Fresh Ink

October 2009 Archives

Haunted: Old Town Tatu


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

If you're looking to get spooked and inked this weekend you might want to head out to Old Town Tatu (formerly Odin Tatu). A friend of mine told me about it after seeing it on Weird Chicago.

The story goes a little something like this - the studio was built in what was formerly Klemundt Funeral Home. Richie "Tapeworm" Herrera bought it and turned it into Odin Tatu and started noticing some super freaky shit. He would feel a presence trying to push him down the stairs and would also hear noises  - someone calling out "Walter" another a church organ.

The guys from Weird Chicago  had originally gone to interview Tapeworm and hear about the supernatural stuff going on at the shop. As he took them around he stopped and said,

"you guys see that staircase?.....twice, when I was walking down those stairs, I felt like someone was trying to push me. And that freaked me out, because everyone knows you can't fight BACK with these cats, right? So the first time it happened, I said 'listen! if I die in this place, it is ON!'"

Um, you guys, Tapeworm ended up dying three weeks later. So sad. So weird. So creepy. If you want to hear the podcast they put together inside of the shop, listen here.

I am so creeped out right now I think I'm gonna hide my face in a bowl of candy and a bottle of Miller Chill.

Here, these will make you feel better:

Scary Tattoos: File Under Good, Bad, Ugly


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

'Tis the season and the ghouls will be taking over our town (and most likely my proper drinking judgement). The following folks have lent their skin to celebrating Halloween and all things horror - FOREVER. I am the biggest wuss when it comes to scary movies. My over-active imagination followed by sleepless nights does not make horror-flick watching a possibility for me. I will, however, look at the ink inspired by these flicks.

These are just a handful, there are tons more. If you have any you want to share with the Fresh Ink world, send em over to me. Without further ado - HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!


Pretty sure Michael Meyers was the first to make me pee the bed at night.

Mike Meyers

I love love love this movie

This creeps me out to no end

Look closely, his eyelids are tattooed with fucking EYES! Creepy!


PETA really needs to go after this guy


I kind of love this one

Fantastic, though the tribal element detracts from it

Amazing detail in this one

This guy's pores are really scary too
freddie krueger

This reminds me, I need to pick up some sewing materials

Another great one. She's a total fox.
bride of frank

Franken Tat

Can we stop with the Saw movies now?

Linda Blair, not in one of her finer moments. This one will give me nightmares later.

And now for the scariest tattoo ever....after the jump!
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Breaking Celebrity Tattoo Dumbassery


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Oy, Pete Wentz, I've tried so hard to like you and be fair. I'm sure you're a great guy - and I really did love you in guyliner. Your decision to get a tat of Cobra Starship frontman Gabriel Saporta on your forearm gives me no choice but to bitch slap you in the blog. (UPDATE: it has been pointed out to me that this dainty little body part you see before you is actually his LEG. I didn't realize they got so little - and now I am even more upset)


He of course took to his twitter account to document the evening's events:

my head hurts. i was buzzed lightyear last night. followed thru on a gentlemens bet w/@gabrielsaporta now i have 1 more bad brain needs to stop kicking my eyeballs in the face. it makes sense in my head.

Really Pete? Fucking Cobra Starship? That's the best you could do? I don't care how big of a bromance you have with Gabriel, you don't get his mug on your forearm - that's where you put a shark with sunglasses drinking a can of beer.

I can't wait for Bronx to get older and wonder how Gabe got a tat on your bod before he did.

Halloween Help Needed


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Alright poodles, I need some help from you. You see, the office Halloween party is coming up and this includes a costume contest. Unfortunately, I can't bring my dogs into the building and enter them in my place, otherwise I would've won the blue ribbon without a doubt.

my pups.jpg

Marshall the martial arts sushi chef and Bubble Horatio Cain

Before you try to judge me and say this is cruel and unusual behavior, you need to understand that Bubble is obsessed with Horatio and cannot wait to put her costume on.

Look how happy she is!


It's sad but true, my pups have better costumes than I do. This is where you come in. I need something easy, cheap and not too slutty to wear to the office party so I can win $$$$.

If I end up winning and you are of the female persuasion, I HIGHLY recommend that you come to the 44th Ward on Saturday for "Ladies Fright" following the North Halsted costume parade. I recommend that you go there anyway, but if I win that $$ I'll be buying shots for anyone who can tell me the secret password "Janet Reno".

As an added bonus to your day - here is a free download of a hot remix of Florence & The Machine's "You've Got The Love" by The XX. You are welcome.

Derrick Rose Tattooed Poohdini


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Just last week Derrick Rose was being nominated as one of Chicago's sexiest athletes by Victoria's Secret model Marissa Miller. Well, I'd like to nominate him as one of the most adorable. Why? Because the nickname his grandma gave him is "Pooh" and he got "Poohdini" tattooed on his shoulder (good call on adding the "dini").

In his interview with Tattoo U, he goes over all nine of his tats and eventhough it sounds like he popped an Ambian a few hours before shooting the video, I just want to reach through the screen and pinch his cheeks.

Breaking News In Kardashian Tat Land


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom have been together for only a few months but they've got permanent reminders of each other for all eternity now. The recently married couple got each other's initials inked into the web of their right hands.

Khloe and Lamar
Via Khloe's Blog

KK - or now, KO  (according to his tat) took to her blog to say this:

Saturday night Lamar and I were eating at Sunset Plaza and I just said, "Let's go to Tattoo Mania! I want a tattoo!" I think the best tattoo experiences are the spontaneous ones, because that way you are not only left with the tattoo, but an amazing memory to go along with it!

Perhaps it's my own permanent reminder of a failed relationship that makes me want to scream in slo-mo "Noooooooooooooooooooooooo" but I'm not a huge fan of getting your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/live-in-lover's initials anywhere on your body. That being said, I will never cover up the one I've got - since it is a reminder of a very important time in my life even if it didn't turn out the way I had planned.

I wish Khloe and Lamar the best, even if I had no clue who they were just a few short months ago. It was only very recently, during a bout with a cold that wouldn't go away when I was left with nothing else to watch on TV and caught a marathon of Kiim and Khloe Take Miami. Khloe is by far my favorite Kardashian  (and Odom).

She has turned me into a believer. A believer of what, I'm not sure, but I have such a soft spot in my heart for bitches, and she's fantastic.

Harry Potter Dark Mark Tattoo


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Remember the party time that was Chris? Well he's got a brother who is also cute and tatted. The brothers, who are also Harry Potter fans, got matching Dark Mark tattoos.

Dark Mark

The brothers grew up with stoner parents who were really into The Lord of The Rings and see Harry Potter as the LOTR for this generation.

The first tat he got was at 21 and was a Japanese symbol for "spirit". The next one he got on a drunken trip to Kentucky with some buddies which means "13" "...or 'golden showers'" he says. (For a great site that shows a bunch of misinterpreted/mis-tatted Asian symbols, hit up Hanzi Smatter, which is "dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture").

Like his brother, he gets a lot of his stuff done by Tiny at  Metamorph but he really goes all over. He's a kick-ass artist (and actually drew up the design on Chris's chest) so he makes sure to look at what else the artists have done. If he can draw better than they can - he'll go elsewhere.

Check out some more Harry Potter tats after the jump.
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The Best of The Worst Tattoos in Mugshots


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

It's Friday ya'all and that means my brain is already on a three day vacation. All I want to do today is look at funny pictures, think about my party plans for the weekend and anticipate the hangover brunch I'll be having once or twice in the next couple days.

In this week's fun post, I give you the tattoos of people who apparently make a lot of bad decisions in life. They've all gotten arrested and they've all gotten some amazingly bad ink. Have a badass weekend everyone...and stay out of jail. Enjoy:

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

View the gallery...
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Desperately Seeking Jesus LOL


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

If you've been to a tattoo shop, you've more than likely seen the following tat flash:

Jesus LOL

It's like Barry Gibb dressed as Jesus (or visa versa) and was having the time of his life, just waiting there, doing the hand jive, anticipating the moment when you would walk in the door and have his image permanently marked on your body.

I remember the first time I saw this image. I was at a shop in Gainesville, Florida and picked up a tattoo souvenir of my favorite punctuation marks (I am such a nerd!!). I couldn't get over what a fantastically weird tattoo idea this was. I've seen many religious tattoos before, and some are quite beautiful. But this - this is some other beautiful animal.

I've made it my business to ask every artist I speak to if they've ever known anyone to get this tattoo. All of them say no. And yet, I know they exist because it's available everywhere.  So, I'd like for us all to play a game of "Where's Jesus LOL?" (similar to Where's Waldo but much harder).

If you know someone who has this, please get in touch or tell them to get in touch with me.


Featured Artist: Matt from Chicago Tattoo


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Matt is a high-energy tattoo artist who has been working at Chicago Tattoo for the last five and a half years. He had just finished taking care of a customer when he washed his station and made room for me to sit down and ask questions.

Matt Chicago Tattoo

As you can see, he's got plenty of his own ink - the first of which was done when he was 18 and is a hieroglyphics symbol based on some rappers from Oakland. HARD CORE! His favorite though, is the gorilla on his neck.
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Pura Vida an Ambigram Tattoo


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Right after launching, I got an email from former Chicago native, Bill, all the way in Costa Rica. He wanted to share a very unique tattoo with us and the story behind it. Behold:

"Never in my life had I been interested in getting a tattoo, mainly because I couldn't imagine something I would find permanently interesting (as a person that is constantly changing).

I am a former Chicagoan that relocated to Costa Rica in 2008 after many years of extended vacation visits. I guess you could say Costa Rica got under my skin.

On September 1st, 2009 I took the next illogical step and got inked. I think I'll be pretty happy with the results for years to come.

Ambigram Tat

My upper-arm tattoo is what's known as an Ambigram; within its design is the phrase "Pura Vida" which can be viewed both right-side and upside-down. 'Pura Vida' is a phrase unique to Costa Rica that means many things but mainly is Costa Rica's mantra expressing that life is good. My tattoo is now my permanent reminder."

To follow Bills adventures, check out his blog CostaRicaBlogger

Sarvas Gets Lasered Then Gets Inked Again


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Sarvas and I began our love affair over Twitter (which - you can follow me @chubbyjones but be prepared for a foul mouth, lots of boob talk, pictures of my dogs and knowing that I've eaten too much for the umpteenth time). Before the site launched I put a call out for submissions from tattoo artists, local shops and anyone in Chicago who has anything to do with tattoos. Oh, and I promised free motorboats...that's all it took for him to contact me back. See, offer free motorboats and all of a sudden the world is your oyster.


Sarvas isn't a tattoo artist but he's been working as a piercer at Chicago Tattoo for about a month.
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Sal Shows Chicago Love


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Fresh Ink reader Sal Alcantar has got a lot of love for Chicago. He wrote in and shared an impressive step-by-step photo gallery of his tattoo as it was getting done. Here's what he had to say:

I'm sending you a pic of my Chicago Tribute Tattoo, it's sort of paying homage to the city where I was born and raised. The artist is a very good friend of mine. His name is Sean Baltzell of Iron Age Tattoos in St. Louis, MO.

It's a great tribute to a great city.

Sal's Chicago Tattoo

Sal Chicago Tat 2

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What Time is It? Chris Says Party Time!!


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

I was chatting with the owner of one of my favorite bars on Wednesday night telling him about the tat blog and he said, "Oh! You have to talk to my chef, Chris. He has the coolest tat ever." Two minutes later, Chris walked out of the kitchen, sat down next to me and told me what time it was:

Party Time Tattoo

I have to admit, this is a pretty rad tattoo and I'm pretty pumped on the message. It's one of those tattoos I wish I could get, but never would (only because I feel like a watch would make my wrist look joke). He told me he got the tattoo because he was listening to a lot of Andrew WK when he was younger and went in search of a watch that flashed "Party Time". When he came up empty handed, he just ended up getting it tattooed on his wrist.
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Featured Artist: Mario Desa from Chicago Tattoo


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Mario Desa Chicago Tattoo
Name: Mario Desa
Shop: Chicago Tattoo

Mario is definitely someone you can characterize as the strong silent type. When I came into the shop, he said we could talk as long as there was no religion or politics involved - which I could definitely handle.

Desa has been at Chicago Tattoo for five years but has been tattooing for twenty. Much like a few of his family members at work, his favorite style (if he had to choose one) is American Traditional but he'll really do almost anything. The only time he'll turn someone away is when they come in for portrait work "Because that should be done by a portrait specialist".

He loves working at this particular shop because the clientele is so diverse and there's an opportunity to work on different styles all the time.

The first tattoo he got for himself was a straight edge symbol sometime in high school and, unlike most of the straight edge kids I knew, he still subscribes to those beliefs today so I guess he and I won't be grabbing a drink any time soon.

Mario is heavily tattooed but his favorite piece is the giant dragon his co-worker, Nick Colella did for him on his entire back. I'm sure you can agree, it's pretty sick:

Mario's back piece from Nick Colella
Full Disclosure: About four years ago, before I was even dreaming of writing a blog like this, Mario did both of my inner wrist tattoos. I'm happy to say they haven't faded a bit.

Andy - Wisdom, Secret Societies and Protection


Music + whiskey + tattoos= me

Andy is a Southern gentleman to the core. At first glance, or even first conversation, you wouldn't necessarily think he was the type of guy to get excited about tattoos. Growing up in Ft. Worth, Texas, he says, you were considered either a biker or a gangbanger if you had tattoos. This is why it took him until the age of 30, when he was living in Chicago, to get his first.

Andy arm eye triangle

He was really nervous about getting something permanent (and isn't a fan of needles) but was put at ease by the artists at Tattoo Factory.
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