New Year, New Approach

I like sharing things that make me… well, ME. Alas, not everyone cares about the same stuff as I do. Not everyone is so interested in my inner-workings. So my new blog approach for the New Year is that not every entry has to be so poignant and “Dear Diary…”

My point is that I’d like to post more frequently and I constantly promise to be better at it. Clearly, I’m setting myself up for failure. It always seems like such a monumental task and I’ve figured out why. Looking back I find myself thinking “dang, that’s a lot of reading to chew on.”

I’ll absolutely throw you meatier posts from time to time. But more often than not I think I’ll just give you pretty pictures to enjoy. Here’s some fun pieces that I haven’t featured here yet.

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(Above: Erin’s Garden sleeve! I started this linework 3+ years ago and we finally finished filling it all in! The most recent additions are the pink rose, leaf bug and grasshopper to the lower left. We plan to continue to her lower arm and connecting it all with background color eventually.)

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(Above: Erika’s Psychedlic Goddess forearm tattoo. This piece is inspired by all things psychedelic, gemstones, astrology, sacred geometry and Goddess-like. This was a super fun original idea on a super cool original chick. Erika does all kindsa funky custom dreadlock extensions and you can find out more about her HERE. )

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(Above: Nanci’s Brigid’s Cross faerie. Nanci wanted this otherworldly creature to be the harbinger of the symbol for her patron Goddess, Brigid. It was her first tattoo as well! This piece spoke to me on many levels. I have mentioned Brigid in a previous post, click HERE to learn more.)

To see more of my work, click on that little “More Photos” link below my Current Tattoo Work folder on the right —–>

I am currently taking appointments at my private studio in Brooklyn. Please email me with any questions regarding tattoo ideas, pricing, consultations and appointments. I’d love to work with you!

Also note, for the month of January I am running a 10% off special for new tattoos! It’s my way of saying thanks to my old clients for being so loyal and a way of making a warm  first experience to new folks as well.

Shoot me a line – scarlettattoos@gmail.com

Happy New Year, folks!

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Season of the Witch

It has been a truly beautiful and eventful autumn here in NYC! We just passed Samhain and Day of the Dead festivities. Since my last entry – a couple of my dearest friends gave birth to a beautiful baby girl (which means I’m an AUNTIE for the first time ever!), I got to see some amazin’ blazin’ spooky pumpkins on The Hudson, saw one of my favorite burlesque couples get married at the Freak Show in Coney Island and last but not least, I got to shake it on stage once again at the Wasabassco 9th Anniversary Show.

The latter is becoming a yearly tradition for me and something I can safely say I’ll most likely keep doing every year. I still feel I need to remain focused mainly on my tattooing (aka I’m not planning a full-on burlesque “come back”) but I recognize that I am an artist that will never just do one thing. I’m a multi-faceted girl and need all of my interests satiated at all times. My deep appreciation for participating in this show every year stems from how Wasabassco and the entire NYC burlesque community has not only shaped me into who I am today… but they are some of the biggest supporters of my tattooing. As most of you know, I truly believe I would not have been able to fulfill my dream of going to France to study drawing with Brian Froud if it was not for their generous fundraising efforts. It truly is all about love in that community.

At the same time, it’s been business as usual. My studio mate Dorothy and myself continue to build our nest. It’s been close quarters but we are currently looking at a larger space in the same building which we hope to move into by December 1st. For those of you who have experienced our current lil gypsy den, you will appreciate that we’re looking to have a window and a bit more elbow room; artists need light and air! We might even be able to let ya’ll *gasp* bring guests with you soon! Stay tuned for more on that…

We have decided to call our new home Cyganka Tattoo Collective. Cyganka is the Polish word for “gypsy” and we thought it appropriate as we both have Polish roots and are very much modern-day gypsies. It’s also a way for us to have a collective online presence and help eachother cross-promote our goings-on and our work. We still remain individually operating artists, we just wanted our “house” to have a name. It is by-appointment-only and private and is not a walk-in shop. So please do contact either of us directly for more information, tattoo questions, consultation appointments, etc. Check out our website to learn more!

I leave you now with a few new pieces that I have added to my portfolio!

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(Octopus tattoo by me, koi was pre-existing without color.)

Turn, turn, turn

As we approach the Autumn Equinox, NYC is finally starting to feel like fall. Part of my love affair with this city is knowing I’ll get to experience all of the seasons to their fullest. Hands down Autumn has been my favorite season since I was a kid. Hot cider, fall fashion, fiery foliage colors, the scent of burning fireplaces and fragrant stews; the promise of Halloween, pumpkin pie spice, costumes and candy; The Witches New Year, rituals and magick.

My second tattoo ever was an autumnal piece done by Rodney (RIP) of the Lion’s Den Tattoo in New Hope, PA. Experiencing the season in this little historic village along the Delaware River is hard to top, so I got a tattoo of a 7-pointed Faerie Star encircled with autumn leaves and acorns on my wrist. Merely thinking I was decorating myself with a symbol of my spiritual path and my favorite time of year, it has since become a stamp of my life’s pattern. Fall is the season of change. The verdant world of summery green and floral perfumes shifting into a deeper, earthier evolution, all making way for the darker half of the year. My life is in a constant state of THIS. It’s not always as dramatic as I’m making it sound. Sometimes, more seldom thankfully, it’s like a sledgehammer and other times it’s subtle and gentle. But it’s always present and I’m always aware.

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(Above, freshly done circa 2002)

Last year around this time I was gearing up to head down to New Orleans for Halloween. It was just around that time: Hurricane Sandy decided she had other plans for me and NYC. All reservations and flights cancelled, I decided to take advantage of the week at home and start hunting for a new tattoo shop to work from. I was making my game plan and started a list of places to hit up when I came across this one interesting spot in Williamsburg called Twelve 28 Tattoo. The first thing that struck me was the page of artist bios. I marveled that they were all female and with these fabulously glam pinup-like headshots! To me it seemed a bit of a holy grail discovery but even moreso when I actually had my interview and found they were all really down-to-earth folks with an even cooler shop vibe. I fit right in and it was the perfectly natural and next place for me to be.

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Hoping to make it to my anniversary mark with them in November, real estate developers shifted our course as they make their way through the Williamsburg area buying, demolishing and building. New, tall, gleaming structures erasing all of the old, historic vibe-y spots and 28 Marcy Avenue was no exception. The wood planked flooring spoke volumes of its past. Apparently, our particular space at one time produced the gold leafing on the sides of bibles! There are rumors of a ghost even inhabiting the space. All the stuff that my old NYC dreams are made of, soon to become something with much less character but much more profitability.

It’s hard to find a place in this world where you fit in. Even harder still, to find folks that you can exist and flow with, be creative around and even call like family. I’ll miss us all being in the same room together but I feel lucky that I’ve met such kick ass people and that we are all making an effort to stick together in some way. We found a pretty sweet spot just “next door” in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Twelve 28’s owner Joy Rumore and Gianna Galli are moving to their own private studios in October. I’ve been working in a shared room with Dorothy Lyczek since early September. While adjusting to the new digs, we’re still working together, almost as a collective, and tattooing up a storm. We are all now working by-appointment-only, so if you want to have a consult or set up an appointment just email us individually. Even though this pushes us all to focus on ourselves as independent artists and business-ladies, we’re still remaining a pretty tight support network for eachother and I love that with a passion! I’m sure Chris Wednesday will still breeze through to do some work here and there. And I better still see Miss Roxie around (my favorite shop girl EVER. I seriously am gonna miss this pretty little Baby Bat in my daily life).

Here’s to the season of change! Gotta go dust off my broomstick now…

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xoxo

Tribe & True

Seems I’m yet again remiss in maintaining my bloggin’ promise. But alas as busy as life gets with work and things to do and places to be I’m still trying to keep myself centered physically and spiritually. I have to catch myself at times being too iConnected and wanting to photo document everything that goes on in my life (if you don’t already follow me on Facebook, I also post regularly over on Instagram and try my hardest not to repeat content!).

It’s been a blissful summer so far. Despite the heatwave and insane humidity in NYC this year, I’ve done lots of great things like getting back into a SuperMoonSummerSolstice-charged fitness routine that’s seriously keeping me very grounded, centered and strong. I’ve spent a ton of leisurely time taking in the city and beyond with good friends and my love, Gabe (whose band Ten Ton Mojo is blowing up like you wouldn’t believe!). I have also had the opportunity to reconnect with family members in Turkey (and stateside) that I haven’t spoken to in many years. Politically, it’s gotten kind of scary over there so I’m grateful to know they are all alright and fighting the good fight.

Yes, this summer has given me many warm and fuzzy blessings and I’m gearing up for some more! I’m heading back “home” to a place called Brushwood Folklore Center for Summerfest. I’ve been bonding with the land and the folks up at Brushwood for almost 15 years now and there’s always a little pang of empty when I have to miss a year. I’ve met so many magickal folks and spun so much magick for my life there (only to ALWAYS see it manifest!). It’s just one of those places that you leave a tiny piece of your heart at and every time you return you feel whole again. Here’s a few images of festivals past…

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One of the first things you see heading into camp and it couldn’t be more true.

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Beth and Zeeb’s Fayrie Garden.

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The nightly bonfire at The Roundhouse, the heart of the festival. Image courtesy of Brushwood Folklore Center LLC.

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Above, dancing with my ladies Gigi La Femme (L) and Jenn of Raven Moon’s Oracle (center) ca. 2006. Dig the lack of skin art! Ha!

Ofcourse my summer has also been filled with lots of awesome tattooing! And as I’ve blogged here before, I spun a ton of magick to achieve my dreams and goals which have included becoming a tattooer. Much of the success of my magick was fueled by my time at Brushwood. This year I can’t say I will be spinning for things I feel my life is lacking. Instead, I will be giving a lot of gratitude back to the land, my tribe and the universe for helping me be where I am right now.

Here’s a piece I finished over a year ago and just received images of. More mermaid mojo!

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So mote it be.

Planting wishes

Today marks The Spring Equinox, some of us witchy folks call it Ostara. Once more we turn towards longer days, warmer sunshine and metaphorical new beginnings. No time is more appropriate than now to meditate on the things you wish to manifest in your life and “plant those seeds”.

Once upon a time, I had wished to become a tattoo artist and I planted the necessary seeds. I did a lot of work on all levels to make this dream a reality… many rituals, bits of magick and such that also included the ritual of tons-of-time with my sketchbook. While many drawings lead up to this one, this is the final drawing that got me an apprenticeship:

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It’s my take on The Dance by Alfonse Mucha, as inspired by my best friend who loves mermaids. We were camping at a Pagan gathering at the time, I worked on this sketch for 3 days in the woods of Western New York and sent it via cell phone snapshot (as pictured above). While a lifetime of artistic influence and schooling lead me to all of this, I was dancing my intention around bonfires one minute and going home to become a tattooer the next.

Just a few months later I executed my very first tattoo on myself (inner left leg, just above my ankle). I’m still pretty proud of this tattoo. I like looking at it and seeing how far I’ve come which always serves as a reminder of how far I’d still like to go.

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I chose the bee for several reasons. First, it was smallish (approx 3″h). There were no straight lines or absolute symmetry for me to mess up! As a beginner I figured – organic shapes was the way to go. Second, the bee is a symbol of a matriarchal society (loved having my Goddess minded path literally bless my first piece). Lastly, diligence: bees are damned hard workers! All elements for lots of good mojo to carry with me on this new path.

And to come full circle, here is a bee that I tattooed just last month…

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Reflection is a useful tool. Looking back on the journey is just as important as acknowledging where you currently stand and plotting where you intend to go next. Plant your seeds, dreams and wishes in fertile soil. Tend to them well: water regularly, give them plenty of sunshine and always remember to prune away the dead bits as you go. You’ll have a flourishing garden in no time.

The Inkling of Spring

Today marks the first sabbat of the new calendar year. Imbolc, a Celtic celebration honoring the Goddess Brigid that just so happens to fall right between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It’s a time when we can start to see the natural world rustling a little from its dark, wintery slumber. The crocuses and daffodils might start popping out of the frozen earth, the days become ever so slightly longer and if you live a more agricultural life it’s also a time when your baby animals are born and mothers are lactating to feed their young.

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(Photo from my personal cameraroll of pastoral Ireland, County Kerry, 2008.)

I’ve always been very connected to the Goddess Brigid. She’s a fire Goddess and is a patron of the arts (spark of inspiration), black smithing (forging your ideas) and medicine (healing). My Irish Godmothers name is also Brigid so I have a very positive, nurturing association with her. Brigid has always been a spitfire and a huge supportive presence in my life. Whatever I created she always loved and encouraged me to pursue.

Being a spiritually minded person, I’m always looking at the ways in which my path mirrors my inner world and the outer world. Coincidences and synchronicities are constantly around me but I often wonder if these things don’t happen to me more than most folks, it’s just that I have an awareness so I simply notice mine more. I used to think I was a delinquent witch, not really setting up altars or doing proper rituals for all of the Sabbats and the moons. Until I realized my life is one living, breathing ritual. Everything I do is steeped in my beliefs and world-view. I see signs, patterns and omens in nature and I take them to heart. To me those things are ways of Spirit telling me if I’m on the right path or going astray.

I do keep altars in my home, it keeps me centered. I get daily visual reminders of the things I chose to keep close and the things I am trying to manifest in my life. You’ll always see an area devoted to my Goddesses, a smaller working altar for spell work and a larger ancestral altar (gee I wonder why those sugar skulls keep coming…). If you are a client then I’m sure you’ve noticed that I also keep an altar with candles going in my workspace as well. It just keeps me focused and helps that “good mojo” to flow.

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(Above, featured are some of my altars at home.)

In the light of reforming my delinquent witchy ways, I hereby declare this blog as sacred space and yet another “altar” of mine. This will be a place where I can share a bit about the things I celebrate spiritually and how those things show through in my work.

Here are a couple of tattoos from just this week. A little springtime, floral beauty to get you all excited about the returning of the sun and longer days to come.

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Nawlin’s Bound

I’m up today at 8am because I need to rise at 4am tomorrow to catch a flight down to one of my favorite places on earth, New Orleans, Louisiana. I realize I have been slacking with getting this blog thing together. The design still needs to be finalized but I wanted to at least update with a post before I skip town for The Big Easy!

I’ve been blessed in so many ways on my path as a tattooer. Recently I’ve had an abnormal influx of requests for Sugar Skulls and all things Day of the Dead. I’m big on working with my ancestors and have just begun going down the genealogy rabbit hole. So when patterns in my life, my work and the universe seem to be in synch I pay attention! To me, it’s just another way of my ancestors smiling down on me and showing me their presence even through the veil.

Here are a few samples. Some new, some not.

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Now on my way to New Orleans, a town that is thick with the energy of its own ghosts and history, I am ready to soak up its wisdom and come home inspired for more. We’ll see what comes to me and if I can keep on with this streak of sugar skulls and ancestral work.

Let the bon temps rouler!

xoxo