By Charlene Sakoda
Pastor Zack Zehnder, from The Cross Mount Dora church in Mount Dora, Florida has made good on an offhand promise to pay for his congregation members’ tattoos. As reported by WOFL Fox 35 News, in his recent sermon about acceptance, the pastor said, “If anybody would like to go out and get a tattoo of the logo of the cross that we have for this church we will find money and pay for that.” It was something that Zehnder said he mentioned “flippantly,” without actually thinking anyone would collect on the pledge.
Jeremie Turner is a congregation members who was excited by the proposition, “We definitely took him up on his offer because if he’s going to hand out free tattoos, he’s got a crowd that’s going to accept them.” WOFL reported that at least a dozen church members have taken advantage of the deal and went to Bill Gold’s Tattoo Shop to get inked. “If I wasn’t so dang sarcastic in my sermons, I don’t know that we would be here,” said Pastor Zehnder. “But we got some crazy people that have said they wanted to do it so I kinda gotta, I made the promise. I kinda gotta back it up.”
The pastor hopes that the church members’ new ink will serve as a conversation starter about religion. “People’s perception of church has probably never been as negative as it is today and so if we can do something to kind of flip that script and interact with them and do something in a unique and creative way, we’re going to do that.” The Cross Mount Dora member, Holly Stratton told the station, “I think that we’re in a different time and a different place now and I think it’s wonderful that we think outside the box a little bit.” William Trigg admitted that churches and tattoos don’t usually go together, saying, “Wouldn’t really expect, a little unorthodox for a church, but you know…leave it to anybody, Zack would be the one to do it.”
Zehnder isn’t the only church leader to make the unexpected connection between church and the body art. Jamie Bertolini, a senior pastor at Greer MillChurch in South Carolina, is also the owner of Trinity Tattoo Company. Bertolini told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that one of the reasons he invested in the tattoo shop was because it would be an, “…absolutely wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ.” Another church leader and tattoo fan is ordained minister, Eddie Smith of Oklahoma. He’s been tattooing for over 20 years and opened Sacred by Design in December 2010. He’s hardly fits the stereotypical idea of a minister, with his sleeves and distinct facial tattoos. In 2013, there was an even more literal side-by-side connection between a church and the art of tattooing. LifeQuest Church in Missouri held a fund raising raffle for members to get tattooed on stage during a sermon by Senior Pastor Chris Pinion.
As for The Cross Mount Dora congregation, in the end Pastor Zach Zehnder was happy about his unintentional comment saying, “I think it’s pretty neat that these guys are going to be walking out of here with a testimony and a chance to share God’s story with people that maybe I never would or maybe you never would, that don’t have tattoos.”
Shot by Estevan Oriol
Shot by Estivan Oriol
Shot by Estevan Oriol
Some Quality Meat collaborated with Fitzroy Amsterdam to organize their annual new year’s bash. Kim Papanatos Rense made six classic nautical designs that are now placed on Fitzroy’s office walls, dishes and pig legs. The night ended in a huge party.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Mitch Dudek
Occasionally mixed among the family photos on Dr. Tyler Koski’s cellphone are pictures of back tattoos.
Koski, a surgeon, takes pains to preserve patients’ tattoos when he fixes their spines.
He’ll slice the inked skin, spend hours tinkering with a spine, and then study the picture the way someone working on a jigsaw puzzle looks at the box.
“It’s easy if the tattoo is letters or words, but when it’s a picture, it gets trickier,” said Koski, 40, co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center.
After concentrating for hours while standing on their feet, many surgeons will use staples — a quicker, easier option and less tattoo-friendly way to close a wound.
But Koski will spend an extra 45 minutes carefully stitching tattooed skin, even if a patient tells him not to “worry about making my tattoo look good.”
“It’s an art form like anything else. And people are proud of them and they are meant to be permanent,” said Koski, who doesn’t have any tattoos.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
January 12th we’ll be starting off our new season of Off The Map Live! If you are in the Massachusetts area we highly recommend coming out for the live party at PopCorn Noir. Before our normal episode we will be doing a live viewing of Jeff Gogues latest DVD “Tattoo As I see It”. Popcorn Noir has a great theatre room, Jeff will join us via Skype after the viewing. Jeff will chat with Off The Map Live host Ben Licata who will take questions from viewers. So, if you got January 12th free, come hang out for drinks and inspiration! After the viewing we’ll be doing our first episode of the season with Watson Aitkison in house, and Tom Strom, Thomas Kynst, Deano Cook, Stefano Alcantara, and Marisa Kakoulas skyping in from all over the world! It’ll be a fun time and we look forward to seeing you there!
You can see a preview of the DVD below, and rsvp here!
By Nicki Kasper
“In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.”
I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into. I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration. I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint.
I know Jeff in a couple different ways… We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level. I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc. I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them. But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects.
I know from experience that nothing Jeff Gogue does professionally or otherwise is half-assed. He cares about the details. If he decides he’s going to do something, he wants to give all of himself to it. If it has his name on it, he wants it to be the absolute best he has to offer at that time and place. He never thinks he’s reached his full potential, which is why we see his work changing and evolving over and over. I can relate to him in many ways, which I think is part of the reason we became instant friends so many years ago.
“You’re either a taker, or you’re a giver.”
He wants to inspire others, and that is the point of this movie. It will inspire everyone who watches, artist or not. He’s honest and open about his process, what he wants, his strengths and weaknesses. It’s real, and humble and people can always relate to that.
If you’re an artist, you will be blown away at how generous Jeff is with information that will help you from laying out a piece to tips on using contrast in your work to mixing colors. It’s invaluable information that he’s learned by trial and error over the years and he’s sharing it all with you. But if you’re not an artist, and you just want to be inspired about believing in yourself and making shit happen for yourself… About not accepting failure, and instead being driven by it, you need to watch this film.
To Jeff and Ryan Moon – You guys did an incredible job on this, and now I wish I hadn’t been such a chicken about being interviewed for it! I’m proud of you both!
Shot by Estevan Oriol.
By Marisa Kakoulas
In The Guardian today is feature called “Painted Ladies: Why women get tattoos.” Normally, I find these types of articles banal, or even cringe worthy, for perpetuating cliches or not offering a broad spectrum of experience from our community. And so I was happily surprised to find many different voices of tattooed women in this article.
While there need not be any great miraculous reason to get tattooed, tattoos do come with a story, from an impulse to get a quick piece of historic flash to a full body project. I found the profiles of these women to be really interesting, and they made me think on the commonaIities and differences of our experiences with tattoos.
I particularly loved reading about Juanita Carberry, a merchant navy steward, who died in July at age 88. Here’s a bit from her story:
“The daughter of a renegade Irish peer, Carberry lived an extraordinarily full life. Her childhood in Kenya was difficult: her mother, a well-known aviator, died when she was three, and Carberry was often beaten by her governess. As a teenager, she was a key witness in a celebrated murder case, the 1941 shooting of the 22nd Earl of Erroll, and at 17 she joined the first aid nursing yeomanry in the Women’s Territorials during the second world war. In 1946, Carberry became one of a handful of women to join the merchant navy, remaining for 17 years. It was during this period, says photographer Christina Theisen, that she started acquiring tattoos. Her first was a small spider on the sole of her foot; it didn’t hurt, Theisen recalls Carberry saying, because the skin on her feet was so tough from walking barefoot as a child.”
Read more here.
It is the work of Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou that really makes this piece so engaging. Theisen and Stefanou are behind womenwithtattoos.co.uk, a photo and film endeavor that pays respect to all tattooed women. They offer this on their work: “Our project seeks to capture the personal and the individual, embracing each woman and her tattoos as one, rather than isolating or magnifying the inked parts of her body. At the same time, by using natural environments and the context of urban Western culture, we intentionally move away from the sexualised glamour model aesthetic that dominates tattoo magazines and popular culture.”
Two words: Hell. Yeah.
My regret is that I wasn’t aware of the project when it first rolled out. I will continue to follow Theisen and Stefanou’s work, and I hope that more media outlets also follow their lead in telling compelling stories without the usual pop culture hype and flash so prevalent today.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Brian Tremml
We’ve all been there. One day you have a moment of clarity over your morning coffee and come to the realization that you just don’t like dolphins anymore. There’s only one problem: that beautifully detailed, multi-colored and not-at-all-cartoonish representation of a dolphin you got tattooed on your arm during your rebellious phase of college. So, what’s a girl to do?
No need to worry, because Nekkid Nate and all of the other employees of Liberty Tattoo in Atlanta “can fix that,” by providing cover ups for any and all of the ill-informed decisions of your youth. Watch their hilarious advertisement above. The ad features Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, who apparently is interested in running for public office now. He’s got our vote.