Tattoo Tuesday – Ava (Jordanna East)erby

I am so excited to introduce you all to Ava (Jordanna East)erby – love her name.

Five Questions: 

1.  How old where you when you got your first tattoo? I was 16. The legal age you can get a tattoo is 18, but if you have a parent/guardian sign a waiver you can have one done at 16. The deal was I had to continue to keep my grades up and it had to be done in a location where it would never be seen at school. My mother took me to the tattoo shop, signed the form, and left to get her hair done. Yes, she LEFT! I was alone with a 300lb man covered in tats for my very first tattoo. I impressed him though. He said he’s had grown men not sit still for the entire duration of a tattoo. That day I got a black and gray tiger on my upper back holding a red rose in its mouth. It’s kind of faded now, so I’ll be having it touched up and incorporated into the large back/rib piece that I have planned.

2.  What made you want to get your first tattoo? I grew up rather self-conscious of my body, but as I grew into it, I wanted to celebrate it. I wanted to adorn it, like a new home. I got my belly-button pierced the year before (also signed for, haha), then I graduated to tattoos.

3.  How many tattoos do you have? 6/7. Weird answer, right? If someone else is looking at me, it appears I have 6 (both wrists, upper arm, upper back, lower back, and hip), but one of my wrists is actually two tattoos. While in Tahiti, my husband and I got traditional Polynesian tattoos; mine was a Polynesian gecko around my wrist. When we returned to the states, I had my artist add several Tiare flowers around it, the Tahitian national flower.

4.  What is your tattoo story? If you have more then one tattoo, tell me your most recent or your favorite tattoo. My most recent tattoo is the one described above. My favorite tattoo is my arm. I originally had a paw print and a nickname from my youth. It was an awful piece of crap. My current artist covered it up with a Bengal tiger and several tiger lillies. If you’re looking for it you can still see the paw print and, believe it or not, I like that.

5.  Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike?  Why? Love! So much in fact that my ex got a tribal sleeve done to try to impress me. But he ended up passing out as soon as the needle touched him. Very embarassing. But my darling Hubby-pants has several, with plans to get more. I really want him to get wording around his collar bone. That’s the sexiest tattoo a man can get. Doesn’t even matter what it says. It could say something about green eggs and ham for all I care. (You hear that Hubby-pants?!)

Bio: Jordanna East is currently working on her first novel, Blood in the Paint, as well as its prequel novella, Blood in the Past, due out in March 2013 (with the novel to follow in Summer 2013). She lives in New Jersey with her awesome-sauce husband and their freakish love of sports. She looks forward to at least four more tattoos. Don’t worry, it’s just art.

Connect with Ava at: 
Blog:  Journey of Jordanna East
Twitter:  @jordannaeast
Facebook: Jordannaeast

Thanks so much Ava. Beautiful ink.  If you would like to be featured on Tattoo Tuesday, leave me a message in the comments.  

Tattoo Tuesday – My Friend Convinced me to Get a Tattoo

Marvin by Tom Armstrong – How cute does Marvin look with that bone on his back? haha

No one had to convince me to get a tattoo because, well, I have wanted one for as long as I can remember. But, over the years, I have convinced two friends to get tattoos.  So, I asked them recently, how did you let me talk you into getting a tattoo?

Friend #1 – The week I returned home after law school, I wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate the occasion. This was tattoo #2 and I had such a great experience with tattoo #1, I wanted to share this one with someone.  Cue my work friend that had turned into one of my closest friends.  It really didn’t take much convincing, but I recall before this occasion we had never had one conversation about tattoos prior to this day.  So, how did I convince her?  She said I was so excited about sharing the experience with her she didn’t have the heart to say no she didn’t want one.  Now, how is that for friendship. She ended up getting a connected female/male symbol on her lower stomach.  She didn’t regret it and we have this great memory to share.

Friend #2 – Tattoo #3 is my favorite and I got it from Gabe Shum at Ace Dragon Tattoo in Hong Kong. Brilliant tattoo artist by the way. If you want a dragon, he is the go to guy. My friend’s boyfriend and I were going to get tattoos.  He had one already and wanted to get a dragon on her upper arm. Now, my friend is the type of person I though would never get a tattoo. I realize now that you can’t assume that about anyone.  She sat and watch her boyfriend and I talk about and plan and schedule our tattoos for months.  (Gabe usually has a waiting list). She went with us to the tattoo shop.  Her boyfriend gets his tattoo and then I get mine.  The entire time, I am telling her to go ahead get one.  And telling her what a bad ass she would be if she had a tattoo. As we were wrapping my tattoo up, she decides to get one. A small dragon on her lower stomach.  Seems to be the place for spur of the moment tattoos. She said, she saw how excited we were about our tattoos, she wanted to experience it herself. Now, she wants to get an entire back piece.  We created a monster.

One of my favorite episodes of Friends is when Phoebe convinces Rachel to get a tattoo with her.  Phoebe decided to get a Lily, “For my mom because her name is Lily.” Later at the shop, Rachel get her heart shape tattoo on her hip.  Then, when Rachel asked to see Phoebe’s tattoo, she didn’t get it.  “The guy came in with needles and did you know they do this with needles.” and  then Rachel replies, “Really, you don’t say because mine was licked on by kittens.”

After getting her back in the chair, the artist touched Phoebe once and she jump out of the chair and left.  In sharing the story with the “friends” later, she says “For your information, this is exactly what I wanted. This is a tattoo of the earth as seen from a great great distance.  It’s the way my mother sees me from heaven.” Cue the aahh track.

Needless to say, you should get a tattoo for yourself, but getting a tattoo with friends can be a great  bonding experience.  But, please make sure you want one the tattoo in the first place. As you know, they are permanent.

I am still taking submissions for tattoo stories.  If you would like to be a part of Tattoo Tuesday, let me know in the comments. 

Tattoo Tuesday – Does your tattoo artist have a style?

Marvin by Tom Armstrong

Most tattoo artist can do it all. Give them a picture, an idea or an image and they can create an original tattoo, no problem.

But, some artist have a style or a speciality.  Some artist prefer doing one style or another. If the artist apprenticed under a guy who does Asian. He may prefer to do dragons and water and lotus flowers.  He probably learned as well that you don’t place certain elements or colors together.  So much about these type of tattoos is the tradition behind the tattoo style.  If you find an artist with this type of knowledge, it is a great experience and I am all about the tattoo experience as a whole.

But, is it important?  I enjoy reality competition shows and the latest crop are tattoo competition shows.  The two best are Ink Master on Spike TV and Best Ink on Oxygen TV.

Both shows put tattoo artist through a series of challenges that focus on certain techniques of tattooing as well as different styles;  shading, fine lines, color and black and grey as well as Asian/Japanese, old school, new school, photo realism, portraits, scripts, pin ups, military, mechanical, the list goes on and on.  They judge the artist on their work as a whole and then declare a winner.  The whole idea is a great tattoo artist has mastered all the techniques and can do any style.

One of my favorite artist who did my favorite tattoo, a asian inspired bull on my ankle, is known for tattooing the most amazing dragons.  People come from all over the world to get an original dragon from him.  It is his speciality.  But, he can do it all.

There is nothing wrong with wanting your tattoo artist to be an expert in the type of tattoo you want.  I compare it to doctors.  I am sure if I have a heart attack, a general practiciner can save my life.  But, I would much rather go to a cardiologist.

The goal is to get the best tattoo.  So, research your artist.  And if you have a tattoo in mind and it’s possible, make sure your artist has done that style of tattooing before.

What’s more important to you, technique or style in picking an artist?  What style of tattoos do you like?  

Tattoo Tuesday – A Mother/Son Tattoo Story

I am turning Tattoo Tuesday over to one my favorite blog friends, Karen Einsel.  Her 2 blogs, Different Corners in My Life and Karen’s Different Corners are daily stops during my blog reading time.

Here she shares a story about her son’s first tattoo and the part she played in him acquiring it:

My son, Adam, wanted to get his first tattoo before he graduated high school and I told him no, that he had to wait until he was 18 and we went round and round about it. See he was only 17 when he graduated. I told him to wait until he was 18 and then I’d pay for his first tattoo and even get one myself, but he didn’t want to wait. Finally I made the mistake of telling him if he could pay for it (Which he wasn’t working and I knew he didn’t have the money for it) he could get one. What he didn’t tell me was his friends down the street, their uncle was a tattoo artist and he gave Adam his tattoo for free 🙂 I came home from work one Saturday and Adam was sitting in the chair and I sat down in the other chair across from him. Well his shirt sleeve didn’t quite cover his tattoo and I got up and walked over and touched it and asked if it was real. (It was pretty much healed at this time) I have never believed in hitting my kids. A few well worded threats and the mom stare has always kept them in line and he asked, “What are you going to do to me?” I went to work the following Monday and was telling my boss about it and he told me it was my own fault because I told my son if he could pay for it he could get one. Well he didn’t actually pay for it but…It’s been 10 years since his first one, he still hopes to have sleeves someday, but tats are expensive.
Here is a couple of Adam’s tattoos: 




I love the color in the snake tattoo.  Karen also mentioned Adam is a tattoo artist himself.  Good luck to Adam and thanks to Karen for being a supportive mom. I tested my mom a lot, too and now she is my biggest fan.

You can also follow Karen on twitter at @k_einsel

Anyone else have a great tattoo story?  I would love to hear it and feature you on Tattoo Tuesday.  

Tattoo Tuesday – My New Tattoo

This Tattoo Tuesday, I decided to share my most recent tattoo story.  Recent as in two day ago.

So, let me take you though it.  First I pick out an image.

I love lotus flowers and the meaning behind them.  They have a fascinating life.  The lotus flower begins as a seed buried deep into the mud and sediment of a lake or pond.  It pushes its way through the dirt and muck reaching for the light.  When passes through the murky water, it purifies it and makes the water clear.  The messier its surroundings, the more beautiful the lotus becomes.  It is inspiring to me to think that beauty can come from less then ideal situations.

Next, my tattoo artist takes my image and creates a stencil.  I have a couple of tattoos where the artist drew the image free hand directly on my skin.  This tattoo needed clean solid lines and was pretty specific, so the stencil was the way to go.

That is YoYo.

After she places the stencil, she gets to work on my tattoo.

At this point, just imagine a hot nail being dragged across your skin like a hot poker and then mix that with the sound of a tooth drill.  It is so much fun.

But, if you can stand all that, you end up with something like this:

Happiness, Passion, Love & Faith

If you have a tattoo story to share, let me know.