When tattoo artists enter fashion territory, the result is often exciting, unique, and a lot of fun. The ITS FOR ME brand of NYC tattooer Virginia Elwood is perfect example of that. Virginia has taken her tattoo aesthetic, which is heavily influenced by folk, outsider art, and Americana, and translated it onto lush 100% silk scarves, totes and patches. The scarves, which sell for $160 (and can be purchased online), are made from hand carved linoleum prints digitally transferred and printed onto silk.
What I think is also particularly fun is the origin of the brand name:
ITS FOR ME was born out of humor and satire in the tattoo shop. In the late 00's there was an influx of young clientele requesting what many tattoo artists considered upside down tattoos... or tattoos oriented so that the image faces the wearer as opposed to the viewer. When these clients were asked why, the response was always "because, it's for me."The ITS FOR ME scarves, bags and patches each have "origin stories." For one, the "Theo Scarf" was named for Theo Kogan (pictured above), who is probably most well known as front woman for the iconic band Lunachicks. Theo is ITS FOR ME brand ambassador, which makes it even more badass. Also collaborating with Virginia on ITS FOR ME are Kyle Gamache, Dani Jedda & Todd Weinberger (more here).
For more on Virginia and ITS FOR ME, check the video below by Eric Weiss. You can also find Virginia on Instagram.
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.
Tattoo above by Stephanie Tamez.
Tattoo above by Virginia Elwood.
A couple weeks ago, while at a bar chatting with a friend, I felt a tug on my arm and then, without warning or even a word, my arm was being twisted and turned for inspection by guy who, not only felt it was his right to grab a stranger, but who was rather shocked when I took my arm back and told him that what he was doing wasn't cool. He became indignant that I wasn't flattered by his attention, saying, "What's wrong? I like your tattoos," as if his artistic approval of my work gave him a right to touch. I then took his arm, twisted it as he did to me, and asked him if he liked it. Then, completely accidentally, his own fist wound up in his own eye.
My non-tattooed friends were pretty shocked that some random stranger would grab me to look at my tattoos. I wasn't shocked at all. In fact, most of you reading this won't be shocked. It's something we talk about a lot -- how our skin becomes an interactive museum exhibit. This is particularly a common experience for tattooed women.
This discussion of our bodies as some kind of public space, as well as other issues experienced by tattooed women (and men as well), will be shared on March 6, 2014, on the panel discussion "Women's Ink: Tattooing in the New Millennium" at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn. I'm honored to be moderating the panel with Margot Mifflin author of one of my most favorite tattoo books, Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo.
The panel is inspired by the third edition of "Bodies of Subversion," released by powerHouse Books a year ago. [I interviewed Margot at that time about the new edition.] The book was the first history of women's tattoo art when it was originally released in 1997, exploring the stories of tattooed women from as far back as the nineteenth-century. So many years later, it remains the only book to chronicle the history of both tattooed women and women tattooists.
The experiences of women tattooists are particularly fascinating, and there are so many questions that arise: Do women tattooers still feel any form of discrimination from colleagues and clients? How do they feel about their representation in the media? How do they see their role as business women as well as artists? ...
These questions, among many others, will be addressed by a phenomenal group of artists: Roxx of 2Spirit Tattoo in San Francisco, and NYC's own Virginia Elwood and Stephanie Tamez of Saved Tattoo
We'll also open up the discussion to all. The panel, which will take place from 7-9 PM, is the day before the NYC Tattoo Convention -- it'll be a fun way to kick off the tattoo weekend celebration. I really hope to see you there.
More details on the event via the Facebook invite.
Above: Blackwork tattoo by Roxx 2Spirit. Floral tattoo by Joy Rumore.
On Monday -- P.Ink Day -- a group of truly exceptional tattooers, exceptional in their art and in their spirit, dedicated their time to transform mastectomy scars of kickass women into beautiful life-affirming creations. Just taking a look at Gigi Stoll's photos of what went down at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn that day, offers a glimpse into just how powerful and magical tattooing can be.
As I've posted here before, P.Ink or Personal Ink Project is an incredible resource that offers tattoo inspiration, ideas and info for breast cancer survivors. It also is a place where these women can research and perhaps even connect with skilled artists who can transform mastectomy scars into beautiful works of art. On Monday, P.Ink brought artists and survivors together in person, and picked up the tab via an Indiegogo campaign -- that still needs help with funding.
To learn more about P.Ink and the transformation of mastectomy scars from the perspective of the tattoo artist and the client, check this HuffPo video (below) featuring P.Ink's founder Noel Franus, artist Joy Rumore and Megan Hartman, whom Joy tattooed on Monday (tattoo shown above). Joy also blogged about her experience, which is a great read.
For all the inspiration and beauty, thank you, P.Ink and the artists who made it all possible: Stephanie Tamez, Virginia Elwood, Ashley Love, Michelle Tarantelli, Roxx, Shannon Purvis Barron, Nikki Lugo, Miranda Lorberer, Jen Carmean, and Joy Rumore.
In March, we wrote about the Personal Ink Project or P.INK, which is an incredible resource that offers tattoo inspiration, ideas and info for breast cancer survivors. It also is a place where these women can research and perhaps even connect with skilled artists who can transform mastectomy scars into beautiful works of art.I've had the pleasure of working with the P.INK team, in a small way, on this event. P.INK is a "nights-and-weekends passion project" of a handful of employees at the Boulder-based ad agency CP+B who had been affected by cancer. Their goal is to see this project expand, including more P.INK Days should this first event be a success.
On October 21, 2013, that connection will be made when 10 tattoo artists will tattoo scar-coverage or nipple-replacement tattoos on 10 breast cancer survivors at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY.
You can help make this event happen by being a part of the crowd-funded project for as little as $10. There are also tons of perks for those who can give more. For $50, there's digital swag and temp tattoos. For $500, you get an art print of one of the tattoos you helpedg fund.
And the art is guaranteed to be stellar considering the line-up:
If you can't contribute, spread the word by sharing this page and using #PinkTattooDay. You can follow P.INK on Twitter and on Facebook.
Learn more about the project from the video below.
Earlier this week, we featured the first episode of a new tattoo show by Spike TV called Tattoo Age. We're happy to post that there's another series without the faux drama, featuring the adventures of a tattooist who reveals the realities of tattooing along with cultural highlights of different cities beyond the art.
Markus Kuhn says of The Gypsy Gentleman project:
Photo by Martha Larson of Seattle.
There are Suicide Girls, Gypsy Queens and the Inked Girl of the Day. And we love all that cheesecakey goodness. But where can the ladies and gay boys get a little tattoo eye candy? Well, I'm here to provide.
Last week, I put out a call for hot tattooed men to feature here, and praise be, my Inbox dinged: You Got Male!
But before we objectify our first brave bod, I just wanna say, Keep 'em comin. Send your photos to marisa at needlesandsins.com.
And now meet: Stefan Lawrence
"My wife, Biz, is pregnant and we're about to have a little Katy Belle (that's the baby). I went to Virginia Elwood of NY Adorned with the general idea of the mama, papa and baby bird, with the banner reading "The Little Family," which is what me and Biz were calling it when we would be sleeping in the morning and both our cats were on the bed with us as well. Virginia just sorta took the idea and ran with it. Even though I'm a designer by trade, I like to let artists do their own thing because, really, what do I know about designing a tattoo?Congrats, Stefan and Biz!