The Tattooed Poets Project: Theresa Senato Edwards

    We are launching this second volume of the Tattooed Poets Project with Theresa Senato Edwards.

    Theresa seemed like the ideal candidate to kick off the month, as she is the devoted editor of Holly Rose Review, a poetry and tattoo literary arts journal.

    Theresa has four tattoos, and picked two to share with us here on Tattoosday.

    Her first tattoo was this Celtic symbol on the left part of her upper back:
    A closer look:

    Theresa tells us that this is the:
    "Celtic symbol for motherhood, two dots representing my two sons. The goldish dot for Richard, his birthday in November (November birthstone); the red dot for Troy, his birthday in July (July birthstone). I had asked my younger son, Troy, if he thought it would be cool to have his artwork on my skin forever. He did, so he drew it for me, looking at a pic I got off the internet. Tattoo by Mike Calamita, Lasting Impression Tattooing in Hopewell Junction, NY."

    My favorite of Theresa's four tattoos was the third one she received, this holly rose:

    Theresa explains that this holly rose is
    "a holly branch wrapped around a bloomed red/purplish rose with thorned stem.... [and] symbolizes my parents: my dad's birthday was in December; the holly is one of the plants that represents December. My mom's birthday was in June; the rose represents June. They have both been dead for more than 15 years. I had this done in their memory. That's also where the title of Holly Rose Review comes from, although I didn't know that at the time I got the tattoo. Also done by Mike Calamita."

    Check out Theresa's poem "Holly Rose," about this tattoo, over at BillyBlog. You can read more of Theresa's work over on her blog here.

    Thanks again to Theresa for helping kick off our second annual Tattooed Poets Project!Source URL:
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The Tattooed Poets Project, Volume II

    April is National Poetry Month!

    Last April, I launched, with the cooperation of poets across the country (and one across the Pond), the "Tattooed Poets Project".

    In addition to the "regular" Tattoosday features, every day in April we featured the tattoos of poets. Each post featured poet-contributed photos, with a link back to BillyBlog, where one of their poems was posted on the corresponding day.

    Not all the poems were tattoo-related, but many were.

    This year, we are resuming the project again, featuring more poets, and a few returning ones.

    I enjoyed this adventure last year and am looking forward to another successful April!Source URL:
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Tom's Sleeve is Based on Faith

    I don't know what it was about March, but this final post of the month is the third featuring ink from a member of our Armed Forces.

    Tom is eventually going to have a full sleeve that accentuates his faith. The top of the arm is done, with the main focus on the guardian angel on his bicep:

    His grandfather passed before he was born and he has always thought of him as the guardian angel that watched over him.

    This piece was inked at Aces & Eights Tattoo in Augusta, Georgia.

    He also has a couple of tattoos featuring angels on the inside of his bicep and on the outer section of his upper arm as well:

    These were done at Third Dimension Tattoos in Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania

    Tom is a member of HHC 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.

    Thanks to Tom for sharing his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Glorious revolution

    So, it looks like we're finally getting to the fun part of opening a new shop (decorating, finishing touches) and now, of course, we have to leave it.

    Not that we don't wanna go to Japan, we always do, it's just that the timing is a little off this time.
    Fun stuff aside, we have unfinished business with our previous landlords, autoclave repairs, bills bills bills...
    Actually, you know what, maybe the timing is just right!
    The shop will still be here in May and decorating will be just as fun in a month as it is now.

    We are finally using the real entrance!
    Last night we took apart the couch and assembled it again in it's new, permanent spot
    Our fancy new GLORIOUS wallpaper... and a birdcage

    Oh, it's gonna be so magical and we can't wait to show y'all, but wait we must.
    Sigh.Source URL:
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Two Tattoos from Taylor

    I met Taylor where she works at Kaleidoscope, a toy store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

    I gave her a flier after admiring her really cool feather tattoo that was inked behind her right ear.

    A week later, I was zipping by on my bike and saw her on a break outside the store. That was when I had a chance to speak to her about her tattoos and take the photos for this post.

    This is one of her nine tattoos, and was done by an artist named Chris who works out of Puncture Tattoo in neighboring Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.

    Taylor says the tattoo is inspired by the fact that she feels free-spirited, like a bird, and that her aunt, who died in a plane crash, used to call her a "little Indian girl". The dangling feathers behind her ear seem to capture both sentiments nicely.

    Unlike the first time I met Taylor, on this occasion she was wearing a shirt that showed off this cool tattoo at the top of her back:

    Taylor explained that she loves cats and her sister's gray cat Dusty passed away from breast cancer, which has also been a disease that has run in her family, as well. She had the tattoo artist, Peter Cavorsi, of Body Art Studios, model this piece based on Dusty's eyes.

    As always, Peter did a superb job. He is no stranger to Tattoosday, having inked one of my tattoos (seen at the bottom of the page) and several of my wife, Melanie's. This link will show you all of Peter Cavorsi's work that has appeared on the site over the last two-and-a-half years.

    Thanks again to Taylor for sharing her two beautiful tattoos on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Mike's Incredible Aquatic Sleeve (and More!)

    I had the good fortune of meeting Mike outside of Penn Station last week and, despite first noticing him because of his leg tattoos, he was extremely generous and unveiled an incredible sleeve that covered his right arm:

    Mike is a fisherman and a loves the brightness, color and variety of oceanic life. Such things translate well to the body's canvas and make for some amazing tattoo work...

    The giant octopus actually curls up over his shoulder and onto his chest, with one tentacle moving down his arm....

    The deep sea diver punctuates the middle of his arm...

    At the bottom of the arm are tropical motifs including a huge tiki god and a hibiscus....

    On the inside of his inner bicep is this fish which is a cross between an anglerfish and a razorfish:

    And we ended with this piece that was so fresh at the time, that Mike had to peel back the protective plastic covering this amazing blowfish:

    The artist behind this amazing work is Steve Woison formerly of Electric Tiki Tattoo in Patchogue, and now at Studio 520 in Oakdale, on Long Island.

    Thanks again to Mike for taking the time to share his amazing aquatic sleeve with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Almost there...

Earl's Tattoo Honors the Fallen

    It was the ring of bullets that first grabbed my attention when I spotted him in Penn Station:

    As a soldier in New York City's 69th Infantry Regiment in the New York Army National Guard, Earl has had the honor and privilege of serving in our armed forces overseas.

    But, like any one of these brave men and women can tell you, they have seen their share of sorrow when they have lost fellow soldiers in the war in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

    Earl's way to honor them has been to inscribe on his flesh "For the Fallen," and the initials of those that have died for their country, each bullet representing someone he knew.

    On his right arm, he has this tribal piece with a military inscription:

    The phrase "Mess with the Best, Die like the Rest" is one of those military slogans that is designed to inspire the soldier and intimidate the enemy.

    All work was by Mark Madden at Madd Grafix Tattoo Shop in Buffalo, New York.

    Thanks to Earl for his duty to this country and for sharing his memorial ink with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Amy's Sugar Skull from New Orleans

    Amy shared this sugar skull with me a week or so ago:

    Clicking this link will display the vast range of sugar skulls that have appeared here on Tattoosday over the years.

    They are one of my favorite types of tattoos to post, because they tend to vary from one to another and can be uniquely personalized.

    Amy got this one on All Saints' Day, in honor of her grandfather.

    She was at the New Orleans Voodoo Tattoo Convention and an artist named Joey just free-handed the drawing on her arm.

    Thanks to Amy for sharing her sugar skull with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Renee's Papal Insignia Challenges Her Beliefs

    I met Renee in the Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights recently, and we had a fascinating conversation.

    We talked for a good bit, and actually spent more time time talking about her plans for new tattoos, as opposed to what she already had on her body. She has five tattoos, two of which she did herself. We ended up talking most about this one, on the middle finger of her right hand:

    This is one of her self-inked tattoos which, she says, she did using "the prison method". This generally involves using a needle or a sharpened guitar string and dipping it in ink. Sometimes with, sometimes without, a jerry-rigged motor.

    The design is based on the insignia of the Pope.

    At the time that she did this, she felt a connection to the Catholic Church that was very strong. Religion was a "huge part of her childhood"

    However, as anyone paying attention to the news recently is well aware, the Catholic Church has been under fire for quite some time due to its handling of internal matters regarding abuse among the clergy.

    Renee finds that who she is now is "irreconcilable with the Catholic Church" and, as a result, she plans on having this finger tattoo covered up "as a statement" about her feelings and her conviction that this symbol is, in her words, "something I can't have anymore".

    So today's post features a tattoo whose time is running out, which is not all that common here on the site. I have always maintained that the tattoos seen here aren't always the "best" in art, but rather, interesting encounters in New York with interesting people.

    Thanks to Renee for being so forthcoming about her personal connection to tattooing, and for sharing this small, seemingly harmless tattoo, that carries with it such a weight, laden with meaning.Source URL:
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    Sanna actually had a bonus session last week and i completely forgot to take any pictures.
    And i was doing so well on this progress project too.
    Oh well, at least we all remembered this time.
    And guess what, next session might be the last!

    Only the kimono pattern to go...

    Such a trooper, that girl!Source URL:
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Richard's Cybernetic Tattoos

    I met Richard in the Amtrak section of Penn Station, which I have found to be a wonderful place to find tattoos from all over the world.

    He was in the New York area on business, having traveled from Oregon where he lives and runs his company, Out of the Box Mods, LLC.

    His tattoos are directly related to his vocation of computer modding, which "involves making physical changes to a computer for aesthetic reasons or to improve the performance".

    Here is the piece on his upper left arm:

    Often, I will be sent, a better photo that was taken right after completion, or in better circumstances than my quick little snapshots in public. By comparing the photo I took with the one Richard sent, you get a better idea of how the tattoo artist envisioned the piece, down to the bruising of the skin around the torn flesh.

    I also took a photo of a work-in-progress on his forearm:

    The outline for the second piece is completed, for the most part, and it is soon to be colored.

    This style of tattoo is often referred to as "torn flesh" and is marked by an added dimension of perspective. When done properly, the effect of the tattoo is unsettling, as if the skin of the tattooed person has been ripped away, exposing the workings within. The variance comes in what lies beneath the skin, which allows individuals to express more about their selves through their tattoo art. See some other examples of the torn flesh motif as seen on the site can be viewed here and here.

    The machinery below Richard's outer layer of skin personifies that which drives him: mods.

    The work shown is the creation of tattoo artist "Lil Kev" at Ink-Daddy's Tattoo in Salem, Oregon.

    Richard tells me he's getting the forearm piece finished in a couple of days, so check back to see the link to the updated piece, once it's done.

    Thanks again to Richard for his participation and cooperation in sharing his cool mod tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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More originals

More Dettmer action

    Alright, here are the pictures, as promised, of the tattoos Chriss did in the few days he was working at the shop.
    Besides this one of course.

    Laurits got a cup of coffee.... from hell!
    Björn got himself a discreet little chestpiece
    Sofie got a Dettmer-esque BirdSnakeSkullCreature
    Rud got this very classy gentleman
    And yours truly was lucky enough to get herself a thistle!

    How about that?
    Not bad for a extended weekend guest spot if you ask me.

    Ps. I couldn't help but notice that we've had just a few more hits than usual these past couple of days, so instead of lurking anonymously, how about becoming a regular follower of this blog?
    And maybe even dropping us a comment to say hi?
    No pressure, but if you do, we promise we won't bite!Source URL:
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Blocks of Lucky Ink: Heather's Tribute to Her Son

    Heather has seven tattoos.

    The one I noticed that led me to approach her is not the one you're about to see. It is on her foot and, in her opinion, slightly "flawed," so she chose to share one that is nearer and dearer to her heart:

    The tattoo marks the birth date 3-28-99 and spells out the name Vegas, for her son.

    What's particularly cool about this tattoo, which is on Heather's outer left forearm, is not just that she spells out her son's name in kids' building blocks, but that these blocks are also dice, which acknowledges the name Vegas, and its link to the city which is built on chance and luck.

    Other images that ring the name are a slot machine, a horseshoe, and a hand of cards featuring four aces. The colorful dice/blocks also feature some traditional tattoo designs, including the standard "Mom" design (on the A block).

    This great tattoo was completed in two sittings and was done by Baba, who works out of Vintage Tattoo Art Parlor in Los Angeles.

    Heather also has a large back piece that she will hopefully share with us in the future,

    Thanks to Heather for sharing her wonderful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Oh dear...

    Sunday was a very silly day at the shop.
    Silly because we were even there on our day off, and silly because the guys decided to tattoo each other.
    Not just any tattoos, super realistic portraits.
    Yup, just you wait and see.

    But first, here's Lucifer, probably the smartest guy at Conspiracy Inc. that day
    I was a little sick, so i took a nap while Eckel tattooed Chriss
    This is the result of tattoo number 1: sad, crying emo Allan!
    Then Allan tattooed Eckel...
    Tattoo number 2: Antler Chriss (or is that Antler Jebus? It's hard to tell...)
    Double antler awesomeness!
    I got tattooed by Chriss as well, not a portrait though!
    Last not-so-happy customer of the day: Allan
    Tattoo number 3: Eckel puking upside down crosses... obviously!

    Chriss went home today and we totally miss him already.
    He's an awesome guy (and a good house guest) and having him as our first guest artist at the shop since we moved was just perfect.
    I'll post pictures of the tattoos he did while he was here as soon as Allan transfers them to his computer, so that's something to look forward to!

    This is what happens when you let Chriss work at your station...*

    *Yes, that really is Eckel!Source URL:
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Laura's Goose Girl Tattoo

    I met Laura in Herald Square last week after I spotted this phenomenal tattoo on her upper left arm:

    Laura explained that her mother had a lot of random books of fairy tales in their house where she grew up.

    One of her favorite illustrators was Arthur Rackham and this tattoo is based on the following image from "The Goose Girl" from the Brothers Grimm in a volume illustrated by Rackham in 1909:

    Laura counts this piece among her six tattoos. It was done by Rob Green at Whatever Tattoo in Manhattan.

    Work from Whatever has appeared previously here.

    Thanks again to Laura for sharing her beautiful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


    I missed a panel, here's a more complete version:

    Source URL:
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