Archive for the ‘tack-foos’ Category

lettering tattoo love!

December 15, 2012

Pluck all your strings

This piece is on my friend Amanda in Oregon. It looks awesome, I’m so flattered! The quote is a lyric from a Neutral Milk Hotel song. Here’s the original.


create’s 2-year anniversary!

May 23, 2012

And 200th post! And a new tattoo!

Here are some exclamation points just for the hell of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You like the kite? I like the kite.

Excelsior translates to “ever upward” and is also the NY state motto. A state I love with a world view I can abide by. With that said, I will continue to sally forth on this blog and share all my arty bits with you, the finest of readers. Thank you so much for subscribing and sharing posts with your friends. Watching one’s blog stats grow is a unique thrill that keeps me motivated and accountable.

Speaking of benchmarks, I actually got two tattoos…

…gaze upon my finger ruler!

See that smudgy shadow under the first line? That’s a scar I got from cutting the crap out of myself in a metal-smithing class in college. It healed as a grey smudge because of the silver dust that got in there from the jagged hunk that I cut myself with.

Annoyed about my unintentional “tattoo”, I’d always meant to turn it into something else. And so I did. And now it is a handy ruler. HANDY RULER OMG.

I have to go now before I gross you all out with my uncontrollable punnery.

Tattoos done by the hilarious and talented Jess Versus of Brooklyn

PS. thanks again, guys! You’re the best!

favorite tattoo shops and an announcement

March 9, 2012

As a tattooed person, I get asked for New York tattoo shop recommendations from time to time. Since my two favorite artists (Gene Coffey and Jess Versus) work within walking distance of each other I decided to draw a little map for anyone who wants to know where I think they should spend their tattoo dollars.

In other news, I’m now writing the Friday column for the Surprisology blog. My posts focus on surprise in design and I couldn’t be more thrilled as it is giving me an outlet to share all the cool stuff I bookmark online all the time.

Coincidentally, I have a new post going up today!

“Like” Surprisology’s Facebook page for updates.

dino tattoos – a love note

February 14, 2012

Here is a love note to dinosaurs in the form of a couple of simple stegosaurus tattoos (they existed, OK?). Celebrate your love for dinosaurs by getting one of these tattooed this Valentine’s day!

Jeez, my signatures are HUGE. Don’t get that part tattooed, got it? Good.

beautiful dia de los muertos

December 16, 2011

Let me set the scene for you…

I’d been working on (fretting over) the Used Gravitrons cover, it was just after Halloween and Facebook was inundated with pictures my friends with painted with Dia de los Muertos faces. I resolved that NEXT YEAR I would add beautiful face paint to my Halloween repertoire.

Cut to… me taking a much needed mental health break.

I open a magazine and behold the beautiful face of a woman. Idea…

(click any of the images to see them at full-size)

Turns out, painting Dia de los Muertos faces on pretty ladies is pretty great therapy for artist’s block, I highly recommend it.

hand-carved salt and pepper stamp

August 27, 2011

So it’s hurricane weekend 2011 on the East Coast. BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!!

I was in a serious state of anxiety yesterday until I felt like we’d put a good effort into the homestead fortification. Bottled water? check. Hand-crank radio? check. Booze and other diversions? double-check.

Regardless, I hope all other East Coasters are safe and snug in their apartments and ready to witness what is apparently history. Or at least that’s what our mothers keep saying when they call…

ANYWAY, onto the art, I carved us a salt and pepper stamp!

You may not remember why salt and pepper imagery figures so largely in our lives so here is a reminder.

I actually carved this stamp TWICE. Yep. That’s because I didn’t think to reverse the S and P on the first one which would have then, of course, resulted in them being backwards when stamped. Friends, learn from my mistake, consider all text.

mouse tattoo

January 9, 2011

My friend Amanda got a tattoo of this design that I drew. This isn’t the first tattoo I’ve designed but it is the most recent which is exciting! It is a great honor for someone to permanently etch my artwork onto their body.

For the design I referenced Picasso’s Mouse Serigraph, which she liked.

Amanda’s design is of a mouse in a frying pan. Though I can’t remember the details, I know that it has some sort of family story behind it and I’ll bet it’s a funny one.

Fried mice… haha.

new year, new tattoo

December 31, 2010

We all know what this means…

someone is getting tattooed!

I was finally able to use the gift certificate my fiancé had given me for my birthday in October. I was getting my elbow tattooed so I tried to time it when I wouldn’t be carrying around any nieces or nephews or repainting any floors, because any of these things would suck hard with a bum elbow.

The timing worked out that I’d be starting the new year with a new tattoo and I think there’s some sort of symbolism in there that I can get into.

tattoo artist gene coffey

We got started after working out the stencil size and placement for about 30 min. Gene had me lay down which was awesome, kind of like nap time with someone applying a belt-sander to your elbow.

in progress

I picked a trillium design as homage to my time spent in Oregon. While it is not native to Oregon alone, it grows there and that’s where I learned about it. Trilliums also bloom in an eggplant purple color but I thought the white would read the best. I also thought the white would hurt the least so that worked out well.

Other facts about trilliums: they only have 3 petals and 3 leaves, they only bloom every 3 years and if you pick one, the whole plant dies. DON’T PICK TRILLIUMS.

the finished tattoo

It didn’t even make me puke or crap my pants (fair standards for success, no?). Actually, the tattoo went really well. I’d psyched myself up but it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Also, a couple of years ago, I suffered through several hours of an excruciating side piece and relative to that, this was totally tolerable.

So, my best advice to people who want to get their elbow tattooed is to undergo a root canal without any numbing or stand in front of a moving bus. Once you recover and get your elbow tattooed, you’ll be able to take it like a man and impress all your friends.

JK, but I did feel totally awesome when Gene told me I’d been a champ. I love exceeding my own expectations.

close up

I was so stoked to see the final product. This tattoo turned out a million times more awesome than I’d ever imagined it. Gene is the best, check out his awesome portfolio. Also, I’d like to give a big thank you to Jocelyn for taking reference pictures for me. Without her this tattoo would probably have happened… whenever I found a decent image on GIS, but it would have been less meaningful.

Afterwards, Kat and I went to Mike’s work where I had victory nachos and a victory margarita.

So now the healing period. They sent me home with A + D ointment and a plastic wrapping to keep it clean. It has swollen quite a bit but I managed to take a nap with my arm over my head which helped drain some of the fluid out.

fat elbow

That whole fluid drainage thing was pretty gross so I’ll just leave on that note. Sorry.

Happy New Years!

better together

November 14, 2010

I have a couple of illustrations in the hopper that I’d like to post here, but I have to wait for them to be published and/or to be received by their recipients. NO SPOILERS HERE.

In the meantime, here is an illustration I did for my fiancé for our one year anniversary in February of 2009.

click to view larger!

It was also for the same anniversary that we got our matching tattoos!


as luck would have it

September 3, 2010

I’ve shied away from handmade gift certificates in my adult years. As a kid I used them as a quick fall-back present for family members when I hadn’t been on the ball and put more thought into a gift.

Not to say that they can’t be a wonderful gift, in fact, they’re more personal than something store-bought. I suspect it was my association with that ‘oh shit’ moment that turned me off to them.

That said, Mike and I recently faced a gift-giving dilemma that a handmade gift certificate solved! I’d asked our friend Marc (the birthday boy) the name of his favorite brunch place in the city but when we got there, no gift certificates!

After getting the news, we stalked out to the street corner to hem and haw with our chins in our hands, mulling over our options. That was, until Mike reminded me that handmade GC’s ARE pretty rad. I then decided to record the saga on the gift itself.

click to see full size!

(The text says, ‘Hey, did you know… that Kate’s Joint, does NOT sell gift certificates? Neither did we!!)

I’m pretty pleased with how the monochrome turned out. Kind of wishing I hadn’t forgotten the syrup on the pancakes though!

Coincidentally, Marc’s birthday was on Friday the 13th AND at a tattoo parlor  so I also walked away with this little gem. It was put on me by Andy Perez.

I’ve always wanted a skeleton key and ~tattoo lore~ says it’s lucky to get a 13 tattooed on Friday the 13th. Maybe now I’ll have good luck getting into and out of situations.

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