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A Mastectomy Tattoo Testimonial

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On September 8th, 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, what followed was a flurry of appointments, needles, pain, sadness and laughter. I had a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgery using tissue from my back, resulting in scars across my breast, under my arm and across my back, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I’d always wanted to have a tattoo of significant size that was unique and meant something special to me. I didn’t necessarily want the tattoo to cover all of my scarring, but rather to celebrate the fight I’d won while commemorating the family and friends I’ve lost to cancer. The theme was to be poppies and sunflowers, poppies to represent family and sunflowers because to me they signify happiness. I wanted something realistic and spent hours researching images and styles of tattoos to get the design just right. I then spent an equal amount of time researching tattoo artists in my area, looking for a talented artist and studio where I’d feel comfortable. I wound up choosing Shane Sunday of Alternative Ink and planned a visit to the studio to enquire about prices and availability. Geoff Blair, Shane’s apprentice at the time, immediately made me feel welcome. He explained the procedure and I booked an appointment with Shane that caused the next couple of months to feel like I was waiting for Christmas. Upon arriving for my first sitting, with my thoroughly researched images and design ideas in hand, I sat nervously waiting whilst everything was set ... Read More »

Totally Sick Space Tattoos

@ben_klishevskiy

Take my love, take my land Take me where I cannot stand I don’t care, I’m still free You can’t take the sky from me. Take me out to the black Tell them I ain’t comin’ back Burn the land and boil the sea You can’t take the sky from me.   Can you be a fan of all things space-like and not at least know the theme song to Firefly? If you don’t know about the greatest prematurely cancelled show to ever grace television audiences, look it up. Anyone who loves the space tattoos featured in the following gallery are sure to love Josh Whedon’s Firefly series, and the subsequent feature film called Serenity. The tattoos featured below perfectly capture the wonder and awe that the vast unknown of space represents. The combination of light and dark coupled with the majesty of celestial bodies and wondrous celestial events make the possibility for space tattoos as endless as space itself. You’ll probably never seen the same space tattoo design on two different people even if you were to attend a space tattoo enthusiast convention with a crowd of thousands. Space tattoos also tend to go hand-in-hand with time, like the hourglass tattoo featured towards the latter part of this gallery. Spacetime is an important and popular concept in both real world physics and sci-fi genres, which is why time is often prominently featured in space tattoos. We hope you thoroughly enjoy the space gallery featured below and that it inspires ... Read More »

Adventurous Nautical Tattoos

Thomas Carli jarlier @thomascarlijarlier

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about old nautical imagery. Wooden ships creaking quietly through the night, ominous lighthouses rhythmically cutting through fog, the rare and unknown that toils away in the depths below a constantly rocking surface. There’s a reason people still get tattoo designs focused around the sailor imagery of yesteryear. These images call to our base nature of wonder and exploration. The sea stands as the final frontier and the platform by which the last frontier was made possible. Pilgrims and immigrants braved the open oceanic waters in search of a better home, a place of paradise. While they may not have found the warm welcoming they sought, they did find a land full of discovery with unique untold riches. Tattoos like the ones featured in the gallery below speak to the adventurer trapped inside a mundane, largely claimed and discovered world. The thirst to brave the unknown and revere its treasures – not those of gold or silver, but of the unknown and undiscovered. Of course, you don’t have to be an adventurer to appreciate the artistry behind these nautical tattoos, but its purveyors of the open waters that ten to get such tattoos. The ships you see below wouldn’t be done justice sitting trapped in a bottle for all of eternity. Do you feel the call of the deep blue? The call of the unknown? If so then maybe you should get a similar nautical tattoo of your own. Perhaps a ship of your own design? Or ... Read More »

Outta Sight, Outta Light – UV Tattoos that Rock

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UV Tattoos or blacklight tattoos are made with a special ink that is visible under ultraviolet light. Depending on the type of ink or style, some can be nearly invisible in normal light (non-UV environment).   The safety of UV Tattoo ink has been and will continue to be under heavy scrutiny from the tattooed community.  There have been many claims of reaction to the ink, which can range from minor irritation to dermatitis. Read More »

If April is Your Month – These Tattoos Are For You

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The month of April is the fourth month of the year, and is derived from the Latin word Aperire, meaning to open. April can also mean many things to different people such as the changing of seasons, or the Aries Ram sign of the Zodiac. The months of the year are often a symbolic tattoo that people get to show different characteristics of their personality. In the Zodiac April is either the sign Aries (if you were born on April 1-20th) or Taurus (if you were born after the 20th of April through the end of the month). Zodiac representative tattoos can get very creative, these Aries tattoos range from the symbol of the ram, to a star map of the constellation itself. Read More »

Stunning New School Tattoos

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Anyone who says tattoos aren’t art doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Some of the most talented artists in the world are tattoo artists, placing their masterpieces on the canvas of others. Tattoo artists may not have gallery openings or wind up with their work hung in museums, but they’re appreciated all around the world by millions of people. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Why are we preaching to the choir? Because today we have a gallery that perfectly encapsulates the unique artistry behind tattoos – the new school. There’s been a distinct shift in traditional tattoo style over the past few decades. More and more people from all walks of life are enjoying the artistry that tattoos have to offer, but many are opting to get designs that are a bit different from the Sailor Jerry classics many tattoo enthusiasts recognize as classics. New school tattoos are new, colorful versions of classic tattoo motifs. They combine color and black/grey to create an often cartoon-y version of a classic tattoo design or theme. These tattoos are often brighter, bolder, and have a higher quality of shading and detail than their older counterparts. These new school tattoos came about due to the natural advances in ink and tattooing technology that give modern tattoo artists more tools to work with than they had decades ago. That isn’t to say new school tattoos are inherently better than their old school counterparts, they simply make use of new technology and a wider ... Read More »

What are Neo Traditional Tattoos?

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In past galleries we’ve shown off old school and new school styles of tattoos. Today’s gallery is about a special still of tattooing that seeks to blend the best of both worlds: neo traditional tattoos. The best way to differentiate neo traditional tattoos and traditional tattoos is their attempt at realism. The neo style shies away from the cartoonish look of its older counterparts and seeks to add a sense of photo realism to the tattoo design without completely crossing into the realism art style. In Layman’s terms, neo traditional tattoos add a realistic look to unrealistic designs. The artists who specialize in this style use bold lines and various other traditional tattoo techniques to create each design, hence the term neo – aka “new” – traditional. The differences can be so subtle that some people can’t tell the difference between a traditional and neo traditional tattoo, which has led many to proclaim that the latter form doesn’t exists. Luckily for you, we offer specialized galleries than make it easy for you to see side-by-side comparisons of both art styles. Open our old school tattoo gallery in a new window or tab and we’re sure you’ll notice a difference. Some artists and tattoo enthusiasts are naturally inclined towards the neo traditional style. You may even have a few tattoos that showcase the form even though you had no idea it existed. A lot of new tattoo enthusiasts are drawn to the realistic yet expressive, colorful style that neo traditional tattoos ... Read More »

Neighborhood Mister Roger’s Tattoos

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Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was a favorite children’s program in the 70’s and 80’s.  Despite all the rumors that Fred Roger’s wore his long sleeve sweaters to cover his inked arms, this is indeed an urban myth.  We still would like to pay homage to this television host who was a part of most of our childhood memories by showing you seven of the best Mr. Roger’s portrait tattoos. Read More »

The 25 Best Tattoo Sayings

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There are hundreds of companies out there that put some of these slogans on their t-shirts; some are all over tattoo studios walls, others are floating around as meme’s on the web but some of these we came up with ourselves. Which ones do you vote for?   Tattoos – Size Does Matter It’s all about the pain, the ink is just a souvenir! Sorry, I only like boys with tattoo’s Yes they hurt, no I will not regret them The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos. Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past. Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good. There’s no crying in tattooing To Ink or not to Ink..stupid question Diamonds were a girls best friend, until tattoos. Tattooed & Employed Ink is thicker than blood Tattoos are permanent and a lifelong commitment, the same as Tattoo is not a four letter word Tattoos are forever Love may not last forever but tattoos do I am wearable art If the body is a temple, why not decorate the walls? I am thankful for the freedom to get the tattoos that express me and the ability to ignore those who judge me by them No Regrets No pain no gain My tattoos aren’t nearly as offensive as your staring People with tattoos are way more fun to see naked Yes I ... Read More »

10 Exquisite Native American Tattoos

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People tend to get tattoos that speak to their personal values and sensibilities, which is why most tattoo enthusiasts tend to get at least one tattoo of spiritual or religious significance. The Native Americans who originally inhabited North America were very spiritual people. They believed in harmony and coexistence with nature, an ideal that still resonates with people today. From buffalo skulls to dreamcatchers, there’s a lot of spiritual imagery to choose from Native American culture and lore. A lot of it is considered fascinating and artistic in-and-of itself, making Native American imagery a natural choice for tattoo designs for people of all ethnic backgrounds. With nature being a very popular focal point for tattoo designs, it only makes sense that people would pair pictures of wolves and full moons with Native American chiefs and hunters to create impressively detailed works of art. The synergy practically speaks for itself, which is why a lot of Native American-centric tattoos can be found on people who don’t have any blood relation or ties to Native American cultures. The gallery below showcases some spectacular Native American tattoos that show just how versatile Native American imagery can be. From black-and-white handmade stone knives to cartoon-y buffalo heads, the possibilities are endless. You don’t have to be Native American to appreciate the artistry and subject matter showcased in the designs below. Maybe the next time you step foot into a tattoo parlor you’ll think about getting a Native American tattoo of your own. Read More »

Stunning Full Back Tattoos

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The history of back tattooing goes back 5000 years. There are so many different styles that have emerged throughout that time, but whatever the style we simply love quality large scale back pieces. Some larger scale tattoo pieces these days are becoming fine art on skin and with fine art, certain tattoos requires a big canvas.  So, what better canvas for a large tattoo is there than a back? Here we have found some stunning full back pieces that are both truly unique and visually appealing.       Read More »

The Most Beautiful Cancer Ribbon Tattoos

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  Cancer SUCKS and the people that have to undergo this horrible journey are truly heroes.  Some people celebrate overcoming cancer with ribbon tattoos, and for family and friends of victims it is often very therapeutic to get ribbon memorial tattoos.  The ribbon has signified supporting the fight against cancer since 1992.  Susan G. Komen was the first to start the movement with their pink breast cancer awareness ribbon, and then other charities followed suit in support for certain types of cancer.  We think its a beautiful sign of support and would like to share the most beautiful tattoos displaying these ribbons.     Read More »

Couples Who Gave Up Wedding Bands For These Tattoos

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Your wedding is a memorable occasion you will never want to forget.  Wedding rings are worn by a couple to show the world the commitment you have made to one another.  Instead of traditional wedding bands made of gold or silver we think these inked designs are quite inventive and show a dedication to commit to your partner for eternity. Read More »

Tattoos by Viktor Portugal

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Viktor Portugal was born in Uruguay, and currently resides in Krackow, Poland.  He started his career tattooing in 1988 when he saw a tattoo by Paul Booth which inspired him, and coincidentally his specialty tends to be black and grey macabre and usually consists of darker, more sinister images. He is most known for his biomech tattoos with surrealist accents but he is fascinated with all styles.   Read More »

Hardcore Knuckle Tattoos

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Tattoos on your hands are definitely a commitment, as this is one area that you cannot cover up with long sleeves.  This is why Knuckle Tattoos are not for the faint of heart, we like to call em hardcore.  A lot of jobs won’t hire people with visible hand tattoos so we know what a statement it is truly making by getting your knuckles inked.  Here are some of the most interesting Knuckle tats out there.   Read More »