This photo was posted in with title, "Kanji - No Fear".

I have never seen 否怖 used as "no fear". Typically 無畏 is used.
I purchased a Camelbak 100 oz Unbottle from REI yesterday, here is its multilingual instruction card.


However traditional version of Chinese had many of its characters missing, replaced with underscores, while the simplified version is intact.

These two t-shirts are for sale at local Target store.


Both characters printed on this Lucky Lu's Casino t-shirt are upside-down. One character is , meaning "warm", and the other resembles 殿, is "temple". I have no idea what "warm temple" had any association with casino.


I have no idea what the character on the left is. One on the right is 誕, "birth".
from: Jenn
to: ""
date: Sun, May 30, 2010 at 10:50 PM
subject: Misrepresented chinese tattoo

Hi my name is jenn I got this. Tattoo seven years ago it was supposed to say destiny in Chinese, however I've been searching online for this symbol but can't seem to find it, the destiny symbol does come close to what this looks like! In desperate need of translation help. thanx


The common phrase for "destiny" in Chinese would be 命運. Character shown here is Japanese variant of , which could be interpret as "fate". If not read carefully, Chinese readers would think it is , which means "green".


Here's another in progress piece, a fancy vampire lady on Stefan from Germany, who was raised in Transylvania.
For reals.

To be continued in August...

We're going to the States in a few days.
And there's water damage in the kitchen.
Our timing is great, as always!

Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - Sylvia's Back Piece

The one day in Hawai'i when I didn't take any tattoo pictures, I did pass out a few fliers. One I handed to a woman sitting in a chair at the Safeway Center on Kapahulu Avenue.

She had what appeared to be an incredible back piece, the top of which was visible to passers-by.

Sylvia later e-mailed me and shared a link to a site that featured a photo of the tattoo, along with an explanation of the piece. I have extracted it here for the enjoyment of the Tattoosday audience.

First, the tattoo:

Sylvia explains:

"My tattoo represents my ancestry...from the family of the 'Royal Hawai'ian Ole' (chanters of the Alii court), from the snowy mountains of Japan, the homeland of Portuguese Bean soup, and the inter-mix marriages of American Indians and Puerto Ricans. I believe the seven I have on my back describe who I am the best. Most locals have meaning for their tattoos but we also have people like Lindsay who just go with their flow. Many families have several signs that make up their families even as far as the Scottish Clan "Duncan" like me..."

What's wonderful about this tattoo to me is that Sylvia has incorporated so many cultures and motifs into the design which, as she acknowledges, is based on the wonderful mix of heritage and ancestry that comprises her background. This is very typical of people who live in Hawai'i, which is host to such an explosion of multicultural intermingling.

I love how the honu/sea turtle brings all of the elements together. The eagle, dragonfly, bear paw, wolf, buffalo, and shark all join to provide a rich tapestry of images that each speak to a different aspect of her heritage.

Sylvia's tattoo was inked by Joseph Garcia, Trigga Happy Tattoo in Waipahu. Eagle, Dragonfly, Bear Paw, Turtle, Wolf, Buffalo, and Shark.

Thanks to Sylvia for responding to me initially and for sharing her tattoo via her post here. We here at Tattoosday appreciate your contribution!


I did it, i conquered the storage rooms!

These were the last two rooms of the shop that still had "construction" written all over them, but now they're finally ready to be used for something other than storing tools, paint and yellow dust.
Maybe in the future this will be a screen printing room?
For now there's still a bunch of stuff in there that we have nowhere else to put, but it looks a hell of a lot better than before.*

It's taken me days, a lot longer than expected, but i finally sorted through everything, threw out a bunch of stuff, and organized and cleaned the rest
The Star Wars toys got their own corner
And the decks finally have a home too

The chandelier on the floor is going in the front room, by the way.
Pretty, right?

*There are no pictures of the second storage room, because *someone* hasn't put up any lights in there yet.
But i swear i cleaned that room too!

Eric's Tattoo: Zero the Fool and an Obsession with Time

I met Eric on Seventh Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets earlier this month.

This tarot card on his left forearm jumped out at me:

Eric is a mixed media artist whose website can be seen here. He is an illustrator and is currently in school studying toy design. The tattoo he has is primarily based on a linoleum block he had created that recalls the Tarot card "The Fool". Because it is an unnumbered card in the deck, it is often referred to as "Zero" or 0.

The Fool often represents the beginning of a journey, oftentimes a "foolish adventure". He had this tattooed to commemorate his decision to move from Boston to New York City. While the decision may not have been foolish, it did mark a new journey in Eric's life.

The card was tattooed by Hannah at Regeneration Tattoo in Boston.

One may have noticed that there is work around the tarot card, as well, so it's only fair to show the piece as a whole:

And the tattoo extends up the arm a bit from the pocket watch on the right:

The additional elements in the tattoo speak to Eric's obsession with the passage of the time. Snowflakes are only temporary as they fall from the sky and melt, or become mixed with other flakes and lose their singularity.

The flowers are imagined creations representing growth. Eric's floral images are inspired by the artwork of Henry Darger.

He also notes that the time piece is cracked and broken:

This, he says, represents the fight against the obsession and paranoia over the passage of time.

The work around the tarot card was all tattooed by Kelly Krantz at the now-defunct Hold Fast Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. From what I can tell, Krantz is not currently affiliated with any one tattoo shop.

Thanks to Eric for sharing his thought-provoking tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Lady bird

Allan has been working on some really fun projects lately, but since they're all pretty big, it'll be a while before we see the finished results.
So for now you'll have to settle for some in progress pictures.
It's better than no tattoo pictures at all, right?

Here's our homegirl Anne, getting comfortable in the rather cold shop (i swear, it's like friggin November here at the moment...)
Fancy bird lady has some fancy leg chains
Another very late night at the office...
Very much in progress as Allan still needs to add flowers, so i'm afraid Anne hasn't seen the last of the liners yet

Tom Cruise - extracts from his Esquire Interview

Here are some extracts from the Esquire interview with Tom Cruise: Tom Cruise on Kids, Katie, and Couch Jumping
I can't wait for the new movie Knight and Day released June 25th.

A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists. — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard

Erin's Yellow Roses for Her Grandmother

Earlier this week, I met Erin and she shared this, one of her six tattoos:

Erin explained that these yellow roses on her left forearm are for her grandmother, her favorite person. Her grandma's favorite roses are the yellow variety.

Erin credits artist Jesse Gabriel at Halo Tattoo III in Syracuse, New York for this work. Work from Halo has appeared previously here on Tattoosday.

Thanks to Erin for sharing her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - Hail to the Chief

It's Fleet Week in New York City this weekend, so it only seemed fitting, with just a few Hawai'i posts remaining, that we share the following offering from Jack, a Chief Petty Officer (E7) in the U.S. Navy.

Jack's was the final tattoo I spotted at Pearlridge, on what turned out to be a record-breaking detour for me (five tattoos from five different people in just under two hours).

Jack's tattoo was fresh, as he had just completed a sitting less than a couple of hours before I ran into him, so the tattoo had that film of ointment that added a little glare to the picture:

The skull at the center of the tattoo is wearing a hat similar to those warn by Navy chiefs.

The artist for this piece is known as "Buddha" out of Liquid Metal Tattoo in Aiea, Hawai'i.

Thanks to Jack for sharing this, his newest of over ten tattoos, with us here on Tattoosday.

We here at the site salute not only all the men and women in uniform visiting New York during Fleet Week, but to everyone in all branches of the Armed Forces as we enter into Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to all for their service to our country!


American Idol Season Finale: So Long, Simon!

Last night's American Idol finale was bitter sweet as we said hello to a new star and goodbye to our old friend Simon. (His wise-cracks and snooty 'tude were the only reasons I watched the show! Good thing he'll soon be judging a new series!) Check out a few snaps from the extraordinary event including the crowning of this season's Idol. Spoiler Alert! If you haven't yet watched and don't know who won, don't click below the fold!









Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - Honu Thursday

One of the most popular symbols in modern Polynesian tattoo is the green sea turtle, or honu, as it is known in Hawaiian.

I saw a lot of honu tattoos while I was in Hawai'i, but I didn't snap any photos of them until my last day on Oahu, when I was wrapping up my trip with a last minute stop at Pearlridge. More specifically, I was at the Pearlridge Longs Drug Store, a great place to stock up on chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, Kona coffee, and other tasty local snacks that are hard to find on the mainland.

While wandering the aisles, I spotted not one, but two honu-adorned locals, who were kind enough to share their tattoos with me.

First was Ash, who didn't say much about the four honu on his left leg, other than the fact that he has "always loved turtles," and that his brother was the artist who did the tattoos.

Next was Chantel, who has this lovely tattoo on her upper back:

This not only has the honu element, but also has a floral aspect, along with a Yin and Yang design.

When I asked her where the design came from, she laughed and said she had seen it on a sticker plastered to the back of a car. She liked it so much, she got some paper, traced it, and brought it into a shop called Big Fat Tatts, where the artist sketched it and cleaned up the lines.

Thanks both to Ash and Chantel, for finally getting me my photos of honu tattoos, just a few hours before returning to New York.

A Peek at the Final Issue of Holly Rose Review

 Tattoo by Sean Herman, from the June issue of Holly Rose Review

Considering that one-twelfth of the year, Tattoosday sheds its inkspotting  mission and, instead, plays host to tattooed poets in honor of National Poetry Month, it only seems fitting that I should pay homage to the final
issue of Holly Rose Review.

Holly Rose is the brainchild of Theresa Senato Edwards (who herself is a tattooed poet), who has given us four deliciously beautiful online issues that embrace both tattoos and poetry. The online literary 'zine juxtaposes brilliant tattoo work with the poems of an assortment of diverse and talented writers. Each issue bears a theme, and the last (and sadly, final) issue is "Worry".

What's unique about Holly Rose is the juxtaposition of poetry and tattoos. It's an illustrated volume, but Edwards assembles poems that not only speak to the theme, but almost seem as if they could be captions to the body art displayed. Issue four features tattoos created by Luba Goldina, Sean Herman and Maxime Lanouette. And their work seems to transcend the description "tattoo" as the illustrations serve as works of art that correspond to the themes illuminated by the accompanying poems.

But not every poem has a tattoo with it, which is fine, as it makes the appearance of ink more special, and allows the reader to focus on the poetry, as well. An added bonus is the audio player found on some of the
poems' pages, so the reader can not only read the poem, but hear it in the author's voice. One page even features a video of the poet reading her work.These added dimensions make Holly Rose a truly magnificent experience.

All four issues are currently available for perusal on the website If you're not a fan of poetry, check it out anyway and see some amazing tattoos. Maybe you'll discover some poetry you'll enjoy. Issue four features work from Dorianne Laux, Jayne Pupek and Changming Yuan. Issue three contains work from Christine Hamm and Joseph Millar, both participants in the 2010 Tattooed Poets Project. Issue two has poetry by Martha Silano and Daphne Lazarus (whose tattoo appeared here).

It's easy to get lost in the site, admiring great tattoos and reading fabulous poetry, so head on over to Holly Rose and see what a lovely pairing tattoos and poetry make!

Mel's Star Shines from Down Under

Earlier this month, I ran into Mel coming out of Penn Station.

She has amazing work, and it was soon clear why. Mel was visiting from Melbourne, Australia, where she works as a tattoo artist at Get Smart Body Art.

I was drawn particularly to one of her newer tattoos, this dot-style Tibetan-inspired design:

I told her it reminded me of the style of Thomas Hooper, an artist at New York Adorned whose website (here) showcases some astonishing work, including tattoos made from the dot-style technique.

Mel noted that it was an original design that was inked using a rotary tattoo machine, with the purpose of achieving this effect. Thomas Hooper's style, she acknowledged, inspired her to attempt this ambitious tattoo.

In all fairness, she collaborated with Mick Kelly, at Get Smart Body Art, who did the actual tattooing.

Thanks to Mel for sharing this lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!



Tattoosday Goes To Hawai'i - All in the Family, Part 5 (Ulu's Amazing Plumage)

In January 2008, when Tattoosday was a mere infant blog, my mother sent me photos of some of the ink my cousins possessed.

I already shared Keali'i's sleeves here, but included in that email from Mom was this astonishing piece from his kid sister, my niece, Ulu:

Photo by Diane Scrafton Cohen Ferreira

I reached out to Ulu (which is a shortened version of her middle name, Uluwehi, which is abbreviated from her full middle name, Kamali'iwahineuluwehi) and we exchanged messages, but we never connected to discuss the tattoo. Then, last month, I was in Hawai'i, at the home of Ulu and her husband Travis.

For the record, despite my inkspotting ways, I was never sure if I'd have the opportunity on this trip to document all my nieces' and nephews' ink. I knew I'd be seeing them, but my purpose for doing so was not tattoo-related.

But as you may have read over the last week, there I was at Ulu and Travis's place, hanging out with family, and the subject turned inky, and out came the camera.

Still, I wasn't sure I would be seeing the tattoo from my mom's photo - Ulu was wearing a dress and I'm always walking on eggshells when it comes to lower back tattoos. But I was taking pictures of everyone else's tattoos and Ulu's back piece was mentioned. She happily changed into sweats so I could take a closer look at this amazing peacock feather tattoo:

One of the things I had always wondered was how far around the feather went. I got my answer soon enough:

As you can see the tattoo dips gracefully down after it rounds the hip. I'm glad I got to see this side because I was able to capture the detail in the color and the tiny pink butterfly near the tip of the quill:

Ulu got this, aside from the beauty of it, to cover up a "tramp stamp" [her words, not mine - no angry comments, please]. The original piece is covered by the eye of the peacock feather.

The artist responsible for this incredible tattoo is Libra, who freelances in Hawai'i, but occasionally does guest spots at 808 Tattoo, and was at East Side Tattoo Studio at the time this was done.

In that original email from Grandma Diane (my mom), she also included the tattoos of Travis, Ulu's husband.

I had never met Travis before, but was welcomed by him as one of the family. I took my own photo of the forearm ink he wears, also by Libra, in honor of his and Ulu's children, Ezra and Trinity.

My deepest and most sincere thanks to both Travis and Ulu, not only for their hospitality and kindness, but for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday.

This concludes the "All in the Family" subset of the Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i series. A warm mahalo to all of my nieces and nephews for letting their mainland uncle help share their tattoos with the Tattoosday community.

Previously in the Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - All in the Family series:

Part 1, A Preface
Part 2, Keali'i's Sleeves
Part 3, Ikaika, In Progress
Part 4, Lehua's Eternal Tribute to Poppa John

A Cat Named Do

I met Shawn in Penn Station near the Amtrak terminal earlier this month. He was doing what most people are doing when I stop them in Penn Station: waiting for a train.

He was with who I will presume to be his wife and toddler son. I noticed he had tattoos on his arms so I approached him and told him about Tattoosday.

With his wife's encouragement, he pulled up his shirt to reveal this astonishingly unique tattoo:

Shawn drew this design himself. As a person who liked cats, this feline is based on a cat that he once had named "Do" (as in "How do you do?").

"What happened to Do?" I asked.

Shawn looked over at his son and said, sadly, "Do was not a family cat."

Some feline house pets do not like new babies and do not hide that fact. Since we are taught as a society that babies are more precious than pets, they gave Do up to another home. The cat to the left of Do in the tattoo is "Do's shadow".

Not just any cat tattoo, Shawn's design is artistic, with clocks for eyes and machinery rumbling away in Do's insides.

Shawn also has ink on his back, one leg, and arms (including a sleeve).

This piece was tattooed in 12-14 hours by Davie mac at Davie Mac's Tattoos in Niagara Falls, New York.

Thanks to Shawn for sharing Do with us here on Tattoosday!

Tattoosday Goes To Hawai'i - All in the Family, Part 4 (Lehua's Eternal Tribute to Poppa John)

Closest of my Hawai'i nieces and nephews is Lehua who, in essence, is a third sister in my Hawai'i ohana. My wife and I had the tremendous honor of  Lehua dancing hula at our wedding reception in 1995, which many guests still recall as the highlight of the post-ceremony festivities.

In honor of Poppa John, who passed away suddenly on the fifteenth anniversary of our wedding and that memorable hula, Lehua had this touching memorial inked on her foot:

Lehua explains that this infinity symbol represents eternity in the context that Poppa John will be remembered forever.

What I love about this relatively simple design is that each circle contains an astrological sign, giving more significance to the tattoo.

Looking at the photo, the sign on the left is Gemini, and the sign on the right is Sagittarius. The Gemini sign represents Lehua's son Raycn (Poppa John's great-grandson) and, of course, Sagittarius was the sign of Poppa John. The tattoo thus bridges four generations and is a reminder of the eternal ties that will carry on the memory of John Ferreira.

Coincidentally, Raycn shares the same sign as my mother (his great-grandma), Diane, whose birthday happens to be today, May 23. So, even though I know the meaning for Lehua is the link between John and Raycn, through Lehua, I interpret a second unintended meaning: the love of John and Diane, woven together, 25 years in this world, and the rest of time beyond.

The tattoo was inked by Nick Nakashima at Heart & Soul Ink in Waipahu, Hawai'i.

Thanks to Lehua for sharing her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Previously in the Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i - All in the Family series:

Part 1, A Preface
Part 2, Keali'i's Sleeves
Part 3, Ikaika, In Progress

Tattoosday Goes to Hawai'i: In Nomine Patris

On my last day in Hawai'i, I was at Pearlridge, when I spotted a guy walking through Borders. The swirling script on his inner left forearm grabbed my eye:

This Latin phrase, "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti " translates to "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit".

Dustin, who serves in the Navy, is a Catholic, and he wanted something that expressed his faith. This is one of his three tattoos.

The tattoo was inked by Jeremie Miller at 3D Ink Tattoo Studio in Pensacola, Florida.

Thanks to Dustin for sharing his tattoo with us here at Tattoosday!


Thursday was a weird day at the shop.
A good day, but very long and weird.
We had a bunch of clients and a bunch of people who dropped by, it was almost like a real tattoo shop, and i guess that the sudden rush of people was a bit overwhelming because we've been alone down here for so long.
But we did get stuff done; Allan did three tattoos on three friends, and i put up a bunch of shelves for our toy collection in the (current) storage room.
Now, you may think that it's a strange place to put all of our pretty toys, and in a way it is.
But somehow we accidentally built a grown up shop (it wasn't on purpose, i swear) and the toys just didn't fit in anywhere.
So i figured, the storage room won't be a storage room forever, so they got their own wall in there, and by some amazing coincidence, they all fit (but just barely!)
And i think putting them all in one place looks kinda cool too!

Our rather impressive collection of delicious junk
The rest of the room still looks like hell, but once all the painting work is finished, i'll clean this up in no time

Ps. We couldn't get good pictures of the tattoos, so you'll just have to trust me when i say they where nice!