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!

allisonDOTD

keytattoo

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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.

faestartattoo

(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