March 2014 Archives

09:15 AM
breast-cancer-tattoo-spirals.jpgBeautiful mastectomy scar transformations have been featured numerous times on the blog -- the stories behind them as powerful as the artwork. What hasn't been explored in depth here are the technical considerations in tattooing over those scars. Thankfully, Pat Fish has shared the information she provided to Patricia O'Grady's book The Guide to Breast Reconstruction on her blog here. Here's a bit from her Q&A with Patricia:

O'Grady: Is it harder to tattoo on a woman who had made the decision not to do reconstruction because she is down to the bone?

Fish: No, the tattooing process is very shallow, no deeper than the width of a dime, so the issue is the nerves and where they may be. With anyone whose anatomy has been shifted surgically, there are phantom pains and unexpected sensitivities where the nerves have regrown.

O'Grady: While a tattoo cannot eradicate a scar or the skin's texture, it does seem to hide it very effectively. Is it more challenging for you as an artist to tattoo over a scar?

Fish: The scar tissue is not as strong as normal skin, and so requires an adapted technique. If normal tattooing is done, it can chew up the skin and the ink will be forced out in the resultant scabbing. So we have specific ways of using a pointillist technique to build up the tattoo on top of the scar tissue. This way, there are fewer holes poked into the area, and it has a better chance of healing and retaining the ink.

O'Grady: Does the skin hold the ink differently due to the thickness of the scar tissue?

Fish: Not the thickness, per se, but the composition of the collagen in the tissue is very different, and regeneration of the skin is impeded, so when you place foreign material into it, the possibility is that it will over-react and try to force the irritant out. In this case, that would mean the tattoo ink would scab up with lymph and then peel away, leaving only part of it in the skin.


O'Grady: I know that you truly specialize in Celtic design tattooing, and I would think that the intricate patterns would work well to cover up scars.

Fish: It is actually difficult to conform a Celtic design to the body, and if there are scars, it is necessary to adapt the pattern so that if there is ink rejected by the body, it has minimal visibility within the pattern. I do all sorts of tattooing; my particular love is Celtic and Pictish work, but I am very happy reproducing botanical prints and any precisely rendered archival material.

Read more here and see more breast cancer-related tattoos that Pat has done, including the one above, here. We also interviewed Pat on her life in tattooing, which is a fun read.

For further reading on our blog, check these past posts:

09:15 AM
3d printer tattoo .jpg
Coming steps closer to a dystopian future ruled by robotic tattooers, a group of students in France hacked a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer to create a DIY tattoo machine, entitled the 3D Printer X Tattoo Machine project.

According to, the team, led by Pierre Emm, participated in Public Domain Remix, an event hosted by the French Ministry of Culture, in which the students had eight hours to hack an electronic device (with some help from LeFabShop).  Here's more:

What the group did was replace the extruder of the printer with a pen. This allowed the machine to draw on a person just like they were getting a tattoo. The students were not ready to stop there, so they set out to replace the pen with an actual manual tattoo instrument, and it actually worked. They first tested the machine on an artificial skin material, and found that it worked great, but if they were to proceed on a real human being, many precautions and precise calculations had to be made, and more importantly they had to find a volunteer who would become the "guinea pig" for this procedure. Amazingly, finding someone to volunteer was much easier than they thought.
Instructables has step-by-step instructions on the 3D Printer X Tattoo Machine. And check the video below to see how it works.

This isn't the first robotic tattoo, however. As we wrote back in 2011, in our Auto Ink: Chris Eckert's Automatic Tattoo Machine post, artist Chris Eckert created a robotic sculpture that tattooed a symbol on a person's arm (and not a symbol of the person's choice). 

I love the intersection of tattoos and tech, and it's exciting to see how far this will go.

3D PRINTER X TATTOO MACHINE / EP 01 from appropriate audiences on Vimeo.

[Via Complex]
09:42 AM

Featuring some of black & grey's finest, "Tattoo Stories" is a video series by Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon, with the goal of exploring the work, and personal lives, of esteemed tattooers from an insider's perspective -- and not just the usual "How long have you been tattooing?" Q & As.

The videos, which average around 6-7 minutes, take you into the studios of legends such a Jack Rudy and Rick Walter's, who offer tattoo history as well as philosophy lessons. There are also interviews with some of the most exceptional tattooers today, including Shawn Barber, Chuey Quintanar, Carlos Torres, Luke Wessman, Franco Vescovi, and many others.   

The series launched last summer, and when I first checked their SanctionedTV YouTube page at that time, I thought it was largely focused on their "LA Woman" series. As we stay away from the "tattoo model" thing, I didn't share it.  And so it was a happy surprise to go back and see that so much important tattoo footage, and not just T&A, had been amassed and offered in an engaging way.

Oh, and there's also this really moving Snoop Dog (yes, Snoop Dog) vid.
07:16 AM
mummy tattoo.jpg
Image via the British Museum.

An "intimate tattoo" found on a 1,300 year-old mummy is one of the highlights of the British Museum's "Ancient lives new discoveries" -- an exhibit that unlocks "hidden secrets to build up a picture" of the lives of eight people from ancient Egypt and Sudan, whose preserved bodies were analyzed, using methods such as CAT scans, to put the pieces together of who they were. The exhibit runs from May 22 to November 30, 2014, but if you can't make it to London, there are a number of outlets online, which offer some juicy details on that tattoo. Turns out it's more pious than sexy.

According to The Telegraph, one of the eight mummies, who was found in 2005 on an archeological dig in Sudan, had, on her right inner thigh, a tattoo with a monogram of a name spelled in Ancient Greek. Here's more from the article:

One of the mummies, whose remains were found just seven years ago, was so well preserved that archaeologists could almost make out the tattoo on her skin on the inner thigh of her right leg with the naked eye. Infra-red technology helped define it more clearly.

The woman, aged between 20 and 35, had been buried wrapped in a linen and woollen cloth and her remains had mummified in the dry heat. The tattoo has been deciphered by curators and spells out in ancient Greek - M-I-X-A-H-A, or Michael.

The owner of the tattoo was a woman who died in about AD 700 and lived in a Christian community on the banks of the Nile.


High up on her inner thigh, it may or may not have been out of view. And for all its scientific expertise, the British Museum admits to being unclear as to what exactly was the fashionable length of skirt worn by an ordinary Nile dwelling female in AD 700.

There's also an interesting short video on The Telegraph that further discusses the tattooed mummy, and the others in the exhibit. Check it.

The Mirror also had a piece on the mummy, which I found on the wonderful Tattoo History Daily. The editor of the blog, Anna Felicity Friedman, also posted the article on her personal Facebook page, and there's an excellent discussion in the comments, including links to further information on tattooed mummies, such as Gemma Angel's articles (Part I and Part II) on tattooing in ancient Egypt. 

As I often say, whenever you hear people talk about a "tattoo trend," remind them that it's one of the oldest "trends" of mankind.

08:59 AM
music tattoo.jpg
music tattoo 2.jpgThe intersection of tattoos and technology often reveal pretty fascinating results. Add another artistic element to it, such as music, and it becomes hard not to take a look and listen.

Using a tattoo as a music score, Dmitry Morozov, a Russian artist, musician, and engineer, has created "Reading my body": an instrument -- a sound controller -- that plays as it moves along the body over the tattoo.

Here's what Dmitry says of his project:

This is a special instrument that combines human body and robotic system into a single entity that is designed to automate creative process in an attempt to represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid. The device consists of a railing with comfortable hand holders and two parallel, but offset from each other black lines' sensors that move along the arm using a stepper motor. It is equipped with a 3-dimensional Wii remote controller that uses the OSC protocol in order to give a possibility of additional expression achieved by moving hand in space.
The sound to me is eerie yet beautiful, almost like the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic film. And the tattoo design itself is bold and interesting.

Check "Reading my body" in action in the video below.

::vtol:: "reading my body" from ::vtol:: on Vimeo.

(Source: CNET)
12:02 AM
erin chance tattoo.jpgThe US imported exceptional tattoo talent when New Zealand's Erin Chance decided to make Richmond, Virginia her new home. I became a fan of Erin's work, which leans towards the neotraditional, from her time at Auckland's renowned Sacred Tattoo studio, and I'm stoked that Erin will be sharing her talents on the road in North America (and places beyond). I grabbed Erin for a quick email Q &A. Here's how it went down:

First off, when did you officially make the US your home?

I finally got my Green Card right before Christmas 2012, so I've been here just over a year now. Best Christmas present! I'm based in Richmond, VA., but on the road a lot.

Has moving to Virginia had an impact on your work?

A little, mainly what machines I use, etc.. My art has been going through some changes. I'm sure tattoos will follow suit before too long.

You have a wonderfully diverse portfolio, but also one with a particular bent towards neotraditional work. Do you prefer to work in different tattoo styles or focus on one genre?
Thank you! I really enjoy Neo-traditional/illustrative work above all else, but I also enjoy recreating fine art as tattoos from time to time. Not photorealism, at least in colour. That terrifies me! Ha! More like comic covers or fantasy paintings. I'm a nerd.

erin chance tattoo 1.jpgSince you began tattooing in 2006, has there been any experience, whether it be in tattooing or personal, that had a profound affect on your work?

Traveling has been a huge part of my career since early on. I've been places and met people I probably wouldn't have had the chance to if it weren't for tattooing, and it's impossible not to learn from those experiences. Also getting the job at Sacred, so early on in my career was an opportunity of a lifetime. Dean Sacred and Dan Andersen were amazing mentors and I wouldn't be where I am today without them. Chris Bezencon of Eastside Tattoo in NZ was my first mentor. There I learned a unique approach (by modern standards) to tattooing. Rotaries and single needle outlines! As a result, I am much more comfortable using a tight 3 than a 9rl [round liner]. Ha!

One of your tattoos that has made its way all around the internet is the stunning fox hunt themed backpiece, (shown above). Could you tell us more about that piece?

The fox hunt scene is on an old family friend. I've known Steve my whole life, and he was actually a huntsman for years so this was a tribute to that time in his life. Although we don't actually have foxes in New Zealand. Haha. It took somewhere around 70-75 hours (7 full days and 2 halves) over 2 months. He is a machine!

If you could sum up your philosophy on tattooing, what would it be?

Work hard. Give the cleanest tattoo you can. Make people happy, but not at the expense of your own professional integrity, or sanity!

erin chance tatto2.jpgYou recently showed your fine art work at Glitch Gallery. What are the parallels between your fine art and tattoo work?

Generally, my art and tattoos are more or less the same style, but for this show, I definitely pulled away a little in some pieces. I think, as I start painting more, the shift will become more noticeable.

Where is the best place online for people to purchase your artwork?

You can by my prints at

When you're not tattooing or painting, what do you love to do?

I'm a gamer, haha! Not that I ever get time for video games these days. I read a lot, and I have 3 lovably annoying cats that love sitting on my lap or shoulder while I'm trying to draw.

Any guest spots and conventions coming up?  

So far, I have a guest spot at Archive Tattoo in Toronto coming up, then Hell City Columbus, Silver State Reno, a guest spot at Red Rocket NYC, the New Zealand Tattoo & Arts festival, and the Melbourne Body art Expo. I'm sure there will be more added in between though.

See more of Erin's work on her site, Instagram, and Twitter.

erin chance art.jpg
10:16 PM
Artoria Gibbons .jpgWhen I think of the beautiful tattooed ladies who inspired generations of heavily tattooed women, the elegant images of sideshow performer "Artoria" Gibbons immediately come to mind.  Artoria married master tattoo artist Charles "Red" Gibbons in 1912, but it wasn't until 1918/1919 when Red began to tattoo Artoria and they traveled the carnival circuit together -- artist and tattooed lady.

Red and Artoria had a daughter, Charlene Anne Gibbons, who is in the process of writing a book on her parents, and correcting a lot of the myths that surround them. Last month, Charlene wrote an article on her father, entitled "The Life of a Twentieth Century Tattoo Artist: Charles "Red" Gibbons. Here's a bit from it:

Charles, "Red" Gibbons was a master tattoo artist for over 40 years.  He lived from 1879 until1964.  A brutal robbery resulted in the loss of one eye.  An unfortunate construction accident resulted in the loss of his other eye leaving him totally blind.  Nothing else but death could have ended his beloved career as a tattoo artist.  He was devastated to the extent of no longer wanting to live.  However, with the love and care of his wife and daughter he lived for nearly twenty more years.

The ancient and revered craft of tattoo artistry is constantly evolving.  Innovative equipment, techniques, applications and designs are constantly being discovered.  Charles Gibbons would be utterly amazed if he could see all the changes in his profession today.
Artoria died in 1985, and during her 91 years, she performed for more than 50 years for sideshows and carnivals, earning her the title of one of "the most renowned tattooed ladies of the twentieth century." Her memory continues to live on through us tattooed ladies of today.

artoria gibbons tattoo.jpg Tattoo of Artoria by Dana Brunson on Dot Brunson.

Also, check the first issue of Things & Ink magazine with tattooist Claudia De Sabe on the front cover, recreating the iconic image of Artoria.
08:08 PM

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I'm sharing this 8-minute video "Skin Deep:  A Youth Culture Tattoo Documentary," by Thinkhouse, which explores tattooing in Ireland through the reflections of Irish tattooers, seasoned and new. The artists include Kev McNamara and Sylwia Butkiewicz of Dublin Ink, Anto Ross of Spilled Ink, and Bren Harte of Dragon Tattoo.

There's some interesting discussion on the "unspoken rules" of not getting tattooed on hands, necks and faces until you have a lot of coverage; the reasons behind why so many young people in Ireland are heavily tattooed; and also thoughts on what tattooing will be like in 10 years. I recommend a look (perhaps with some Guinness).

[Video link via Some Quality Meat.]
09:30 AM
le mondial du tatouage.jpgfilip leu tattooing.jpgFilip Leu tattooing at the Mondial du Tatouage.

If it weren't for our hanging at our hometown NYC Tattoo Convention last weekend, we would have been in attendance at the much-anticipated Mondial du Tatouage in Paris, organized by the inimitable Tin Tin and Piero. Over 300 artists from around the globe gathered at the "Grand Hall de la Villette," once a slaughterhouse and now a cultural center. Seems fitting for three days of art and blood. And there was a lot of it, with an estimated whopping 30,000 visitors!

I was following the scene on Instagram via #mondialdutatouage and via photos posted to the convention's Facebook page, but there are also some other wonderful photo features across the web for your viewing pleasure. Here are some links:
Looking forward to being at the Mondial du Tatouage next year, especially after the success of this show!

09:14 AM
tattoo history myths.jpg
Last week, Gizmodo, which is primarily a tech blog, attempted to condense tattoo history, from mummies to Miami Ink, in their blog post "How the Art of Tattoo Has Colored World History." In what seemed to be research primarily conducted on Wikipedia, the author ended up perpetuating many of the myths and misinformation that float around online.  So I hit up true experts in the field of tattoo history to set the record straight: Dr. Matt Lodder, Dr. Anna Felicity Friedman, and Dr. Lars Krutak.

So, you can take a minute and read the Gizmodo article first. Or not.

I first asked Anna what she thought were some glaring mistakes in the post. Here's what she said:

ANNA:  By the third sentence of this "article" I knew it was going to be a doozy. The problem with this statement, "That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller chance of infection" is a) it's incredibly melodramatic and b) it's just not true. Many (if not most?) traditional tattoo practitioners were acutely aware of the possibility of infection, one of the reasons why we perhaps see suspension mediums in traditional tattoo "ink" recipes like alium juice or even one of my favorite rare ones, human breastmilk, both of which contain natural antibacterial agents. Rest periods for people having undergone tattooing are common cross-culturally (presumably to let the body heal and lessen the chance of infection). And with the rise of "tattoo parties" and so much home-tattooing by amateurs untrained in proper safe practices with bloodborne pathogens, there is a huge risk of all sorts of infections in the contemporary era.

Re: the image of the "Pict" "tattoos": had the writer just done a tiny bit of searching re: this image, he might have realized this image is a fantasy and does not represent tattoos. Scholars are still not sure if the descriptions of body art on the Picts were tattoos or just body painting (leaning toward the latter), but they definitely were not 16th century French-inspired floral designs in multi-color (they were described as woad-like, which is blueish in color). The image is also not attributed to the source, and I'm guessing when the owner (Yale University) finds out it's been used without attribution, they will have it pulled.  Here are some links to some of my posts on one of the other images from the same book (John White's equally fantastic Pict images), which mention fantasy and have more elucidation of some of these problems: Image 1 (below), Image 2, and Image 3

tattooed Pict.jpgMatt also noted the misinformation on Picts and cited "The Pictish Tattoo: Origins of a Myth" by Richard Dibon-Smith for reference. 

As for the "These days, it's not just sailors and ruffians that get inked" line (and the whole paragraph really), read Matt's attack on tattoo cliches.

lars krutak kalinga.jpgAbove: Lars Krutak with one of the last tattooed Kalinga warriors Jaime Alos outside of Tabuk, Philippines.

I'm also grateful for the extensive critique of the article that Lars offered:

LARS: Otzi is not the oldest evidence as this article seems to purport. The oldest is a 7000-year-old male mummy of the Chinchorro culture of South America and this man wears a tattooed mustache on his upper-lip, so the earliest evidence is cosmetic. [Actually, the cited Smithsonian article had several glaring errors and I never cite it - period! - even though I work at the Smithsonian! Dr. Fletcher stated that Otzi is the oldest tattoo evidence, but she is no doubt incorrect and I like mythbusting this oft-stated "fact."]

Gizmodo: The Inuit, for example, have been tattooing themselves in the name of beauty and a peaceful afterlife since at least the 13th century.

LARS - The earliest evidence of tattooing in all of North America is a Palaeo-Eskimo ivory maskette from Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada whose face is completely covered with tattoos and it dates to -3500 BP. This object most likely represents a woman. So the practice is much older than the author presumes. For "beauty" is pretty much horseshit - see my comments below. Much circumpolar tattooing aimed to repel the advances of disease-bearing evil spirits and there were multiple forms of medicinal tattooing to relieve painful rheumatism (a la the Iceman), painful swellings, facial paralysis, and even to increase the production of a woman's breast milk.

Gizmodo: Similarly, in the the [sic] Cree tribe, men would often tattoo their entire bodies while the women would wear ornate designs running from mid-torso to pelvis as protective wards for a safe pregnancy.

LARS: I have never heard anything about safe pregnancies in relation to Cree tattoo, although I am aware of tattoos in other parts of North America to promote fertility or ensure that the first thing a newborn saw was a thing of beauty (eg, inner thigh tattoo, Inuit region). Indeed, Cree men (Plains Cree, Wood Cree) were tattooed on their torso, but only for war honors. These tattoos had to be earned so only successful warriors would have worn such tattoos. The author makes it sounds like every man had them, but this is simply not true.

[Continued ...]

02:21 PM
David Sena tattoo clients.jpg
David Sena chest tattoo.jpg
David Sena's tattoo clients, above, including close-up.

Rods Jimenez tattoo.jpgRods Jimenez tattoo above.

We had an amazing time celebrating the 17th Annual NYC Tattoo Convention, in its final days at Roseland Ballroom, this past weekend. In addition to the pics I post on Friday, I posted some more images from the weekend, which you can find on our Flickr set and Instagram. [Many thanks to Pamela Shaw for taking a number of photos with her fancy camera as opposed to my iPhone shots.]

In the news, the Village Voice covered the show, particularly those with facial tattoos, in an extensive slideshow.

Looking forward to the next incarnation of my home town's convention!

NYC Tattoo convention 2014.jpg
09:48 AM
NYC Tattoo Convention Kevin.jpg
NYC Tattoo Convention Peter Walrus tattoo.jpg
Yesterday, the 17th Annual NYC Tattoo Convention kicked off at the iconic Roseland Ballroom, and there were some amazing works of art walking around the show and being created by the stellar line-up of tattooers in attendance. This is the last time the convention will be held at Roseland before it sadly gets demolished, although the show will be back in new location. Because this convention has held so many great memories in this venue, I'm just taking it all in while I can.

I'll continue to be signing my books today through tomorrow, and also Tweeting and taking pics, which I'll post to Instagram and Flickr.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you here with some photos from yesterday, including Kevin Wilson of Sacred Tattoo modelling his hand tattoo by Peter Walrus (shown above). It was also cool to watch Brent McCown create Pacific Polynesian inspired work by hand, including this piece on Charles Boday's forearm (shown below).

More coming up!

Brent McCown tattooing.jpgBrent and Charles.jpg
07:08 AM
roxx 2 spirit tattoo.jpg
Tattoo above by Roxx of 2Spirit Tattoo.

In my Women's Ink post last week, I gave y'all a heads up that Margot Mifflin and I will be moderating the panel discussion "Women's Ink: Tattooing in the New Millennium" at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, tomorrow, Thursday, March 6, from 7-9 PM.

Today, I wanted to just spotlight the work of the inspiring artists who will be on the panel: Roxx of 2Spirit Tattoo in San Francisco, and NYC's own Virginia Elwood and Stephanie Tamez of Saved Tattoo. In addition to discussing the particular issues of being women artists in the tattoo industry, there will also be a show-n-tell about certain select pieces from their portfolios. Towards the end of the talk, we're opening up the floor where those in attendance can ask questions and share their experiences.

And if you don't have it yet, Margot will be signing her must-have book,
Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo.

For more on
Women's Ink: Tattooing in the New Millennium, check our Q&A with Cool Hunting, and Margot's talk with Inked.

Stephanie Tamez tattoo.jpgTattoo above by Stephanie Tamez.

Virginia Elwood Tattoo.jpgTattoo above by Virginia Elwood.
12:03 PM
never read the comments tattoo.jpg
never read the comments.jpg
The meteoric media attention to tattooing is making a lot of people, a lot of money. And many of those people don't have a single tattoo. When tattoo polls make claims like "one in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo," that's a significant market to be tapped.

We are passionate about tattoos. We get excited to view beautiful work and pissed off when the art is denigrated. This passion = $$ in the eyes of those seeking "eyeballs" for their websites, TV shows, magazines, and sales outlets.

Back in October, we talked about tattoo "Like farms."  Those are often the tattoo "fan" pages with the billion "Likes" on Facebook, where you'll find beautiful tattoos but without any information on the artist, photographer, or collector. The tattoos are used to draw us in and then throw ad links to merch, apps, and services.

The flip side to this is what I see as the "Dislike" hook:  tricks like "click-baiting," with headlines such as "Tattoos are Corny and Degrading," designed to drag us in, make us angry with asinine writing, and provoke us to comment on the article, defending something that is personal and important to us. It brings more clicks, more time on the site, and more interactivity. Editors and advertisers just love how much we hate it.

Back in my early days of blogging (over 10 years ago), I used to call these articles out, and even comment on them in the hopes of trying to change someone's mind with, what I believed to be, rational thought. I no longer do that. Because, in the history of the Internet, no one has ever won in a comment war.

Which brings me to the old Internet adage: Never read the comments. We already know all the tattoo cliches that are out there, so we don't need to lose faith in humanity with a constant reminder. The Washington Post has a great article on getting rid of comments sections. Alexandra Petri writes:

"We have this mistaken idea that some things are up for debate that frankly are not actually up for debate. People may disagree on them, but the only reason that they disagree is that, well, some of these people are wrong. You do not have to give people who are objectively incorrect equal time."
This is not only true for science articles, but for any article that entices small minded people and their prejudices to interrupt serious discourse within a community.

We got rid of the comments to this blog a while back and moved the discussion to our Facebook group and my Twitter feed, where there's less anonymity, and thus, greater civility. I love thoughtful debates and sharing of ideas, which is what makes social media so great. But let's keep it on our terms, and ignore the mass media comment forums and clickbait.

dont read the comments.jpgScreen cap above from the Don't Read the Comments Twitter feed.
01:12 PM
My two great passions, food and tattoos, are the focus of the book Eat Ink, a fantastic collection of stories from top tattooed chefs across the country as well as their signature recipes. The only way this could make me happier is if George Clooney whispered the ingredients in my ear.

Eat Ink is a joint project by author Birk O'Halloran & photographer Daniel Luke Holton, who explore the connections between tattoo and kitchen culture, from food-inspired tattoos to the stories behind them. For example, when Ed Witt, of 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring, MD, talks about giving his tattooer artistic freedom in creating his body suit, he draws these parallels with his own work:  "I think the whole thing is of the same mentality. Chefs have this at a certain point. If you sit there and you aren't picky, you'll eat better. If you sit there and you trust an artist that is tattooing you, you'll end up with a better tattoo."

The 304-page book, with nearly 200 photos, features 60 chefs, including James Beard Award winners, Top Chef competitors, Food Network stars and more. Some of the more notable chefs are Duff Goldman, Rick Tramanto, Marc Forgione, Seamus Mullen, Mike Isabella, Justin Warner, Andy Ricker and Dominque Crenn.

The book is divided into food categories:  Hoofed, Finned, Winged, Rooted, and Sugar. It also includes some vegan recipes, so there's something for everyone. While not all the tattoos shown are exceptional, the recipes certainly are. I've included one below from Lisa Higgins, Sweetpea Baking Co., Portland, Oregon.

You can buy a signed copy of Eat Ink here or on Amazon.
Vanilla Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Yields 4 (4") coffee cakes, ramekin-size, or 1 (9") coffee cake

For Batter: Combine dry ingredients (including sugar) and margarine in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix until margarine is in pea-size chunks. Add wet ingredients and mix until a batter is formed, about 30 seconds.

Ingredients for batter: 2 cups all-purpose flour; 3/4 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 cup vegan margarine, slightly softened; 2 teaspoons vanilla; 1 cup soymilk; and 1/4 cup water.

For Cinnamon Filling: In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Ingredients for cinnamon filling: 1 tablespoon vegan margarine, melted; 3/4 cup brown sugar; 1/4 cup sugar; and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

For Streusel Topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. With a pastry blender or fork, mash the margarine into the flour and sugar until small balls of dough begin to form.

Ingredients for streusel topping: 1/2 cup vegan margarine; 1 cup all-purpose flour; and 1/2 cup sugar.

For Powdered Sugar Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar with 2 teaspoons of water, adding more water by drops as needed until the mixture is a thick, pourable consistency.

Ingredients for powdered sugar glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar; 2 teaspoons water, plus more if needed.

To Complete: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" round cake pan, or 8" square baking dish. Spread half of the Batter into the bottom of the pan with a spatula; then spread a layer of Cinnamon Filling 1/3 to 1/2 cup) on top. Place small dollops of the remaining Batter over the Cinnamon Filling and spread carefully with a spatula. Cover the top of the Batter with the Streusel Topping and add any extra Cinnamon Filling if desired. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes (25 minutes for the 4" ramekin size), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze, and serve warm. Store in a covered container up to 3 days; warm in oven if desired.
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