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10 Beautifully Colorful Mardi Gras Tattoos

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Who’s ready for beads, booze and boobs?! Mardi Gras is almost upon us and it’s time to don Carnival masks and body paint to partake in one of the most festive celebrations of the year. For those who don’t know, Mardi Gras (aka Shove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday) is a celebration of a Christian feast day known as the Epiphany (aka Three Kings Day). However, over the years Mardi Gras has taken on a persona all its own, especially in the US city of New Orleans, Louisiana where massive Mardi Gras parades of legendary proportions have taken place since 1837. Each year people flock in droves, selling out hotels and resorts throughout New Orleans often months in advance, in order to be part of the festivities. There are three major iconic pieces of imagery that denote all things Mardi Gras: Carnival masks, beads, and famous New Orleans parade street names like Bourbon St. You’ll see all three featured in the gallery pictures below, and anyone who knows the least bit about Mardi Gras will instantly recognize the meaning behind each tattoo. Mardi Gras acts as a Purge of sorts, giving Christians a day to wholeheartedly indulge in “naughty” behavior before Lent, a six week long period of fasting and atonement for past sins, begins. Flashing for beads is by far the most well-known of naughty Mardi Gras traditions. The purple, gold and green beads represent royalty, power and faith. The tradition of beads started back in 1872, but flashing for ... Read More »

10 Insulting Questions Answered by Tattooed Parents

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Ignorant negative stigmas die harder than Bruce Willis in Nakatomi Plaza. You’d think with the recent rise in tattoo popularity that people would reevaluate their prejudices against people with tattoos, but that doesn’t stop some people from opening their fat mouths when they see something they don’t agree with – like an office worker with tattoos, or that same office worker being out and about with his/her kids. Unfortunately there are still a lot of wanna-be “do-gooders” turning up their noses to people with tattoos, especially tattooed parents. Parents with tattoos, especially those with younger children, are sure to hear some of these gems from holier-than-thou peers. Feel free to use our responses. “You’re setting a bad example for your kids.” I’d rather my children see me with tattoos than hear me spew ignorant, prejudicial garbage from my mouth. “What will your grandkids think?” About what? The grandparent who’s had tattoos since they were born? “I heard it’s better to get them removed sooner rather than later.” Tattoos or children? In your case, I’d have to agree. “Keep your child away from mine.” … (Just stare at them like the moronic excuse for a human being they are until they uncomfortably walk away. Works better than words every time.) “Are you going to let your kids get tattoos?” That’s their decision to make when they’re of legal age. Do you think you’re going to STOP your kids from getting tattoos? (LOL!) “Shouldn’t you have spent the money on your children?” ... Read More »

Inspirational Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Tattoos

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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January each year that celebrates and remembers the birthday of America’s most influential nonviolent civil rights activists. Born on January 15th, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. would become a figure head of the Civil Rights Movement and noted as one of the greatest American orators to ever live after delivering his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. In 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. Each year we ask ourselves if his dream has been realized, and each year we come to the conclusion that it hasn’t been. People are still judged by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character, and, as many tattoo enthusiasts know, the color itself doesn’t have to be anything in particular. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s emphasis on content of character struck a chord among the listeners of his speech in 1963 and continues to do so today. Despite most of us universally agreeing with King’s main idea, in practice it’s much more difficult to judge everyone by the content of their character than it seems. Unconscious pre-judgements and jumps to conclusions are natural instincts all ... Read More »

Food Tattoos to Think About

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Most newbies are told to think about getting something that means a lot to them when getting a tattoo, but not many people think about food. It’s a little odd, isn’t it? We need food to survive, over the course of our lifetime we spend more time eating than doing just about anything else, and the type of food we choose to consume can elicit hour long conversations with spouses and loved ones. Food is important in everyone’s life, even if they’re not a foodie or food connoisseur. The importance of food in our lives is clearly understood on a subconscious level. Idioms, phrases, and various other forms of universal truths and sayings have been tied to food over the centuries. Restaurants and food product manufacturers have left us with a plethora of food-based mascots and imagery that has been seared into our brains along with catchy jiggles and slogans. There’s so much inspiration for food-based tattoo designs that it can be overwhelming to pick one that’s right for you. The ten pictures in the gallery below are a nice starting point for anyone looking to get a food tattoo.  You could go with something a bit zany, like the super cheesy pizza slice, or something realistic like the portrait of a perfect burger. Maybe you want to make a statement, like “Death before Decaf”, or have fun with food-based wordplay like “stud muffin.” Food tattoos are an idea that’s gaining popularity, but they also aren’t considered by the majority ... Read More »

RIP: Tattoos Honoring Lemmy from Motorhead

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Rock music has played a huge role in the tattoo industry and community, so it’s only fitting we talk about the loss of one of rock’s most influential figureheads – Lemmy Kilmister. Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister was born in England on December 24th, 1945. After being inspired and influenced by The Beatles, he set out to make his way in the rock industry any way he could. He worked as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in various bands – such as the Rockin’ Vickers and Hawkwind, but what he’ll forever be known for is founding and frontmaning the legendary heavy metal band known as Motörhead. Lemmy founded Motörhead in 1975 and peaked in success during 1980 and 1981 with the band’s iconic smash hit “Ace of Spades” from their UK number 1 live album No Sleep Til’ Hammersmith. He stuck with the band through numerous musician changes and for 22 albums until he died on December 28, 2015 at the age of 70. The 2010 rockumentary Lemmy was produced over three years and consists of a wide variety of interviews that showcase the far reaching impact Lemmy had on lives from all walks of life. Ozzy Osborne, Alice Cooper, Slash, Ice-T, and many other highly respected musicians and creative professionals spoke about Lemmy and his impact on their individual lives and careers. Upon hearing the news of his passing, Dave Grohl – the lead singer for The Foo Fighters, who’s also featured in the 2010 rockumentary – got a ... Read More »

Making First Time Tattoos More Comfortable

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a teen or a senior, always and in every case the first tattoo is essentially a rite of passage. This bold step outside your comfort zone can be very intoxicating. And self expression is addictive. Today, tattoos aren’t just for sailors and bikers anymore; it’s now a way of self-actualization like never before. If you’re a tattoo artist dealing with a first time tattooee, their nervousness quickly becomes apparent. In order to make the newbie more comfortable, walk them through the process. Even if they’ve come prepared, they need to know that their artist understands what they’re going through. Cover the following aspects: Choose Body-Art carefully It’s just a statement of fact: many, many first timers make poor choices when it comes to their first tattoo, and nobody really knows it until years later, in hindsight. It’s important to make the effort implore those new to tattoo to carefully consider the body art they choose as it is going to be a part of them for many years to come, therefore QUALITY is their primary consideration. It doesn’t matter if it’s an epic tattoo or a piece of flash, quality of application is the key to happiness (when it comes to tattoo art;). In addition, a good starting point for the uninitiated is choosing a tattoo that represents something they value deeply, a statement to the world, or simply to show support for a cause. Proper Diet the Night Before When an appointment is set ... Read More »

Painful Tattoos! Let’s Explain How Bad Tattoos Hurt

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You’ve probably heard all the horror stories about the pain associated with tattoos. About people fainting, having to quit with a tattoo only partially done or going through dozens of small sessions to get through the process. Despite what you’ve heard, tattoos really aren’t as painful as you may have been led to believe. We’re going to walk you through what makes a tattoo hurt and how you can better manage the pain when getting your first, second or fiftieth tattoo. What Makes a Tattoo Hurt? There are a few factors that determine how much pain you’re going to feel while getting tattooed, but the most important factor is where the tattoo is located. Areas of the body with more nerve endings, which tend to be more sensitive to pain of any kind, are going to be the most painful to get tattooed. This includes most joint areas, such as the armpits and back of the knee, and of course genital regions. The most surprisingly painful region is around the ribs. While it may seem relatively numb, the upper area of your mid-section is made up of soft tissue that is incredibly sensitive – hence people who are ticklish and why poking someone in the side is an especially effective way to get their attention. The first picture in our gallery below, which is made up of particularly painful tattoo examples, is a pain chart that’ll show you the relative pain level of each body region. Beginners should definitely look ... Read More »

All-American, Patriotic Tattoos

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While it’d be easy to say, “There’s nothing more American than tattoos”, the truth is that there’s nothing more human than tattoos. Tattooing is one of the earliest art forms known to man. In 1991, German hikers discovered the remains of a 5,300 year-old mummified man who had 57 tattoos on his body. That being said, there are few things more representative of American patriotism than a tattoo. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whatever else your tattoo may mean or stand for, it more than likely represents at least one – if not all – of these things. This means that American patriotic tattoos represent the absolute pinnacle of the American Dream to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Patriotic tattoos are among some of the oldest in America’s history. For a long time the art of tattooing was practically exclusive to sailors and military men, who would often choose to get patriotic tattoos as a symbol of what they were fighting for – a practice that is still continued to this day as characterized by a number of the tattoos featured in the gallery below. Before dog tags became a standard form of identification, many parts of the military recommended troops get tattoos as a form of post mortem identification. To put it simply, tattooing is one of the first and oldest ways American citizens could show their love and support for the country they fought for and adored. Getting a patriotic tattoo is a great ... Read More »

10 Really Bad Tattoos: How to Avoid Tattoo Regrets

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“Think before you ink” isn’t a well-known proverb, but it should be. When it comes to awesome body art, regret is simply the flip side. Whether or not you regret your decision to get a tattoo depends on your attitude towards it at the outset. The underlying issue is that most people that regret their tats are the ones who failed to find a quality artist OR who got inked on a whim in the first place. Lack of thoughtfulness will lead to regret. There are a variety of reasons why people choose to get inked and, more often than not, it’s all about the aesthetics. The only way not to regret your tattoos is to first change how you perceive tattoos and then learn to seek out (and PAY) for quality work. Key to No Regrets Th-ink About It Think about why you want to get inked in the first place. What are your motivations? If you have selected a particular design, ask yourself why. There are a great many things to consider before you opt for this life altering decision. Will it affect your career? Is it acceptable in your work place? If you are the type of person who wants to give everything meaning, don’t end up getting a tattoo on a whim. If you do, despite whatever reason you may have at the time, it will quickly lose meaning and you’ll begin to hate it as you sober up. Location If you have made up your ... Read More »

The History of the Mom and Heart Tattoo

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These tattoos are one of the most personal ways to express the love you have for your mother and the gratitude you feel towards her. Apart from giving birth to a child, mothers nurture, protect and make sacrifices for their children throughout their lives. This natural attachment is felt by everyone, regardless of nationality, race, status or religion, and some people make the highly personal decision to ink it permanently on their body as a permanent reminder of gratitude. These tattoos vary greatly in design and style, and sometimes are tattooed with other meaningful symbols to add to the aesthetics. The most common Mom-Heart tattoo incorporates some sort of symbol (normally a heart design), with the words, Mom, Mum, or Mother written on a ribbon across the heart. Other symbols this tattoo design may accompany depends on the personal experience of the one getting the tattoo and what they find meaningful. The most common choices are diamonds, pearls, wings and fire. Some even choose to go with butterflies or work their mothers’ favorite flowers into the tattoo design. The History of the Mother and Heart Tattoo It’s believed the first person to tattoo his mother’s name across the chest was an old Irish Sailor. He started this cherished tattooed design with a heart and saber, as well as the memory of a sailor’s song that he sung, “Kissed me darling mother”. This classic heart and mom banner is now, perhaps the most famous and widely loved tribute tattoo. Honor your Mom When ... Read More »

Medical Tattoos and Health Emergencies

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The decision to get drastic and permanent body modification is usually tied to what’s going on in an individual’s life. Significant experiences and events of a person’s life, no matter how good or bad, can change a person forever. The most commonly desired modifications in this regard are tattoos, and the range of events that can inspire body art is unending. However, when it comes to medical tattooing, there are several connections that can be made. There are some medical procedures that require tattoos in order to be done safely and effectively. For example, cancer patients that undergo radiation treatment are tattooed with marks on the area that is the target of treatment, allowing the doctors to easily find the spot and avoid zapping the surrounding healthy tissue. Tattooing has become an alternative option to medical bracelets, which traditionally serve to inform medical professionals of a patient’s condition in an event where they are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. A report by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in 2009 stated that more patients prefer medical-alerts to be tattooed on their skin, especially in patients that suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes. Tattoos for Post-medical Conditions Post treatment medical tattoos are also in abundance. Individuals that suffer from illness, medical treatment, or a mishap that disfigures them in any way tend to opt for tattoos to hide the scars in order to feel whole and attractive again. The trend is becoming so popular that many tattoo artists nowadays have added post-medical ... Read More »

10 Colorful Rockabilly Tattoos

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Are you like a little bit of country and rock ‘n’ roll? Then you’re probably already quite familiar with all things rockabilly, even if you don’t recognize the term. Rockabilly, the musical genre tag that denotes the early 50’s style of rock-and-rock, has transcended music to encompass an entire art form and lifestyle. Rockabilly tattoos represent the old timey swinging musical stylings found in music by legendary artists like Elvis Presley and famed featured films like Greased Lightning. The name comes from a combination of rock ‘n’ roll and hillbilly, the latter of which was often used to reference country music back in the 1940s and 50s when the rock ‘n’ roll genre first began to form. Largely originating from the southern regions of the United States, the first rock ‘n’ roll artists were strongly influenced by country music, and thus the rockabilly genre was formed. Rockabilly was used as the soundtrack for rebellious youth spirit during its early years, like many musical genres before and after its inception. It’s survived throughout the years as a characteristic of a time period long passed but not forgotten, where slicked back hair and bow tied hairbands were in fashion among the young men and women of the time. As you can see in our gallery below, many rockabilly tattoos seek to capture this classic look and often mix it with various other common tattoo themes and elements. From milkshakes to microphones, the plethora of iconic imagery that captures the rockabilly time period ... Read More »

Tatted Up Disney Characters

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We all know the “family-friendly” nature of Disney is a sham, right? From clear racist undertones to the practically blatant phallic imagery, Disney’s roots are hardly as family-friendly as they’d like people to believe. So why shouldn’t Disney characters be depicted with tattoos every once in a while? Disney has been around since 1923 and now has multiple generations of audiences and fans who span a wide range of ages and maturity levels. It only makes sense that fans would choose to depict their favorite Disney characters in a more mature light than their more-often-than-not saintly appearances would have us believe. Tattoos also just fit many Disney characters’ personalities. Just try to see Ariel without having awesome tattoos after looking through the gallery below. You can’t, can you? Of course the historically rebellious mermaid would have tattoos! Ariel looks fantastic with them, and she knows it. If you didn’t already think about what your favorite Disney character would be like in real life, the pictures below will definitely jog your imagination. Although they’ll also raise a few interesting questions too. Like, “How does Tinkerbell get her tattoos? Is there a fairy tattoo artist with a tiny shop just sitting around on Neverland?” or “Would Cinderella have to get all her tattoos after getting married to the prince? She wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise, right?” A lot of these pictures also spark some interesting fan fiction ideas. What if Belle was more assertive in Beauty and the Beast? Or ... Read More »

Tattoos and Bald Heads

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    It happens. Some guys can pull off the bald look and some guys . . .well, not so much.  The researchers from GlaxoSmithKline conducted an  study of 1,125 men to test for hair loss factors in men. The results showed that 1 in 7 men are more likely to lose their hair based on the presence of a specific gene. Most people believe that hair loss is passed down from the mother’s side (darn it Mom!). But, Dad is not totally off the hook in the hair loss equation.  While it’s true a key gene for baldness is in the X chromosome, which you get from your mother, it is not the only genetic factor in play. We all know men who are bald and have bald fathers or sons.  Science has proved, that a bald father increases the likely hood of the son going bald as well. (take that Dad!)  While most studies confirm male pattern baldness is genetically determined, scientists say baldness anywhere in your family line may be a sign of your own impending fate.  If you have a full head of hair, take a hard look around at your next family event,. If there are several bald men, who are blood related to you, odds are . . .you may be next. Until recent years, men didn’t have many option to deal with male pattern baldness.  Some tried to copy the Burt Reynolds hair plugs, or they tried to pull off the Mr. Clean look. We ... Read More »

8 Full Back Tattoos on Strong Women

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Like any great work of art, there is a combination of talent and vision to bring a piece to life.  Large scale tattoo work is a huge commitment for both the collector and the artist. A full back piece like these often require 6-10 sessions of 4-6 hours each, and could take even 100 hours or more to complete. This is dedication. Large scale work should NOT be entered into lightly. Long hours of work and suffering (and payment for those long hours of work) are being committed to the project by both parties. It is a relationship and, like all relationships, it will be based on mutual understanding and trust. Some artists who have been burned over and over again by clients who fail to finish large tattoos, require a binding contract before taking on new clients, simply so they can know that the time they spend in this process will come to fruition– a finished tattoo. That really IS their prize- to complete one more piece for their happy clients. These images were submitted to our Instragram from around the world and we are honored to share then with you here. Full back piece by Anthony Ortega Beautiful work. Geometric shapes perfectly integrated with elements from nature.  Creative and captivating.   Tattoo by Dave Regan Dave is one fn’ AMAZING and versatile tattooer, (follow him). Excellent shading and placement on this elegant, asian themed backpiece.  The flowers are the perfect element to tie everything together.     Full Back ... Read More »