the Force

star wars tattooer

Just like a half of population on this planet (or so), I’ve also been waiting anxiously for the new installment of the Star Wars. The more about it, the better, so why not tattoos? Take a look, refresh your memory and keep on waiting!

Japan is trying to destroy tattoos” is a pretty harsh title for an article; the content is interesting and certainly to the point. the pendulum always swings, tho, so …

Tattoos and workplace(s) again – this time you can learn which industries boast the most tattooed employees.

Scarification seldom appears in the news but when it does, it always goes with “cool” adjectives. Gruesome much?

And since the end of the year is around the corner, such summaries will be unavoidable!

beautiful people!

current African scarification - part of photo project

Once it was a sign of belonging, a symbol of social status and a reason to be proud. Today African people wearing traditional scarification face scorn and become objects of ridicule. Here’s an article on an interesting photo project by an African photographer.

Scarification in the West has also some traditions and, in men, even accidental scars were a reason to be proud of one’s strength and endurance. Today we discover this form of body art anew and make it our own. The masters of blade can do wonders with our skin but the price if very high!

tattoos against the world?

 tattoo prejudice ii

Dress code again as it’s still quite controversial. One of the Ottawa Convention Centre workers got back to work but since we live in a small world these days, we know that such things happen all over the world. Examples? A German woman’s application to the police forces was denied due to a tattoo on a forearm.  In Australia a man was asked to cover his tattoos while at a night club. The Time magazine and other magazines, too, ran articles on prejudice against body art and based them on an academic research and subsequent article titled ‘stigma of ink: tattoo attitudes among college students’ (the highlights being:

  • Having a tattoo, tattooed friends and tattooed family members is correlated with less stigma against tattooed persons.
  • Beliefs that tattooing involves health risks and pain is correlated with greater stigma against tattooed persons.
  • Among tattooed and non-tattooed, older respondents are less likely to get a future tattoo.
  • Among tattooed respondents a greater number of tattoos and greater coverage are correlated with greater experience of stigma and a greater commitment to current tattoos.
  • Among tattooed respondents greater experience of stigma is correlated with greater concealment and greater likelihood of removal.)

 Fortunately, it wasn’t all that depressing and ‘the whole world against us’ thanks to an article about a German heavily tattooed lawyer who seems to keep his cool about his own ink and the way the world treats him!

Kind of ironic: 2 in 1, a pre-school teacher and a tattooer – the principal doesn’t mind and she even got some publicity.

movie quotes tattoos

Movie tattoos: famous movie tattoos and romantic movie tattoos. Nothing new but making the body art more popular and less scary (unless it’s the villains only that are tattooed).

An NBA and tattoo enthusiast and his magnum opus: a blog devoted to NBA tattoos.

Tattoos in NFL: Madden 15 video game and for the first time it features some tattoos. Also games-related: Tetris game turns 30.

Lars Krutak’s book review in German: ‘Magical Tattoos and Scarification.’ Adds lots of depth to pop pulp of the many modern tattoos 😉

Popular tattoos: cat tattoos in NYC and soccer-themed tattoos in Brazil (where else now?)

It’d certainly unusual and allowed me to refresh my very rusty Swedish: a needle lost in a tattooer’s body 40 years ago finally removed (in Swedish). Hard to believe actually!


Eye candy for men: a German magazine Tattoo Erotica celebrates 10 years anniversary (kind of sexist cover – why there aren’t that many tattooed guys on the magazine covers? and liberating as body art can be, it still objectifies women in many ways!) and a short story of the Suicide Girls.

active in many ways

Bastian already provided us with some relevant info on legislative changes regarding ‘non-traditional’ forms of body modification in Arkansas but here is another article showing that body artists can and should cooperate with legislators to change the industry for better and educate people on the subject of body modification. Also from Arkansas, a local artist’s take on scarification.

Definitely interesting: body jewelry and piercings in American prisons.

One of the great of the industry, Mark Mahoney, still doing strong!

One of more popular tattoo artists, Ami James, in Ireland.

‘Meaningful’ tattoos are usually associated, and kinda mocked because of it, with Miami Ink show and even though there is something to it, this Australian article on tattoos and the process of grieving shows that tattoos may really help deal with a loss.

Popular tattoo culture reflected in an article about a new tattoo magazine focused on ‘tattooed urban models,’ a slide show presenting tattoos in hip-hop and a text about an app which brings both Zombie Boy and Dermablend back to life (so to speak).

A little more about the project ‘Bled for Boston.’ Also related to running is this article from Runner’s World on temporary tattoos as heart monitors (not a new topic but I like it when the Bible (a.k.a. RW ;)) mentions tattoos.

Fitness and tattoos combined – Bob Harper discussing his tattoos. He’s one of the most tattooed personal trainers out there and even though he seems to be a tattoo guy only (you never know, though), his example shows that a fit, modified body is the (only) way to go for those who want to adorn their ‘temples.’


Tattoos and brain: Dr. Mark Benecke. Not the best article ever but he’s always worth to be mentioned.

A very interesting exhibit focused on Native American pride: Iroquois tattoos. Here’s some more info on Hiawatha Belt, a frequent tattoo motif for modern Iroquois.

Two tattoo artists, different modi operandi: Tyson Pederson of Divinity Tattoo and a guy called Czarny Tulipan who is presented as if he worked underground.

traditional vs. modern and artsy

Keone Nunes, a traditional Hawaiian tattoo artist, portrayed here. In a similar vein articles on yantra tattoos in Thailand – very interesting photographs here; one of the links submitted by Bastian!

An exhibit devoted to tattoos in art in Germany; here a teaser about it. Also from Bastian!

Something for Bastian and others into hooks – ‘hanging on’ discusses suspension, Allen Falkner and his TSD team.

Another influential person, Brian Decker, mentioned in this, somewhat naïve text about ‘scar tattoos’ (sic!).

We all heard about the first Christians allegedly tattooing the symbols of their faith on them or the medieval knights getting tattoos in the time of the Crusades; here’s another twist on it: ‘Jerusalem family tattoos pilgrims for centuries.’

Keep your tattoos from fading’ is a must at this time of the year!

bloody Valentine

Valentine’s Day’s over (and I’m still shocked with the news about Oscar Pistorius who always seemed a cool runner to me!) and there were, of course, some V-Day-related articles: Love ink. There’s also this interesting piece of news about the sudden love and lightning quick facial tattoo – most opinions on the subject are quite negative. Shannon Larratt approached it from a different angle but he also tried to show both sides of it. Ellen DeGeneres focused on misspelled tattoos (and such tattoos are usually dedicated to those dear to us) although some of these are kind of unbelievable!

An interesting take on scars (although not the ones related to scarification) here!

Health/ risks: keloids-prone skin and disease-sensing tattoos from Princeton? Also related are the links submitted by Bastian that focus on tattoo ink and health risks associated with it.

Books: ‘Painted People’ devoted to African cultures and a book published by penandink blog which seems a very interesting online place.

Body suspension: the title, ‘Suspensions: taking piercings to the extreme’ says it all!

Three articles in Polish: a local tattoo artist from Poznan, another one with very cool interests and finally an article about transsexuals with Roni Lachowicz featured.

Something in German: according to a survey, most young people find tattoos attractive.

R.I.P. and other pieces of news

Sad news: Stalking Cat and ManWoman died a few days ago. Here’s the links to Shannon Larrat’s blog where he reflects on both men.

With the Christmas approaching quite fast (first Christmas ads around), it’s nice to see that there are people who want to make the holiday season better for less lucky kids. Another interesting idea is a calendar featuring tattooed librarians.

Interesting profiles on two tattoo artist from totally different countries: the US and South Korea.

A bizarre accident featuring a navel piercing.

And finally something quite interesting in Polish – local scarification artists.

scarification on breakfast TV – what a treat!

It was quite a surprise to come across some “info” about scarification featured on the Polish breakfast TV (an infamously stupid “Pytanie na Sniadanie” program). I’ve decided long time ago that it’s a waste of time to watch such programs as they always claim to cover things in depth only to leave a viewer feeling disappointed but now and then I catch myself at giving them a chance.

The coverage of scarification came with some teasers beforehand where you could see a few shots of scarification projects (not overly bad ones; probably taken from the Internet) and read lines such as “a shocking phenomenon – scars as a decoration!” or listen to the voice in the background encouraging you to “stay with us to hear about scars – a deformation as a decoration!”

One could expect that while talking about scarification on air, you’d invite some experts on the subject and people who underwent such procedures to present their point of view. It’s never like this on TV, however, as it’s more about shocking than informing the audience, so no, they didn’t invite anyone who had firsthand (first skin?) experience with this kind of body modification.

Three guests were invited to discuss scarification: a young Polish dancer/ actress who has a few tattoos (and this presumably makes her an expert on body modification), a Polish rock musician with many tattoos and a professor of psychiatry who probably was expected to discuss many mental issues reflected in scarification/ deformation.

The scarification part of the program started with a short video of Anja Orthodox (of the Closterkeller band fame) who said a few things about tattoos (never scars) and how it should be discussed by people who have them, not by people who have no idea what it really could be about which, of course, never stopped the hosts of the show to proceed with their own profound thoughts on the subject. And profound they were all right as Tomasz Kamel and Agnieszka Szulim started with saying how the mere sight of scarification makes them cringe (Szulim said, Kamel looked the part).

It was obvious right from the beginning that they have their own fixed opinion on the subject and nothing  could change it but it’s fun to watch them pretending otherwise, isn’t it? The pretty actress said how she would never do anything like this to herself as it’s unpredictable and she wouldn’t like to end up with something ugly on her but she knows some people who got it done and some scarifications can be quite beautiful. The Polish musician, with exotic roots, was definitely more diplomatic and mentioned seeing tribal scarifications in Africa and how it’s good that a rapper known as Popek posted his scarification video for others to see as it could make people more aware of the procedure itself (apparently the subject of scarification ended up in this program thanks to Popek’s recent mod but it wasn’t stated clearly before). Finally, the psychatrist briefly discussed how body modification is quite personal a matter and Anja Orthodox was basically right to say that it’s the tattooed (modified) people who have the right to discuss their modifications although he also admitted that this way it would be only a subjective perspective (as, obviously, our reasons for what we do may differ significantly). He definitely said, however, that scarifications don’t necessarily have to be a sign of any mental problem as there are many people out there, with nothing done to themselves, who can also suffer from mental disorders. It also turned out that scarification is more popular than an average viewer of this program could think as not only the actress knew people with scarifications but also the psychiatrist. Another important point they managed to raise then was also a question of limits as apparently voluntary amputation is something you should never ever do (and that’s when the actress asked a rhetorical question about the limits).

Since scarification is, in a way, related to self-injury, the next step in discussion was to talk briefly about self-injury itself and how Mr. Kamel could observe such procedures back in his board school (illustrated by quite descriptive gestures). And, of course, could it be addictive? They started running out of time then, so the last question was directed at the actress and Ms. Szulim asked her if she would like to get another tattoo done. The actress, of course, would love to have a new tattoo but, unfortunately (which is unfortunately true, too) she has to be very careful about her looks and choices now due to her acting career. She definitely thinks about tattoos, though, as it’s very addictive (it’s interesting, however, how it’s ok to want another tattoo if you are considered “normal’ and how it’s seen as something very negative if people don’t perceive you as someone who follows the norm).

To sum it up, what an average, quite ignorant on the subject of body modification but also open-minded viewer could learn from it? I’d dare say “absolutely nothing”! We were shown a few pictures of scarification (and you can get a lot more, with better designs, on the Internet); we were told that such a thing exists and some people go for it (but since stronger words stuck with us better, we’d probably remember “deformation” and  “self-injury” as key words); we could hear “experts” discuss the subject (and the only person who made a relatively good, knowledgeable impression on me was the psychiatrist with his moderate, calm view of the subject)  and try to show us that they actually know something about it but the formula of the show just doesn’t give enough room to say anything substantial on any subject. Instead of educating (which probably was their noble but purely superficial goal) they ended up with feeding the viewers with yet another piece of shocking news (which probably was just what they wanted to achieve in the first place).

A link to the video should be available on the website of the show tomorrow (it’s actually available today). I might actually watch it again to see if I wasn’t judgmental here myself 😉 (I don’t think I was – there’s no substance whatsoever in this video).

ink, scars and logos

Some time no post and during this time I managed to watch ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ so let me start with links to articles devoted to this movie as they are quite interesting, even if they refer more to pop culture than to tattoos. As for the movie itself, I’m still a fan of the Swedish version.

Speaking of films, here’s a documentary on a local tattoo artist.

Tattoos and photography in ‘I heart Ink’ gallery exhibit and ‘brides in ink.’

Teachers’ dress code in two perspectives: an American one that’s all about the professional look and a British one about encouraging something different (or so it looks).

Pretty cool tattoos: 21 tech brand tattoos and ‘Tattoo Infographic’ by a Polish artist (more here).

A Canadian piece on scarification.

Thanks to Bastian for this cool ad featuring Zombie Boy.

Finally, not really about tattoos but done by a really tattooed and smart guy: another interview with Mark Benecke!

Down Under and some other stuff

A few interesting ones from the southern hemisphere this week!

An Australian artist inspired by traditional scarification; then articles about 20 Maori heads returned to their native land and a quite interesting article about modern Maori considering revival of head preservation. On not that good side, however, there’s also an article on banning tattoos on NSW police.

Body art spiritual experience’ tries to show what it’s all about for many of us while two articles from Philadelphia discuss a growing trend of facial ink among young people. And here’s also another one about ear lobe reconstruction.

Answers to some piercing questions here and here a brief discussion on quality and price of tattoos.

A nice bunch of pics from a tattoo festival in Venezuela! And how you can’t love stretched lobes?