Occasionally in my wanderings, I will meet not just tattooed people, but tattoo practitioners, and often those visiting from outside of New York City.

So it was no surprise, when I approached a gentleman across the street from where I work, at 31st and 7th, to learn that I was talking to an artist.

Working out of Punkteur Tattoos & Piercing in Joplin, Missouri, Derek "Dirtbird" Wieberg estimates he has 130-150 hours of work inked on his personal canvas.

With so much to choose from, he offered up this piece, on the right side of his neck:

It seemed fitting, considering his name.

Dirtbird praised the artist, Rick Pierceall at Karma Tattoo in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who has done all of his throat work.

Considering it is Two-for-Tattoosday, I'll share this photo as well:

That's not Dirtbird, but it's his handiwork! The owner of this tattoo is Shawn, who had the good fortune to be inked by Dirtbird. They collaborated on the design together.

Thanks to Dirt Bird and Shawn for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Tune in tomorrow to see a tattoo from Katie, aka Mrs. Dirtbird!

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Ride the Cyclone!  

In college we had a game room at the Student Union.

I claimed to be a master at Arkanoid, but would occasionally play pinball. Earthshaker was fun, but there was another, carnival-themed game that would often beckon, "Ride the Cyclone!" It was, naturally, called The Cyclone.

Fast forward ten years and I would be residing in Brooklyn, home to Coney Island and the original Cyclone.

Despite having been in close proximity a number of times, I've never gone for a ride.

I was reminded of this back in September when I met Matt at the top of the escalator at the Penn Plaza Borders store.

He shared this amazing tattoo:

This is, of course, the Cyclone.

Matt is working on a Coney Island/"Carnie" theme, having lived in Brooklyn most of his adult life. Thus, the Astroland tower behind the Cyclone in the tattoo. Next up: the Wonder Wheel and the Parachute Jump, other Coney Island attractions.

He sent along a photo of the tattoo when it was initially finished:

Matt credits this tattoo to Ping at Village Rock Tattoo in Manhattan.

Thanks to Matt for sharing this great tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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Something Girly This Way Comes  

I met Nadya one afternoon in the beginning of October in Borders on Penn Plaza.

She shared this tattoo, which covered up a date she had initially inscribed on her arm:

Nadya told me that she wanted something "girly".

What I found most interesting about this tattoo is that when I asked her who the artist was, she told me it was her father. I can't imagine tattooing my own daughter. I would be too nervous!

Thanks to Nadya for sharing this tattoo with us here on Tattoosday.

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Happy Thanksgiving!  

In honor of the holiday, I am sharing this, my newest tattoo, located above my knee on my right thigh:

This was done at Hand of Glory in Brooklyn yesterday as part of the shop's $75 Thanksgiving Tattoo Special and was sponsored by Troll Skin, produced by Skin Actives Scientific.

For those of you just tuning in, check the pre-post here, which includes all the Thanksgiving flash designed for the occasion. I asked readers to vote on which tattoo to get, and this one sneaked out a narrow victory over the traditional Native American profile.

I like this design because it combines a lot of traditional tattoo elements and delivers an image with a sociopolitical subtext. We have the traditional American flag and handshake designs, but the added element of crossed fingers serves as a reminder that, despite apparent good intentions, there was subsequently a historical betrayal of that initial good will.

But that's just one perspective, of course, and the Thanksgiving holiday focuses on the positive in our society. The mere existence of the tattoo reminds me to be thankful, which I alluded to in my original post.

I was fortunate enough to have Brian Faulk as my artist again. He had inked my Friday the 13th tattoo last August, and I appreciate that he works quickly and concisely.

Brian Faulk at Work
It was nice, also, that this design was one of his contributions to the flash sheet, as he was kind enough to embellish slightly on the original design, and it always seems better when an artist is tattooing his or her own design. As for the idea behind it, he was trying to represent graphically a broken treaty. I'm extremely pleased with the end result.

In consideration for their sponsoring this tattoo, I will be exclusively using Skin Active's product, Troll Skin Aftercare over the next two weeks as the tattoo heals. I can already say I am pleased with the aftercare cream because it is a lot less messy than the ointment I am used to using within the first 72 hours after getting a tattoo.

I'll report back then on how their product held up compared to the regiment I've followed in the past.

I want to thank all of the readers who voted for designs, and for everyone who reads and supports the site.

And thanks again to Skin Actives for helping make this tattoo possible, to Brian at Hand of Glory, and to my family, at home in Brooklyn and across the U.S., for their support

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Mari's Prayer, with a Twist of Math  

I met Mari in front of Madison Square Garden on a sunny day in October. How could I not stop and ask her about this tattoo?

Mari explained that this is an Ananda prayer, that her friends were meditating on it for a week.

The text, which is attributed to Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, reads:

Make me thy butterfly of eternity.

I burnt my past. I ignored the foreboding seeds of sprouting destiny. I waded through the strewn ashes of past & future fears.

I am the eternal present. I tore to shreds the cocoon of ignorance with the sharpness of my will.
I am thy...butterfly of eternity, sweeping through immeasurable time. The beauty of my nature-wings I spread everywhere, to entertain everything. Suns & stardust are spread on my wings. Behold my beauty! Cut all the silken threads of thy shrouding folly: follow me in my flight to myself.

The butterfly symbolizes transformation, a phase everyone goes through at one point or another in time.

Also among her twenty-two tattoos is this formula at the top of her arm:

Mari explained she loves math and generalized that, with this equation, "you can generate anything in the universe". In theory, at least. Here, it gets a little hazy for me. Part of this tattoo contains "f(z) = z^2 + c" which is described as a complex function. Then there is the part that equates the square root of -1 to the value i. This is a formula for an imaginary number. I'm bowing out here, knowing there's no way I'll be able to explain this part of the tattoo adequately. Readers are welcome to try in the comments section, below.

Mari's work was inked by Kevin at The Tattoo Shop in Lansing, Michigan.

Thanks to Mari for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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Julia's Pin-Up  

I met Julia briefly in a Hudson News in Penn Station.

The flash of color on her foot caught my eye:

Julia explained that she is a visual artist that likes to do pin-up illustrations. This particular design she wanted to be transformed into a tattoo. She brought it to Morgan Reed at Electric Lotus Tattoo in Boonton, New Jersey, and he made some slight adjustments that resulted in this lovely tattoo.

Work from Electric Lotus has appeared on Tattoosday before. This link will show you what else we have featured from their shop.

Thanks to Julia for sharing her pin-up girl with us here on Tattoosday!

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David's Traditional Hands  

Last month I met David when I stopped after noticing his neck tattoo. However, it was his hands he offered up to us here at Tattoosday:

David works in construction and is a contractor. He also manages the band, Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society.

He has about thirty-five (35) hours of work done on his body, and he explained that these are traditional pieces on his hands.

He was inspired to have his knuckles read "True Blue" as they speak to his belief that our country has lost its values that need to be regained. Key among these values are loyalty and honor, in the traditional, "true blue" sense of the words.

To him, the panther represents that we need to fight to regain these ideals.

And the two roses represent the ideal (the healthy, red flower on the right hand) and what he called the "diminished," (on the left) that is, where we're headed with our loss of values.

David embraced these traditional elements because he feels that "the only way to have a future is to look at the past".

He had the panther done at a tattoo convention. The roses and "TRUE BLUE" knuckles are credited to Rick Meggison at Marked 4 Life in York, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to David for sharing these very cool hand tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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Two for Tattuesday Saturday: Wanderful Love Under the Cherry Blossoms  

In honor of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) , we're sharing this tattoo, which I spotted back in September:

This belongs to Rich, a musician and rap artist. He's a big Harry Potter fan, as exemplified by the magic wand. The snake at the base of the wand not only symbolizes infinity, it is a nod to Severus Snape, a character associated with the House of Slytherin, of which the serpent is the mascot.

The concept of the tattoo is exemplified by the music coming out of the wand, illustrating that sounds can be magical and that Rich is under music's spell.

The piece was inked by Chris at Lady Luck Tattoo Studio in Montville, Connecticut.

When I met Rich, he was sitting with his girlfriend in Penn Station. She introduced herself as Kytti, and asked if I wanted to see her tattoo.

But of course!

She actually has two tattoos, but lifted up her shirt to show me this beautiful design:

Kytti explained that this represents her and Rich together in Japan. They've been together for over a year and they'd both love to go there together and experience the culture. The tree is filled with cherry blossoms, a flower often associated with Japan.

Chris at Lady Luck also was the artist behind this tattoo.

Thanks to Rich and Kytti for sharing their magical and romantic tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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The Great Thanksgiving Tattoo Event!  

Loyal readers may remember this past August when I called on fans of Tattoosday to choose (and generously bankroll) Friday the 13th tattoos for Melanie and me. If not, relive it here.

Well, a recent email from the good people at Skin Actives Scientific got me thinking. They asked if I wouldn't mind receiving some samples of their Troll Skin Aftercare products and talking about them here on Tattoosday.

I thought, what better way to promote something but to actually use it? The problem was, I had no immediate plans on getting a new tattoo. But then it hit me, as the good people at Hand of Glory Tattoo, who inked our Friday the 13th tattoos, announced that, starting today, through the end of next week, they have another tattoo special, in honor of Thanksgiving!

So we connected the dots and put our heads together to announce the following:

Behold the flash for the Hand of Glory Thanksgiving specials:

Now, dear readers, what tattoo should I get?

Send your first, second and third choices to Every email (one per person please) will enter a reader into a random drawing for Troll Skin samples. Plus you'll have the pleasure of knowing you had a hand in deciding how I will be permanently honoring this most thankful of holidays.

You have until Wednesday at 9:00 AM (EST) to vote and when you wake up on Turkey Day, you can tune into Tattoosday to see which tattoo won and who will get Troll Skin samples!

Then, in a couple of weeks, you'll hear back from me about how the tattoo healed and what I think about the product.

And before some of you start scratching your heads about why I would indiscriminately get a tattoo just for the heck of it, I would remind you it is Thanksgiving, and what better to have on the human tapestry, than a reminder that we should always be thankful for the important things in life. I have a lot to be thankful for, above and beyond my awesome wife, Melanie, my kids, and my family and friends.

I am thankful for you, the Tattoosday contributors, fans and readers, for inspiring me with your stories and supporting me with your comments and emails.

And, of course, to the good folks at Skin Actives, for agreeing to support me in this Thanksgiving adventure, a special thanks this holiday season.

Stay tuned and don't forget to vote!

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Tom's Homage to His Grandmother's Scottish Ancestry  

I met Tom in a drug store in my neck of the woods in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

He has four tattoos and offered to share this one with us:

This piece celebrates his lineage, honoring the family crest from his grandmother's side.

The Scottish part of him is descended from the Clan Fergusson.The clan motto Dulcius ex asperis  means "Sweeter after difficulties".

This was tattooed by Lou at Third Eye Tattoo, in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Work from Lou and Third Eye that has appeared on Tattoosday can be viewed here.

Thanks to Tom for sharing his family crest with us here on Tattoosday!

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Katie's Astrological Ink: Cancer, with Aries Rising  

One of the unexpected joys in inkspotting is approaching someone about a tattoo and having them reveal one that is so much better than the piece you approached them about. It's like receiving a bonus for being curious.

Such was the case with Katie, who I spotted in Penn Station when I noticed a tattoo on her ankle.

When I asked her about it, she laughed and said it wasn't even close to being her favorite tattoo and she took off her jacket to reveal, on her upper left arm, one of her eight tattoos:

This is an astrological tattoo and features the signs for Cancer (the crab) and Aries (the ram). Katie explained that she is a Cancer, with Aries rising.

What this means, astrologically, could take pages and pages of analysis, but Katie explained that the two personalities are both strong and that they traditionally don't get along, which is why she has this relationship depicted as the two symbolic creatures battling in a stormy landscape. It is one interpretation of an astrological description that lends itself to her personality. Here's another.

Of course, as a Cancer myself, I cannot help but love this tattoo, especially my old friend the crab:

Katie credited the artist Christian Masot at Silk City Tattoo in Hawthorne, New Jersey, for this tattoo. She estimated it took about seven hours total in three sittings to create the finished product. Work from Silk City has appeared on Tattoosday several times before (see this tag), but this is the first piece we've seen by Christian.

Thanks to Katie for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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Andy's Watership Down Sleeve  

I met Andy back in September in Penn Station and he shared this incredible sleeve:

When I asked him about the inspiration behind this incredible work, he indicated the rabbit, which is based on his pet Fiver:

I immediately recognized the name as one of the characters in Richard Adam's wonderful novel, Watership Down.

He basically wanted something that was nature-based and gave the artist, Keller at Classic Tattoos in Pinellas Park, Florida, free reign on the design, allowing him to pretty much free-form the sleeve.

The collage at the top of the post consists of my shots in Penn Station, but the detailed photos are based on the pictures Andy generously sent me after the fact. These detailed photos show the brilliant colors and exquisite detail that Keller put into the tattoo, which Andy estimates represents about 18-20 hours of work.

Thanks again to Andy for sharing this amazing sleeve with us here on Tattoosday!

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