Nicole's Hibiscus Tattoo

I spotted the bottom of this tattoo peeping out from under Nicole's jeans cuff and asked her if I could see the whole piece. She obliged. Curiosity rewards the blogger.

Nicole has this cool hibiscus tattoo on the top of her right foot.

She ascribed no special meaning behind the piece, other than she liked the design and it represented Beauty.

I can't say I blame her, especially as a former resident of Hawai'i, where the hibiscus is the state flower.

This piece was inked by Dan at Tattoo Lou's in Babylon, New York.

Thanks to Nicole for sharing her floral foot tattoo with us!
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Shattered Faith

On Tuesday, I met Shawn in Penn Station. He and a friend had visited to New York City from Albany to catch the band Shattered Faith last Monday night at a Brooklyn venue called Club Europa.

The band is not familiar to me, despite the fact that they are an Orange County-based punk band that has been playing since the late 1970s. They grew out of the same scene that spawned the great L.A. Punk scene in the early '80s, but they never made my radar.

According to Shawn, this was their first U.S. tour, so he was glad to catch them live on the East Coast.

Shawn has about a dozen or so tattoos, half of which are band logos. He had a sweet X tattoo on his right forearm. The piece featured above is the Shattered Faith logo and was inked by Jack Kowalzyk at Primal Graphics Tattoo in Albany.

Check out Shattered Faith at their website You can listen to some of their music in the audio section. You can also check out their MySpace page here.

Another benefit to writing (and reading) Tattoosday is the fact that I am occasionally is educated about bands that had been prevoiusly unknown to me.

Thanks to Shawn for taking the time to talk to me and helping introduce Shattered Faith to Tattoosday readers!

Bonus: A YouTube video featuring Shattered Faith performing in 2006:

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A Year Ago Today, Tattoosday Was Born

When, on July 31, 2007, I posted my first installment of the weekly Tattoosday feature on BillyBlog, I didn't know what I had started.

Had you told me then that, a year later, Tattoosday would have spun off from BillyBlog, that it would have set a personal best in July '08 with over 13,000 hits, and that I would be posting daily, I would have been skeptical.

Nonetheless, that's what has happened. And, although I expect a drop-off in visits as summer ends and shorts and tank tops give way to jeans and long-sleeve shirts, I am pleased with how Tattoosday has progressed.

I want to thank everyone who has visited and contributed to the success of Tattoosday. It's still a little baby blog by blogosphere standards, and its stand-alone self (apart from BillyBlog) doesn't celebrate a full year until September 8, 2008, which is BillyBlog's 3rd anniversary.

The lingering question is this: will Tattoosday surpass BillyBlog in traffic by then? As of July 31, Tattoosday had just over 48,000 hits in a little less than 11 months, whereas BillyBlog is at 63,500 hits just a month and change shy of 3 years. Check back on September 8 to see what happens.

Inkily yours,

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Mona's Pocket Watch Honors her Grandfather's Memory

On Monday, I ran into two hair stylists walking west on 23rd Street. Both were inked, and both graciously agreed to share one of their tattoos with us here in the blogosphere.

The photo above is one of three pieces that Mona has. She currently has a sleeve in progress. This pocket watch will eventually be part of a unified sleeve, but Mona explained how this stands apart from the rest of the design.

She identifies the pocket watch with her grandfather, who she always remembers had one on him at all times. His surname was Baltazar and, despite being adopted, she shares his family name. The (time) piece is dedicated to him.

This tattoo was inked by Regino Gonzales at Invisible NYC.

Thanks to Mona for sharing her tattoo, along with her memories of her grandfather, here on Tattoosday.

See below (or here) for her friend Kara's tattoo.
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Kara's Astrological Ink

In the post above (or here), I met two hair stylists this past Monday, who both had tattoos. The photo above is of one of three tattoos on Kara.

Kara is a Pisces, born on March 3, and she found a design that she liked to represent that aspect of her.

This tattoo was inked about six years ago at Allstar Tattoo in St. Louis, Missouri.

Thanks to Kara for sharing her tattoo here with us on Tattoosday!
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Knuckle Tattoos

Just a production note, one of my June posts has been picked up by a site devoted solely to knuckle tattoos. Click on the title of this post to check out the site here. I exchanged e-mails with Nathan, who runs the site, and he had kind words to say about Tattoosday. Should I run across any more knuckle ink in the future, I'll be sure to send them his way.
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These Are a Few of Her Favorite Things

This is a continuation, of sorts, from a previous post here.

Claire showed me the above trio of tiny tattoos on her left hand. She explained that they represented her three favorite things.

A strict literalist would interpret this as diamonds, martinis, and cash, but one could be more general and call them alcohol, jewelery, and money. Or, if one wants to be alliterative and hip, "booze, bucks, and bling".

She doesn't remember the shop, but she had these three tattoos inked somewhere in Jersey City, NJ.

Thanks again to Claire for participating in Tattoosday!
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Heather's Salute to the Flora and Fauna of North Carolina

As I approach a year of writing Tattoosday, I like to think that, within the first fifteen seconds of talking to an inked person, I can tell whether they are going to be interested in sharing, or are going to politely (or impolitely) decline.

When I first stopped Heather last week, on Seventh Avenue near Macys, I guessed it was a futile attempt. Her tattoo spread from her back over to her shoulder and down her right arm. There was a layer of clothing covering parts of the piece. Generally, these tattoos are tough to capture on film, and subsequently, I end up disappointed.

Heather is proof, however, that it doesn't hurt to ask, and that my instincts can be wrong. Not only was she accomodating (she untied the outer shirt to unobstruct the piece), but she was friendly and talked freely about her work,

So, here it is, from back to front:

Heather is a wildlife biologist, born and raised in North Carolina, and she has a themed sequence of tattoos going, that she hopes to build some day into a full sleeve. All of the elements are species native to her home state of North Carolina.

Beginning with the back, and detailed in close-up at the top of this post, is a ruby-throated hummingbird.

The bird is fluttering about a flowering plant of coral honeysuckle. This plant wraps from her back onto her upper right arm. There it mingles with some sourwood.

Heather was clear to point out that it was an artist's representation of sourwood (aka the Sorel Tree), and not true to the actual species.

All of her amazing ink was done at Blue Flame Tattoo, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Two artists there were responsible for her work, Mark and Christy.

Later, when I was looking back at the photos, I noticed a black star in the middle of the sourwood. I hadn't seen it initially, and I was curious about it so I e-mailed Heather for some more details. Her response is below:

The star is actually my first tattoo. I got it on my 18th birthday, June 13th 2000. I thought I was really tough. Ha ha it's funny to think about now. The tattoo only took 40 minutes, but I passed out. Word to the wise: always eat before a tattoo. So that is that.
Thanks to Heather for sharing her beautiful tattoo(s) with us here at Tattoosday!
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Claire's Sugar Skull Celebrates Her Grandmother's Life

I met Claire last week, a couple of buildings down from where I work in Manhattan. I first noticed some script pieces she had on her inner wrists, but she unveiled this beauty of a sugar skull for Tattoosday.

She had this inked on the inside of her left bicep as a memorial to her grandmother, who had passed away. One of her favorite Catholic holidays had been the Day of the Dead, and Claire saw this design as a fitting tribute to her. Although sugar skulls come from Mexican culture, their root is in Catholicism.

People see sugar skulls in many different ways (see previous sugar skulls posted on Tattoosday here), and Claire sees them as celebrations of life, which made the piece so fitting as a memorial.

This was inked by Alex Franklin at Brooklyn Ink. See other work from Brooklyn Ink on Tattoosday here.

Claire is a talented photographer whose work can be seen on her website here.

This is just one of 17 tattoos Claire has. See three more "small" pieces she has here.

Thanks to Claire for sharing her work with us here on Tattoosday!
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Damien's Pistol Star Nebula Tattoo is Out of this World

Sorry. Couldn't resist that title.

I ran into Damien near Fashion Institute of Technology earlier in the week, and her bright, colorful tattoo just jumped right off of her in the sunlight.

She explained to me that it is based on a photograph of the Pistol Star Nebula, as seen from the Hubble telescope:
She stumbled upon the photo on the NASA website and loved the shape of it. Anyone who has seen the photos from the Hubble, which are in the public domain, should agree that they are spectacular visions from beyond our world.

The book designer and novelist Chip Kidd coincidentally posted this past week, on his website about a new book for which he had designed the cover (here), the images on which were from the Hubble eye on the universe.

This piece was inked by Chris Kowalski, a tattooist in Toronto at Abstract Arts Tattoo and Body Piercing, and is one of seven tattoos that Damien has.

I noticed after the fact, while glancing at her website, that the tattoo is inked above a pre-existing piece, as evidenced in this photo from her site:

Aside from the symbol for infinity and the arrows pointing out from all directions, I cannot speculate on the meaning of this earlier tattoo, but am hoping she will offer up an explanation at a later date.

Thanks to Damien for sharing her galactic ink with us here on Tattoosday!
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