A Cool Frog Tattoo on a Hot Day

In probably one of my shortest posts, I present you with the frog above, inked on the left leg of Kelly.

I spotted this beautiful tattoo as Kelly and a friend were waiting for some food at a cart on the corner of 33rd and 7th Avenue.

Her hands were full and she seemed a bit in a hurry, so I don't have a lot of details (as well as not a perfect picture), but Kelly was in New York, visiting from Florida, and she has loved frogs since she was a kid.

Even though the picture is a bit washed out and the back part of the tattoo is partially obscured, one can still see the vivid color and phenomenal detail that makes this piece just pop off of the skin.

Kelly has 7 tattoos in all (one of which is a cool, but not as cool as this one, frog on the back of her right leg.

This frog was inked about two and a half years ago at Livewire Tattoo Studio in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The artist was Angelo, who is no longer listed on their website.

Thanks to Kelly for sharing her awesome amphibian tattoo here with us at Tattoosday!
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Frankie and Her Brother, Forever in Ink

Frankie designed this cartoon portrait of herself with her brother holding hands. The tattoo is on her left bicep. That's her on the right, with the red hair.

She had this inked at Village Pop Inc. on West 4th Street in Manhattan. I caught Frankie on the R train and took the photo on the 95th Street platform in Bay Ridge.

Thanks to Frankie for sharing this poignant tattoo here with us at Tattoosday!
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Crys Shares His Colorful Arm

When I passed Crys on Seventh Avenue last Friday, I knew I had to stop and ask about his arm.

Aside from the matching ohms-within-nautical stars on both elbows, Crys has two main pieces on his left arm.

Chronologically, the dragon came first:

He got it basically because he liked the design. It was inked by Nick at True Blue Tattoo in Austin, Texas.

The kanji surrounding the dragon were added later at Atomic Tattoo & Body Piercing, also in Austin. These were gifts from Crys' girlfriend. According to Chrys, going clockwise from the top, the kanji represnt love, honor, peace and life.

After that, he went back later to Atomic Tattoo and added the fire around the dragon to give his arm more color.

Finally, he added the Buddha at a shop in Houston:

Actually, a friend of his, Corey, from Austin, designed and drew up the initial sketch. Crys doesn't remember where it was inked.

Thanks to Crys for sharing his arm with us here on Tattoosday!
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The Only Tattoo Blog that Educates its Readers About the Clutius Manuscript AND the Hoplite Phalanx

As you may have guessed from the title above, this is an educational post.

Anna has four tattoos, but it was this one, on the back of her left calf, that caught my eye as she passed me on Seventh Avenue last week. I stopped to ask what this was all about. And I felt like I was back in the classroom. Absolutely fascinating!

This piece is based on the art found on the Chigi Vase:

So why is the Chigi vase, a piece of Corinthian pottery dating back to around the 7th century, B.C., important? Anna explained that it is on the vase that the first artistic representation of the Hoplite Phalanx formation appeared. Or, the earliest surviving representation. It is in this battle formation that soldiers are lined up in such a way that the soldier next to them uses their shield to protect their neighbor. The economic formation proved very effective and it was an important step in democracy, as a group of soldiers banded together to form one cohesive unit.

Anna is an alumna of Reed College in Portland,Oregon, where she studied the Classics. I didn't mention to her at the time that I was a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, a similarly small liberal arts college where there is a deep tradition of teaching the Classics. So, I got why she had this tattooed on her, not to mention how nicely done it was in the first place.

Aside from the liberal arts background, I also related to Anna on the level that she is originally from the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo. Although my connection to California is in L.A., to the south, I still have 12 years of life in the Golden State ingrained in my identity.

This segues to the piece on her left arm, a watercolor-like tattoo of a plant:

This is in fact, a strawberry plant, which is an integral part of the agricultural identity of the central section of California. The tattoo is based on the watercolors first recorded in what is known as the Clutius Manuscript, a 16th Century work of early botanical paintings. You can check out the link below for more information on this collection.

Anna, who also blogs here about her adventures with fresh vegetables and fruits in New York City green markets, had these tattoos inked in Portland by the artist Amy Cole. Ms. Cole works out of Tiger Lily Tattoo and Design.

Thanks to Anna for sharing her cool (and thought-provoking) body art here with us at Tattoosday!
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Surgeon General's Warning: A Varga Girl Smoking on Your Arm Looks Awesome

Meet Priscilla. That's her above on Maeve's arm, as seen last week on 6th Avenue. Maeve offered her to Tattoosday from among the thirteen tattoos she has. Priscilla, as Maeve calls her, is based on the pin-up art of Alberto Vargas. Check out more of his work here.

The work on which she is based initially had her as a blonde, but Maeve, made her a brunette. She also chose to have her smoking because, although she acknowledges that it's bad for you, it's still pretty cool-looking.

This beautiful tattoo was inked in November 2007 by Aryn at Twysted Imagez Tattoo Studio in Alexandria, Virginia.

Thanks to Maeve for sharing Priscilla here with us at Tattoosday!
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Massimo Shares A Tribal Design

I met Massimo on the plaza in front of Penn Station last Friday and talked to him about this cool piece he has on his right foot.

He was visiting from Milan and, according to him, designed and tattooed this himself about seven years ago. He had a friend who was a tattoo apprentice around that time, who taught him the basics of tattooing.

He began by saying this was Hawaii-inspired, which is understandable, as it has the "look" of a Hawaiian tiki in its design.

He also said that the top part is inspired by the fact he had been doing a lot of cycling, which
lot of cycling, which influenced the top half of the tattoo. A closer look reveals a resemblance to a bicycle wheel:

He was also very candid with me and said that he was smoking a lot at that time and he would wake up the next day and find incredible designs lying around. This was one of them.

After I took the picture, Massimo had second thoughts, hesitating about letting me post this on Tattoosday. He was worried that his design would be copied. I appealed to him and I must have been convincing, as he changed his mind and assented.

Thank you, Massimo, for sharing this design with us here at Tattoosday!
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Chris Wears His Knife on his Sleeve

On Wednesday I met Chris, outside of the hotel across the street from my office. He sported four tattoos in all, but this one was the most fascinating.

Chris was in town (he resides in Ripon, California) on business as the tour caterer for Neil Diamond (he has also worked for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and others).

The knife, on his left forearm, is a portrait, one could say, of his own chef's knife.
Clearly, most chefs have a connection to the tools of their trade. I would imagine that a favorite knife would be near and dear to one's heart. Chris' tattoo is testament to that fact.

Chris actually takes this portrait a step further and incorporates other elements into the knife tattoo. Their are markings on the knife that appear almost like runes.

This is actually written in the Cherokee tongue, a tribute to his heritage (his father is Cherokee). When I asked if he could tell me what was inscribed in the blade, he smiled and shook his head. He doesn't disclose the deeply personal nature of the message to anyone.

One additional element that I would have not noticed had he not mentioned it are the geometrical shapes on the hilt of the knife.

Chris explained to me that he is a snowboarder as well, and each shape represents the trail marking symbol for a slope that he has conquered while boarding.

Chris told me that this unique piece was inked by Craig Foster at Skinwerks Tattoo and Design in Carrollton, Georgia (about 50 miles from Atlanta). I was excited to hear this as Craig's work has appeared on Tattoosday previously here. His work is phenomenal and I am fortunate enough to have come across his ink up in New York. Check out their shop site here and see what other amazing work they do there.

Thanks to Chris for sharing his "tat-tool" of the trade with us here at Tattoosday!
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