Announcements Archives

09:00 AM
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Update: This original post (edited) appeared in February 2017, just months after my daughter was born. Yes, she is still super cute. Since that time, I've worked to keep up Needles & Sins through social media, but have decided to take a step back. I have passed the reigns for the Facebook group to other members and kept the N+S Instagram page, although it is now inactive. [You can find my personal Instagram at @marisa_loves_u.] 

My hope is that you continue to use this blog as a resource or even a time capsule of tattooing as it has evolved over the years. I'm grateful for this community and all your support. 


I'm writing this post while my newborn is napping. That's her above, but without the tattoos. I just used a tattoo photo app as an excuse to make posting a picture of my child relevant to a tattoo blog. [Thanks, Inkhunter!] I'm pretty obsessed.

Christina Olga was born his past November, and during my maternity leave from my law practice and tattoo writing, I've been giving thought to the future of, well, everything, including this blog.

Where do we go from here, my fellow tattoo nerds?

I'm tired of telling tattooed kids to get off my lawn. I will join them and get more social, even if it means stomping on the turf of long-form writing. The Needles & Sins social media platforms have always been a supplement to this blog, but now they will carry the most updated info in nice, easily digested chunks with pretty pictures. And hashtags. Damn those hashtags!

So, on the @needlesandsins Instagram, you won't just find images of beautiful tattoos I share from top tattooers, but also images that reflect the latest tattoo headlines (like a modified news review), photos from tattoo events, and other artistic inspiration.

On the Needles & Sins Syndicate Facebook group, we'll all post news links and tattoo topics for dynamic discussions. 

On Twitter, I'll keep pulling it all together in 140 characters.

This has always been a community project, so continue to alert me, via tagging or messaging, to cool tattoo-related goodness for all of us to share and enjoy.

We remain a tattoo family, even with the new addition of some chubby baby cheeks.

I kiss you,
07:32 AM
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UPDATE:  We have a winner!! I plugged the names of those who commented in our Facebook group or my Instagram in Random Result this morning, and the person who popped up was ... Eric Jukelevics [@ericjukelevics.] Congrats, Eric!

Remember: Use the code "
NEEDLE10" for 10% off over the next 3 months. Plus, there's free domestic shipping on orders over $20.

We have another giveaway! This one is a $50 shopping spree from our friends at Urban Body Jewelry for one lucky reader.

Some of my faves in their 2016 fall collection include their
Fossilized Coral Stone Plugs and Green Line Agate Stone Plugs (shown above). The sizes for plugs below range from 8G up to 1 & 1/4" inch but their collection extends up to 2 inches. All plugs are sold in sets.

Plugs aren't the only shiny things you could score with your win. Urban Body Jewelry has a wide selection of assorted body jewelry like nipple rings, septum clickers, nose rings, cartilage barbells and more. Over 2,000 styles to pick from.   

Here's how we're gonna play this:

* Comment on this post in our Facebook group or my Instagram or Tweet at me. Any comment will do, but it would be cool to post what jewelry you'd be eyeing to see what y'all are into.

* Then all the names will be plugged into Random Result to pick the winner.

* The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 18.

If you can't wait to see if you win and you want to shop right away, Needles & Sinners can use the code "NEEDLE10" for 10% off over the next 3 months. Plus, there's free domestic shipping on orders over $20.

For more on Urban Body Jewelry, check them on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

Good luck!

08:41 PM
Be back Friday!
12:26 PM
Last Wednesday, we let you know about the new special edition Sullen Clothing tees designed by renowned black & grey artist Jose Lopez of Lowrider Tattoo. Sullen has offered the tees to two lucky winners, and they were picked via from those who hit us up @NeedlesandSins on Twitter and commented in Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook.

And the winners are ...Charlie Bryson Altman and Stevis Gramenis. Congrats!

You can still get you hands on the tees
through Sullen's online store here. The "Jose Lopez (signature tee)," is now available for $24 and the second design will drop Spring 2013. Check 'em.
06:49 PM
NDLSINS_JoseLopez_Tee_1.jpgThe fine folks at Sullen Clothing must love ya because they want to give even more fantastic tattooist-designed apparel to Needles & Sins readers.

This time it's a special collaboration with one of black & gray's most sought-after artists, Jose Lopez of Lowrider Tattoo. Jose has created not one but two custom designs for the brand. The first, called the "Jose Lopez (signature tee)," is available now at Sullen's online store here. As noted on the site, "the front features full printed artwork in his amazingly detailed pencil drawn art and the back showcased his signature, the Sullen Badge and Lowrider Tattoo logo." It retails for only $24. The second design will drop Spring 2013.

Sullen is offering two tees to two contest winners. As usual, here's how we play it: The winners will be selected randomly from those who comment -- any love note will do -- on this post in our Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook or hitting up @NeedlesandSins on Twitter. On August 29th, we'll put all the names of the commenters into, which will pick the winners. Easy breezy.

Good luck!

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12:33 PM
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These days, "earning" your tattoo by sitting through hours of pain doesn't get you as much street cred as it used to, especially when the focus of large-scale work is the artistry. Indeed, many tattooists are offering the option of numbing products to take the edge off so that clients can sit longer and with less squirming.

One of Needles & Sins' sponsors, Face & Body Professionals, provides artists and collectors with an array of topical anesthetics, among other supplies for permanent cosmetics and tattooing. Anesthetics include creams, gels and sprays to be used before tattooing and also during your session.

Also check the latest "face" of Face & Body:  Trianna Sartori.

Face & Body Professionals have been around since 1995 and are a trusted brand within the community. We're happy to have their support for the site so that we can bring you the tattoo goodness gratis.

10:52 AM
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If you're a regular reader of this site, you're probably ready to run away. How much more can this woman talk about tattoo copyright, right?! It's almost a decade of this discourse, from my first article in 2003 on BME -- which was oddly quoted again today in Bloomberg's BNA blog -- to posts on this blog here and here and here ...

But I got so much more to say, and I plan to do it in a hands-on practical way that will help artists and collectors truly understand how copyright and trademark works, how to protect your rights, AND how to profit from your artwork through licensing. And I'll be doing it with fellow tattooed attorney John Kastelic at the wonderful Paradise Tattoo Gathering next month in Keystone, Colorado, September 13-16.

Our seminar is called "Controlling, Protecting and Profiting from Your Work: Copyright, Trademark & Licensing for Tattoo Artists & Collectors." 

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We'll be addressing these questions:

Who owns your tattoo? Is it you . . . or your client?
Do you need to copyright your work?
How is a copyright different from a trademark?
How can you protect your art from being used without permission by media, corporations and others?
How can you protect your studio's name, logo and reputation?

In addition, artists more and more are finding alternative avenues for generating revenue from their artwork, image and even endorsements - this seminar will provide information to understand how to control the use and licensing of your work and image as well as understand the issues you may confront and how to be prepared to maximize your profits and best protect your interests before signing away any of your rights.

The multi-media presentation will include real world examples, informative handouts, sample contracts, and a Q&A. I encourage participants to submit questions beforehand to marisa(at)kakoulaslaw(dot)com but any question during the seminar will be addressed.

Space is limited so it's best to book your spot now online. The cost is just $175, a bargain just for the sample contracts alone. It will take place 5-7pm Saturday, September 15th.

02:48 PM
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On August 3rd, we posted on our latest contest where three readers would be chosen to receive Phil Padwe's "Tattoo Coloring Book #2." As promised, I just plugged in the names of those who hit me up @NeedlesandSins on Twitter and commented in Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook.

The winners are
Justin Duclos, Nathalie Williams, Lauren Doczi Granger. Congrats!

For those who didn't win this time, you can still pick up the book at numerous conventions for $10 and for $15 online. Also keep an eye out for Phil's upcoming "Daddy Has a Tattoo" book.

I got another contest coming up very soon. I like to give y'all free things to thank you for supporting the site. And, of course, many thanks to those who donate all items to give away.
10:12 AM
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Got another contest for ya -- or rather, for a budding little artist in your life:  Phil Padwe's "Tattoo Coloring Book #2."

Phil, who created the classic "Mommy Has a Tattoo" and "Tattoo Coloring Book 1", is offering the new coloring book to three N+S readers. Phil describes the new coloring book as having "much more advanced illustrations and flash designs than the original coloring book, and therefore Tattoo Coloring Book #2 is suited for older children, adults, and even apprenticing tattooists who want to perfect their coloring techniques using colored pencils! These pages are bone-white, and no expense was spared to produce the crisp, sharp, designs on rugged, white pages."

We'll play it like we usually do:  Three winners will be selected randomly from those who comment -- any love note will do -- on this post in our Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook or hitting up @NeedlesandSins on Twitter. On August 13th, we'll put all the names of the commenters into will pick the winners.

You can also pick up the book at numerous conventions for $10 and for $15 online.

Phil is currently working on "Daddy Has a Tattoo." I'm hoping he follows that up "My Daughter Has a Tattoo and I Must Deal With It" -- sure to be a best seller in my Greek-American community.

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02:50 PM
tattoo copyright.jpgThis morning I received an email from Shannon Larratt (founder and former owner of regarding the use of his images -- as well as those from BME, tattoo artists' portfolios and even my own images -- without permission on and

Read Shannon's FB post on how he's pursuing this. 

The sites market themselves as vehicles to help people "find your tattoo design" and "the quickest and easiest way to find your dream tattoo." The problem is that the dream tattoo could be your own custom work. And we all know how I feel about tattoo copyright.

It does not appear that the use of the images on these sites falls under Fair Use -- for example, using an image to comment or critique a work; however, I've been unable to further explore the site without a membership. It seems I have to pay to view my own work.         

I've sent a request to to take down my images from their site, and many others are doing the same. I've also emailed to discuss this further. Will keep you updated.

It's perhaps fitting to also mention that I'm doing a seminar on "Copyright, Trademark & Licensing for Tattoo Artists & Collectors" in September at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering. More info here.
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