Comedian, actress, activist and tattooed badass Margaret Cho just wanted "a soak, scrub and sauna" when she went to the Aroma Spa & Sports in LA yesterday morning.
Luxury designer, Christian Louboutin, known for his trademark red sole shoes, is bringing the tattoo couture by translating your own tattoo artwork onto his fancy footwear. If you don't want to wait, there's the ready-to-wear pre-designed tattooed line of Loubs like this one, which you can grab for about $1,600. While I would be hard-pressed to convince anyone that I'm a practicing Buddhist (due to my foul attitude and all-around, Type-A, New Yorker mentality), Buddhism is certainly something that I've studied for a few decades.
Every now and again, I get asked by the fine folks over at The Daily Dot to talk about two of my favorite things: tattoos and technology.
Lyle Tuttle gave me the name "Queen of Knots, and the title "Celtic Queen of the West Coast" came from a Skin & Ink magazine article. Simultaneously, I decided something else I really needed was to find out my true identity because I was an orphan and lived all my life with a chip on my shoulder that somewhere, in some office, was the truth of about where I came from. People think that the Europeans started getting tattooed when Captain Cook came back from Tahiti with tattooed sailors, who had gotten souvenirs when they went and explored. While I get a regular stream of emails asking for tattoo artist recommendations, in the past couple of years, more of these messages have been from women who have fought breast cancer and are looking to transform their mastectomy scars into beautiful works of art. In the April issue of Inked magazine, now out on newsstands, you'll find my interview with the tireless Durb Morrison -- long-time tattooer and owner of Red Tree Tattoo Gallery, organizer of the incomparable Hell City Tattoo Fests, manufacturer of True Tubes innovative tattoo supplies, and all-around nice guy. Many artists today say that that community feel is gone, with the whole gentrification of the art form. If people say there's no community, it's because they don't put themselves out there and be a part of it. As I finish up the second volume of my Black Tattoo Art book, I can't help but share some of the images as a preview to what will drop later in the Spring.These tattoos are created by the wonderful Buena Vista Tattoo Club in Wurzburg, Germany. One of my favorite blackwork tattooers -- actually one of my favorite artists in general -- is Nazareno Tubaro of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s eastern approach to a simple life, knowing thyself, meditation, yoga and self restraint appeals to a large class of people in western countries that are becoming disillusioned with the race for money and acquiring consumer goods.
Jasmine has been on an intense 4-month travel streak, which concludes with her guest spot at New York Adorned from April 1st through April 5th. Louboutin explains the idea behind the tattooed shoes, as quoted by Forbes:It started as an idea of a present for a friend, I made a pair of shoes for him embroidered with his tattoo.
Personally, I'm saving my cash for the real tattoo deal, but it's still interesting to see how the worlds of tattoo and high fashion play together.
Patrick's Day, I naturally had to feature work from The Celtic Tattoo Queen herself, Pat Fish.
The people behind P-ink are those at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and David Clark Cause, which explains the sharp design and outreach. We had one couple get married on the main stage on a Sunday in the morning before the show even got started. His signature style is a fusion of Polynesian tribal designs, geometrics, optical illusions, Asian art, and pointillism. Bob Baxter, the former editor of Skin & Ink magazine, once said that you need a woman on the cover of a tattoo magazine because sales drastically drop when you don't.
Artists Volko Merschky & Simone Pfaff describe their unique body of work as "trash polka," blending a variety of genres into exciting pieces, which defy categorization. The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point representing a radical balance.
Director Eric Schwartz may not have any tattoos, but he really does our community justice, reflecting the true reality of tattoo culture. I chatted via email with Jasmine about her work and also her thoughts on being a woman tattooist today. As many of tattooed people know, being naked and trying to relax in public is not necessarily an easy thing.
A lot of my friends have tattoos, I realized that it's not only just a part of pop culture but a bit of a map on someone's body which says something about people.


Collectors from around the world travel to Pat's Santa Barbara studio for her intricate knot and dot work tattoos.
You can really do what you want till you turn thirty, but at that point, you better specialize and chose a profession, something that you are. It just made sense to me that everyone else in the world has ethnic pride--has an identity--and here I was finding it out and at the same time learning to do this new skill.
At that time with skateboarding, there was a lot of artwork rotating around it, and a lot of that art had a traditional tattoo foundation to it.
I feel very strongly about the community, and because I've been a part of it for so long, I wanted to give back.
His father, tattooist "Harley Charlie" Duarte, introduced him to the art at a young age but he got his start in the business by working under Crazy Ace Daniels at Way Cool Tattoos.
Well, Things & Ink shows how you do it right, respecting tattooed women who make up at least half of the tattooed masses according to recent US polls. Here's how it went:  What type of tattoos do you love to do?My favorite types of tattoos to do change all the time! I put myself through college doing research interviewing, and then I got hired by the local weekly newspaper to interview people.
So I decided to specialize in Celtic art, bringing back that tattoo tradition of the Europeans.
The video shows Colby Butler of UnFamous Miami creating the work, from start to finish, and Molly glowing at the end, proclaiming that she can't wait to be naked on the beaches of Brazil soon. There were also some really heavily covered skateboarders, even back then, who I looked up to.
For example, by doing the Hell City conventions, we've brought people together; we've created relationships. In this recently released video profile (below) by CreateMedia and Christoph Benfey, Cory talks about his style and what drives him in the tattoo process.
The front cover, featuring tattoo artist Cassandra Frances, is fabulous, with a close-up of her beautiful face and facial tattoo, and the back cover is the back view of that portrait, with an up-close look at her neck tattoos and sleeves. More often than not, I'll prepare for a piece that I think I'll be super stoked on, and it ends up being a nightmare, and vice versa.
Instead of carrying someone else's crest on a loafer, I thought it would be modern armories, your own crest on your own shoe. When I think back, I can see how I was naturally attracted to certain things, and how I'm supposed to be exactly where I am today. He has a great line where he explains how he prefers to focus on the visual rather than any deep meanings behind the tattoos: "I'm not here to tug at your heart strings. Instead of a classical made to measure bespoke shoe, which other men's shoe brands do very well, this is my modern approach to bespoke.To get your shoes tattooed, you'd have to visit one of the designer's "tattoo parlors," located in the Christian Louboutin Men's locations in New York, London, Paris, and Los Angeles.
But after a while, I got to where I didn't want to be edited anymore, where they'd brutally cut my work to make room for more advertising. I thought it was something I should explore and one of the ways to do that would be to bring back alive this tradition of the heavily tattooed Pictish people--to bring these designs back to life in skin.
BMEzine and the IAM community -- a pre-Facebook home and townhall -- was like the island of misfit toys, where we "freaks" could all share our experiences, our kinks, art, and random thoughts in a safe online environment and feel comforted that there were others out there who got it. In light of the recent headlines about Facebook banning an image of a post-mastectomy tattoo, we need to put even more info out there to inspire these types of tattoo transformations, and P-ink is a great source to do so.Many thanks to Lisa Solomon for the link! But after I started getting going with it and tattooing more people and seeing the effect it had on them--how they really loved their tattoos--it drove me to continue tattooing and dive into it artistically. Your tattoo will be photographed and the image will be sent to Paris "where the designer himself will review and approve it," according to Forbes. Over the years, he has developed a passion for human oddities, prestidigitation, and serial killers. One of the great changes to my life is the incredible and plentiful friendships that sprang from IAM. I had done a lot of art classes in school, and naturally did a lot of painting, so I had the art in my blood and on my mind.


I started studying it, looking at all the magazines, driving hours to hang out at certain studios and watch the tattooing. But speaking in generalities, I always enjoy color pieces, things with lots of smooth, organic shapes. Then you pick the style of shoe, fabric, embroidery, colors, placement, and the designs and materials are sent to Italy and India for production and embroidery.
I am forever grateful for this.Another great impact was being immersed in the online community through BME, and it's reflective discourse, that led to me to truly explore legal issues within body modification. Right around when I was 14, that's when my friends and I started hand-poking little tattoos on places we could cover up, like our ankles, so we wouldn't get in trouble. As noted on the Things & Ink site, The face issue examines what it means to be a woman and have facial tattoos.
And as much as I like "feminine" tattoos, I also love a good "mean, manly" tattoo as often as possible. Shannon encouraged me to pursue research into tattoo law and offered me a forum with my Legal Link column to share my thoughts and get feedback on how the law affected modified people around the world. When I was 17, I started getting professional tattoos, going to shops, and hanging out with heavily tattooed people. It also asks a number of artists their rules when it comes to tattooing the face, explores cosmetic tattooing for people to regain control over their bodies while recovering from illness and features all the usual tattoo artwork and artist interviews.Other highlights for me is the profile on Mo Deeley, a 54-year-old "Glam-ma," who is covered in tattoos after only started getting tattooed a year ago. Around that time, a guy who saw that I had the art skills down taught me how to make one of those homemade machines. That was the catalyst for everything because, not only did I have a tattoo machine, but I had friends who willing to let me do my artwork on them.
Shannon notes the importance of this sharing in his final post:For a long time the body modification community, while deeply isolated from the mainstream in a way that may be hard for younger people today to really relate to, had a wonderful sense of solidarity -- a sense that we're all in this together, a sense of all supporting each other's personal paths, from the subtle to the extreme -- but now it feels like there's infighting and intra-community prejudice.
It explores how tattooed women are portrayed in the media, including Suicide Girls, and how women's bodies are used to market objects including the tattooed Barbie Doll. We once all worked together to better ourselves and share our experiences -- for example the creation of BME's various knowledge-bases (birthed from the earlier Usenet FAQs) that brought the world level-headed accurate information on modifications and their risks, as well as the thousands of detailed "experiences" that people wrote -- whereas now it seems like the majority of modification media is just about posting pictures, devoid of any real stories or information, reducing them to visual pornography for people to "cheer and jeer" at. All of these changes have slowly eaten away at the character of the body modification community and changed it in subtle and unpleasant ways. The feature is accompanied by a beautiful shoot by Kristy Noble, of a mannequin tattooed by Dominique Holmes, Inma and El Bernardes. I do think this is a fixable problem though, and I have talked to many, many wonderful people (both artists and enthusiasts) who have a strong passion for body modification that I am sure could be part of a restoration effort.
I also loved hearing such diverse opinions of how people feel about face tattoos, it made me question how I feel about them myself. The cover photo of tattoo artist Cassandra Frances is stunning, I am so happy she said yes to being on the cover. I disagreed with a lot of his support for dangerous procedures, and he would remind me to be careful not to create "anti-mod media" in my criticism of such (and other issues in tattooing).
Our debates were exactly what you'd want a debate to be: respectful, informing and even mind-changing.
In discussing Shannon as the ultimate cheerleader of people's adornment and body morphing, my friend Julien said it best, "He trusted people to do right by themselves." Shannon had faith in people, especially people for whom society treated with little respect. Even in his last post, he discusses how he was not given the proper pain management for his chronic illness because doctors looked at him and thought he was just a drug addict. His life was dedicated to changing this prejudice and offering support to all of us who have faced so much discrimination because of the way we look.I could probably write a million more words on Shannon's lasting effect on my life and on so many others.



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