One-Year Anniversary of “New 2 Tats”!!!

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New2TatsAnniversary   It is hard to believe that it was one year ago, today, that I launched my literary journey about body art.  It all began when I looked for a forum to share the tale of my evolution from someone who despised tattoos to one who is now a passionate supporter of them.

I wrote my “Tattoo Manifesto” several weeks earlier and shared it with friends on Facebook.   However, after realizing that I had much more to say about ink than just what I shared in my ‘manifesto’, I found WordPress to be the perfect host for sharing my feelings and observations about tattoos.

Thus, on June 23rd, 2012, “New 2 Tats” was launched with the first post being the aforementioned “Tattoo Manifesto”.

https://new2tats.wordpress.com/my-tattoo-manifesto/

Since then, I have tried to share my opinions on tattoos from a variety of angles.

Themes:  There are certain themes to tattoos I have become a big fan of and I wanted to share more of that kind of ink.

Celebrities and Athletes:  In the entertainment and athletic world, there are so many examples of body art (both good and bad), that I have used this blog to highlight those that I have found most notable.  I have tried to be diverse in this approach.  So, I have different types of people whose body art I have featured.

This has been a lot of fun because several of the people I have featured have written to me saying the enjoyed my feature on them.  Some even shared additional photos of their tattoos with me.

 

Personal Tattoos:  I believe that getting a tattoo is not enough.  You should also try to record the experience of getting inked.  It’s as much about the journey as the destination.  So, for all three of my tattoos I have so far, I made sure to do that.

  1. Irish and Scottish Flag Tattoo:  InkedMemeFirstTat01
  2. Shamrock with Celtic Heart Knot Tattoo:MyNewTat_04Tat_two_too
  3. Triskelion (Getting a tattoo with a friend):  MyThirdTattoo_20MyThirdTattoo_12Twitter_Tat

This has been a tremendous journey so far and I have enjoyed every step.  I’m looking forward to continuing to write celebrity and athlete features for the foreseeable future.  I hope to move forward with more features on personal friends and their tattoo stories.  And, of course, when I find that next piece of body art that I want for myself, I will share that story here, as well.

Here are some additional resources for “New 2 Tats”:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/New2Tats

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/New2Tats

Thanks again, everyone, for your support over the past year!

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (American Idol Champion Edition): Kelly Clarkson

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Landmark singing talent competition “American Idol” just completed its 12th season.  Of all 12 of the champions, it can be strongly argued that the first champion, Kelly Clarkson, is still the best (though, effective cases can be made for Carrie Underwood and Phillip Phillips).

KClarkson_Pic09   When Kelly first auditioned for “Idol”, she had a good voice and winning, bubbly personality, but the judges weren’t exactly overwhelmed with her.  Fortunately, they did recognize that there was solid enough talent to send her to the next round and, eventually, make her a finalist.  However, she wasn’t viewed as having much of a chance of winning.  Any betting person would have put their money on Justin Guarini or Tamyra Gray to win.  Indeed, most media coverage of the season was geared that way.

KClarkson_Pic03    Leave it to Kelly to roll off one powerhouse vocal performance after another, showcasing a range from pop to rock to soul.  Through the season, she never once finished in the bottom two (or three), which would have put her at risk for elimination.  Then, she scored a big upset over Guarini in the final.

KClarkson_Pic02    Following Kelly’s “Idol” victory, she launched right into her recording career.  She started by releasing the obligatory Idol Champion single, “A Moment Like This”, a generic song that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 based on the popularity of the show (a phenomenon that would be repeated with future winners, even those whose music careers never amounted to anything, like Taylor Hicks).  Kelly’s first standalone single, “Miss Independent”, followed and reached #9 on the Hot 100.

During this time period, Kelly also starred in the atrocious musical film “From Justin to Kelly”, starring her and Idol runner-up, Justin Guarini.  Kelly acknowledged that she only performed in this movie because of contractual obligations to Idol producers.

KClarkson_Pic08    Instead of just coasting on one heavily manufactured pop song after another, Kelly assumed greater creative control over her next album, “Breakaway”.  In this album, she was able to blend pop sensibilities with her edgier ‘rocker gurl’ personality.  The true standout on this album, and the song that proved Kelly would be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, was her breakup tune, “Since U Been Gone”.  Her assertive, rock-powered lyrics about an ended relationship showed her true musical self.  Reaching #2 on the Hot 100, it won Kelly her first Grammy Award (she won another for the entire album).

KClarkson_Pic06   “Breakway” had several other hits, like “Walk Away”, “Because Of You”, “Behind these Hazel Eyes”, and the title track (which was also on the soundtrack for “Princess Diaries 2:  Royal Engagement”).  Each of these songs reached at least #12 on the Hot 100.

    After a brief hiatus in which she fought with her music label for more control over her musical direction, she released “My December”, a serviceable, yet underwhelming, album that still kept her on the mind of the music-buying public.

KClarkson_Pic04   2009 saw the next step in the evolution of Kelly as artist with here release of standout songs “My Life Would Suck Without You” (which hit #1) and the orchestral “Already Gone”.  This work was quickly followed by her the subsequent album “Stronger”, which continued to showcase her stellar vocal talents, edgy lyrics and incredible staying power.  The first single, “Mr. Know It All”, takes the rumor-mongering press to task, and her title track, “Stronger” (which was her third #1 on the Hot 100), stressed the importance of perseverance.

KClarkson_Pic07    In a true mark of how impressive Kelly’s career has been, she celebrated 10 years in the industry by releasing a “Greatest Hits” album that was legitimately earned (as opposed to the shameless money grabs that some other artists with much less substantial resumes try).  In addition to being a collection of her top songs so far, she also released the breathy and sweet “Catch My Breath”, which was inspired changes in her life, like her upcoming marriage.

KClarkson_Pic01    It’s easy to realize just how big a fan of body art Kelly Clarkson actually is.  She has quite a collection of tattoos that she proudly displays, whether it’s in music videos, on the red carpet or in photo shoots.

    One of the first ones that was noticeable on Kelly is a cute sunflower on the outside of her left ankle,

KClarkson_Tat01kclarkson_tat02Kelly was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and is proud to be a Texas girl at heart.  She displays this pride with an outline of the state of Texas near her bikini line.

KClarkson_Tat04    In many of her music videos, the strongly religious Clarkson shows off a simple cross design on her right wrist.  While it initially stood alone, it has been recently been enhanced with the phrase “Love Them More” alongside.

KClarkson_Tat12KClarkson_Tat10KClarkson_Tat13KClarkson_Tat11    Along Kelly’s other wrist is a cute little design that is a balloon the shape of a heart with three ribbons attached to the tail.

KClarkson_Tat07    Kelly has definitely embraced the emerging feminine tattoo trend of cute designs behind the ear.  Behind her right ear, she has crescent moon design and, behind her left ear, she has an intricate snowflake.

KClarkston_Tat14KClarkson_Tat03On the back of her neck, Kelly has a Kanji symbol that means blessed.

KClarkson_Tat08KClarkson_Tat09    In a recent interview in People Magazine (http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20559430,00.html), she points out her thirteenth(!) tattoo (obviously I don’t have photos of all of them), which runs along her left rib cage and reads “what doesn’t kill you” in Morse Code.  She has it placed close to her heart.

KClarkson_Tat05    The final Kelly tattoo featured here is an incredible three-dimensional piece that shows a missing puzzle piece being put back into place on her right shoulder.

KClarkson_Tat06KClarkson_Tat15 You can continue to track Kelly’s career on her official website:   http://www.kellyclarkson.com/us/home

You can also follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/kelly_clarkson

Featured Tattoo Style of the Day: Corset Tattoos

In my odd ball group of friends, there is one man, who I will refer to as ‘The Equinox’, who is a huge fan of corsets.  He is such a big fan or corsets that, periodically, he hosts ‘corset parties’, where many of our well-endowed female friends endow themselves further with nicely snug corsets.

So, it seemed only fitting to share my passion (tattoos) with the passion of ‘The Equinox’ (corsets).  I give you corset tattoos.

An obvious place to start is with conventional tattoos where it is just an illustration of a corset placed someone on the person’s body.

Corset_Tat03Corset_Tat04    Those tattoos fine and dandy, but the cutting edge of body art is corset tattoos that actually look like a corset on the body.

This first one shows just the lace and the bow running down this woman’s back.  I have seen multiple approaches to this design.  One is pure tattoo like the woman below has.  However, they then incorporate dermal piercings where the hooks would be and either use the illustrated tattoo for the ribbon, or put actual ribbons connecting to the hooks.  I’m not a fan of dermal piercings, so I think this below design is best for this style.

Corset_Tat07   The designs start to get more impressive as they turn into full body corsets.  From what I can tell of these designs, the tattoos run across these women’s backs to their sides and end there.  This is right way to do body art like this, because continuing around to the front would just be way too far over the top and would not really enhance the overall design.

   The beauty of these full body corsets is that they really look like the real deal when you are looking at them from behind.  Here some great examples (and one ‘not so good’ example).

     This first one is the ‘not so good’ example.  You can see that the artist was going for some gray coloring and shading to try and create a realistic, textured look.  Unfortunately, the result looks like a faded tattoo.  A touch-up focusing on more vibrant coloring could improve this.

Corset_Tat06    These next two do a great job with reproducing an ornamental beaded and laced design on these ladies’ backs.

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   This last one is my absolute favorite.  It looks so completely authentic that you might not be able to tell it’s a tattoo at first glance.  The detail is incredible and it is has colors that are just bursting off the human canvas, and doing so spectacularly.  The detailed floral work around the corset just adds to the ‘WOW’ factor.  It also doesn’t hurt that woman who is wearing this tattoo is adorable and seems to match her body art quite well.

Corset_Tat08    It’s amazing how far this art form has come.  These corset tattoos are a great example of the potential body art has.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (Indestructible Cheerleader Edition): Hayden Panettiere

HaydenP_Pic05    Courtesy of the fine folks at NBC, the Fall 2006 television season introduced us to how important it was to ‘save the cheerleader’.  The Peacock network introduced its ground-breaking science fiction show, “Heroes”, and its invincible cheerleader, Claire Bennett, played the adorable teen actress Hayden Panettiere, who was quickly developing into a gorgeous young woman.

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   Before the show went in strange directions and eroded its fan base in later seasons, “Heroes” was an enormously popular show that took the superhero concept in a completely different direction.  It had a vast array of ‘ordinary’ people with a widely varied array of powers that they are discovering and learning how to control.  Hayden portrayed a cheerleader with incredible recuperative powers; the kind that would give Wolverine a run for his money.  It gave rise to the phrase “save the cheerleader, save the world”, though I confess to not having watched the show enough to know what that meant.

HaydenP_Pic04    Before she became a big star on NBC, Hayden was an enormously successful child actress who got her start as Sarah ‘Flash’ Roberts on the daytime soap opera “One Life to Live” and later as Lizzie Spaulding on “Guiding Light”.  She was also the voice of Dot in the animated hit “A Bug’s Life”.  However, Hayden’s first major exposure to audiences was in the 2000 Denzel Washington football film “Remember the Titans”.  She plays the opinionated and spunky Sheryl Yoast, the young daughter (and self-assumed ‘honorary’ coach) of T.C. Williams High School head coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton), who is having to adjust to sharing head coaching duties with Herman Boone (Washington) as the school and football team are integrated.

haydenp_pic07      After that initial start, Hayden had a few forgettable acting jobs in films like “Bring It On: All or Nothing” and “Raising Helen”.  She also starred in family-friendly fare like “Racing Stripes” and “Tiger Cruise”.  She still managed to craft some memorable performances as the boys’ wayward babysitter in “Malcolm in the Middle” and as the lead character’s unknown daughter (by way of being an egg donor) in “Ally McBeal”.

haydenp_pic02     In addition to her acting career, Hayden, the daughter of a former soap opera actress and a fire department captain, has also worked on a music career and is active in modeling as the cover girl for Neutrogena and Candie’s.  She is also very active in environmental causes, regularly protesting dolphin hunts and the practice of whaling.

haydenp_pic01   Most recently, Hayden scored again with the ABC country music drama “Nashville” where she stars as Juliette Barnes, a rising young country star who is trying to replace Rayna James (played by her “…Titans” mother, Connie Britton) as the queen of country.  It has been a big success, so far, and has even garnered Hayden a Golden Globe nomination.

HaydenP_Pic06   It is no secret that Hayden is a big fan of tattoos, as she proudly shows them off (including the misspelled one) in all of her outfits.  The first ink piece that Hayden had was a tiny little Leo symbol (her birth sign) on the outside of her right heel.

HaydenP_Tat06    It was Hayden’s second tattoo that raised a lot of eyebrows and even stirred a little controversy.  Running down the left side of her back was supposed to be the Italian phrase ‘Vivere Senze Rimpianti’, which means ‘to live without regrets’.  Alas, neither Hayden, nor her tattoo artist, did any proofreading.  So, the word ‘rimpianti’ got permanently etched on her as ‘rimipianti’ (there is an extra ‘i’ after the ‘m’).  Hayden has taken a good humor about the mistake and says she may correct it one day but, regardless, she loves the design.

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HaydenP_Tat01haydenp_tat05haydenp_tat07    Hayden’s most recent tattoo appears on the lower part of her right arm, just above her wrist.  It is a sanskrit design, though I do not know its meaning at this time.

HaydenP_Tat04HaydenP_Tat02You can find out more about Hayden on her fan site:

http://hayden-panettiere.com/wp/

And, as always, you can follow her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/haydenpanettier

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Jessica Stroup

JStroup_Pic05    The 2008 continuation of the 1990’s ‘teen’ drama “Beverly Hills, 90210” (known simply as “90210”) was really not something anyone was really clamoring for.  But, a television industry bereft of ideas decided to restart both the “90210” and “Melrose Place” series with next generation reboots.  At least it gave us a new generation of very attractive actresses who also happened to be big fans of body art.

JStroup_Pic06    One of those actresses is Jessica Stroup, a beauty with stunningly piercing blue eyes, who portrayed Erin Silver, the younger half-sister of perpetual nerd David Silver and hottie Kelly Taylor.  During the series’ 5-year run, Stroup stirred up a lot of trouble as the gossip-monger Silver.  In 2012, her performance was nominated for a Prism Award.

jstroup_pic03    Before she hit it big in “90210”, Stroup launched her television career as a Nickelodeon teen starlet on shows such as “Unfabulous” (starring Emma Roberts) and “Zoey 101” (with Britney’s younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears).  Stroup also had guest roles on the tv series “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Family Guy” and “True Blood”.

JStroup_Pic04    Jessica is a southern belle who was born in South Carolina and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Her mother suggested that Jessica take up modeling and it’s clear why.  After she graduated high school, Jessica briefly attended University of Georgia before she opted to fully commit herself to her acting career.

JStroup_Pic07   In addition to her work on television, Stroup has also carved out a very productive niche on the silver screen as a new generation ‘scream queen’ in a series of horror films.  She starred with good friend (and “New 2 Tats” cutie) Brittany Snow in 2008’s slasher film “Prom Night”.  She was also in the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes 2” and starred in “Homecoming”.

JStroup_Pic01    With “90210” now concluded, Jessica will likely continue to work on her modeling career strengthen her horror film fan base.

JStroup_Pic02    As of right now, Jessica has two discreet, and very cute, tattoos.  The first appears to be a set of wings on her right wrist.JStroup_Tat04

JStroup_Tat03    Jessica also has a design on the back of her neck that is the African symbol (from Ghana) known as Sankofa, which literally means ‘reach back and get it’.

JStroup_Tat01JStroup_Tat02jstroup_tat05You can get more info about Jessica on her fan site:

http://www.jessica-stroup.com/

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

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day: Poppy Montgomery

Poppy_Pic04   Leave it to the land Down Under to continue to produce beautiful ladies who love body art.  The latest is Sydney, New South Wales native, Poppy Montgomery.  Poppy’s parents had a thing for flowers.  So, she was one of five sisters who were named for flowers (the others are Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle and Marigold Sun).

Poppy_Pic02    Poppy is probably best known to audiences for her 7-year run as Samantha Spade on the hit crime drama “Without a Trace” (a show where she met long-time boyfriend, and father of her oldest son Jackson, actor Adam Kaufman).

Poppy_Pic03    Before Poppy hit it big on “Without a Trace”,  she got her start on the late night soap opera “Silk Stalkings”.  Following that, she was in the briefly popular, but short-lived Kimberly Williams (of “Father of the Bride” fame) series “Relativity”.  She also had guest appearances on hit shows like “NYPD Blue” and “Party of Five”, while also having a cameo in the 1995 Denzel Washington film “Devil in a Blue Dress”.

Poppy_Pic01    In 1999, she drew her first big amount of attention in the Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence comedy “Life”, as the promiscuous daughter of the prison warden (played by Ned Beatty).  That put her the spotlight and helped her land the role of Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean Baker in the 2001 television mini-series, “Blonde”.

Poppy_Pic06   Then, in 2002, she landed her biggest role to date in “Without a Trace”, for which she was nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award.  After show ended in 2009, Poppy acted in a several made-for-tv movies before returning to what she does best, performing in a crime drama.  In 2011, she took the role of Detective Carrie Wells, a police officer with a 100% perfect sensory memory, in the aptly named “Unforgettable”.

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    Of course, it goes without saying that Poppy is a big fan of body art.  Otherwise, why would she be featured here?  :-).  Poppy’s most prominent tattoo is a series of Kanji symbols running down her left forearm.

poppy_tat03Poppy_Tat01Poppy_Tat06    On her right wrist, she has the initials of her former boyfriend, Adam Kaufman.  Supposedly, she has also added their son’s name, Jackson, to the same wrist, but I have not found a photo of that.

Poppy_Tat05    As many women do, Poppy also got inked on her ankle and foot (both great places for feminine tattoos).  On her left ankle, she has three stars.  Then, on the side of her left foot, she has the inscription “Faith Not Fear”.

Poppy_Tat07   Finally, Poppy has two additional, incredibly sexy tattoos.  One is a lower back tattoo that is a symbol of some kind.  The other is on the right side of her pelvis (visible only when in lingerie or a tiny bikini).  It is a flower (maybe a poppy?).

Poppy_Tat04Poppy_Tat08You can feed your Poppy thirst at her fan site:  http://poppypetal.org/

As she does not have a verified Twitter account, while she has several fakes, I will not be adding one here.

Celebrity Tattoo of the Day (True Blood Edition): Anna Paquin

APaquin_Pic07   Anna Paquin is another shining example of how child actors and actresses can actually grow up to be successful, well-adjusted adults without the horrible growing pains that so many other starlets endure.

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   The earliest recollection most people have of Anna is of her winning the Best Supporting Actress in 1993 for the Jane Campion film, “The Piano”.  At the time, the 11-year old Paquin was the second youngest winner ever of an Oscar.  She was surpassed only by Tatum O’Neal who won the same award for “Paper Moon” at the age of 10.

APaquin_Pic06    Some may remember that, even before “The Piano”, she was in a series of commercials for MCI phone service as a little girl with a Kiwi accent (she grew up in New Zealand), extolling the virtues of MCI.

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   After making a big splash in “The Piano”, Anna returned to being a normal kid and did not act again for three years, when she starred in the well-received family flick, “Fly Away Home” about a young girl who helps a flock of birds migrate using her own self-propelled plane.  She continued to work on about one film per year, including “Amistad”, “Hurly Burly” and “A Walk on the Moon”.

APaquin_Pic04    1999 and 2000 were watershed years for Anna.  In 1999, she played Freddie Prinze Jr.’s younger sister in the enormous teen comedy hit, “She’s All That”.  Then, she followed that with the role of a lifetime, starring as Rogue in 2000’s “X-Men”; the film that signified the true rebirth of the superhero film as a medium for powerful storytelling and breathtaking action (“X-Men 3” and “Spiderman 3”, notwithstanding).

APaquin_Pic05      Anna continued to enhance her acting resume by starring in the two sequels to “X-Men” (and she’s slated to be in the new 2014 release of “X-Men”).  In addition, she was reunited with “Fly Away Home” co-star, Jeff Daniels, in 2005’s independent hit, “The Squid and the Whale”, and she also starred in the HBO mini-series, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”, before landing her biggest role yet, as Sookie Stackhouse in the tremendously popular vampire hit (non-sparkly variety), “True Blood”.

APaquin_Pic02    “True Blood” has been a huge boon to Anna’s career, and her life.  In the show, it has allowed her show off strong acting skills while also showcasing her fearlessness, both physically and emotionally, as an actress.  Off-screen, she also showed fearlessness by openly proclaiming her bisexuality as part of the True Colours Fund campaign.  She also fell in love with her on-screen love interest, Stephen Moyer.  They married in 2010, and Anna gave birth to fraternal twins in September, 2012.

APaquin_Pic01   At present, Anna has been spotted with two visible tattoos.  The first one, which she has had for many years, is a scripted design of her initial ‘A’ on the inside of her right ankle.

APaquin_Tat03APaquin_Tat01   More recently, Anna has been spotted with a little circle design on her left wrist.

APaquin_Tat02    Anna does not have an official, verified Twitter account.  Since there are a lot fake accounts purporting to be Anna, I will not include any of them.  However, you can continue to get more about Anna at her fan site:  http://annapaquin.net/