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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Kara’s Yellow Bird and Bluebird Tattoo Story

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Bluebird Tattoo Girl
Kara’s Yellow and Bluebird Tattoo

I got this tattoo in two parts. The first part was the quote, which reads “wine, poetry, or virtue, as you wish, but be drunk”, which is a quote from the French poet Charles Baudelaire. It was all about self-indulgence to the point of happiness because my grandfather had just passed away, and it made me realize the value of our time.

The next summer I got the birds. The bluebird is from Charles Bukowski’s “Bluebird”, and is a symbol of finding a vulnerability and true goodness within the self. The yellow bird is a concept from the Bright Eyes album, I’m Wide Awake and It’s Morning, and serves as a symbol for a hopefulness in another person. The blue bird is slightly lower on my body to show that you have to love yourself first, and the flowers in the yellow birds mouth are three zinnias, which show constancy and remembrance and are dedicated to the three closest people in my life.

- Kara

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Molly’s Hummingbird Tattoo Story

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Molly's Humming Bird Tattoo on her Shoulder
Molly’s Hummingbird Shoulder Tattoo

I grew up without a father and the next best thing i had was my grandfather. I was closer to him than anyone else in my family.

In spring of 2003 when i was 13 and in the 6th grade he was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia, he was in the hospital for three weeks before he passed away. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I never cried and i felt like i was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Later that spring our backyard was full of hummingbirds i don’t know why, we didn’t have any flowers that attracted them we only had one little hummingbird feeder that hadn’t gotten any birds at all that spring.

Earlier that day my Grandmother was watching The Montel Williams show with famous psychic Sylvia Browne, Sylvia had said that those who have passed often send signs to loved ones. So my grandma, feeling sure of herself said “O.k. Don, if you are around keeping an eye on us send some hummingbirds to our feeder.” Just as soon as she was done saying that we had 3 birds at our feeder.

Now whenever i see a hummingbird i am reminded that my grandpa is with me and watching over me, and because of my tattoo i will always be reminded of it.

- Molly

Tattoo Artist: Aaron
Tattoo Studio: Arron is currently working at Scuttlebutt Tattoo.

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Alex’s Swallow Tattoo Story

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

girl with swallow tattoo on her shoulder

Alex’s Swallow Tattoo

Here’s the story behind the swallow tattoo on my shoulder. I am an avian veterinarian, so, I love birds, all kinds of birds, but I’ve always had an speccial feeling for swallows. In Mexico, migratory swallows return on may, and I was born on may.

When I was 4 years old, my mother wrote a poem to me, and it began like this: “you came on may like the swallows…” My mom also had a summer house in the countryside, where I spent the happiest moments of my childhood. In this house, swallows used to build their nests under the corner of the roof and the wall, so you where able to see them very close. Then I grew up, and I had a hard time.. I was into drugs and alcohol, I was always drunk at school, and I was sexually abused by my boyfriend’s best friend. Then, my boyfriend left me. I was very depressed and I tried to commit suicide. I was taken to a mental hospital, and those were the darkest days of my life.

I came back to school, and with the support of my friends, that had always been like my family for me, and with the help of God, I recovered hope in life and I recovered the strenght and the courage to keep on… I wanted to do something that reminded me everyday what I have been, and what I could become into… something to represent that I was brave enough to fight for me, for my life and for my freedom.


Tattoo Artist: Roy
Tattoo Studio: Evolution Tattoo, in Mexico City

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More Tattoos on Shoulders

Israel’s Memorial Tattoo

Monday, August 25th, 2008

photo of kid memorial tattoo
Israel’s “Kid” Memorial Tattoo

This tattoo is a memorial tattoo. It is two doves holding a banner with the word “kid” on it. On December 7th, 2006 a great person left this place. My girlfriend’s 15 year old sister passed away. She was an awesome kid much wiser than her years. We were real close. Because of her sickness she couldn’t go to school so my girlfriend would bring her along when we would run our errands. I still think I am a kid at heart so I get along with kids I know how to joke around so we got along great.

As if having her wasn’t great enough she has a twin sister just as beautiful and just as amazing. Anyways, after she passed away I went to my tattoo artist and gave him an idea of what I wanted, trusting him I let him do whatever he wanted with the idea and he did. He freehanded the banner and the word. Kid is what I called her so I wanted to get Kid instead of her name because I wanted it to be more personal. Anyways I hope you enjoy it. R.I.P. Kid Love You.


Also check out Israel’s Virgen De Guadalupe tattoo.

Story Behind Ivory’s Death Tattoo

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Sandman Death Tattoo on Arm
Death Tattoo inspired by The Sandman

This lil ink blotch was probably around ten years in the making. It has been in my mind in some form for at least that long. About a year ago I decided to put things into motion and finally commit to getting it done.

I had originally intended to do the art myself but my once upon a time talent has over many years of neglect and un-use eroded away like a sand castle at high tide. I spent a few days doing very rough sketches and jotting down notes in the margins trying to get all the info from lo those many years onto the paper so I could hand it off to another more capable illustrator to bring to life.

I then put together a very short list of artists who had worked on The Sandman that I thought would be right for the job. I settled on Richard Case (remembered most for his classic run on Doom Patrol) for many reasons including a) He’s a super nice guy. b) He’s a fellow NCer. c) He worked on one of my fav arcs of Sandman. d) His style is very similar to where my own style was headed. and e) His art looked like it would translate well to being tattooed.

Rich took my sketches and notes and did an amazing job. There was very little that I asked him to change from his earliest sketches. I took his finished art and laid out the text in a graphics program myself.

Last but not least was the search for a Tattoo artist that I thought was good enough to do the work. No hacks for me, only true artists. My first choice fell through. He’s a busy, busy man. I settled on Sarah Peacock of studios in Wilmington, NC a lovely and talented British lady. She did a marvelous job, especially in helping me add a touch of color to the piece which I really wanted.

Eventually it will be a half sleeve but I’m still working on what I want as the background. Then I will book more time with Sarah. There is loads of symbolism packed into the design including a Blue Jay perched on the cross that is in memory of my Dad whose name was Jay. When Mom passes a Bumble Bee will be added to honor her, her name is Bea.

It’s all about the yin and yang of life and death, light and dark and how they balance and define each other. The Gaelic on the base of the cross is roughly translated as “My heart is within you”. All comments are welcome and appreciated.



Design: Ivory, Richard Case
Tattoo Artist: Sarah Peacock, studios, Wilmington, NC

Tattoo Story – Maggie’s Swallow Tattoo

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

swallow tattoo on shoulder
Maggie’s Swallow Tattoo Cover-Up

I got this tattoo in summer ’06, it’s covering up a spur-of-the-moment 18th birthday tattoo, which happened to be the good old Nirvana drunken smiley face (see picture below). I decided that I’d rather have a tattoo that had a meaning behind it, so I got this swallow to cover it up. It was designed and done by Sean at Voodoo Monkey in Cleveland, OH.

To me it symbolizes freedom. A few months before getting it I “left the nest” so to speak, and moved 1400 miles from home to a place I had never been before. The reason for the flower: the swallow will never be able to put it down, just like I feel I will never be able to settle down for too long in one place.


Tattoo Artist: Sean at Voodoo Monkey, Cleveland, OH

Nirvana Tattoo
Original Nirvana Smiley Tattoo

Tattoo Story – Gaetan: Phoenix

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Gaetan's phoenix tattoo photo
Gaetan’s Phoenix Tattoo

Here is my take on this mythical bird linked with fire, the sun and rebirth. I found this paragraph quite inspirational: “A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration.” – (The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen)

After a couple of designs, Gaitan from “Paul and Friendz Tattoo” shop in Belgium crafted this drawing which encompasses nicely the strength, lightness and beauty of the Phoenix. It is my second tattoo. The first one being a snake in the shape of an Ouroboros around my left wrist. After a “snake that bites his own tale”, I chose a bird on fire that flies away without being blinded by the sun…

- Gaetan

Inked by Gaitan – Paul and Friendz Tattoo Shop – Belgium

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Tattoo Story – Kalina: 9-11 Tribute

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006
photo of 911 eagle tattoo with twin towers
Kalina’s 9-11 Tribute Tattoo

The story behind this tattoo is pretty basic. This was my first tattoo, I now have 3. My aunt died is the attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, and this is my way of remembering her. She was in the North Tower, on the 58th floor.

I didn’t get her name tattooed on me because it was just too much to take in. I felt it would have been too much pain for me, and this tattoo of the eagle and the Twin Towers and the Empire State building was a way to remember not just her but all of the others that lost their lives on that tragic day.

I want people to look at my tattoo and think about that sad day and how strong America is, and remember how important our country is to us. I don’t want people to look at it and just see a picture on my back. I want them to understand why it is there, and why it is important to me. The attacks on 9/11 isn’t something that should ever be forgot about in my eyes. And that is the story behind my tattoo!


Tattoo Story – Ms Bees Knees: Black Swallow

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

My barn swallow tattoo (like my butterfly geisha) was also done by Jesse Tuesday of Temple Tattoo, and I’m thrilled by its beauty. He’s also done a star on my collarbone and a star on my back.

At this point, I wouldn’t go to anyone else. I’ve recommend him to everyone I know. his outstanding artisitc talent and attention to detail [not to mention that he is so F-ING friendly!!]… make him the absolute best in my book.

-ms bees knees (also see her butterfly geisha tattoo)
Tattoo by: Jesse Tuesday – Temple Tattoo, Oakland, CA

Tattoo Story – Michelle: Peacock Feather

Friday, May 26th, 2006
peacock feather tattoo
Peacock Feather Tattoo

Over the last year or so I have been thinking of getting a back piece that would be unique, yet beautiful in its own way. I started looking more and more and came across the amazing color and captivation of the peacock.

I started looking online and in books but never quite saw the quality or likeness that I thought I would want. When it came down to it, I purchased an actual peocock feather and took it to Tattoo Artist Chris Brusby from Studio M Tattoo. From the feather he drew what I believe to be a very real and natural image of the feather. I didn’t want anything that was cartoony or abstract. So his idea and drawing was perfect.

The piece is mainly a ton of outlining and lines that make up the upper part and stem of the feather. Painful, but the outcome exceeded my expectations. I knew that when I asked Chris what colors he used and he said “ask me what colors I didn’t use!” that I was going to be amazed! His wife even mentioned that you can really tell when he gets into a tattoo, the end result reflects his interest in the piece.

I am completely happy with my tattoo and the beauty that it shows. Although it may not represent a person or a individual meaning, it reflects me in its own way.

- Michelle R

Tattoo Artist: Chris Brusby – Studio M Tattoo

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