Tattoo (Sleeve) Tuesday

I’ve taken a long hiatus from Tattoo Tuesdays and posting in general, but with the accessible Pinterest app I still regularly scan and share my favorite tattoo finds. You can always check out these latest finds on my Pinterest page.

Lately, I’ve been fixed on great arm tattoos. I can always appreciate a great sleeve, and I especially love the bright, bold colors and intricate details in the ones below. Enjoy!

Vibrant, colorful tattoo sleeves

Bold, dark tattoo sleeves

Bold intricate tattoo sleeve

Vibrant blue green nature tattoo sleeve

Dark, detailed tattoo sleeve

Roses & Pearls bold tattoo sleeve

Queen and King playing cards tattoo sleeves

Colorful tattoo sleeve

Intricate flower pattern tattoo sleeve

Lady drawing tattoo half sleeve

Tattoo Tuesday

Hey tattoo lovers, another Tuesday is upon us and so I bring you a new Tattoo Tuesday post. The topic/theme this week is ink on any part of your torso, which can sometimes become a short-sighted and unattractive decision for some people years on down the road (namely women with abdomen tattoos that stretch into an undetermined mass once they become pregnant).

As you all may or may not have noticed, I usually center each Tattoo Tuesday post around a particular body part. Not only does this make organizing each post much easier, but now I can include some interesting research that I found about the relationships between tattoo location and symbolism for men and women.

We know that people get tattoos on many different parts of the body, and tattoos are an exhibition of many different ideals, values and personalities for many different people. This particular research notes that placement choice is very gender specific and plays a role in how the symbolism of a tattoo differs between men and women.

Back tattoos can allude to a person’s “mysterious” qualities or represent a (meaningful) event that the person has put behind them. I personally like upper back (no thanks to lower back ink for me) because it has the largest unobstructed “viewing” surface area (as opposed to having one wrapped around your arms or legs), and because there’s still many placement options. Also, this location can typically be covered. I plan on (someday…) getting a tattoo that covers part of a shoulder blade or between the two.

Because it’s located near the heart, chest tattoos have symbolized affection and love. Since the chest is usually not completely exposed, there is a sense of intimacy with the tattoo and it’s placement here. Men are more likely to get ink here, though the trend seems to be increasing for women as well.

Side, or rib, tattoos are probably my third favorite location (after back and inner arms). I personally like quotes and solo illustrations on the side, but I’ve seen a few very artistic portraits or whole side pieces. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any real research on the meaning of side tattoos.

Tattoo Tuesday: Leg Work

Hey everyone, sorry it’s been a while since my last Tattoo Tuesday post. Starting a new job makes it crazy hectic and difficult to post unless I draft it in advance. But since I’ve done that this time, my short post this week covers some interesting and cool leg/foot tattoos.

I’ve never been a big fan of leg tattoos, and I’ll probably never get one myself, but these were all so artfully drawn that I couldn’t help admiring the creativity and daring of some people.

The molecules for serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine.

Serotonin – happiness, satisfaction
Dopamine – love, passion, pleasure, motivation
Acetylcholine– thought, learning, memory, dreaming, focus

Tattoo Tuesday: Through Platform 9¾ and Down the Rabbit Hole of Literary Ink

Another Tuesday is here and I’ve had a lot of fun with the post that I put together. This week Tattoo Tuesday is focused on ink that references some classic contemporary American novels and poems.

Part of my summer bucket list was to reread the entire Harry Potter series (I’ve always been a major HP nerd). It’s one of my favorites, and after searching around on the Internet, I found countless tattoos from people who feel the same about the series.

Platform 9¾, where the  Hogwarts Express departs from King’s Cross railway station for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The sign of the Deathly Hallows represents all three objects symbolically: the Wand, the Stone, and the Cloak.

According to The Tale of the Three Brothers, the Peverell brothers evaded Death, who then gave them a choice of anything they wanted: the first brother chose a wand that could not be defeated in battle; the second asked for a way to bring back someone from the dead; and the third selected a cloak that made the wearer invisible, even to Death himself.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that,” said Albus Dumbledore to Harry after explaining the Mirror of Erised.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” revealed in a black light, are the words to reveal the Marauder’s Map.
“Mischief managed,” the words to clear the Marauder’s Map.

 “Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present: THE MARAUDER’S MAP

Hogwarts Castle


Edgar Allan Poe
, an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, is best known for his tales of mystery and macabre. He was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

– “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

– Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

– “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe

An excerpt from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The City in the Sea.”

I’ve always enjoyed Lewis Carroll‘s Alice in Wonderland. The following are some great Alice-inspired tattoos.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on “And how do you know that you’re mad?”
“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
“I suppose so,” said Alice.
“Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”

– Excerpts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

“I could tell you my adventures — beginning from this morning,” said Alice a little timidly, “but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
“Explain all that,” said the Mock Turtle.
“No, no! The adventures first,” said the Gryphon in an impatient tone. “Explanations take such a dreadful time.”

– Excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Other great literary tattoos, inspired by children’s novels and contemporary classics:

Excerpts from Wallace Stevens’ “Poetry is a Destructive Force” surrounding the Little Dipper constellation.

That’s what misery is,
Nothing to have at heart.
It is to have or nothing.

It is a thing to have,
A lion, an ox in his breast,
To feel it breathing there.

Corazon, stout dog,
Young ox, bow-legged bear,
He tastes its blood, not spit.

He is like a man
In the body of a violent beast.
Its muscles are his own . . .

The lion sleeps in the sun.
Its nose is on its paws.
It can kill a man.

– “Poetry is a Destructive Force” by Wallace Stevens

The meaning and answer to life, the universe and everything.

“The Answer to the  Great  Question…”
“Yes …!”
“Of Life, the Universe and Everything …” said Deep Thought.
“Yes …!”
“Is …” said Deep Thought, and paused.
“Yes …!”
“Is …”
“Yes …!!!…?”
“Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.

– Excerpt from The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister Herbert
The illustrations by Brett Helquist for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (The Wide Window).
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

In Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut uses the phrase “Goodbye Blue Monday” as a reaction to the absurdities of everyday life. He writes,

“The motto of the old Robo-Magic washing machine cleverly confused two separate ideas people had about Monday. One idea was that women traditionally did their laundry on Monday. Monday was simply washday, and not an especially depressing day on that account. People who had horrible jobs during the week used to call Monday ‘Blue Monday’ sometimes, though, because they hated to return to work after a day of rest. When Fred T. Barry made up the Robo-Magic motto as a young man, he pretended that Monday was called ‘Blue Monday’ because doing laundry disgusted and exhausted women. The Robo-Magic was going to cheer them up. It wasn’t true, incidentally, that most women did their laundry on Monday at the time the Robo-Magic was invented. They did it any time they felt like it.”

With the invention of the Robo-Magic washing machine, women could finally say goodbye to their blue Mondays forever.

“Off to the bridge club while my Robo-Magic does the wash! GOODBYE, BLUE MONDAY!”

Also in the novel, character Henry LeSabre paints “Goodbye Blue Monday” on the side of a bomb to be dropped on Hamburg, Germany. This corporation uses the slogan to manipulate women, just as our modern society use messages to manipulate us.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 106 times.

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

– Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five

The final line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Cover art for J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye

“Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row,” Holden Caulfield tells Stradlader of Jane Gallagher in Catcher in the Rye.

This has much to do with Holden’s child-like nature and the general value that he has for innocence. Jane keeping her kings in the back was a safe way of playing, to the degree of not even playing really. Holden is therefore asking if she is still the innocent girl he once knew.

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”

– Jean Louise (Scout) Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

The cover art for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Sam climbed in the back of the pickup, wearing nothing but her dance dress. She told Patrick to drive, and he got this smile on his face. I guess they had done this before…
Anyway, Patrick started driving really fast, and just before we got to the tunnel, Sam stood up, and the wind turned her dress into ocean waves. When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got scooped up into a vacuum, and it was replaced by a song on the tape player.
A beautiful song called “Landslide.”
When we got out of the tunnel, Sam screamed this really fun scream, and there it was.
Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder.
Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing.
And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

– Charlie from Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Tattoo Tuesday: Los Muertos

Once again it is Tuesday (yes, it’s Wednesday, I forgot to post this yesterday) and this week my post is about sugar skull tattoos from the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday.

This holiday was originally an ancient ritualistic festival celebrated by the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations in central and southern Mexico. Today, the holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico, certain parts of the United States and Central America, and around the world in other cultures.

The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. Dia de los Muertos was eventually merged with the Catholic All Saints’ day and All Souls’ day on November 1st and 2nd in an effort to make the holiday more Christian, once the Spanish Conquistadors unsuccessfully tried to eradicate it from the indigenous culture. The Spaniards considered the ritual sacrilegious and perceived the indigenous people as barbaric and pagan.

The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth, as well as to honor the dead.

The indigenous people viewed death as the continuation of life, rather than the end of life, and they believed that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that were prepared for them.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
“No One’s Gonna Love You” lyrics by Band of Horses.
A beautiful, different and creative design for a sugar skull tattoo.
I love the highly intricate design of this skull tattoo.

I really like how the skulls are incorporated into the hair and flowers of this tattoo.

Tattoo Tuesday: Lyrically Quotable

This week, my Tattoo Tuesday post is focusing on lyrics and quotes. Enjoy 🙂

The final lines from the Great Gatsby.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Quoting Charlie from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII

“…Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera…”

Translation:

“…I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride:
so I love you because I know no other way…”

From French philosopher Albert Camus’ “Return to Tipasa.”

“Au milieu de l’hiver, j’ai découvert en moi un invincible été.”

Translation:

“In the depths of winter, I discovered there was in me an invincible summer.”

He Can Only Hold Her by Amy Winehouse.
Kid Cudi’s Pink Floyd ink, pretty awesome.
One Love by Bob Marley

Tattoo Tuesday: Hidden in Corporate America

It has been nearly a month since my first post about Tattoo Tuesday, but finals are finally over and I can (hopefully) start making this a more regular post.

One of the reasons I still don’t have a tattoo, though I’ve wanted one for more than five years, is because of the stigma with tattoos in corporate America. I’ve worked in banking through most of my college career and there is a good chance I’ll stay in the same corporate environment for a while. I have career expectations and tattoos seemed to get in the way of getting paid.

Beautiful design, but imagine going to a professional black tie event with a backless or strapless dress and this.
Pretty, intricate design…but forget wearing anything but long sleeves if you work in corporate America.

It seems like people’s obsession with tattoos in pop culture and sports has transferred over into an increasingly accepted part of American culture. Even though some industries, such as banking, health care, law and accounting, are still conservative and highly value a clean and professional image, more people are getting tatted up.

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls guard and 2010-11 NBA MVP, has a tattoo of the Chicago skyline with basketball in the background and the words “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Chris Andersen, Denver Nuggets forward/center, is known as “The Birdman” and one of his many, many tattoos are bird wings under his arms.
Angelina Jolie’s many tattoos.

Polish artist Paul Marcinkowski created this interesting “tattooed” infographic about tattoos (I love infographics).

Interesting to note: 45 million Americans have tattoos (according to a report by the FDA) and only 24 percent have no tattoos.

That means, hidden or otherwise, anyone could be sporting a tattoo, from school teachers to bank managers. Society is changing its opinion, like with women wearing pants instead of skirts or men wearing earrings, and now the key seems to be being discreet with the body adornments you have. According to Forbes and CareerBuilder.com, visible tattoos follow piercings and bad breathe in the category of deal-breaking physical attributes for HR managers.

Seventy percent of people with tattoos cover their body art at work and interviews, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report.

Knowing all this just encourages me even more to get a tattoo!

I want the following tattoo of rose outlines with the placement shown in the picture or on my left shoulder blade. Different words.


I want this infinite/life tattoo either somewhere on the side of my rib cage (OUCH) or my inner arm

Tattoo Tuesday

Tattoos are still somewhat taboo in much of American society, even though tattoos have been present on people’s bodies for centuries and continue to be popular in many parts of the world. According to the Pew Research Center, more than one-in-three of my fellow Gen Nexters (doesn’t exactly have a ring to it…) in the 18-25 age bracket have at least one tattoo.

I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for years but have been too wishy-washy and unsure about which one to permanently etch into my skin to actually get one. Yet. But I still love the variety of art people have had done, and a part of me wishes I could temporarily have each one I really like. Tattoo Tuesday is a showcase of cool and interesting tattoos I see.

A few of my favorites so far:

Short but sweet for certain…

My obsession with tattoos and great, significant lyrics continues…
Maybe some day I’ll finally find the perfect one for myself. 🙂

This verse from Dave Matthews Band’s Two Step is particularly significant to me this year.

Say, my love, I came to you with best intentions
You laid down and gave to me just what I’m seeking
Love, you drive me to distraction
Hey my love do you believe that we might last a thousand years
Or more if not for this,
Our flesh and blood
It ties you and me right up
Tie me down

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We’re climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change
Hey, my love, you came to me like wine comes to this mouth
Grown tired of water all the time
You quench my heart and you quench my mind

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but
Sweet for certain
We’re climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
The things we cannot
Celebrate, you and me, climbing two by two, to be sure
These days continue, things we cannot change

Oh, my love I came to you
With best intentions
You laid down and gave to me
Just what I’m seeking

Celebrate we will
Because life is short
But sweet for certain
We’re climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
Things we cannot change…
Things we cannot change