All posts tagged: Tattoo

tuenight fifty 50 carolyn edgar

It Turns Out Black Does Crack, It Just Starts On The Inside

The author and her tattoo. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Edgar)   Not our faces, if we cleanse and moisturize and exfoliate consistently. Black women’s skin tends not to wrinkle. Our faces can look easily 10 to 20 years younger than our driver’s licenses say we are — if we maintain our health. But that’s the biggest if. Our health is where we black women tend to crack. Our black cracks from the inside out. It cracks under the weight of taking care of everybody but ourselves. It cracks under the pressure of smoothing out our rough edges and filing down our sharp tongues, lest we be tarred and feathered as angry black women for speaking our minds. And it cracks under our need to present our lives to the world as perfect, to counteract all of the negative stereotypes of black women and black families. We crack under the black-love-is-always-a-beautiful-thing pretensions of perfect marriages, children on the fast track to the Ivy League and well-behaved pets with glossy coats and camera-ready smiles. In February of this …

The Public Intimacy of Private Ink

Susan Goldberg gets inked. (Photo: Farrah Braniff) Spring came late this year, but I can tell it’s here because all of a sudden people are commenting on my tattoo. I live on the Canadian Shield; I spend at least nine — often 10 — months wrapped in multiple layers. Each year, when it finally gets warm enough to wear a tank top, I forget that much of the general public hasn’t yet seen the typewriter inked onto my right upper arm. It’s like seeing the first robin of the season. “Hey, cool! I love your typewriter!” someone will say at a bar or restaurant or on the street, usually followed up with: “Are you a writer?” And I nod and smile and say, “Thank you” and “Yes.” And then there is a bit more smiling, and I pray inwardly that they won’t next ask, “What do you write?” If you write, then you know there’s no worse question than “What do you write?” Particularly if you happen to be, say, the kind of writer who …

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A Healer with a Gun: She Tattoos for Cancer

“Angel of Abundance” watercolor and tattoo. (Photo courtesy of Amy Justen/@shhhmagic) In 2016 it’s not unusual to find out your co-worker has an elaborate sleeve tattoo hidden under her Ann Taylor blouse. But in 1990, when Amy Justen was a student at The Art Institute of Chicago, “tattoos were still very much part of the subculture of rebels,” says Justen. When Amy’s cousin, a Hell’s Angel fully engaged in the biker lifestyle, invited Amy to apprentice in his shop in Texas, she decided this was “not a career path for a young woman from a good Catholic family.” She stayed in Chicago and completed her art degree instead. After graduation, while Amy was pursuing a career in fine art, earning critical acclaim but not enough cash, two Chicago tattoo artists, Robert Hixon and Wayne Borucki, encouraged her to pick up a tattoo gun. “I was super green and had no idea what I was doing,” Amy says. “Tattooing is an unforgiving art form. I had to put all other mediums aside while I learned. It still blows …

tuenight tattoo annette earling mom

Like Mother, Like Daughter — When it Comes to Tattoos

I present for your entertainment the brief but painful tale of my foray into the world of body modification, and how my seventy-three-year-old mother managed to both steal my thunder and make me feel like a privileged little shit. I got my tattoo later in life, some time around age 41 or 42. It was something that I’d wanted to do for years, but in all that time I had never been capable of settling on an image. There were three basic concepts that scrolled through my mind’s eye, and each one felt powerful, personal and perfect. But three tattoos were two too many for me, and committing to that one-and-only and forever-and-ever was harder — I admit it — than it was to commit to my second husband. I suppose it was because I’d already lived through the pain of divorce, but I’d never experienced anything like laser surgery. The images were simple ones: A ginkgo leaf. A dragonfly. A horseshoe crab. Each represented a time and place in my life and each spoke …

tuenight tattly tattoo yng ru chen

Day Job: I Work for a Temporary Tattoo Company

Yng in her Tattlys. (Photo: Ace Boothby/Tattly) Yng-Ru Chen is the head of partnerships at Tattly, a company that makes artful, fun and often elaborate temporary tattoos. (We had one made for our first TueNight birthday party.) Her Tattly partner work even brought her to an easter party at the White House! We wanted to ask Yng-Ru what it was like to work for one of the coolest Brooklyn-based teams, and quiz her, Prosustian-style, on her work essentials and career history. Tell us in your own words: What are Tattlys exactly? That’s a fun question to answer. Tattly is a temporary tattoo company that adults seems to love as much, if not more than kids. All of the designs are by amazing artists who receive royalties from the sales. What exactly do you do for Tattly? As head of partnerships I work on developing clients for the custom Tattly side of the business, I oversee the events we do, I manage our large licensing properties and I create relationships with partners so that our tiny, …

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The Living Memoir of My Skin

The family: otter, frog, sea turtle and Papa Bear. (Photo courtesy of Sara Gilliam) It began in a high-rise shopping mall in Thailand, in a booth specializing in designer knock-off purses, Hello Kitty swag and tattoos. We were 22 and eager to assert our independence and hipster edge, belied by the fact that we selected nearly identical images. My traveling companion chose the Japanese Kanji character for happiness while I settled on the similarly shaped character for sea turtle. With the help of a dual-language dictionary, I politely confirmed in stilted Thai that the teenaged artist was using new needles and sterilizing his tools. Back in our apartment, we took a series of fresh ink photos with our film camera and waited impatiently for an overnight Kodak shop to develop prints of the very tats we could observe at any time on our right ankles. Damn, we were cool. And I was hooked. Next up, I stuck to my original sea creature concept with a large starfish on my upper arm in celebration of my …

4 Things to Consider Before Getting Inked

Sorry, Mom. (Photo: itwaswhatitwas/Flickr.com) If you’re thinking about getting inked, you’re not alone. According to a 2015 Harris poll, three in ten Americans (29%) have at least one tattoo, a marked increase from 21% four years prior. Maybe you’re thinking about getting another? You’re not alone there, either. Among those surveyed who have tattoos, seven in ten (69%) have two or more. Remember when Cher was badass with six? Angelina has 20. If you are a newbie, though, here are some considerations to keep in mind: 1. Think about why you want one. This is not like a piercing that can grow in or purple hair that will grow out. So think about it for a while to make sure this is something you really want. I wish I could say I got my tattoo to commemorate some life-changing experience like adopting a child from Cambodia. Or winning a Pulitzer. Even winning a scratch-off would rate more meaningful that my reason for getting one. Still, I had thought about it for nearly three years, which …

tuenight tattoo susan goldberg typewriter

Margit’s Note: Tattoo You (Not Me)

(Photo: Farrah Braniff/SusanGoldberg.com) I’m on a fast track to 50 and yet… when I half-jokingly ask my mother, as a preface to this issue, how she would feel if I got a tattoo she swiftly responds with a “No.” Okay, Mom. What about a commemorative, post-chemo… “Nope.” Despite Mom’s protestations, I’ve considered it. I just have zero idea of what I’d get. What’s worth a perma-doodle for my forearm? What witty, sums-it-all-up phrase could I see peeking out of a backless dress? (If I wore backless dresses.) There are plenty of tattoos I see and think, “Now why didn’t I think of that??” See this week’s theme image for the perfect example. Yet, nothing has me rushing to get needle and inked. More than likely, I’d get a tattoo, tire of it and end up with a Johnny Depp “Wino Forever” travesty. I have a poor track record with body modifications in general — a heavy, dangling feather earring in 10th grade resulted in a torn earlobe. I’ve been a clip-ons wearer ever since. But never …