Kanye West has some new tattoos, and according to her wife Kim Kardashian, they were almost in the most awesomely bad of places. On a recent trip to London, the “Yeezus” artist and hater of all things Beck and Taylor Swift related decided to pay a 4am visit to the Sang Bleu tattoo parlor for a little body art. According to Kim, Kanye wanted to have the new ink put on his face, right up by his hairline. He even had the artist stencil designs onto him before his large bottomed love convinced him to put the ink onto his wrists instead. The final products were the birthdays of his beloved mother and his baby daughter n roman numerals, and they look great. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed that he didn’t get his face done; that would’ve been the perfect level of insanity for my tastes. Well, he’s bound to snap and get something put on his grill someday, and now that he’s got his sweet ideas out of the way, maybe he’ll get a really weird tattoo on his forehead…a man can dream folks.
We’ve all heard the terms “Trainer to the stars” and “Accountant to the stars” and “(insert otherwise mundane profession) to the stars”; all of which prove that sometimes just doing stuff for celebrities can make you a celebrity yourself. This is especially true in the tattoo industry; where as sometimes stars don’t want anyone to know were they train or that they need the help of a financial planner, everyone loves to brag about who did their body art. Whether it’s via Twitter, during interviews, or with the ultra-cool (sarcasm alert) Instagram photo from inside the shop, everyone who you’ve ever heard of loves to show you how cool they are and how great their ink artist of choice is. We guess it’s like any other form of physical art in that you want to give the artist credit and show that you can afford the piece, but it’s still kind of annoying. However, there is a plus to all of this tattoo braggadocio: artists are getting paid these days. Who’s getting paid the best? Let’s find out! We’re going to try and stick to artists who we can get at least ballpark numbers on, so don’t be too upset if we leave out your favorite.
Artists like Mike Rubendall (from TLC’s “Tattoo Wars”), Bob Tyrell, Dave Tedder, Brandon Bond, and Stephanie Tamez all make awesome livings by charging in the $200 per hour range, having minimum session times, and by booking full schedules. However, the big moneymakers list starts with Kat Von D. The tabloid sensation and star of both “Miami Ink” and “LA Ink” has a shop minimum of $200/hr, so we have to figure that her hourly is up around at least the $300 range…which is exactly what Paul Booth charges per hour. Featured on CNN, CNBC, Discovery Channel, and TLC; Booth has worked on members of metal bands like Sepultura, Pantera, and Slipknot, giving them a taste of his dark and demon laden style. Famous clients are clearly the key to big bucks too, just ask New York based artist Bang Bang, who gets over $400/hr to ink stars like Rihanna and Justin Beiber. His work is good, but rumor has it that he’s not really worth the trip to the Bahamas that it costs you to have a medium sized piece done. In reality, is anyone worth that much cash? Don’t ask Anil Gupta, we already know his answer.
Charging a whopping $450/hr, Gupta has done work on celebrities like John McEnroe, Christian Slater, and Rosie O’Donnell. He’s know for his abstract work as well as his ability to perfectly copy works of art onto his clients’ bodies. He’s booked up six months in advance too, so you know that business is good. Not as good as Ami James though, as the “Miami Ink” and “NY Ink” star charges over $500 for just sixty minutes in the chair. His ownership of three shops (his third is Love Hate Social Club in London) and his clothing company DeVille has given him a personal net worth of over $5 million, so yeah…he’s doing well for himself. However, he’s cheap compared to Scott Campbell.
Tattooing only on weekend because his lucrative career in advertising design takes up his weekdays, Campbell has charged the likes of Marc Jacobs, Josh Hartnett, and Heath Ledger a thousand bucks for their first hour of work. Granted, he drops his price to “only” $200 for each additional hour, but that still gives him a pretty insane hourly rate, and most likely means that he’s living large when he’s not in the shop or in the office.
Once looked at as the dregs of society, tattoo artists are finally getting the recognition as true artists that they deserve, and with prices as high as these guys, they’re getting the cash they deserve. Of course, they won’t be getting that cash from us, we prefer to be inked in Thailand, where fifteen hours of work from a guy who has a masters degree in art and design will run you about $500. Yeah, America is overpriced…but we still love this place.
Justin Bieber is back at it again folks. No, not acting like a brat…wait, he did that too apparently, but we’re trying to focus on his new tattoo…wait, he acted like a big baby while getting one of his new tattoos? Okay, so we’re here today to talk about a few pieces of Justin Bieber tattoo news…none of them make us happy, as does nothing that the “Baby” singer does. The kid just isn’t good at being famous. Yes, he does a ton of charity stuff and that’s admirable, but so did Mother Teresa, and you don’t hear any stories about her peeing in mop buckets, or being crappy to service industry people, or trying to punch strangers in the face. Odds are pretty strong that he does most of his charity work because his public relations people and his agent (Scooter McBraun) tell him that it’s good for his image. Okay, let’s stop ranting for a moment and talk about the “news”…
So we’ll start with the part where Bieber acted like a tool; it was after getting a tattoo, so it’s within our scope. Aparently, there’s tattoo artists (at least one that we know of) who won’t work with the Biebs anymore because he haggles over price after the artist is done. Yes folks, that’s right; he gets ink and then after it’s on him and the artist has already done work that can’t be taken back, he tries to get his work done cheaper. Thar’s scummy on so many levels that you could build an apartment building dedicated to it. He’s worse than the people who ask for refunds on bad food after they’ve eaten it! Our office was in an uproar when we heard this news, but we were completely underwhelmed when we saw his new tattoo. It’s of an eagle, and it’s well done, but it doesn’t really knock our socks off. We’re more interested in why he was wearing jeans in a bathtub while “recovering” from his ink. Maybe he wanted to get clean pants and wash his upper body at the same time, but he was probably just really into linoleum that day.
Here at the old tattoo viewing shop, we try not to be too hard on people in regards to their choices of ink. After all, we’ve all made “mistakes” and gotten things that at one point represented how we felt about the world but soon became symbols of our mislead youth and/or early thirties. Actually, if we’re being completely honest about the whole thing, it’s hard for us to really ever consider any ink gotten while sober to be a mistake; whether it had particular meaning or was just the end result of losing a bet, all body art should at least serve as a time capsule of the life we were leading when we got it and shouldn’t really be looked down upon. However, when you’re a millionare and you pay someone good money to ink something on you and they spell it wrong…that’s a whole other story. Case in point, former “Heroes” actress Hayden Panettiere, who is currently in the process of getting her side tattoo removed.
A few years back, the pint sized starlet wanted to get “live without regrets” put on her body in Italian, and she did…except for the fact that the artist misspelled the last word (he/she wrote “rimpiati” and “rimipiati”). So now after years of regretting not paying attention to the etching of her tattoo that tells her not to regret things, she’s going under the laser to have that sucker burned off. The process is said to be very painful and is usually only done by people who are trying to get rid of gang tats and the names of their exes, so it must really bother the little lady that her ribs need a spell check. So as she gets her mistaken ink removed, she seems to not be taking much time to rest and recoup, because she’s out and about frolicking in the waves and enjoying herself. She must be pretty excited about having her ink taken off. We don’t know if she’s going to get it redone or not, but we think that she should, if just to prove that she doesn’t regret it. We’ll keep you posted, and if she has it done over, we’ll have the pictures!
We’ve got a bit of a double header for you today folks; we’ve got a depressing-ish story and something awesome. Since they both involve “Game”, of the “the” and “a” varieties to be more specific, we’re going to present them to you in one convenient package! So which one do you want first? The kind of grim one right? No one ever says they want the good news first, if they do they’re probably a Communist or a hipster. So yeah, let’s talk about The Game’s new ink.
The “Leave It or Love It” rapper recently sat in the parlor chair for over seven hours to get tattoos in honor of deceased rap icon Nate Dogg and slain teenager Trayvon Martin (we all know who he is; so please folks, this is a tattoo site, keep the social commentary to yourselves). His reasoning behind the Nate Dogg piece is pretty obvious; he’s a rapper and he’s paying tribute to one of the greats of his craft. The Trayvon tattoo is a bit more complicated, as explaining it would cause us to delve into the kind of commentary that we’re just not smart enough to take part in. However, it should be noted that The Game’s picture was used in a widely spread chain e-mail that was sent around during the George Zimmerman (the man who killed Martin) trial. It was incorrectly posted in the letter as a picture of “the real Trayvon Martin”, so he has a tenuous, albeit somewhat legitimate connection to the siituation. Both pieces were done on his left leg, and both were very well done. They were stenciled from photos of the two iconic individuals, and the artist (Roman Abrego) did a great job on both. So now that we talked about the tribute pieces, let’s discuss something a little more lighthearted…the” Konami Code”…in tattoo form!
The little gem that you’ve no doubt already seen (we know that you scroll through all the pictures before reading the articles) is an ink representation of the famous code from the Nintendo version of “Contra”. The code was “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, Start” (you added “select” if there were two players), and it got you thirty lives in the notoriously hard game. The awesome piece belongs to a guy named Kevin Pacheco, and it’s one of the nerdiest and coolest tattoos we’ve ever seen!
So in the end folks, this article proves that tattoos are there for the good times and the bad, but they’re there for life.
New York tattoo artist “Bang Bang” (we don’t know if that’s his legal name or not; if it is, then we’re strangely impressed) has long been known as an artist to the stars, but it appears he’s also a canvas to the stars, because he lets his clients work on him. People like Rihanna, Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Amar’e Stoudemire, Baptiste Giabiconi, and now Justin Bieber have all put their mark on the professional marker. Yes folks that’s right, a respected professional body artist has allowed the guy who sings “Baby” to permanently mark his leg; fortunately the tattoo didn’t turn out too bad…although the subject matter leaves a bit to be desired.
During a recent trip to Bang Bang’s New York shop, the Biebs inked a design of his cartoon alter-ego on the renowned artist’s calf. This alter-ego happens to be a cartoon mouse named “Swaggy”…who also has his own tattoo…and a six pack…and weird feet. As a group people who have crossed the line where the actual content of their ink now matters less than the story attached to it, we can understand allowing a random famous person to ink your leg in the name of running a good bussiness and getting good publicity, but why the hell would anyone want to be a mouse named “Swaggy”? To each his own; we guess. The new ink was part of an exchange between Beiber and the shop owner, who gave Justin the name of his new album (“Believe”) on his left forearm.
The new lower arm work is just the latest in a slew of tats for the “If I Was Your Boyfriend” singer. The Canadian-born pop prince has been getting inked since his mid-teens, and his collection already includes a Greek Chi (looks like an “X”, means “Christ”), praying hands with roses around them on his calf, Jesus on his leg, the Hebrew word for “Jesus” om his ribs, an owl, a crown, and a Japanese Kanji (it means “music”). We’re sure that he has more ink in his future, as he’s been so consistent with his work in recent years and he’s still in the middle of his prime tattoo years. We expect his to end up with a full sleave at some point, probably when he tries to transition to “more serious” music in a couple of years. We look forward to it, because say what you will about him as a person and an artist (we have plenty, trust us), but the kid usually has nice work done.
So the old folks like to say that Miley Cyrus is in the middle of some kind of drastic fall from grace because she keeps getting ink and new haircuts and getting engaged and possibly un-engaged. However, us young folks (well…younger folks at least) like to think that if we were barely in our twenties and had millions of dollars in the bank, we’d have died in some sort of bus full of strippers-related accident , so her going through a better funded version of everyone’s quarter-life crisis isn’t even kind of a big deal. The girl is clearly going through her punk rock phase, and there’s nothing wrong with that; her new tattoos also give us things to write about, so we’re nothing but happy with her. The artist formerly known as Hannah Montanna was recently spotted rocking her litle boy haircut and a grown woman piece of ink, and amidst rumors of her engagement dissolving, we’ve got some theories about it. The new tattoo was done by “LA Ink” star Kat Von D, and it’s a miniture rendition of Leonardo Di Vinci’s “Anatomical Heart”. It’s a very well done piece of work, that perfectly copies the original art (Kat Von D may have some personal problems, but the lady knows her needles), but it’s placement and meaning are a bit peculiar to us. We get that the heart is literally on her sleeve and we’re cool with that message, but what we don’t get is why she put it so close to her older Roman numeral piece. We’re unsure if they’re meant to function as one piece or not. If they are, then the nail has been cracked on the head, but if they’re not, then she should’ve considered her placement better. We also don’t know if the ink was done as a reaction her current emotional state, or whether it’s an overall statement on her attitude. If it’s the former, then we fear she might regret it a bit someday; we’ve all got at least one like that though, so really who are we to judge ? Like we said before, the new ink is very well done, and it joins a now large list of pieces on the starlet’s body. She already has the word “love” on her ear, some crossed arrows on her back, a bunch of little symbols on her fingers (cross, heart, peace, and equals signs to be exact), “just breathe” on her chest, and a FDR quote on her arm (it goes with a piece that Liam Hemsworth has). At this point, no new ink she come as a shock to anyone, but we’ll keep reporting on Miley’s forrays into body art, because that’s what we’re here for!
Hey folks, it’s time to take a little look at the ink that’s currently gracing some of your favorite stars, as we present (* Fancy bellowing announcer voice *) Wednesday’s Tattoo Round Up! We know, it’d be better if it were Tuesday for alliteration purposes…but it’s not…so yeah, just keep reading.
First up, we have Justin Bieber’s number one lady, Selena Gomez. The Wizards of Waverly Place star and “Love You Like A Love Song” singer previously only had one tiny tattoo, but she decided to add to her body art collection during a recent trip to New York. Gomez’s first ink was a little heart on her wrist; she got it at the Under The Gun shop in Los Angeles, and it’s so small that it’s hard to find a picture of it where it doesn’t look like a speck of dirt. Her new ink is a bit larger, but still isn’t huge; it also appears to have a much deeper meaning. Gomez got the Roman numerals “LXXVI” on the back of her neck, which translate into “73”. The new ink was done by famed New York City tattoo-man Bang Bang at his shop, and according to the artist, it has a very special meaning to Gomez. In a recent interview about the Spring Breakers star’s visit to his show, he stated “The tattoo was a tribute to a family member who she said means a lot to her.”. We don’t know the exact meaning of the ink; is it someone’s age when they passed away? Someone’s birth year? We have no idea, but we always respect a tribute piece; we also respect that her new tat can actually be seen without the aid of a microscope and/or a jeweler’s loop. He boyfriend Justin Bieber, who recently threw up on stage during a performance (that’s not really relevant, we just wanted to remind you of his embarrassment), has a bunch of ink of his own, so we have to wonder if he’s rubbing off on her.
Selena Gomez wasn’t the only star to go under the gun recently, as everyone’s favorite serial killer, Michael C. Hall also hit up the local tattoo parlor just days ago. Cameras caught the Dexter star sitting on a table at True Tattoo in Los Angeles having his foot worked on by one of their artists. When asked what he was having done, Hall said “I’m just doctoring up my alien markings.”, which is celebrity for “None of your business”. From the looks of it, it’s just an artistic design, although it does look like something cavemen would have drawn on cave walls after an extraterrestrial encounter.
So a young pop starlet and a guy who plays a murdering hero both got inked within days of each other; is this part of some kind of conspiracy? Are the stars aligning via body art to take over the world?! No. People just get inked sometimes, stop being crazy folks.
Chris Brown already has a bunch of tattoos, but much like assault charges, he’s still find room for more. The “Look At Me Now” and “Beautiful People” artist/girl punch/Drake fighter recently got two new tattoos in a ten day span, and both of them are a bit ridiculous. First up, he went and got his neck inked; it’s a nicely done tattoo, but we’re not really sure we get it, seeing as “it” is “an Indian Cheif tranforming into a wolf”. Is it supposed to be a representation of the two sides of his personality? Well then the wolf almost makes sense (we would’ve gone with hyenna), but that would mean that the other side of Chris is…in charge of a tribe? Wise? Owner of a casino? It’s really a mixed message. The other new tattoo, which appears to be on his back or forearm is a little more straight forward, but just as dumb; it’s Brown himself wearing a painter’s mask. It’s called “The Bandit” and represents his new love of art. Whatever man, way to put yourself on yourself un-ironically… what a nerd.
Okay, so Kat Von D of Miami Ink and LA Ink fame has a ton of tattoos, we know that and we can discuss that some other time; today we’re here to talk about something way more important than that. Today folks, we’re here to show you the absolutely horrible tattoo that the reality star got while she was dating Jesse James (the American Chopper star who married Sandra Bullock then cheated on her because he was a Nazi…something like that, don’t quote us on the “star” part); it’s of James when he was a little boy, and it’s terrifying. The tattoo, which she hasn’t removed since they broke up, looks like someone didn’t know whether to be Chuck from Child’s Play or a Children of the Corn on Halloween and so they went as both. We’re not sure of this is an insult to Jesse James or the artist who did it, but either way, that thing is ugly and is further proof that you should never get anything too personal about someone else inked on your body.