All Good Things…


I want to thank all of you who were strong supporters of “New 2 Tats” over the past 4 years.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to write about the fantastic medium of body art.

It was started as a labor of love as I embraced a newly discovered love of tattoos.  I liked sharing my own views on ink, as well as sharing examples of the far-reaching impact of tattoos.  My goal was to show how their mainstream acceptance had removed a lot of the previous taboos about body art.  In doing so, I looked to show examples of how important tattoos can be to the people that have them (sharing examples of my own tattoos along the way).

Alas, life happens.  Work and other events have prevented me from regularly updating “New 2 Tats”.  I wish I was able to write more features at this time, but I am not able to.  So, after having reached the milestone of 1 million page views and having written over 250 features, I have decided the time has finally come to officially announce the end of “New 2 Tats” as an active blog.

All the features that I have previously written will continue to be available for all to view.  It is also possible, somewhere down the road, that I may return to writing this blog.  However, to be fair to all those who have loyally followed “New 2 Tats”, I felt it necessary to make this statement.

I do hope I get to share more with you in the future.  However, if that is not to be, it has been a fun ride for the past 4 years.

Keep showing your tattoo love.


New 2 Tats


Major Milestone!: 1 Million Lifetime Views!


FINALLY, after 3 1/2 years of running this labor of love about the beautiful art of tattooing, my blog has now reached the awesome milestone of 1 million lifetime views!

Even though, my work on this blog has slowed down in the past year, I am committed to continuing to share stories about body art, whether they are personal stories about my own ink, more features about celebrities and athletes, stories about tattoos in the news, or tales from friends who want to share their own tattoo experiences.


Tattoos News (Touching Tribute Edition): Zelda Williams


What makes tattoos such an important social construct is that they go well beyond being just a fun body accessory for showing off.  In many cases, they end up truly having a deep personal meaning for the person who wears the ink.  ‘Deep personal meaning’ is not some trite cliche people use to justify their tattoos.  Rather, if you ask people about their ink, they can tell some fascinating and touching stories about what inspired them to get the work done.

ZeldaWilliams_Pic02     One of the most poignant modern examples of this is the tribute that actress, Zelda Williams, paid to her father, the legendary Robin Williams, through the medium of tattooing.  In August 2014, Robin Williams’ legions of fans felt the shock and pain of losing such a great (and beloved) talent, whose iconic roles deeply touched so many people.  Roles in films and tv shows like “Mork & Mindy”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Dead Poets Society”, and “Good Will Hunting” (a role his that is a personal favorite of mine).  As much as the fans felt their own pain, they felt tremendous empathy for Zelda’s devastating personal loss.

Robin Williams and Zelda Williams Walt Disney's World Premiere of 'Old Dogs' held at El Capitan Theatre Hollywood, California - 09.11.09 Featuring: Robin Williams and Zelda Williams Where: California When: 09 Nov 2009 Credit: WENN

Robin Williams and Zelda Williams
Credit: WENN

The unfortunate thing is that, despite all the touching tributes to her father and people expressing their condolences to her, there was still that ugly, ugly segment of internet society that posted awful, horrific comments to her on her social media accounts.  Reflecting a poise and grace that may not be evident in other people, Zelda did not give in to that awful treatment.  She rightfully took time away from her social media accounts to cope with her father’s passing and to begin the healing process.


A few months later, she returned with a heartbreaking and moving tribute to her father.  On her right hand, just beneath her thumb, she got a tattoo of a hummingbird, which serves as a touching reminder of her father (to always put her hand out and shake with a smile).  Lower on her right forearm, she added the date, “7-21-51”, which is the day Robin Williams was born.  This stunning artwork was crafted by the incomparable Dr. Woo of the famous LA Shamrock Social Club tattoo studio.

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

On her left wrist, Zelda has what appears to be an interpretation of the female gender symbol.  She has had this one for several years.

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

Since returning to social media, Zelda has used it as a forum to advocate for many worth social causes (animal rescue, marriage equality, etc.)  She has also been showing that she is living life with zest, just like her father (as witnessed by some of her recent fun at the San Diego Comic-Con).

(credit: Zelda's IG account)

(credit: Zelda’s IG account)

Zelda is an inspiring person whose grace in the face of tragedy, as well as awful behavior by others, can serve as an example to us all.

If you wish to follow Zelda on social media (and please be respectful if you do), you can find her here:



A Half-Million Views! (August 27th, 2014)

Half_Million    On August 27th, “New 2 Tats” reached a major milestone: a half-million lifetime views of this tattoo blog.  As my regular readers know, this blog has been a labor of love for me.  No money is made from it.  The only currency is the free exchange of ideas.  Even with some road blocks along the way, I have continued to provide my views on body art, a subject that interests so many people.

I look forward to continuing to provide quality ‘inked’ features ,and I hope to see all of you again when I reach 1 Million Page Views!dr-evil-1-million-dollars

Hottie Ink Update: Selena Gomez gets Tattoo #4 !!

SelenaCover    It goes without saying that Selena Gomez is a huge favorite of “New 2 Tats”.  Each tattoo she gets is wonderfully feminine and fits her perfectly.  Midway through what has been a very trying year for Selena (including a short stay in rehab, continued off-and-on relationship with Justin Bieber, getting unnecessarily over-analyzed in the media and just the overall growing pains of a young woman still working to define who she is), she chose to treat herself to her FOURTH tattoo!  Before we show her new ink, lets recap her body art so far:

Tattoo # 1:  Music Note on her right wrist (which represents her true passion).

SelenaTat3Tattoo # 2:  Roman Numeral LXXVI (76) on the back of her neck [Represents the year of her mother’s birth].

SelenaTat2_01Tattoo # 3:  The quote “Jesus Strengthens Me” along her right hip (It is a reference to the Biblical verse Philippians 4:13)

Selena_Tat3_02Now, for the grand reveal of Selena’s new tattoo, which only appeared on her Instagram account today (though she apparently has had it for about a month).

SelenaG_Tat04_Tat01Along Selena’s right rib cage, and running partway across her back, is an Arabic phrase that means, “Love Yourself First”.  No doubt this has significant meaning to a woman learning the importance of her inner strength and confidence.  Of course, Selena doesn’t let anyone put a needle her to skin other than ‘tattoo artist the to stars’, Bang Bang.


Here’s hoping this means that ONLY Bang Bang will do her body art… and not that tattoo # 4 is her last one.

Continued to see what Selena is up to on social media:




Happy 2nd Anniversary to “New 2 Tats”

2ndAnniversary_01This is a big day for “New 2 Tats”.  It is the 2nd Anniversary of this blog.  It is the second most important date in my tattoo life.  The first, of course, was January 12th, 2012:  the day I got my first tattoo.

Over the past two years, this labor of love has been tremendous fun to bring to all of you.  People love to talk about body art and, the more it gets de-stigmatized, the more people join the conversation.  I like to think this blog helps in that effort.

The past year has had its ups and downs, including a point where I was nearly driven to shut it down.  But, through your moral support, I have kept it going.  With more than 420,000 lifetime page views, I know I’m providing something valuable to the free marketplace of ideas.

Most recently, it was exciting to learn that People Magazine actually used one my own blog posts for one of its articles.  In the screen show below, you can see the link to my post highlighted in blue.


The People article can be read here:

My original post can be read here:

I look forward to continuing write for your for years to come.


Tattoo Thoughts: Buzzfeed’s “16 Questions People with Tattoos are Tired of Answering”

Buzzfeed    Every so often, an article is posted about things that people with tattoos don’t like being asked or dislike about the attitude they get from people who don’t like tattoos. Some of the points are valid, but some of the complaints really seem like hypersensitive overreactions to what is just a genuine interest about a person’s body art.

BuzzFeed recently ran an article titled “16 Questions People With Tattoos are Tired of Answering”. Normally, I just read these lists, ponder them for a few minutes, and then move on. This time, I think I should publish my own responses to these questions

Here is the main article:  16 Questions People with Tattoos are Tired of Answering

  1. Can I Touch it?
    1. The response to this is easy: Yes or No. If someone tries to touch it without your permission, that’s a problem that goes well beyond you having a tattoo. It is them violating your personal space. Otherwise, if they ask, you say ‘no’ and that’s the end of it, there should be no further issue.
  2. Is that Real?
    1. A legitimate question. Tattooing techniques have advanced so much that the tell-tale scarring that accompanies tattoos has all but gone away (People did not believe my Irish/Scottish flag tattoo was real at first, for that reason). Additionally, some people choose to get henna-style designs inked permanently on their body and you cannot always tell if it is done with temporary henna ink.
  3. Did it hurt?
    1. I don’t know what the problem with this question is. Some people are genuinely curious to know, if only for their personal edification. Other people may be considering getting a tattoo for the first time, or getting one in a place that has a reputation for being painful. So, they legitimately want to know.
  4. I’m Thinking about getting a Tattoo on My Side.  Do you think that’s going to hurt?
    1. See my response to Question #3
  5. What does it MEAN?! (Usually asked by a stranger in a public place)
    1. Once again, people are genuinely curious to know about your tattoo design. If don’t want any questions at all, don’t wear anything that shows off the tattoo, or don’t get it in a place where you can’t help but show it off. As far as not wanting to respond to questions from strangers, you always have the right to NOT respond, same as if they asked you about your clothes.
  6. What do you mean, “you just like it”?  IT HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING, right?
    1. Simple response: “Yes, it means I like it”. You can then excuse them from the conversation if they won’t let it go.
  7. Wanna see mine?
    1. People like to talk tattoos. They want to talk about yours. They want to talk about theirs. If they ask this question, the answer is easy: Yes or No.
  8. I really want to get my sleeve done!  How much is that going to cost?
    1. Really? If you get upset about getting this question, you shouldn’t have gotten a tattoo in the first place. This is a perfectly legitimate question. Someone asking this question knows you are not an artist who can give a quote, but they see you have a sleeve and just want to get a ballpark figure on what to expect.
  9. So… do you have any tattoos in *private* places?
    1. This is not an appropriate question at all, except from someone you are intimate with. You are perfectly within your rights to put someone in their place for stepping out of line to ask this.
  10. How long did it take?
    1. This is another legitimate question. Someone who has never gotten a tattoo, or only has small ones, has a legitimate desire to know what sort of time commitment they can expect.
  11. Are you an artist?
    1. If you’re not, you say ‘No’. This isn’t hard.
  12. Who did your tattoo?  Do you have their number?
    1. I have a real problem with people getting upset at this question. Finding a great tattoo artist is a matter of networking, in addition to research. If you happen to see tattoo work that you really like and appeals to you, it is natural to want to know who the artist is, in order to seek out their talents. I know I have referred the tattoo artist who has done most of my work to many friends looking for new ink.
  13. How will you ever get a JOB with those?
    1. When asked this way, it is a very obnoxious and condescending question. I would hope that, before someone gets tattooed, they would have given proper thought to how their body art will be received. Regardless, even if they haven’t, asking such a question a question in this manner is just someone trying to be judgmental.
  14. OMG, aren’t you afraid of getting a disease?
    1. A pretty dumb question from people who don’t know any better. However, if the person is genuinely concerned, you can explain about all the hygienic practices that responsible artists follow to ensure that even the tiniest chance of infection does not does not occur. If the person is just trying to be obnoxious, then ignore them.
  15. Who, so you’re like, a tough chick or something, right?
    1. Easy question to ignore. Nothing really to get worked up about.
  16. UGH, what are you going to look like when you’re 80?
    1. For starters, when I’m 80, I’ll have many other things to worry about. Of course, a really pithy response will be to share photos of any number of senior citizens who are proudly, and awesomely, rocking their ink in their later years.

Having been on both on both sides of the tattoo discussion (first hating them and then being an ardent fan of tattoos), I understand all the angles to the debate. While people who are vehemently against tattoos can be really obnoxious with how they share their attitudes, those who are angrily defensive of tattoos (characterized by many of the ‘annoyed’ responses they give to the above questions) are just as bad. They get tattoos, show them off and then go on the attack against anyone