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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 Bangin’ Head & Neck Tattoos

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Holy crap! Those head tattoos must’ve hurt! Yes, head tattoos hurt quite a bit. For most people it’s one of the most painful places to get tattooed and, let’s face it, it’s what most of us were thinking when we first looked at the head tattoo gallery below. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about head tattoos. Head tattoos are the epitome of visible tattoos. They usually go around the head, not just on top, and hats indoors are often considered a bit of a faux pas in professional settings. Only the most hardcore of tattoo enthusiasts should really consider getting a head tattoo, and even then you should still take your career aspirations into consideration. These types of tattoos are also a great way to take control of an uncontrollable situation. Losing hair due to cancer treatment is often a traumatizing event for people, but for tattoo enthusiasts it can become an unexpected boon allowing them to tattoo a part of their body they’d previously never considered. Balding men may get their head tattooed as a sort of fashion statement or as a way to give themselves more of a reason to perform regular scalp maintenance. Getting a head tattoo requires a deep love of tattoos and tattoo culture, possibly along with the inability to grow hair or the determination to shave your head regularly. They’re talking points and ice breakers in-and-of themselves, so be prepared to answer questions from curious bystanders. As you ... 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 »

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 Steampunk Tattoos to be Inspired By

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The retro-futuristic Victorian setting that characterizes the steampunk style is the primed to inspire creative and unique tattoo designs. The sci-fi art style involved in all things steampunk related is incredibly detailed and vivid, making for exquisite works of art that anyone engrossed in the romantic retro-Victorian era can appreciate and find appealing. Steampunk was born from the scientific romance novels of the 19th century by famous writers of the time, such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley. The term first appeared in the 1980s, drawing inspiration for the cyberpunk genre that was being popularized around the same time too. Over the past 30+ years the steampunk science fiction subgenre has steadily grown in popularity, particularly for the gear-based retro-futuristic art it inspires. As characterized by many of the steampunk designs featured in the gallery below, mixing traditional symbols like the eye and heart with a steampunk theme can make for some incredibly unique and creative one-of-a-kind tattoos. The theme gives tattoo designs a very eclectic feel, representing multiple interests and facets of one’s personality all at once. Steampunk tattoo designs can also create fascinating illusions, transforming human body parts into mechanized prosthetics that’s sure to stun many passersby as you go about your daily routine. The full arm sleeve design featured below is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with the steampunk aesthetic. Are you looking for a tattoo that represents your love of all things science fiction? Have a passion for all things steampunk? ... Read More »

Biker Tattoos: A Historic Example of Meaning

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Those new to tattoos are often cautioned by veterans to get something that represents a strong symbolic message or meaning unique to their personality or life experience. For more than seventy-five years biker tattoos have served as a prime example of the intense meaningfulness of the art. Anyone who’s watched Sons of Anarchy at least has a functioning understanding of how important tattoos are within the biker subculture. Most fans still vividly remember the scene where Kyle gets his tattoo burned off to signify his lack of association with the gang during season one. The history of biker tattoos started back in the 1940s and 50s right alongside the beginning of motorcycle gangs. Many of the first biker gangs consisted of ex-soldiers and served primarily as a means to continue the same sense of brotherhood and companionship many soldiers lost after coming back home from war. Even today many soldiers get tattoos to signify their devotion to their unit and position in the military, so it only made sense that the trend would continue among biker gangs as well. That being said, the historic significance is pretty much where Sons of Anarchy stops paralleling the real world nature of motorcycle gangs and biker tattoos. The outlaw connotations drawn by people outside of biker gangs came from an early assumption that biker tattoos were similar in nature to prison tattoos. While there have been a number of unlawful biker gangs over the decades, the vast majority are actually law abiding organizations ... Read More »

San Francisco’s Black Heart Tattoo (Video)

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*To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today! Read More »

Turn Heads with These Amazing Arm and Calf Tattoos!

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Arm and calf tattoos have been popular for decades.  Some choose these areas because you can show off or cover up your tattoos easily and some choose to tattoo the arms and calf areas because the pain is minimal and very manageable.  There is a lot flesh and soft skin to work with on the extremities, and the artist can do his/her work without tattooing directly on thin skin that is over a bone, which can be very uncomfortable.   Plus, over the years, your extremities are the slowest to age and change, so your tattoo remains consistent for decades. (Assuming you worked with a talented and qualified artist, of course). Tattoo sleeves are essentially a collection of various designs or one long tattoo that completely covers most of the arm. Sleeve is a serious tattooing style that requires commitment for a lifetime. It begins at the shoulder and then runs down, depicting a centralized theme. Here are some fine examples that have been shared with us on Instagram by brilliant tattoo artists. (*ARTISTS: submit YOUR work by tagging us an using #tattooartistmagazine on IG !!) 1 – Kajan @KajanTattoo All this tattoo requires is silent admiration. In art, faces and hands are traditionally very difficult to perfect. Notice her eyes follow you as you move from side to side and her hands are in perfect proportion to her wrists and body. While we can only speculate on the origins of this image and the meaning to the wearer, we can’t ... Read More »

Jeremy Sutton on the opening of Electric Anvil Tattoo

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By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about your history in the tattoo industry… How long have you been tattooing?  What shops did you call home before opening Electric Anvil? Etc… I have been tattooing for 18 years. Josh Egnew has been tattooing for 10 years. We both came from Three Kings Tattoo. Josh has tattooed in Brooklyn his whole career. He started out at Hand of Glory. Before Three Kings I worked at Guru Tattoo in San Diego and before that with Russ Abbott at Ink and Dagger. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and what was that experience like?  I learned to tattoo in Toccoa, Georgia from an old biker named Ole Roy. He taught me all the foundations of tattooing. But I really accredit the crew at Alien Arts Tattoo (now the crew of Anonymous Tattoo) in Savannah, Georgia for really helping me understand the craft of tattooing. They are also incredible artists so the envelope was always being pushed. Josh never had a formal apprenticeship, but was fortunate to have some great people looking out for him. Regino Gonzales and Marco Serio being at the top of that list. Between those guys and all of the amazing people he’s worked with over the years at Hand of Glory, Three Kings and on the road, I’d say the experience has been pretty fantastic. What made you decide to open a shop?  Well it’s been a long time coming. Just turning the key to ... 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 »

Top Six Father’s Day Gifts on sale from TAM

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Look no further for the a perfect and unique Father’s Day gift for the tattoo enthusiast Dad in your life. Chris Treviño – Gods and Warriors ON SALE NOW — SAVE 60% — This is a fitting title for Chris Trevino’s first book. His tattoos often depict themes of ancient war and hidden images in his full body work. Chris is a master of Japanese tattooing and this book has more than 200 pages of backpieces, body-suits on tri-fold pages, and some amazing art. Plus an intro by Ed Hardy– Great coffee table book or perfect for your waiting area. Shop Now               Old Timers TRADITIONAL Set: A collection of the most popular issues of TAM SAVE 50% and Get lost of in the works of old masters in the days before tattoos were mainstream. Study the techniques of artists like Mike Malone, Pinky Yun, Bob Roberts, Dave Gibson, Thom DeVita, jack rudy, Chuck Eldridge, Scott Sterling, Hanky Panky, Tony Polito, Eric Inksmith, and more! Shop Now   Original Art and Sketches From the TAM Memorabilia Collection! For the exclusive and discerning collector, our selection of one of a kind, original works is a fine addition to anyone’s tattoo art collection. See original art, flash, stencils and photos from legendary artists including: Sailor Jerry, Mike Malone, Ed Hardy, Pinky Yun, and MORE. Shop Now Tattoo Culture Magazines The perfect gift for new tattoo fans. Tattoo Culture Magazine is a digital magazine available for immediate download. Create ... Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time.  With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you), which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ... Read More »

TAM- Artist Profile: the Classic look of Eric Jones’ tattoos!

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TAM Artist Profile: ERIC JONES, Costa Mesa, California. Interview by: MARCO ANNUNZIATA Originally from Southern California, born in Long Beach.  Since being a tattoo artist, Eric Jones worked in both Southern California and New York. He currently resides in Costa Mesa and works at Port City Tattoo.  What are your first memories of tattooed people? My first memories of tattoos involve the movie ‘The Illustrated Man’, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury. My father enjoyed the movie quite a bit, so, as a child, I was exposed to the concept of skin art. When I was a teenager, we attended the Renaissance Fair, here in California, and there was this man who had his entire skull cap tattooed. I do remember my father thinking poorly of his decision. How did you get into tattooing? I got my first tattoo done when I was eighteen. That is the legal age in California, and my friends in high school were getting them before me, so I had been looking at magazines for a year prior. One of the magazines was an International Tattoo Art featuring Dave Gibson and Mike Wilson. That was the defining moment in my decision to start drawing tattoo designs, or my redraws of these two great artists style. I redrew one of Gibson’s swallows that ran a banner with the name of his shop. In place of LUCKY, I had the name Jesus in the banner, that part of my life included christian belief. I went to a local Orange ... Read More »

An Interview with Dennis M Del Prete

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work… Dennis M Del Prete and I work at my shop, Providence Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Tell us about your shop… how many artists work there, and what kind of shop is it…? Custom work? Walk-ins? etc… I have had my own shop now for about 8 years. We do custom work and walk ins. The five guys I work with now are some of my favorite tattooers and best friends. Nick Pellegrino, Rick Lacapria, Pete Toatley, Andy Reach, and John Gorman. They are what my shop is made up of and I am lucky to work with them. What was your art background like? Did you like drawing as a kid, or did that come later? I liked drawing. I have always been drawing. I Have no formal art training. I buy a lot of books and read them and study them. What made you want to start tattooing? I wanted to stay off the beaten path ( Ironic now, I know). I wanted to work with my hands and make something art related. It just seemed fucking cool, it still does to me. Tell us how you got into tattooing… Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and how long have you been in it? I found out Ken Johnson, a local shop owner and tattooer was going to be making machines so I contacted him for a pair. He was kind enough ... Read More »

3 Day Ed Hardy Event at Kings Avenue Tattoo

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From Kings Avenue Tattoo: We are honored and humbled to host the legendary tattooer and artist Ed Hardy for an unprecedented 3-day event.  Hardy, renowned for his genre changing, globally influenced tattoo designs, announced that he will host “Pictures of the Gone World,” taking place May 15th, 16th & 17th at Kings Avenue Tattoo.  The event will consist of a three-day exhibition of Hardy’s most recent artwork, accompanied by the release of a New York- centric tattoo history book and a series of talks covering his influential, six-decade career. “Ed is a pioneer of tattooing, and we are making history with this event,” says Kings Avenue owner Mike Rubendall. Hardy will present a collection of his current and past artwork, consisting of mixed-media paintings that incorporate American an Japanese tattoo motifs, and “kiddie flash” – traditional maritime-inspired designs that he drew as a tattoo-obsessed child in the late 1950s, rendered with colored pencil on looseleaf notebook paper-which has never been publicly exhibited. The event marks the release of the Lew The Jew Alberts: Early 20th Century Tattoo Drawings, a compilation of designs attributed to Lew Alberts, a Newark, NJ native who tattooed under the famed Bowery-based artist Charlie Wagner. It’s the most recent title from Hardy Marks, the publishing imprint that Hardy co-founded in 1982, specializing in tattoo history and alternative art.  A limited number of books will be available for purchase at Kings Avenue, and Hardy will be signing copies on May 15th. Hardy will also stage two talks.  ... Read More »