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Inspirational Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Tattoos

Unknown Artist

“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 »

Ten Controversial World Religion Day Tattoos

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Some of the most horrifying atrocities the world has ever seen have been brought about by a difference in religious beliefs. It’s a fact atheists are quick to mention whenever the topic is brought up, but it’s also one that doesn’t quite provide the whole story. Religions of all kinds have also brought a message of hope and peace to billions of people around the world, which is what World Religion Day is all about. The holiday was started back in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States. Its purpose is to promote the idea that, at their core, all religions revolve around the messages of peace and harmony, and that they ultimately serve to unify humanity. World Religion Day was quickly recognized by countries the world over. Even in 1950 it was already being celebrated by two cities in Australia. Widespread observance started with radio stations in the 1950s. Today, World Religion Day events are recorded and sometimes televised, with celebrities and highly respected members of society speaking about the importance of the holiday and religious unity. However, despite the occasion, people still wear their religion on their sleeves, making it difficult for anyone to get a religious tattoos without sparking at least a bit of personal controversy. While many people may agree with the general idea of the coexist logo made of various religious symbols, plenty still take offense to it for a variety of reasons. Getting a religious tattoo like the ... Read More »

R.I.P. Tattoos to Remember Those Lost in 2015

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Gone but not Forgotten!! – Tattoos are one of the most endearing ways to remember those we’ve lost and those who’ve had the greatest impact on our lives. The beginning of the year, particularly the first few weeks in January, are often used to reflect on the year that just went by. Websites and YouTube channels have done “Top ___ of 2015” lists and videos as a way to acknowledge and remember the good times we all had throughout the year. While it’s important to remember the fun times, it’s also important to remember the people we’ve lost. Not just for the year, but for the rest of our lives. The world lost a lot of good people in 2015, from beloved movie icons to musical legends. Tattoos are one of the most intimate and sincere means we have of memorializing the memories of people who’ve touched our lives over the years, which is why it’s only fitting we remember some of the people we lost in 2015.   LEMMY from Motorhead Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister passed in late December 2015 of cancer. His impact on many in the tattoo culture and community was so great that hundreds of fans shared their Motorhead/Lemmy tattoos with us on our social media, paying tribute to this fallen hero. We collected a bunch of them here- Wes Craven Even people who aren’t fans of horror films likely recognize Wes Craven’s name. He was the creator of Freddy Kruger and a legendary horror film director who ... Read More »

Women and Their Ink

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The Huffington Post featured an article last year entitled “The Secret Lives Of Tattooed Women” where Claire Fallon wrote about the societal climate of women with tattoos, how its viewed by the general public and how having tattoos effects women’s lives. It’s an interesting and well written article, but does it accurately represent its subject matter or is it just one person’s experience? One of the main points of the article pertains to the treatment of women with visible tattoos. Fallon cites Beverly Yuen Thompson, stating “transgressive behavior, like visible tattoos, only encourages unwanted touching,” in order to back up here own personal experience of strangers grabbing her arm to ask if her fake arm tattoos – which she put on as an experiment – were real. Was she approached this way because she was a woman or because she was sporting fake tattoos in an attempt to illicit a response from people? The fact of the matter is that tattoos on women – and men for that matter – are more sociably acceptable than ever before. On average, more women have tattoos than men nowadays. Sure, “women tend to stick to the ‘small, cute and hidden’ tattoos”, but is that really a matter of social acceptability? Visible tattoos are still largely considered taboo in the workplace, and even men trend towards getting hidden tattoos for that very reason. Tattoos can accentuate the feminine form in a way most men can only be jealous of. The women featured below look ... 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 »

Carlos Torres: black & grey tattoo master

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The owner of Timeline Gallery in San Pedro, CA, Carlos Torres, has been tattooing for about fifteen years and is considered one of the best tattooers in the entire world. He is well known for his realistic black and grey tattoos, as well as his oil paintings, and over the years he’s received many awards and recognition for his work. He’s even painted the banner for the Ink-N-Iron Tattoo Festival for the last several years. We were very happy to get to chat with him and find out what he’s been up to. B: We’re here with Carlos Torres from Timeline Gallery in California. Hi Carlos. What’s new? C: Aw man, I’ve got a ton of different things going on. Always tattooing and always painting and that’s enough to keep me busy.   B: Cool. So, you’re painting, you own your own place and you’re tattooing. Do you find that hard to juggle? C: Yea. I like to balance stuff out, though. For me it’s important to, and I just started this about a year ago, but I’m taking like every other Saturday off and it’s good for me to just sit back and refresh ideas. I can sit at home and paint more, I can spend the day painting.   B: Reintroduce yourself to your lady. C: Yes, she’s great. I’m thankful I’ve got a good woman. She’s real patient and she’s always happy and proud. She helps me out a lot so, yea. It’s important to have that. ... 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 »

Game-changer! Introducing the Helios Rotary Pen

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For the Professional Tattoo Artist! The NEW Helios Rotary Pen is COMING SOON and this innovative tattoo machine is already taking the world of professional tattooing by storm. From its first mention on social media late last year, artists have been lining up to get a hold of this powerful new tool. The Helios Rotary Pen’s sleek form and interchangeable cartridge system is the first of its kind, portable, comfortable, and fully adjustable. Artists from around the world have been making a switch to the Helios Rotary Pen and giving sensational reviews about how it has been exceeding their expectations. The Helios Rotary Pen is the ideal tattoo machine for large & small black and grey work, soft shading, fine line/detail work, and soft color techniques.  – What makes the Helios Rotary Pen so different? The Helios rotary pen is CNC machined from premium aircraft-grade aluminum in Europe. With a weight of only 3.17oz., you will have an incredibly lightweight feel, with perfect balance. The fully adjustable needle stroke allows the machine to be used as a liner or a shader, giving complete control of needle depth from 0 – 2.5mm, making Helios the equivalent of a short-stroke machine. The quiet but powerful German-made motor runs at a speed of 8,000 – 13,000 RPM, and is compatible with most standard power supplies. The Helios Rotary Pen is designed for use with Helios Tattoo Needle Cartridges. Although several brands of cartridges have been tested with the pen, they do not guarantee optimal performance if ... Read More »

20 New masterpieces by the Blackworkers Group

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Blackworkers are tattooists who specialize in tattoos using only black ink, but in unique and versatile ways, creating a style all their own. These are some of the best in the world and their followings are growing by the week! PLEASE pay a visit to them and FOLLOW their Instagrams and other social media. This month’s Artist Winners chosen by Casper Mugridge of the Blackworkers Instagram Group! The best source for black ink tattoos! — Follow @Blackworkers HERE – & – @Blackworkers_tattoo HERE for a daily dose of Tattoo Masterpieces!   @pwtattoo  ( Phil wilkinson ) Heavy black tattoos, with a different approach and style. The way this is done requires a lot of commitment and vision. Very hard to change directions once you start .   @amyvsavage  ( Amy Victoria savage ) Limited line work with lots of dot work. Themes stay constant , with a signature style . Her work always stands apart and well done.   @_leestewart   ( lee Stewart ) Painterly approach with a combination of very dark and soft smooth light fades. A difficult way of tattooing to make it look good and natural.   @savannahcolleen   ( Savannah Colleen McKinney ) Bold lines mixed with heavy black and dot work.  She stays constant and has her own style.   @mxmttt   ( Maxime buchi ) Unique signature style. Interesting subject matter mixed with different body placement.   @kanetrubenbacher   ( Kane Trubenbacher ) Interesting subject matter and different body placement.  Stand alone pieces with a lot of skin showing. ... Read More »

New work: catching up with Nick Baxter

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Nick Baxter is well known for his distinct hyper-realistic style of painting and tattooing. When it comes to his art his main focus has always been on learning and growing as much as possible in order to create a truly refined and unique work of art. Whether he’s working in oils or in ink, his complete dedication and passion for his craft reveals itself in every minute detail of his work. As a result, he’s inspired a myriad of artists and tattooers and has garnered countless fans and admirers. Despite all of his success and attention, he remains humble and genuine and we were fortunate enough to spend some time and talk with him recently.   B:So Nick, what’s new? What have you been up to? N: It’s been a busy summer, artistically. I’ve been taking some painting workshops and just doing the usual tattoo work but I’ve really been trying out some new techniques and some new genres of painting that I’m enjoying.   B: I saw that you did a Dutch Masters kind of still life painting workshop? Is that right? N: Yes. I took a 17th century Dutch still life workshop in New York City at the Grand Central Atelier. It was basically just painting in the manner and the technique of the Dutch realist painters from around the Renaissance Period.   B:Was that challenging? N:Yea, the most challenging aspect really is the foundation step of drawing, just seeing accurately and drawing. I’ve been painting now for ... 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 »

The Art of Watercolor Tattoos

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Have you ever seen a watercolor tattoo in person? You’d certainly known if you had. Watercolor tattoos stand apart from their traditional counterparts in a variety ways, from their vibrant color schemes to the special techniques artists employ to create them. While the term watercolors may cause you to think of the Crayola trays parents give children to paint with in an attempt to limit post painting destruction, they’ve actually been used for centuries to capture the colorful essence of nature. The art style was utilized during the Italian Renaissance by many famous painters and was often used to depict wildlife and landscapes. The art style uses paint in which pigments are suspended within a water-based solution, hence the name. While it can be supported on a wide variety of different materials, it’s most commonly applied to paper that’s either partially or entirely made of cotton in order to reduce the painting’s distortion when wet. Watercolor tattoo artists obtain the same sort of visual effect by lessening the overall ink saturation through subtle shading. They often achieve the brushstroke-esque design by forgoing the typical black outline seen in more traditional tattoos. If you do a bit of research into watercolor tattoos you’ll find a lot of people calling into question the art style’s longevity due to the lack of outline and lessened amounts of ink saturation. It’s true that watercolor tattoos don’t last quite as long as their traditional counterparts and tend to require more touch-ups to maintain, but the ... Read More »

The Eternal Artistry of Holiday Tattoos

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The winter months are considered the happiest time of year for a reason. Loved ones get together and create memories that often last a lifetime. Many people get to see friends and family members they don’t ordinarily get to catch up with while feasting like there’s no tomorrow. It’s no wonder why some of the most timeless stories revolve around the holidays. From How the Grinch Stole Christmas to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, there are hundreds of memorable holiday stories that capture the essence of what the season means to so many people all over the world. The real question isn’t why should you get a holiday tattoo; it’s why shouldn’t you. Chances are there’s a specific holiday themed story or moment in your life that means more to you than almost any other. It could be the first time you ever spoke to Santa as a wide-eyed young child at your local mall or a moment when you watched The Nightmare Before Christmas with your family and/or friends. The biggest argument against getting a holiday tattoo is that it’s only relevant for a limited amount of time each year, but is that really true? Are your memories or the immense joy you feel during the holidays limited to a small stretch of time? Of course not! Why do you think the whole idea of Christmas in July exists? It actually had nothing to do with seasonal differences. The occasion was first celebrated in 1933 by Camp Keystone, a girl’s ... 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 »

On the Topic of Hip Tattoos

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Even the most basic tattoo can be an incredibly sensual piece of art when strategically placed. The hip is often used as one such location, particularly by women who enjoy showing off their midriffs at the beach and during the warmer times of year. People who exercise to extreme degrees often use tattoos as a way to accentuate and draw attention to particular parts of their body. Men tend to focus on their biceps, hence the popularity of bicep tattoos. Women tend to focus on their core, which is why the fairer sex tend to sport hip tattoos more than their testosterone-fueled counterparts. The hips is also a prime locations for people who work in industries that frown upon the practice. It’s an easy location to cover up, making it simple for people to deny their existence during an interview process if need be. That being said, tattoos are starting to become commonplace and more accepted year after year. This trend has caused many people to feel comfortable getting more extensive and detailed designs, and the hip is the perfect place for these larger pieces of art. As you can see from many of the designs in the gallery below, hip tattoos tend to be quite large in nature, spanning the entire region above and below the waist. If a small picture’s worth a thousand words then a hip tattoo can be likened to a novel; an easy-to-read novel visible without the need of a mirror. Hip tattoos are also ... Read More »