Jay's Incredible Chest Pieces

Last Friday, I met Jay on the 59th Street platform in Brooklyn. He had well-inked arms and he clearly had other ink peeking out from the edges of his shirt.

We chatted for a while on the platform and on the R train after it arrived. Jay was game for contributing to the blog, but wanted to offer up his chest pieces, of which he is most proud. Since taking off his shirt was not an option, he agreed to send me a photo later. That's what you see above.

Needless to say, Jay was right. His chest work is phenomenal. The artist is Eddie Carrero, who works out of Inkstop Tattoo NYC in Manhattan. It's all custom-designed and original art by Eddie. Let's take a closer look:

Not only does Eddie use phenomenal coloring on the koi and the dragon, but his shading work in the background is extremely cool as well.

Thanks to Jay for sharing his chest pieces here on Tattoosday!
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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

I ran into Enrique in front of the Borders at Penn Plaza, a prime tattoo-spotting location, as regular readers of Tattoosday know.

He sported three tattoos, including this fresh replica of his wings from the Air Force, where he was an E3 Airman 1st Class:

Here's a sample of what this tattoo is based upon:
This piece, along with the others, was inked by Sandy at Body Art in Manhattan. When the picture was taken, the ink was still drying, having been tattooed only a few days earlier.

Most interesting to me was the line of Hebrew on the back of Enrique's bicep (seen at the beginning of the post)

מה שלא הורג מכשל

A nod to his father, who was in the Israel Defense Forces, the Hebrew translates to "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Interesting, there's a whole discussion of this phrase in Hebrew here.

Enrique's third piece is still a work in progress, so is not pictured here, but the central element seems to be a traditional naval anchor in the middle of his left forearm.

Thanks to Enrique for taking the time to talk to me about his ink, and sharing it here on Tattoosday!
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Karen's Ink Balances the Physical and the Intellectual

Monday was a good tattoo day. I met Karen on Sixth Avenue in the 20's after her right ankle caught my attention and we chatted for a bit about tattoos.

The piece above is about 10 years old and is based on Northwestern Native American art. Karen studied art history in college and felt that this style of art is "smarter" and speaks in "more intelligent visual dialects" than other art forms.

This tattoo is based on "the dance of the wolf hunter". The following piece is similar in design.
It represents the physical aspect of her self.

Around 10 years ago, Karen finished college and drove up to Valdez, Alaska. She had no immediate purpose to go there, but she was just exploring, seeing that part of the country.

It was there, in a town so small that the grocery store often ran out of bread, that she found an amazing tattoo artist working out of a place called, appropriately, Valdez Tattoo. She didn't remember the artist but could recall that he was Hawaiian, which struck her as remarkable.

A quick call to the number listed on the net for Valdez Tattoo was a wrong number and the person who answered the phone wasn't aware of any tattoo shop nearby. So finding a link met with a dead end.

On the other hand foot, the physical aspect of the wolf tattoo seems, in her opinion, to balance the intellectual qualities of her other tattoo (on her left foot), which was inked somewhere in Chicago over 10 years ago.
Karen explains that the moon represents the feminine, and that the symbol within the moon is the astrological sign for Jupiter, which stands for knowledge and expansion of the mind.

Thanks to Karen for sharing her ink with us here on Tattoosday!
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Tara's Shoulder, Flowering

This past weekend was a good one for flowers. Not only did I see a beautiful flower tattoo on Saturday, but I snapped the one above on Sunday while at the local grocery store.

The trio of flowers belongs to Tara, who has 6 or 7 pieces in all. She designed the tattoo herself and had it inked by Kelly at Chameleon Tattoo and Body Piercing in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thanks to Tara for sharing her floral tattoo with all of us here at Tattoosday.
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Tattoosday at the Mall, Part 2 - Michelle's Purple Orchids

As the day at Roosevelt Field progressed, I dawdled near store entrances while my wife and daughters shopped. At H & M, Melanie emerged with the girls and asked me, "Did you see those flowers? They were beautiful!" Of course, I had missed them, but I was intrigued.

As the family moved on, I went back into the store, seeking the tattoo in question. After a few minutes, I found Michelle, the host of the tattoo above. She was very receptive to pulling the shoulder down on her top so I could see the whole piece.

Michelle, who has seven tattoos in all, had these orchids inked because she thought they were beautiful. She had them done a year and a half ago by Renee at Memphis Tattoo in Bayside, Queens. The shop is now called Top Shelf Tattoo.

Thanks to Michelle for being so receptive and sharing her awesome tattoo here with us at Tattoosday!
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Tattoosday at the Mall, Part 1 - Kevin Wears His Son on his Sleeve

This portrait of Kevin's son, Kevin Jr. graces his inner left forearm.

I had the chance to chat with Kevin (and Kevin Jr.) as we all waited for the women in our lives do some serious shopping damage at the Limited Too store at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island.

Kevin has about 10 tattoos in all and he had this piece inked about two years ago. Kevin Jr. acknowledged he liked that his portrait was on his dad's arm. Kevin Sr. added, laughing, "Let's see how he feels when he's older!"

Kevin and I talked tattoos for ten or fifteen minutes while we waited for the shopping to end.

This portrait was inked by Tim at The Red Parlour in Woodside, Queens. Kevin has known Tim for many years and he has had all of his work done by him.

Thanks to Kevin for sharing his son's portrait here on Tattoosday!
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Marta's Koi Lights Up 34th Street

During lunch on Friday, good fortune found me in the form of Marta and her amazing koi tattoo.

Positioned on her left bicep, the bright colors of this piece really popped off her skin.

To Marta, koi represent overcoming adversity and are symbols of empowerment. She is happy to have such a striking reminder on her arm.

This is one of ten tattoos she has. The piece was inked by John Gallo, of Painless Steel Tattoo in the Astoria section of Queens.

Thanks to Marta for sharing her awesome koi with us here at Tattoosday!
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