Coelacanth Is Watching You…
The coelacanth is one ugly prehistoric fish. The cool thing about it is that it's post-historic, too! (Or at least, um, regular historic…)
From what I can tell, all of the collectors pictured below have three things in common: they like fish, they feel some connection to the concept of "survival", and they are nerdy enough to get a big tattoo of a living fossil.
This beauty adorns Mary McCarthy (no artist info available). Photo from The Love Lab, which seems to be a fish science website. How awesome is it that they have a "tattoos" section?
Arne Kuilman's piece (by Jan-Paul of Admiraal Tattoo in Amsterdam) is a nice balance of realistic and stylized. He's got some great shots in various stages of tattooage, as well as some cool source images in his flickr photostream. Lots of info about coelacanths in his captions, too. I didn't know, for instance, that the coelacanth's typical "headstand" is about 30 degrees.
Flickr member kittenhiccups says the real story behind her coelacanth (no artist info available) has to do with "evolution, beauty, horror, life, death, defying expectations, surviving
against all odds, my own phobias, and a bunch of symbolic stuff that
means more to me than I can say," but if you ask, the answer you're more likely to get
is, "I just think they're cool, I guess."
Hans Rueffert (contestant on the first season of The Next Food Network Star!) chronicles his tattoo experience on his blog. His coelacanth tells the story of his victorious battle with stomach cancer (extra nerd points because the numbers within the scales spell out "cancer" numerically). Tattoo by Deano, no shop or location info listed; based on original artwork by Richard Kirk.
I never pass up an opportunity to plug the geek-licious tattoos on Carl Zimmer's Sciece Tattoo Emporium, and this coelacanth tattoo (by Craig Cooley, currently tattooing at Stingray Body Art in Boston, MA) on Vicki Rosenswieg's abdomen is certainly plug-worthy. Here's an in-progress shot, as well.
Rusty Piton's "mysterious coelacanth", by Alex Higgens at the Tattoo Factory in Chicago, IL.
Flickr member pczoide gave me the idea for this post by adding his Japanese koi-inspired coelacanth to my Dinosaur Tattoos pool. More shots of this tattoo in progress and after later sessions in his "Finding Nemo" set. I can't wait to see this one completed; I think it will be my favorite one! Tattoo by Davi Duarte at Est√∫dio Muito Al√©m de Tatuagem in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Stegosaurus (Tattoo) Stampede!
I’m partial to Cretaceous beasties, myself, but the Jurassic classic Stegosaurus seems to be popular these days in my Dinosaur Tattoos group on Flickr! Additions in reverse chronological order:
This is such a great start to MC Mikey Megatron‘s dinosaur “pantleg”. (“Stocking”? Either of those terms working for you?) I can’t wait to see the next installment! Tattoo by Evan Lovett at Bayside Ink Tattoo in Beachwood, NJ.
Littlest foot shows off her cute stego tattoo by Ethan at Brass City Tattoo in Waterbury, CT. She also has a colorful (and also cute) half sleeve featuring a pair of “apatosauruseseseseses” done at Hartford County Tattoo in Bristol, CT!
I like this little guy! Interesting how it is in the same position as MC Mikey Megatron’s; bonus ink nerd points to anyone who can find a link to the source artwork! I asked Cossix for info about tattooer or tattooee (this collector seems to be female… Tatooine, perhaps? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.), but got no response.
UPDATE: Briana has informed us that she is the Tatooine, and this stego was done by one of the artists at Marks of Art in San Jose, CA!
We’ve been following the progress of maurosourousrex’s baby stego tattoo for a while now, and are looking forward to the “waterfall and possible tree still to come”. I love the the blue and green (and purple!) color scheme and the interesting markings; it reminds me of a tropical fish! No word yet on artist or locale.
We first saw Roulettedares00‘s meticulously detailed stego skeleton on Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium, and we were very pleased when he saw fit to add it to the Dinosaur Tattoos group. In case you’re interested, it seems to be based on this illustration by pre-eminent paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh done in 1896.
This man, by the way, is a walking museum of nerd ink, representing a trifecta close to my own heart: Star Wars (Hoth, no less! The best part of all 6 movies!), dinosaurs, and comics. If he gets a Lego tattoo, I will found the Official Church of Roulettedares00 of Latter Day Ink Nerds, or, at the very least, swear eternal fealty to my true liege. A “Mutants in Asgard” tattoo would also qualify for this honor.
UPDATE: All of Roulettedares00’s tattoos were done by Myles Karr, currently working at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn!
One of the very first members of the group was The Gnome, who gets bonus ink points for symmetry with these two excellent specimens. No artist info available.
Thanks to everybody who has submitted photos to the Dinosaur Tattoos group; keep ’em coming!
Holy Tattoo Blogs, Batman!
I saw this delicious blog devoted to pin-up girl tattoos over on Needled this morning. Yowza! What Marisa failed to mention is that Raised by Puffins also maintains a blog about owl tattoos and one about, you guessed it, Batman tattoos!
I’ve been contemplating a Batman tattoo post for a while now, but there are so many out there that I didn’t know where to start (especially due to all the hype re: The Dark Knight)! Thanks RbP, for doing the hard work for me!
Here are a couple of highlights:Adam West-era Batman tattoo by Mike Kolling of Twilight Tattoo in Minneapolis, MN
Raised by Puffins, you should really check out the work of Electric Pick! Not only does he have a killer signature style of pin-up girl, he’s recently posted an update of his awesome Batman “pantleg” (is the term catching on yet?).
I think RbP should combine two of his tattoo passions and do a blog about Harley Quinn tattoos! I’d subscribe!
Ink Nerds I Have Known: Ezra
My good pal Ezra’s awesomely nerdy flaming 8- and 12-sided dice (showing “7” and “11,” no less) were inked by Heather O’Shaughnessey at Trader Bob’s Tattoo Shop in St. Louis, MO (she’s also responsible for my Red Squares).
This tattoo inspired me to do a post with as many images of D&D dice as I could find, but it turns out I’m not the first in the blogosphere to have that idea. Here are a couple of really great collections, with surprisingly little overlap:
- “Aaawwwww YEAH! D20 Tattoos!” by Reis O’Brien on Geek Orthodox.
- “Roll a d20 for awesome tattoos” by Alice on Fun Vampires (nice favicon!).
So flaming D&D dice are not as uncommon as I would have thought. The tattoos with slogans (a la “High Roller”) are the best, however, including “Roll 4 Damage, Bitch,” “That’s How I Roll,” and “Leave No Die Behind.” (Evidently there’s a lot of love for 12-siders out in the tattooed gamer community… Who knew?)
Here are a couple more that Reis and Alice (both of whom sport D20 tattoos) somehow missed:
The first, found in BMEzine’s “Dice” keyword gallery, gets bonus tattoo points for working on two levels: nerdy gamer tattoo and cosmic art piece, but loses nerd points for disguising a nerdy gamer tattoo as a cosmic art piece. Cere‘s tattoo was done by John Clue at Super 88 Tattoo in Massapequa, NY.
The second (below), found in Devil Dinosaur’s Geek Tattoos flickr group, gets bonus nerd points for including the non-standard 30-sided die; double-TRIPLE bonus nerd points for including three 6-sided dice (for rolling ability scores the old-fashioned way) and two 10-siders (percentile dice, for generating numbers from 1 to 100)! No information about artist or collector, except that the latter attended Ohayocon ’08.
Extra-mondo nerd points to anyone who spots what’s wrong with this picture….
“Do you guys mind if I steal the tattoo design…?”
David recently posted a comment asking if he could steal the design of my Triceratops tattoo, designed by Mike Bellamy of Red Rocket Tattoo. My response:
I’m glad you like my custom Triceratops tattoo; I’m very fond of it, as well. Thanks for asking if Mike Bellamy and I would mind if you copy it, but the answer is: PLEASE DON’T STEAL THIS TATTOO DESIGN.
I spent many hours deliberating over the elements of this tattoo, and researching photos and other images of dinosaur fossils, flowers, other tattoos, etc. Mike built upon my ideas and research to create this awesome, original, unique tattoo design. Obviously, this isn’t a piece of flash that i picked off the wall at the tattoo shop.
I imagine that your tattoo artist would also much rather create his or her own custom design than copy someone else’s hard work. The tattoo community is more interconnected than you might think, and word gets around if an artist is stealing others’ custom artwork.
When I was planning this tattoo, one of the most helpful resources I found was a multi-part essay, “Get the Perfect Tattoo” from Off The Map Tattoo (also available in PDF format). I highly recommend reading all the sections. An excerpt from the “The Perfect Tattoo Design” section:
Many people first learning about tattoos try to find other tattoos upon which to base their own design or idea. They may spend hours looking through tattoos hoping to find the perfect design when they should be looking at the quality of the artist’s work rather than the designs themselves. Copying other people’s tattoos is disrespectful to the wearer of the tattoo, and to the artist who drew it, provided it was a custom, one-of-a-kind piece to begin with. … To get the best tattoo, it’s worth finding a lot of reference material, and bringing the images and your ideas to the tattoo artist who will be doing the tattoo, for them to look at and then incorporate into their own style.
Marisa DiMattia (former copyright lawyer and he voice of Needled.com) sums it up nicely in an article about the legal issues of copying tattoos entitled, “A Stolen Tattoo Could Get You Sued“:
To avoid law suits and even a laser, get your own original tattoo. The most important reason to do so is not legal, it’s ethical. Many custom tattoos tell people’s personal stories and mark unique events and experiences. Why have another person’s life written on your skin? Get a work of art that is all about you and leave out the lawyers.
Having said that, I think it would be GREAT if you got a tattoo of a dinosaur skull with flowers and vines and stuff, even a Triceratops! As I’ve pointed out on the blog, mine is certainly not the only one out there. Don’t you want yours to be original and unique, too? Work with your artist to come up with something even better than mine, and we’ll compare dinosaur tattoos. I’d even be happy to help come up with ideas. When you get your own one-of-a-kind piece done, send me a photo, and I’ll post it on the blog (and to the Flickr group)!
Thanks in advance for doing the right thing,
Long time, no post…
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while; I’ve been using my allotted blogging time to work on an Ink Nerd redesign. It’s actually in such an early stage that I shouldn’t even mention it yet, but what the the hell! Maybe I’ll post a couple of mockups and see what you guys think before I actually build out the CSS…
In the meantime, here’s flickr member djmark1972, a true ink nerd:
I first saw Mark’s tattooed digits on knuckletattoos.com, and decided to stalk him on flickr. Not only is he an ink nerd, he’s a punk rock coffee nerd! Truly a man after my own heart… Sorry, no information (yet) about the tattoo artist. Tattoo by JJ at Iron Cross Tattoo in Santa Barbara, CA.
Speaking of knuckletattoos.com, have you guys ever played around with their knuckle tattoo gun? It’s fun:
The most fun tattoo blog I’ve discovered lately is Electric Plog, from illustrator / comic book artist / tattoo artist / skateboard designer / photographer Electric Pick of Conspiracy Inc. Tattoo in Copenhagen, Denmark. I think I need to make a tattoo pilgrimage to northern Europe; they’ve got some great stuff goin’ on over there…
I first learned about Electric Pick from 96khz’s awesome Batman tattoo in Devil Dinosaur’s Geek Tattoos flickr group! Thanks 96khz! Thanks Devil Dinosaur!
Not only are ‘Pick’s original custom pieces beautiful to behold, he’s a prolific blogger and a funny guy! And he ends every sentence with some number of exclamation points!!!
It seems that most of his artwork involves sexy pin-ups in a variety of themes and settings, futuristic cityscapes, robots (the good kind and the evil kind), and international espionage (for some reason, the spies are always in cute little animal costume/disguises). He also has a strange obsession with trams!
I’m also kinda hooked on the blog of Electric Pick’s partner in crime at Conspiracy Inc., Uncle Allan, and that of Allan’s wife, Princess Inferno. I know it’s weirdly voyeuristic to follow the life and times of a group of Danish friends, but it’s fun! Like reality TV, but better, because there are no commercials and everyone involved isn’t awful. Besides, you have to be a little bit of an exhibitionist to blog about yourself in the first place, right?
Other recent (not-necessarily tattoo-related) blog subscriptions include:
- the soon after now: An art-nerd blog by my former French teacher, EastVillKit, who also happens to be a music nerd and a comix nerd. He is both insightful and unpretentious in his descriptions of art and life; a rare combination in my experience.
- Hooper’s Electric: Check out Thomas Hooper’s beautiful work; I especially like his big circular patterned blackwork pieces, of perfect radial symmetry and mesmerizing intricacy. Bonus points for working right here in Brooklyn (at least some of the time)! Double bonus points cuz I saw a guy with an impressive tattoo on the subway platform, and then recognized the piece (and the guy) on Hooper’s blog!
- Measure for Measure: Roseanne Cash, Suzanne Vega, Andrew Bird, and Darrell Brown describe their songwriting (and recording!) process, along with anecdotes from their careers, in this excellent New York Times blog.
What are you reading lately?
- Ink Nerd had a huge spike in unique visits last weekend, coinciding with opening weekend of The Incredible Hulk. Lots of people have Hulk tattoos on their minds, I guess… I found this one by Christiano at In the Shadows Tattoo (in Porto Alegre, Brasil) on flickr (there’s also another one in Devil Dinosaur’s Geek Tattoos group)! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I really want to, despite the lackluster reviews. It’s such a great character; why is it so hard to make a good movie? Oh, well, maybe Ink Nerd will get another spike when it comes out on DVD!
- I started a new job; it’s more of a corporate environment (not very punk rock, I’ve decided), so I haven’t felt comfortable baring my ink at work (also not punk rock). I haven’t seen ANY exposed tattoos on other employees, so I’m going to play it cool for now. Occasionally, my squares poke out from a rolled-up cuff, but I don’t think anyone has noticed. If they have, they probably think it’s a band-aid or something (I get that a lot… don’t ask me).
- I saw an excellent dinosaur tattoo on a fellow straphanger this morning, but he was chatting up a young lady the whole time, so I didn’t want to butt in and ask him to be Random Encounters Part Deux. It was a small, colorful (green with purple markings, or vice versa) theropod, maybe an Ornithomimus, or perhaps a Dromiceiomimus. Very cool, from what I saw, stretching from mid-bicep down past the elbow. I would have liked to get a photo (or at least a better view), but alas, it was not to be. I’ll just have to keep my eyes open around the neighborhood so I can stalk him. I love it when I see dinosaur tattoos out in the world (especially of interesting species); they’re surprisingly few and far between on the web!
- I’ve been trying to create a flattened out picture of my Triceratops tattoo using David Allen‘s Photoshop CS3 auto-align/blend trick, but I can’t get it to work right. I think I need to get someone else to take photos from different angles that don’t suck. If I ever figure it out, I’ll post the result here.
New additions to the “Dinosaur Tattoos” flickr group!
So, as I mentioned earlier, I started a flickr group and began to invite people to join. While there hasn’t been a massive flood of unsolicited submissions, the group is slowly but surely becoming respectable. Here are a couple of highlights:
Some of you may recognize this tattoo (and this person!) from an earlier post (or from the source), and I gotta say, I am just tickled to have a photo of Cerah and her (now completed, I think) triceratops tattoo in my flickr group! There’s another shot in CurtisJoeWalker’s photostream, and several more in the bmeink galleries. Thanks for joining, CurtisJoeWalker!
(Tattoo by Mark Lankin at Funhouse Tattoo in Vancouver, BC.)
rekanize gets bonus ink-nerd points for ingenuity—he didn’t have a camera on hand, so he just scanned his dino ink! Double-TRIPLE ink-nerd bonus points because it’s not only a cool dinosaur tattoo, it’s a reference to an excellent webcomic called, appropriately, Dinosaur Comics. I’m totally hooked on qwantz.com; I wish its creator, Ryan North, would publish a Garfield-style book of these comics. It would be especially bizarre because the illustrations would be exactly the same on every page (well, almost)!!! More about qwantz.com here. More webcomic tattoos here (If anyone wants to buy me a present, I really want this t-shirt , size L). Thanks, rekanize! (Tattoo by CW, owner of Royal Street Tattoo in Mobile, AL.)
There are lots more really great dinosaur tattoos in the group, and hopefully there will be even more soon!
Creature from the Black Lagoon Tattoos!
Just in case you missed the link that Mia sent earlier, this totally sweet backpiece (as seen on checkoutmyink.com) was done by Alfie Lamberger at Mark of the Sparks Tattoos in Frederick, Maryland. Thanks, Mia!
This inspired me to seek out some other CFTBL tattoos on the web; I found quite a few, but here are some of my favorites:
This great shot (bonus points for complementary-colored t-shirt) from BMEzine’s Sci-Fi Gallery was inked by David Antonio at Good Clean Fun Tattoo Studio in Georgia. I love the circular composition, creepy lighting, and menacing claw.
The colors, placement, and technique of this lower half-sleeve are really excellent . Bonus points for the brushstroke-lookin’ daubs of color around the edges. Tattoo by Bez at Triple Six Studios in Sunderland, UK. Photo from TattooNOW.com.
The following Monster Mash sleeve (in progress in this photo) is from welovethedark‘s flickr photostream (self-described “corporate goths”). The process from source artwork (by awesome illustrator David Hartman) to finished piece (by Charles Cain at Mark of Cain Tattoo near Boone, North Carolina) is well-documented. Excellent artwork, Excellent tattoo, excellent photos and play-by-play description. Kudos to all!
BONUS VIDEO! This song by Dave Edmunds gets stuck in my head all the time!
Fun with flickr
Here’s what I’ve been playing with:
- I tried the “blog this” function in flickr with underwhelming results. I can’t figure out a way to add WordPress tags using this tool to post to this blog directly from flickr.
- I started a “Dinosaur Tattoos” group and invited some people to join (8 new members — whoo-hoo!). You may have to be logged into flickr to see all the photos.
- I submitted a photo of my Triceratops tattoo to many other dinosaur- and tattoo-related photo groups, and started a discussion topic in each, plugging my new group, of course.
- I added a thumbnail feed from Devil Dinosaur‘s “Geek Tattoos” group (at right; maybe I should be bringing in a feed from the group that I own, but DD’s covers more bases).
What do you think, am I doing it wrong? Any suggestions?
Hulk Tattoo Smash!
David Spencer’s awesome Hulk tattoo (from The Incredible Hulk #224) was done by Alfie Lamberger at Marks of the Spark Tattoos, in Frederick, Maryland. More views and in-progress shots can be seen in David’s “tattoos” flickr set.
This beautiful Hulk transformation tattoo was done by Monte Agee at Artistic Skin Designs in Indianapolis. More info about Monte is available on his MySpace profile; more of his amazing portfolio on his website.
This bitchin’ Hulk vs. Wolverine tattoo (from The Incredible Hulk #181) is by Shawn Thompson at Strange City in Edmonton, Alberta. This photo from Shawn’s gallery on the Strange city site; you may have seen an earlier version of this on Horrible Tattoos or Modblog.
This pretty great tattoo with an increasingly familiar theme was posted recently on flickr. I did a double-take when I first saw it!
I wonder if this has anything to do with all the hits I’ve been getting from people searching for “triceratops tattoo”…
(FYI, I’m trying out the “Blog this” feature on flickr; we’ll see how it turns out–I may have to go back and edit this post in WordPress anyway.)
Update: My WordPress theme overrides all the CSS styles in the flickr blog template, and the default flickr size is about 25 pixels too wide for my theme’s content column. I’ll keep futzing with the flickr template; if I can get it to work, it’ll be a real time-saver. I guess I could also look into a different WordPress theme…
Ashton is working on a book called Tattoos for Two about tattoos with a shared meaning for two or more people. In her (his?) flickr group, there are lots of great photos of photos commemorating love, friendship, family, and departed loved ones. Thanks to Carl Zimmer for the heads-up.
These cute Brontosaurus buddies from eggandtoast‘s flickr photostream aren’t part of Ashton’s project (yet), but they should be!
I was well into reading some of the stories Ashton has collected before I remembered that my first tattoo is shared by 3 of my closest friends (one of these days I’ll post pictures and the whole story). In addition to the “shared experience” thing, it seems like “buddy tattoos” are a common way people get up the nerve to get a tattoo in the first place.
Shannon has posted lots of buddy tattoos on BMEzine’s ModBlog, as well (WARNING: some of these images may not be suitable for work!).
Fearless fossil hunters
After sitting next to me at work for 3+ years, I’m surprised that Sasha didn’t know I was into fossils. This trilobite is my prized possession, fossil-wise, paired with a really nice tattoo I found in modify_evolution’s flickr photostream (gotta keep it on-theme, right?):
I found it in an abandoned quarry in the bluffs in Alton, Illinois, just a few miles outside of my hometown of St. Louis (and across the Mississippi) when I was about 9 years old. My friend Ezra had just found an excellent trilobite fossil near there the weekend before, and I begged my dad to take me (and Ezra) to the same spot to look for more. I didn’t have much hope that I’d find one as nice as Ezra’s, but sure enough, I picked this one out of the gravel. I’m sure my dad was relieved that I found something; he had been ready to go home for quite a while..
The photos after the jump will give you a better indication of scale…
The design consultation
I promised I would post this next, but I got excited about dinosaur tattoos on the web, so this had to wait.
The consultation was really great; Mike and I really seemed to be on the same page in regards to most aspects of the tattoo design, such as overall style, size and placement on my arm, angle of the triceratops skull, etc.
I brought in a bunch of reference material, too, including this photo of a triceratops fossil skeleton from Getty Images (photograph by Louie Psihoyos), and a bunch of photos of exotic-looking flowers like this one from a research website about the Paleobotany of Angiosperm Origins.
A full recap of the consultation in gory detail after the jump…