Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emma's Monarchs, and a Spalsh of Verlaine

At the end of July, a young woman named Emma missed her train in Penn Station and had some time to kill. Her wait was shortened when I chanced upon her and asked about this lovely tattoo she had going on her left arm:


She explained the origins of this wonderful body art:
"I knew that I wanted a monarch. And I knew that I wanted it on my arm. And I knew that I wanted it coming out of a chrysalis ... I did a lot of research online and ... didn’t know who I wanted to get it done by and was just in San Diego for the day with my cousin. Pacific Beach, actually, and was ... shopping in Pacific Beach and walked into a tattoo parlor, just like 'Oh, let’s go look at tattoo parlors!' and was flipping through all the catalogs and it was like dragon, dragon, dragon. Samurai guy, samurai guy, samurai guy. And then opened one and it was just all these amazing beautiful naturescapes and just amazing detail and I immediately, right there was like, 'whoever this is, I want this person to do my tattoo'. And they were like, 'Hold on. She’s in the back' … her name is Rebecca Min and I basically came to her with the idea and was like, 'You’re the artist, so I want it hanging from a dead branch. I want the branch to be black and gray and I love monarchs.'


I have always loved monarchs for my whole life from when I was three. That’s one of my earliest memories, I found a monarch caterpillar with my great aunt and took it home from Wisconsin to, at the time, Chicago, in a jar with some milkweed and watched it spin a chrysalis and then hatch out of the chrysalis and then let it go and ever since then I’ve just loved monarchs …they’ve reminded me of the older women in my family, my grandmother, my great aunt.

It’s still a work in progress and she combined all these pictures, she put them together and I knew that I wanted the chrysalis to be empty, like it had just come out of the chrysalis, like a rebirth sort of thing and we both had the idea to make it translucent so that you could see the branch through the chrysalis...


We’ve been working on it for over a year and a half now, just bits and pieces , my longest session was three and a half hours and I had the idea to do a whole swarm from different perspectives and once we have all of those one, she’s going to pick a light source from one direction and do shadows….and she’s  gonna do moss on the branches, a white lichen."

The shop where Emma began to work with Rebecca Min was Chronic Tattoo. Emma says Rebecca has moved on to Eden Tattoo, although she is still listed as an artist on the Chronic website.

Emma also has these tattoos on her wrists:


The left wrist reads, "Les roses ├ętaient toutes rouges et les lierres ├ętaient tout noirs" which translates to "The roses were all red and ivy were all black."

The right wrist reads, "Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches" which translates to "Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches."
 
Emma elaborates:
They are the first two lines of the last two songs in a set called "Aria T'oublie" by Claude Debussy. The poetry is by Paul Verlaine. I was a classical voice major in college and I wanted to do the set for my senior recital and I am obviously not your normal opera singer and my voice teacher said, 'Okay, that’s fine you can do the set, except for the last two songs. They’re too hard for you.' And I said, 'Fuck you.' And I took a year off and did nothing but practice and did lessons and studied and performed the set and was, too my knowledge, the first undergraduate ever to perform the set in its entirety. And so this was my badge of honor. Now seven year later, eight years later and until I’m in my eighties, I can look down and read these first two lines and remember every single word in French to both of these songs.
I was in West Hollywood, I was 23 and had 50 bucks and was like 'who can do this for really cheap?' and I don’t remember what his name was but I do know that at the time he had a sprained wrist and he was like 'I’ll do it. I’ll do it cheap. But I can’t believe you’re making me tattoo in a foreign language, upside down, with a sprained wrist.'
A hearty thanks to Emma for sharing these cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gowrish Shares His Blessing, Amma in Ink

There are times when I feel lucky to find a tattoo by an amazing artist and then there are times I find something that is so breathtaking, I feel honored to be able to share work by a true master of the craft.

Last week, I was walking down Crosby Street in SoHo when I met Gowrish after spotting a flash of color poking out of his short sleeve shirt. After he called the artist to make sure it was okay with her that I take pictures, Gowrish shared what I consider one of the finest tattoos I've ever posted on Tattoosday. Check out this piece by New York artist Denise de la Cerda, of Inkline Studio:




Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda

Gowrish explained who this tattoo depicts:

"This is Amma, who is the Divine Mother and comes from India ... she's a great humanitarian leader and spiritual leader. She does a lot of good work. The 'Hugging Saint' they call her in the West...Denise [de la Cerda]  is amazing, one of the things is that it's really difficult to capture ...it's considered a great blessing  if you can have Amma's image like this ... Denise is very blessed because this is so real life that it's kind of unbelievable....




Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda

She tattoos the way that an artist paints, she's a real artist .... the detail of the fabric and everything you see her are traditional Indian offerings ...  the lotus, apples, bananas ... incense stick - see the smoke ... Indian sweets ... rice ... a lamp ...it's so amazing, right?"




Tattoo by Denise de la Cerda
Take a look, also, at the amazing detail Denise created in the flower garland around Amma's neck. This truly is a sensational piece of tattoo art.

You can learn more about at Amma at http://www.amma.org/. I first became familiar with Denise de la Cerda's talent when I posted these amazing tattoos over two years ago. I encourage people to visit her website, http://www.chicksdigtattoos.com to check out more of her work

Thanks to Gowrish for sharing this amazing tattoo, and to Denise for consenting to my posting the photos here on Tattoosday.


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kareem's Tattoo is So Brooklyn....

Earlier this year, I met Kareem, one of the many inked employees at the Upper West Side Trader Joe's. I gave him my card when I spotted him in the aisles, and saw him on subsequent visits, but I generally won't trouble people while they're working.

Earlier this month, I spotted him on a break in nearby Verdi Square, and took the opportunity to snap a photo of this, one of his thirty (30!) tattoos:


I know the photo is a little small, but clicking on it will give you better detail.

It seemed appropriate, with much of the country focused on the northeast today as Hurricane Irene bears down (or is it up?) on us, that we celebrate Kareem (and my) borough.

Kareem explained:
"I came up with the idea of So Brooklyn ... I see a lot of people with a lot of just plain Brooklyn tattoos and I have yet to own a car, so I put the trains under it, as you can see, to represent my Brooklyn, and how I get around, far as the bridge and everything else. I took a lot of time to really design this tattoo and give it to my artist and it came out really well."
He credited an artist named Chia at Big Fish Tattoos in Jamaica, Queens. It should be noted that their MySpace page says that Big Fish is no longer in business.

Thanks to Kareem for sharing his So Brooklyn tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.



If you are reading this on another web site 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, August 26, 2011

Three Tattoos from Sabrina

I met Sabrina on Penn Plaza back in June after stopping to admire her tattoos. She has three and talked me through them chronologically.

She explained , "I like to get [a tattoo] for every place I lived," and her first one was this butterfly armband:


Sabrina is from upstate New York. She went to one of the shops in Utica and spoke to the owner about getting an armband. He dismissed her initial request, saying "I don't do armbands anymore, they're too 1990". So, Sabrina explained, "he designed a different sort of armband and went with that ... ".


She added, "I like butterflies because I like things that fly ... I feel like I'm a free spirit." One of the butterflies is based on a necklace that she wore every day.

Her second piece is on her right forearm and is what she referred to as her "college tattoo":


Sabrina told me, "I just wanted another tattoo and I like Egyptian hieroglyphs." This is one of the symbols that really appealed to her, and she had this inked at a shop in White Plains, New York, near where she went to college.

Her third tattoo, also inspired by hieroglyphs, is the one she got after coming to New York City:



This owl tattoo is more realistic, although she wanted it positioned like a hieroglyph. It is a great horned owl and was tattooed by Bang Bang at East Side Ink.

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


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Emily Picks Her Poison

It's always interesting when I meet someone with a lot of tattoos, trying to guess, when you ask them to pick just one, which piece they will choose to share. A couple weeks ago, I met Emily, who has two full sleeves, along with her chest and back tattooed. She selected this tattoo on her right forearm for our readers to enjoy:


This is a take on the famous Sailor Jerry design, like the one seen in this post from 2008:


Emily created a male version of the classic "Posion" Sailor Jerry woman. She explained:
"I was a Women's Studies major an an undergrad and when I started getting a lot of tattoos, I thought, 'This'll be funny'. That's what most of my tattoos are."
The tattoo was done by Alex Franklin when he was at Sinister Ink in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Sinister Ink has long since closed (Revolver Tattoo is located in its place) and Alex has been working out of Brooklyn Ink in Bay Ridge for many years now.

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


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.



If you are reading this on another web site 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, August 24, 2011

Ryan's Tattoo Commemorates the Life of Dolly

Earlier this month I met Ryan, who has a whole host of tattoos. We were working on a project together, so we spent a bit of time chewing the fat, and he wanted to share this particular tattoo, which is on his right forearm:


Ryan explained how he was raised by his grandmother, whose name was Dolly, but he just called Mom. She lived a full life, well into her nineties, and was pretty much the only mother he really knew. After she passed, he wanted something to memorialize her and got this tattoo which not only has her name, but a black rose, a skull, a sparrow, and a derringer. He elaborated about his grandmother's life:

"Back in the day, when she was 19 or 20 years old, she was in the Irish mob and she made whiskey and hooch and she would basically run it back and forth across state lines and that's how she made her money. That's how she supported her family. That's what the derringer is for, because she would always keep a derringer in her bra, just in case something happened ... the black rose ... is symbolic of her life and her passing, which is the skull ... the bird - she's free - you know, God always keeps his eye on the sparrow ... it's a montage of her very interesting life."

Ryan had this tattoo done in Mobile, Alabama, buy an artist he only knows as 'Link,' a tattooist who spent a lot of time in Philadelphia and who also owns a shop in Pensacola, Florida.

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this tattoo, along with Dolly's story, here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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, August 23, 2011

Daniel Gives Us a Lady Liberty Update

Last May, we featured this great tattoo, courtesy of Daniel:


Read the original post here.

Daniel recently sent me updated photos of his sleeve, which I thought we'd share here. This work is all by the amazing Guido Baldini. He tattooed Daniel during a recent stint at Brooklyn Tattoo here in New York.




Photo Courtesy of Daniel Valvano and Guido Baldini



Photo Courtesy of Daniel Valvano and Guido Baldini



Photo Courtesy of Daniel Valvano and Guido Baldini
As Daniel explained it, he worked with Guido and
"We wanted to keep the theme going so I said I wanted a creepy background and he just free handed the clouds and lightening. The rotten apple was thrown in there at the very end."
Thanks to Daniel for updating us on his Lady Liberty tattoo!


This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.

Monday, August 22, 2011

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