Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Ariana Grande

Update:  See Ariana’s second tattoo!

AGrande_Pic04   Ariana Grande is the latest starlet from the Nickelodeon ‘farm system’ to grow up and begin making moves beyond her initial kid-friendly roles on television shows like “Victorious” and “iCarly”.

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   While her acting roles still remain within the Nickelodeon family, Ariana is working on establishing herself as a soulful adult singer.  Her debut single, “The Way”, has already reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Now, while the song, itself, is relatively generic (with an unfortunate pairing with Mac Miller), it does show she has a ready-made appeal that lots of other young actresses don’t necessarily achieve in their singing debuts.

AGrande_Pic03    One area where Ariana differs from other young actresses is she didn’t get her acting education by being spoon-fed into family-friendly television at the start.  Rather, Ariana cut her teeth on stage.  Her debut was in the Broadway musical “13”, which she followed with other theatre performances in “Cuba Libre” and as the lead in “A Snow White Christmas”.

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   Ariana’s acting career has already garnered her some awards.  For her performance in “13”, she won the National Youth Theatre Association Awards Best Actress Honor, and was also recognized as Favorite Television Actress by the Hollywood Teen TV Awards.

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   Once again, it should come as no surprise that Ariana has embraced that increasingly mainstream rite-of-passage:  getting a tattoo.  While taking a break in the recording studio, Ariana joined ‘Club Ink’ by getting a petite, cute heart tattoo on the second toe of her right foot.  She even had the whole process filmed and posted on Youtube.

Below are photos of Ariana’s first tattoo:

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You can find out more about Ariana on her official website:  http://www.arianagrande.com/

And, you can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/ArianaGrande

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Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Clarity Edition): Foxes (aka, Louisa Rose Allen)

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   Earlier this year, I became aware of a new electronica producer who goes by the handle Zedd.  Also known by his real name, Anton Zaslavski, the Russian-born Zedd has begun making moves to put him in the same category as David Guetta, Deadmau5, and Calvin Harris.  He started getting noticed with the catchy tune “Spectrum”.  He followed it up with the stunning and passionate “Clarity”.

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   As a producer, Zedd obviously does not provide any vocals for his songs.  For “Clarity”, he introduced us to the powerful voice of English-born songstress, Foxes (aka, Louisa Rose Allen).  “Clarity” finds its strength in Foxes’ soaring vocals.

Foxes_Pic04   Foxes debuted with the album “Youth” in 2012, and is now working on her latest EP, “Warrior”.  In some photos of Foxes, you can see a small design of a heart on her left wrist.  It is cute and pretty.  It also seems to mimic the heart she uses as her logo on her website.  I have seen a photo that indicates she may have another tattoo on her right wrist, but I’m waiting for confirmation before including that.  Below are photos of Foxes’ heart tattoo.

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You can track Foxes’ burgeoning career on her official website:  http://louirose.com/

And, you can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/iamfoxes

Athlete Tattoo of the Day (Championship Promise Edition): Rick Pitino

rickpitino_pic01In the fervor of Louisville’s 82-76 victory of Michigan in the 2013 NCAA National Championship Game, coach Rick Pitino, who had just become the first man to win National Titles for two different schools (the other was Kentucky), revealed a promise he made to his players several weeks earlier:

As a man true to his word, Pitino DID get the tattoo he promised his players he would get.  The photos below show Pitino’s new ink, as well as a photo of him having the tattoo done (in case anyone thought it was a fake)RickPitino_Tat01RickPitino_Tat02RickPitino_Tat03It doesn’t get much more mainstream than Rick Pitino getting tattooed :-).

Athlete Tattoo of the Day: Elena Della Donne

Women's Basketball Headshots    As tattoos have become more mainstream, each one has become a symbol of something to each person.  It could represent commemorating an important event in life; or, it could represent honoring your heritage.  In some cases (more often than it should), it represents a bad decision ;-).  One of the best kinds is when the tattoo represents something truly, and legitimately, personal to that person.

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   Former University of Delaware star (and Chicago Sky 1st round draft pick) Elena Della Donne definitely falls into that latter category with her body art.

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   Elena took the scenic route to becoming the 2nd leading scorer in women’s college basketball history.  She was one the most highly recruited female players her senior year and, it seemed like Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut continued to enjoy their embarrassment of riches when they landed Della Donne in 2008.  However, the Delaware-born and raised roundballer left UConn after just two days on campus.  She was terribly homesick and felt burned out by basketball.  She talks about it in this ESPN “Outside the Lines” interview from 2012:

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    One of the reasons for feeling so homesick was that she was separated from her older sister, Lizzie, who is deaf, blind, and suffers from cerebral palsy.

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   Elena returned home to attend the University of Delaware, but did not play basketball that first year.  Instead, she fed her other athletic passion by joining the Blue Hens’ volleyball team and leading them to a the NCAA tournament in 2009.  After a year away from basketball, she returned to the hardwood for the 2009-2010 an embarked on a stunning career that allowed her to rank #2 in points and led Delaware to a surprise Sweet 16 showing her senior year.  Then she became the second over all pick in the 2013 WNBA draft.

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    Being #2 seems to fit for Elena because her sister, Lizzie, has always been #1 in Elena’s life.  She dotes on Lizzie like a loving grandparent works tirelessly for charitable organizations dedicated to helping the disadvantaged like Lizzie.  To keep Lizzie in her mind and close to her heart at all times, Elena got a tattoo on her side of angel wings with Lizzie’s name.  It’s a constant reminder to Elena of what all her efforts are for.

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    Elena’s story is one of the best inspirations for getting inked.  Here’s the Elena’s continued success at the professional level.

You can follow Elena on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/De11eDonne

Athlete Tattoo of the Day (Louisville Sister Act Edition): Shoni Schimmel

One of the better stories to emerge from either the Men’s or Women’s NCAA March Madness in 2013 is the story of Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel.

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   Shoni is a junior guard for Louisville who helped lead the Cardinals to a string of upsets in 2013 (including defeating perennial powers Baylor [with Brittney Griner] and Tennessee) on their way to becoming the lowest seeded team (#5) to ever reach the Championship Game on the women’s side.  On this journey, Shoni has been joined by her younger sister, Jude, a sophomore point guard.

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    While this Cinderella run ended with a blowout loss to Geno Auriemma’s Yankee-like UConn team, the best part of Shoni’s (and Jude’s) story transcends wins and losses.

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   Shoni, and her entire family, were featured in the well-received documentary “Off the Rez”, directed by Jonathan Hock (who was also responsible for two of ESPN 30 for 30’s best documentaries, “The Best that Never Was” and “Survive and Advance).

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   In high school, Shoni was one of the most highly-recruited female players in the country.  She also happens to be Native American who lived with her family on the Umatilla Indian Reservation on Oregon.  In the documentary, Shoni strives to excel in the cut-throat arena of high school (coached by her mother, Ceci Moses) and college basketball while still holding on to, and honoring, her Native American heritage.

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   Shoni is fun, spunky athlete who plays a good game and isn’t afraid to mix it up with the big girls (witness her trash-talking of Brittney Griner in their Sweet 16 upset of Baylor).  She has also sought to honor her heritage through body art.  On her left wrist, Shoni has the word ‘timena’ tattooed.  It means ‘heart’ in her native tribal language.

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   More recently, Shoni has been spotted with a design peaking out from under her uniform jersey on the front of her left shoulder.  It looks like it could be a diamond, but I have not seen a full picture of it.

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   While the loss to Connecticut is disappointing, Shoni and her sister, Jude, will be back next year to see if they can take the Cardinals that last step.  She will continue to be a inspiration to Native American girls nationwide.

While Shoni does not have a Twitter account or pages dedicated to her, you can find out more about that documentary “Off the Rez” here:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1754300/?ref_=sr_1

Tattoos in Real Life: My Third Tattoo (‘Getting Inked with a Friend’ Edition)

One of the things I had wanted to do ever since I got my first tattoo wayyyyyy back 14 months ago, was to go get inked with a friend.  With my first two tattoos, I knew what I wanted, but the decision on when to get them was spur of the moment.  So, planning with friends was not an option.

Further complicating matters was the fact that the artist who had done my other ink, Danny Sebastian (aka “Danny Deathwish”), had left the shop I had gone to, Pop’s Tattoo.  Then, a few months later, Pop’s shut down for good.  Fortunately, Danny kept in touch with his customers so that they would know where to find him now that he had moved on to RAW Ink, in Gaithersburg, MD.  So, I knew where to go when I was seeking my next tattoo.

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   Then there was the matter of finding a friend who was looking to get their next tattoo and wanted to coordinate with me on such an outing.  I was fortunate on that count, too.  Jen, a long-time friend going all the way back to high school, is a big fan of tattoos herself, and she was looking to get her fifth one; which she wanted to be something representing her two-year old son.

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  So, we coordinated with Danny to go get inked together on March 16th (personally, I think it’s only proper that I get inked on St. Patrick’s Day weekend 😉 ).  The excitement of knowing that a new tattoo is about to happen in enhanced by knowing you will be doing so with a friend.  On the 16th, we hopped on I-270 and made our way over to RAW Ink.

MyThirdTattoo_07   Jen was first up for her tattoo.  Her concept was to get her son’s birth sign, Sagittarius, as an inscription on her wrist, with the arrow being replaced by his name and birth date.

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   With Danny being the skilled artist that he is, he will look at a concept and make suggestions on how to best bring it to life.  In Jen’s case, the complexity of what she was looking for would have resulted in a design that would be too compressed for the wrist.  The details would not stand out and, over time, would end up blending together.  He did a mockup of a larger design, incorporating the elements she wanted, which would need to run lengthwise down her forearm.  While it was larger and had a different placement than Jen had planned, she liked new mockup and Danny got to work.

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   I have long been a proponent of recording the experience of getting inked, in addition to showing off the final product.  Getting a tattoo is as much a journey as a destination.  Jen had not done this before with her previous for tattoos.  So, she liked the idea of chronicling it this time (her mother also wanted photos of Jen getting inked :-D).

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Finally, the finished design came in to being.

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As you can see, Jen is pretty happy with it.

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   Now it was my turn.  I had been going back and forth between two designs I wanted underneath my flag tattoos on my left arm.  They were a Libra symbol (my birth sign) and a triskelion, a Celtic symbol representing the holy trinity (it also has significance dating back to the Neolithic times relating to themes of the number 3).  Because I was having difficulty determining what form I wanted the triskelion design to take, I had initially decided on getting the Libra symbol.  Then I found the following image embraced the simplicity and detail that I wanted.  I also liked the symmetry of the triskelion being my third tattoo.

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   I sent this design to Danny with the request to see how we could add some color to this design, as well.  Leave it to him to come up with a concept that gave the design some three-dimensional depth that allowed shades of green to be incorporated.

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Then the work began.

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The halfway point

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DONE!

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Wrapped and ready to go.

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   Later that evening, I celebrated with a beer and let my new tattoo get some air.  It turned out really well 🙂

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   Getting a tattoo is always a great experience.  However, getting to share it with a friend helped make it special.  I was thrilled with my tattoo and Jen was thrilled with hers.  Once again, Danny did great work.

Check him and the studio out at:  http://www.rawinkstudio.com/

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