I got my first tattoo a few weeks ago, which you already know if you follow my meager little blog. Ever since, I seem to be kind of obsessed with them "“ I'm noticing them on other people more, I'm curious about celebrity tattoos, I'm encouraging friends to get them. When people say tats are addicting, they're not kidding. Anyway, this newfound obsession has led to two things:
1) We want to see your (family-friendly) tattoos! We're going to post a reader gallery next week. Send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and show our flossy community your work of art. Be sure to explain what it is (if it's not obvious, that is) and why you got it. Here's mine: it's some of the music to "Grim Grinning Ghosts" from the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. My husband and I are Haunted Mansion freaks... he has a couple of Mansion-related tattoos too.
2) It's the Q10 today! We're going to talk about famous tattoo artists.
1. Before Ami James and Kat Von D, there was George Burchett. George had a studio in London where he tattooed the rich and famous, including King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the U.K. and King Frederick IX of Denmark. He's also the guy we can thank for honing cosmetic tattooing.
2. And his American counterpart was probably Sailor Jerry, one of the first major tattoo artists to become well known in the States. Sailor Jerry (AKA Norman Collins) expanded the range of colors available in tattoos by creating his own pigments. He was also one of the first to insist upon hospital-quality sterilization techniques. Even if you're not a tattoo aficionado, you probably recognize some of his work in the Ed Hardy clothing line "“ Ed Hardy was one of Sailor Jerry's protÃ©gÃ©s. Converse uses some of Sailor Jerry's designs on their shoes.
3. Speaking of Ed Hardy"¦ Ed learned the trade from Sailor Jerry, but really was the first to popularize the old-school sailor tats as pop art (swallows, pinup girls, etc.). He was approached in 2002 to create a line of clothes with his designs on them, and by 2004, Christian Audigier had licensed the rights to make produce his line. And now you can see Ed Hardy everywhere, especially on Bret Michaels and his Rock of Love babes (I use the term "babes" loosely). Another notable fact about Ed Hardy: he was the first to open a custom-only, appointment-only tattoo studio in the U.S. in 1974.
4. Vyvyn Lazonga was one of the first female tattoo artists. She opened her first shop in 1979 (it's still at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, actually) and has been a strong advocate of women getting tattoos to cover their mastectomy scars and celebrate their lives.
5. Horiyoshi III is the tattoo king of Japan. He has perfected the art of irezumi, a 200-year-old Japanese tradition of tattooing, and specializes in full-body pieces. The tattoos are done mostly by hand - large outlines are still done by machine. A full body piece will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000.
6. Paul Timman is a celebrity inkslinger who gained notoriety at Sunset Strip Tattoo in Hollywood. Stars who have specifically tracked him down to get their tattoos done include Angelina (of course), Busta Rhymes, Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg, Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee and Drew Barrymore.
7. Greg Kulz is the guy who pioneered the UV tattoo that David Israel mentioned a couple of years ago. They'll only show up under certain lighting circumstances, so if you work in a particularly conservative place or aren't sure you want to commit to something you'll have to stare at for the rest of your life, this is perfect. And I think the one pictured here is the perfect use of the black light tattoo "“ awesome.
8. Kat Von D, AKA Katherine Von Drachenberg, is known for her portrait work and her appearances on Miami Ink and L.A. Ink. Like Ed Hardy, Von D is taking her celebrity tattoo artist status further than the studio "“ she has her own makeup line at Sephora and recently released a book about herself, her work and her tattoos. She's currently dating Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue and has tattooed him, in addition to celebrities like Ja Rule, Dave Navarro, Bam Margera and Lemmy from Motorhead.
9. Jonathan Shaw founded International Tattoo Art Magazine and had his own shop, Fun City Tattoo, in NYC. He is known for his tribal tattoos and helped popularize them in the "˜90s. He has put ink on Marilyn Manson, Johnny Depp, Vanilla Ice, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. He's the son of bandleader and jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw.
10. Samuel O'Reilly patented the modern-day rotary tattoo machine in 1891. It was based on Thomas Edison's perforating pen. Speaking of which, Edison himself had a mystery tattoo that no one knows the meaning of "“ five little dots on his forearm. Check out Mangesh's article on other people you wouldn't expect to have tattoos.
And a bit of trivia that I found pretty interesting and strange: Apparently Rodney Dangerfield is the most common celebrity tattoo. Weird.
Anyway "“ don't forget to send in your tattoo pictures! And have a good weekend.