates represent nearly 150 hours of work.

First, the one arm:


Then the other:


Both pieces, what he calls Bad Angel and Good Angel, were cover-ups.

And then, the feather in his cap, so to speak, his back piece:


All three pieces were custom-designed by Denise de la Cerda whose website, ChicksDigTattoos.com, is a great showcase of her work. In fact, you can see the before and after of each tattoo on the cover-ups section of her site. The back piece can be viewed here. The "good" angel can be seen here. And the "bad" angel can be viewed, before and after, here. Truly amazing!

One of Denise's tattoos, albeit a much smaller one, appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

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

Vince and a Word from John Keats

I'm a sucker for words.

Scrabble, crossword puzzles and, when I find them, words inscribed in flesh.

I recently spotted Vince, walking down 32nd Street in Manhattan. I caught up with him after he crossed Broadway, heading east.

He has eight tattoos, but I snapped a picture of this one:


And why does he have the word Beauty inked on the outside of his right forearm?

Vince is an artist and illustrator (see some of his work here) and he finds inspiration from the poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. The lines

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

resonate deeply with him. They are central concepts to him as an artist and a human being. The word "Truth" is inscribed on his left side to accompany the Beauty on his arm.

"I live for them," he told me, and I thank him for taking the time to talk with me.

The tattoo was inked by Kari Hamilton, a friend of his, in her basement in Michigan.

Pepper's Apprentice

It was Rush Hour in Penn Station when I spotted a fairly large tattoo on the right ankle of a woman walking, as it turned out, to the same train platform as me.

I was able to grab a few words and a photo from Pepper as we waited for the downtown train:


This one-color tattoo, one would imagine, for its size, should have significant meaning (or so I thought), but that is far from the truth.

Often, Pepper said, she doesn't "even remember that it's there".

About fifteen years ago, she managed a tattoo shop in West Chester, Pennsylvania called Damian's City Tattoo.

An apprentice named Shawn inked this on her as part of his ongoing learning process. Pepper believes that it is based on the artwork from a comic book called "Sláine". She worked at the shop for only a year, and has no idea what became of the artist.

It never ceases to amaze me the variety of back stories behind tattoos. We are so accustomed to the deep meanings, the personal ordeals, the appreciation of art for art's sake. But more often than one might imagine, a tattoo is a signpost marking a moment in time, and nothing more.

I thank Pepper for sharing this tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Danielle's Stars and Signs Forever

Despite great inkspotting weather earlier this week, I found myself walking in Chelsea at lunch, marveling at the absence of tattoos.

I like to remind myself from time to time that Tattoosday is 70% tattoos and 30% about finding them.

So, I had walked down to one of our vendor's offices at lunch (13 blocks away) to get some forms we needed. I was on the elevator heading back downstairs when I noticed the woman next to me (who worked for the company I had just visited) had this interesting set of tattoos:


On the street, I may not have stopped her, but in an elevator, it seemed foolish not to.

Danielle had these tattoos (one of three total) inked at a shop in Long Beach, New York. She didn't recall the name of the shop or the artist who did the work, but she did mention that her fiance has a matching set of the three colored stars on his left bicep.

These stars and signs, tattooed on Danielle's inner right wrist, are decorative and, the three symbols represent Danielle, her mother and her sister.

From left to right, the three insignia stand for Libra (her mother's astrological sign), Gemini (for her sister) and Aries (her own Zodiac affiliation).

What I have found interesting about astrological tattoos, is that each sign of the Zodiac has a simple line representation, but that these symbols can be modified artistically in so many different ways. The whole range of astrological signs as interpreted by subjects of this site can be seen here.

Thanks to Danielle for sharing this cool tattoo with us here at Tattoosday!

HootBeat


Awesome tattoist submission from Shakey Pete

Lucky Lady


Nice gambling themed piece from Vinny Burkhart.

Lucky Lady


Nice gambling themed piece from Vinny Burkhart.

Your cheatin' hoots will tell on you



Jaer Connor

Alex's East Indian Tribal Mask

What's fascinating about approaching two inked people talking on a subway platform and asking them if either would like to share a tattoo, is that you never know what you'll get (if anything).

On Saturday, May 23, I found myself in such a situation, and Alex, one of the two people chatting on the 59th Street subway platform in Brooklyn, offered up this, one of his sixteen (16) tattoos:


This piece, which covers the front of Alex's right shin, is a representation of an East Indian tribal mask.

The tattoo was done by David at Dragonfly Studio & Gallery in West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Alex for sharing this cool mask with us here on Tattoosday!

Tattoo Highway Contest #2

Win Prizes from the New A&E Real Life Series TATTOO HIGHWAY, THIRD AND FOURTH EPISODES AIRING WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 AT 10/9C.

Tattoo Highway follows 15-year tattoo veteran and star of former A&E hit “Inked,” Thomas Pendelton as he takes his tattoo parlor on the road to cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City to transform personal stories into living art. Pendelton and his business partner and wife Monica have transformed a 1970s tour bus into a tattoo parlor on wheels, featuring a swanky interior and top-of-the-line tattooing equipment. It’s a tattoo shop that can tattoo anyone, anywhere. Ride along as emotional limits and friendships are challenged and the persistent mechanical problems of a vintage bus are tested on the road, as “Tattoo Highway” proves to be one bumpy ride. Tattoo Highway premieres Wednesday May 27th at 10/9C on A&E!

Visit http://www.aetv.com/tattoo-highway for more information.


Here at Tattoosday, we've partnered with A&E to help promote this exciting new show. Here's how our contest is going to work:

Tattoosday is all about stories behind the tattoos and how each piece of body art resonates with the individual. To be entered into the contest, simply watch the two episodes airing Wednesday, June 3rd from 10:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern/9:00 to 10:00 PM Central) and then write a little something in the comments section of this post. Tell us what tattoo that you saw on the premiere episode was your favorite, and why you liked it. Winners will be chosen randomly among the entries and you could win:

a Tattoo Highway iPod Skin OR

a Tattoo Highway Aluminum Water Bottle OR

a Tattoo Highway Tank.

Watch and enjoy! Winners will be announced on the site by Monday, June 8.

Dana Winkler and Chris Manning were the winners from last week. Congrats to Dana and Chris!!

Tattoorism: Josh Pays Tribute to the Verrazano Bridge

Last Friday I received a very special surprise via e-mail from a guy named Josh:


The following explanation accompanied the photo:

"I recently discovered your blog's postings about various Verrazano Bridge tattoos you've seen [here and here] ... They both looked pretty awesome.

I'm also a big enough fan of the bridge to get it inked on my skin ... Although mine is a slightly different style than the other two you posted.

I'm originally from New Jersey, and used to drive over the bridge on a regular basis to my Army duties at Fort Hamilton ... I also wanted to run in the NYC Marathon for many years growing up, and finally did so in 2004 (and again in 2006) and decided to commemorate the occasion with a little inking."
Needless to say, it's a phenomenal piece. I, too, am partial to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as I can turn my head to the left as I type this at my computer, and see it through my window.

Josh had the tattoo done by an artist named Mark Van Ness at Blue Flame Tattoo in Raleigh, North Carolina. Work from Blue Flame has appeared twice before on Tattoosday.

Josh elaborated on the piece in a follow-up e-mail:

"...I was inspired by the works of artist Barbara Bascove, who's painted dozens of New York City landmarks in her unique style. I loved the dark, rich tones of her paintings, and decided to get my tattoo along the same lines. I used the same angle / template from one of her paintings of the George Washington Bridge, and just had the tattoo artist replace the GW towers with those of the Verrazano."


The piece, which Josh says took about five and a half hours over two sessions, is one of several tattoos that he has. You'll have to wait until a later date for us to share those here at Tattoosday.

Thanks again to Josh for sharing his awesome Verrazano Bridge tattoo with us here on the site!

Miaow!


Weird Joe Capobianco cat-lady!

Miaow!


Weird Joe Capobianco cat-lady!

OctoMilf and The Bandit



A couple of new, sleazy Mark Dupp pinups...

OctoMilf and The Bandit



A couple of new, sleazy Mark Dupp pinups...

Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Manhattan

At one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan (34th and 7th), I recently met Kelsey, who offered up this still-fresh tattoo:


This is a scene from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice meets the Cheshire Cat for the second time.

The tattoo is based on this illustration:


This is her most recently tattooed piece. The inspiration behind it is that this was one of her favorite stories, ever since she was six years old.

This was done by Mark Roberts at Fine Line Tattoo Parlour in Deep River, Connecticut.

As a postscript, I noticed in the original photo I took, down on her ankle, was another tattoo, an apparent equation:


I e-mailed Kelsey asking her what the significance of "<3.14". I initially thought that it had something to do with being less than the value of Pi. (π).

Her response surprised me with its cleverness:

"Well, it's <3.14 because <3 is a heart and 3.14 is Pi, an irrational number ... I got it at a tattoo parlor in Augusta, Maine. Four of my friends also have that tattooed in the same spot."

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

Hootel California

Another raft of reader submissions for you today...

Danyele sent the cute fella above in, done by Josh Lindley.


Not bad for a first ever tattoo! Submitted by Rachel, done by Donnie at Metamorphosis in Indianapolis, IN (above)


Great owl-tline submitted by Lauren. This should look ace when finished!


And finally, solid blackwork owl submitted by Rachael.

Michaela's Tattoo Illuminates a Life

Yesterday at a street fair in my neighborhood (always prime ink-spotting locals), I saw this beautiful tattoo on the upper right section of Michaela's back:


When I asked her what the meaning of the tattoo was, she asked me "The real story?"

"Absolutely," I replied.

So she told me that years ago, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she had this tattooed to remind her that there are two sides to everything. The moon and the sun serve as a solar/lunar yin-yang. I especially love how the moon wraps its limbs around the parts of the sun.

Often, whatever a diagnosis may be, finding out what is wrong (as opposed to not knowing) can illuminate a life. She gains strength from this tattoo as it marks a point when her disorder was defined, when a light clarified her situation in life.

This tattoo was done by Noel Wilkinson at The Tatt Shop in Perth, Australia. I believe this is Tattoosday's first sample of work from Autsralia.

Thanks so much to Michaela for sharing this lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! I appreciate her courage in sharing the deeply personal meaning behind her tattoo, as well.

Tikipedia


Another superbly detailed Gil Elvgren peice from Cecil Porter

Tikipedia


Another superbly detailed Gil Elvgren peice from Cecil Porter

Samantha Hoot


Archimedes from the Sword In The Stone! Artist unknown.

The Tattooed Poet's Project, Jillian Brall's Love of Trees Manifests Itself in a Back Piece

In April, we featured 31 tattooed poets in honor of National Poetry Month. But we had some late entries who missed the cut-off and, well, we just plum ran out of days. Nonetheless, we have decided to continue the feature as an occasional treat for those lovers of tattoos and poetry who frequent Tattoosday.

First, the tattoo:


The owner of this piece elaborates:

My name is Jillian Brall. I am receiving my MFA in Poetry from The New School this May. I am also a collage artist and saxophonist. I live and work in Brooklyn (Bushwick)...On my back is a bare black and grey tone tree that I drew. I have been drawing trees like this one since I was a little girl. Drawing them makes me feel calm and focused. I love seeing the skeleton of the tree, not veiled by leaves. I love that every time I draw one it is completely unique from all the others I have or ever will draw...different numbers of branches, different sizes, different positions, different light sources guiding the shading of the trees.

Jillian had this tattooed in February 2007 at R&D Tattooing in Queens, Rich Fie is the tattoo artist. She adds, "the tree was definitely not his typical street style tattoo, but I drew the sketch and he traced it and did a really beautiful job with it!"

When I asked Jillian for a poem, she not only offered up a poem, but she presented a photo of one of the collages she created:


And, a short poem from Jillian, as well:

To Lose Myself

At night in bed, I hear my neighbor's heaving music

through the concrete wall. In this pale red light

the music is supposed to inspire me to lose myself.

It is supposed to aid me in losing myself.

But I turn my head and there is a bookshelf, with my books in it.

I turn my head and there is the off-white circular rug.

I'm not lost.

Someone threw it out in the hallway, and after scrutinizing and cleaning it,

I brought it into my room.

I turn my head and there is a pen I took from the bank.

And there is a bottle of diet coke,

not an angel, an object without angles.

I turn my head and there is my laundry bag,

not the underworld.

Thanks to Jillian for sharing her tattoo, her collage and her poem! The Tattooed Poets project can be seen its entirety if you click on the tag at the bottom of the post.

Aaron's Skater Days Represented in Ink

Aaron has this very unusal piece tattooed on the back of his right bicep:


When I stopped to speak to him on 7th Avenue in Manhattan, I was happy to hear this tattoo, along with many of his nine others, were inked by Peter Cavorsi at Body Art Studios in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Peter has done three tattoos on my wife and me and he comes highly recommended by us. To see all of Peter's work that has appeared on Tattoosday, click here.

This particular tattoo is based on work entitled "Shater Days" by the professional skateboarder and artist Ed Templeton. Templeton designs and sells skateboard products through his website Toy Machine.

Aaron felt that the design was perfect for a skater, with the image of a helmeted person hitting himself over the head with his board.

The inner skater never goes away, even as one gets older and spends less time on the board. The inner persona still courses under the skin and this particular art piece, can be, like all art, interpreted in different ways.

The act of hitting oneself over the head with one's skateboard is the ultimate expression of frustration, a sentiment that doesn't go away in life.

There are always people and things that frustrate individuals. I like how this specific work of art speaks not only to Aaron, but spoke to me as well.

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

I Should Be In The Kitchen


Another tattooist who has been featured heavily here is Hannah Aitchison. This is one of my favourite Hannah tattoos, which was done on LA Ink. I love the text too!

I Should Be In The Kitchen


Another tattooist who has been featured heavily here is Hannah Aitchison. This is one of my favourite Hannah tattoos, which was done on LA Ink. I love the text too!

Red Hot


This simple but very pretty pinup was done by Cara Massacre, whose increasingly impressive work we have seen before.

Red Hot


This simple but very pretty pinup was done by Cara Massacre, whose increasingly impressive work we have seen before.

Hoot Wave


This awesome little owl, submitted by Cassidy, was inspired by this very blog! After seeing the tattoo on Rae in this post, Cassidy contacted Rae through me and was given permission to get this owl done. Owl Tattoos FTW! Cassidy's owl was done by Amy Cole from Tigerlilly Tattoo in Portland.

Hoot The Ground Running



Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I've been very busy! Now, on to more important stuff, like the above reader submission from Matt, which was done by Tomas Archuleta of Thick As Thieves Tattoo in Denver!

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