Baxter's Tattoo Blog's Daily Blog

Tattoo Backpiece Finalists and Voting Booth



First Prize—the “Hornet”

To me, this is the best kind of tattoo contest, because it involves the most formidable canvas a tattoo artist can work on, a client’s back. All that fabulous skin on which to create. Here’s where a tattoo artist (and their client) really gets to show their worth: The artist, because there is an incredible amount of artistry, planning, design and concentration involved in melting together session after session into a complete, unified work of art; the client, because it hurts like a mofo and sometimes takes years to finish. You don’t just whip off one of these babies in a single session, like they do on TV. I can’t tell you how many big, strong men have quit their backpieces after only a couple sittings… because they just couldn’t take the intensity. There you are, face down on the table, being tortured for hour after hour; it’s a super-human achievement for both people involved. A tribute to the art form. All that said, let’s celebrate by voting for your favorite

The winner gets a Micky Sharpz “Hornet” tattoo machine, second place get’s a copy of our latest, 300-page, 7½-pound coffee table book,  “Tattoo Road Trip—The Best of the Southwest” and third place wins a copy of Fip Buchanan’s fabulous “Drawing and Designing Tattoo Art.”TattooRdTrip-SW-crop

P.S. I’ve sized the images, so, when you click on them,  the entire tattoo and detail are easier to see.


Miss Heidi, Miss Heidi’s Tattoo, Orlando, Florida

Larry Brogan, Tattoo City, Lockport, Illinois

Joe Lesheski, Beneath the Skin Tattoo, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Zoey Hunter, Heart & Soul Tattoo, Ft. Worth, TexasFip-Buchanan-Book1

Krisi Konvict, Kline Family Ink, Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Jason Lee, NewAge Tattoos, Springfield, Illinois

Eric Cain, Flatland Tattoo, Champaign, Illinos

Ryan “Boomer” Boomhower, Boomer Tattoo, Camas, Washington

Rob Sweet, Ascending Koi Tattoo, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Jeff Covell, Twisted Image, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Thor Hernandez, Physical Graffiti, Linden, New Jersey

Adriano Marquez, Supernova Tattoo, Astoria, New York

Steven James, Mata Mata Tattoo, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Eddie Molina, Hand of Fate, Ithaca, New York

Tito Velez, Euphoria Ink Tattoo Studio, Roselle, New Jersey

Adam Rose, Fallen Owl Tattoo, Lakewood, Colorado

Javier Acero, Tattoo & Company, Miami, Florida

Danny Gordey, Ink Machine, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Paul Nolin, Physical Graffiti, Linden, New Jersey

Patrice Pamphile, Murda Ink 3, West Babylon, New York 




Written by Baxter

September 1st, 2014 at 8:23 am

Posted in Contests,Vote Today!

Physical Graffiti—Linden, New Jersey


TRT’s Paul Kostick has brought us lots of cool shops for our Tattoo Shop Directory, and he’s done it again. Headed by owner/artist Paul Nolin, Linden, New Jersey’s Physical Graffiti features the talents Nolin, Junior Pasco, Thor Hernandez and Joey Santiago. Carrie Nolin, Paul’s wife, is the in-house piercer. Linden, by the way, is in the Southeastern portion of the Garden State, just thirteen miles southwest of Manhattan, just across the river. Here’s some samples of Graffiti’s ink work:

Note: Click images to enlarge.


Written by Baxter

August 29th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Timeless Tattoo—Atlanta, Georgia


Lew Hands is an artist at Cap Szumski’s Timeless Tattoo, in Atlanta, Georgia. Cap, who has been a member of TRT’s Shop Directory (and a good friend) for several years, suggested that Lew give us a peek at his recent ink work. So, why wait?

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

August 29th, 2014 at 10:27 am

Euphoria Ink 2—Largo, Florida


Tito Velez’s Euphoria Ink 2 (Largo, Florida) is the the latest edition to our Tattoo Shop Directory, which already includes Euphoria Inks sister location, in Roselle, New Jersey. Located in the Tampa Bay area, Largo (population 79,000)  and its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico means short sleeve shirts are everyday wear and perfect for showing off ink from talented tattooists Tito, Hunter Hubbell and guest artist Kevin Caviedes. Specializing in Traditional Japanese Tattoos, Black and Gray Tattoos, Tattoo Cover Ups, Color Tattoos, Women’s Tattoos, Men’s Tattoos and Full Backpieces, here’s some samples of their work:

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

August 29th, 2014 at 9:10 am

Heart & Soul Tattoo—Lake Worth (Ft. Worth), Texas


Connecting up with Heart & Soul‘s Zoey Hunter was a nice surprise. Her vibrant color palate makes this Texan’s ink work definitely stand out from the crowd. As for her home town, tiny Lake Worth (population 4,600) is technically a reservoir, but the city of Lake Worth is a suburb of Ft. Worth (population of around 780,000). Definitely a college town, Fort Worth is home to Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, University of North Texas Health Science Center and Texas A&M University School of Law. A perfect location for a tattoo shop! Heart & Soul Tattoo opened its doors in Lake Worth in 2010. Before that, Hunter earned her stripes running the original Heart & Soul Tattoo, in Grass Valley, California. Here’s some samples of her tattoos:

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

August 26th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Tattoo Removal Services

laser-removal-232x300CHECK IT OUT

Whether you want it gone, gone, gone or simply lightened to make room for something new, don’t forget our Tattoo Removal Directory of laser and non-laser specialists who are dedicated professionals, have the latest equipment and understand tattoo art. Or see their colorful banners (a state at a time) by clicking FIND A SHOP on our website toolbar.

Just so you know, every day, I call Tattoo Shops and Tattoo Removal Services around the U.S. and Canada. The ones who support the work of the tattoo community, we post on our Directories. Those who are rude (hang up on me), arrogant, obviously anti-tattoo or clearly only in it for the money, we will begin to post, so you can avoid giving them your hard-earned money. In other words, I’m tired of keeping silent about people who have little or no respect for the tattoo community and don’t want to hear about issues of great importance to the very industry they claim to promote. If someone’s not into what we’re doing, that’s one thing, but being just plain insulting, nasty or fundamentally inept… I just can’t give these people a pass anymore. After all, if they are disrespectful or slam the phone down on me, chances are they’ll do the same to you. You, dear reader, can, of course, do what you will, but as for me, here are some businesses to avoid:outhouse

• Disappearing Ink, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• New Skin Tattoo Removal, San Jose, California

• Corona Skin Clinic, Vancouver, Washington

• Brighter Smiles, Eugene, Oregon

• A&E Hair and Skin Center, Syracuse, New York

• Zap-A-Tat, Arlington/Richmond/Newport News, Virginia

• Tattoo Be Gone, San Francisco, California

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Written by Baxter

August 25th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Beneath the Skin Tattoo—Pottstown, Pennsylvania


If you think that Beneath the Skin Tattoo, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is located near a college. You’d be right. The college is Ursinus, and it was founded in 1869, in Collegeville, PA, about thirty miles northwest of Philadelphia. The population of Collegeville is about 5,500. Among it’s notable citizenry (he was born in Collegeville and went to Penn State) was Horace Ashenfelter, winner of the steeplechase at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and, the same year, Sullivan Award winner as outstanding amateur athlete of the year. Ashenfelter left Collegeville and now lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where the Ashenfelter 8K Classic is held annually, in his honor. But that is beside the point. What’s important is the coal mining town of Pottstown (twenty minutes west of Collegetown, with a population of 15,000). Pottstown is famous for Daryl Hall of the Rock-&-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-winning recording artists Hall & Oates. Pottstown is also famous for Beneath the Skin, which features a sextet of winning tattoo artists, including owner Joe Lasheski, Aleks Salaneck, Stefan Salenek, Josh Potucek, Kris Ziegler and piercer/apprentice Erika Montgomery. Here are some samples  of their artistry:

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

August 15th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Branded with Gang Tattoos


As you know, we have been building a Directory of tattoo removal services in the U.S. and Canada (we just completed our listings in Alberta province). In order to educate the general public about the pitfalls of tattoo removal (and where to go to have them properly removed or lightened), our members have been asked to contribute helpful insights to this blog. Follows is the latest offering from Chuck Powell of East Coast Laser Tattoo Removal, in Richmond, Virginia.

gang-tattoos-3We are proud to work with organizations that help individuals that are trying to escape a horrific past and re-enter into society, such as G.R.I.P.S (gang reduction initiative program), O.A.R. (offender aid restoration), Fresh Start (formerly incarcerated individuals), and Grey Haven (human trafficking). These organizations help others to help themselves.  I’m writing this blog article today to expose a side of tattooing that is often overlooked in our society.

Two weeks ago, a case worker from Grey Haven called and scheduled a tattoo removal appointment for one of her clients.  The client was a young women, who was tattooed, “branded” with the name of her pimp on her neck. Even though she escaped from prostitution, she will always carry the past, as long as that name is still on her skin. We are helping her create a fresh start. Several of these individuals have facial or gang related tattoos that they got while in prison. In that world, you either join a gang for protection or suffer the consequences. So, how do you escape the past when you get out of prison? The facial and gang tattoos make it impossible to get a job. If you can’t find employment, you will either recidivate back into the gang life and/or return to prison.

Our work in helping these individuals is not considered a handout. We offset the cost of the procedures with documented volunteer work, that we credit at $10 per hour. This work helps our community and also helps the individuals being treated retain a feeling of self-worth.

When you go to our website, you will see two television stories that highlight and show what we do and some of the inhibiting facial/gang tattoos that individuals live with every day that keep them from becoming a contributing member of society. We ALL have many things in life to be grateful for. We ALL need to do what we can to give back to others and make this world a better place. One individual at a time.

Chuck Powell—East Coast Laser Tattoo Removal

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Written by Baxter

August 13th, 2014 at 10:47 am

Posted in Commentary

Tattoo Road Trip Tattoo Backpiece Contest


This tattoo contest is for Tattoo Backpieces. You know, those major, multi-session body art beauties that stay hidden under shirts, jackets, blouses and overcoats, but no one ever sees (except after a few beers or at the beach). Here’s your chance to show off your fabulous handiwork. We collect the entries, post the finalists (along with a Voting Booth) and let the readers choose which one they like the best. Got it? Good. So, what are you waiting for? Enter today!

The first prize is an authentic Micky Sharpz “Hornet” tattoo machine. The second prize is a copy of “Tattoo Road Trip—The Best of the Southwest.” Third prize is Fip Buchanan’s “Drawing and Designing Tattoo Art.”


Thirty hand-picked tattoo shops and the work of over one hundred artists are included in this book showcasing the blossoming body art communities in New Mexico and Arizona. Displayed are over 600 color photos of tattoo artistry. Trendsetting artists create a wide range of tattoo art in motifs as diverse as the men and women who receive and appreciate them. The artwork ranges from the small to the large. Classic black and white artistry and modern full color work are featured. Themes captured include natural scenes, animals and birds, flowers, nautical scenes and symbols, Oriental motifs from dragons to geishas, portraits of loved ones, religious art, Day of the Dead motifs, occult symbology, and much more. The artists and their shops are also featured. For anyone with an appreciation of tattoo artistry, this book is for you.


Fip Buchanan BookFip Buchanan’s 128-page, $26.99 (cool pricing!) Drawing & Designing Tattoo Art won’t teach you how to operate a tattoo machine, but it will show you, step-by-step, a rewarding, well-organized method, if you do. From choosing the proper graphic tools, to consulting with the client and proper placement of the design, Buchanan shares with the reader the valuable insights and tricks of the trade that has made him one of America’s leading tattoo artists and teachers. With over thirty years hands-on experience as owner of several tattoo shops (including Avalon I & II in San Diego, California), certified blood borne pathogen instructor, international seminar leader (from San Francisco to Beijing), this graduate of the Pittsburgh Art Institute takes you through the “secrets” that made him a leader in everything from skateboard and T-shirt design to gallery-worthy acrylics and murals. Hey, he even worked alongside the legendary Don Ed Hardy, at Ed’s Tattoo City for three years… not to mention being featured in one of our very own coffee table books, Tattoo Road Trip—Southern California. There’s a lot to learn from Fip’s down-to-business commentaries and profusely illustrated gallery of finished designs (from Fip and several other world-class tattooists) to inspire even the most jaded and road-weary skin art professional.



The “Hornet”

1. Enter your best photo(s) of a tattoo backpiece that you did or was done unto you. Multiple entries are okay.

2. Send hi-rez  images to Type “Tattoo Contest” in the subject line.

3. Include the artist’s name, shop name, city, state and phone number with each entry. If you are the collector entering the photos, include your contact information, too.

4. Entries close Friday, August 29th, 2014.

5. Voting Booth is open Monday September 1st.

Note: The winner of the tattoo machine must be a bona fide tattoo artist working at a legitimate, professional tattoo shop.

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Written by Baxter

August 12th, 2014 at 10:24 am

Posted in Contests

Tattoo Artist Wanted—Batavia, Ohio


We’re looking for a new artist here at Skin Tight Tattoo! Are you, or is someone you know, a tattooist? We’re looking for a certified, experienced, clean, friendly tattoo artist! Computer/Photoshop skills a plus. We offer competitive pay! Call or bring portfolio to:

Skin Tight Tattoo1162 Old State Route 74, Batavia, Ohio 45103, (513) 947-9800

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Written by Baxter

August 12th, 2014 at 8:44 am

Posted in Help Wanted