Family means a lot to Samantha Marie Safchinsky. At 20 years old, she has three tattoos and counting. However, if Samantha gets any more tattoos right now her mother has threatened not to pay for her college tuition anymore. Needless to say she is taking a little break from permanent ink on her body. This week she wanted to share with me (and with the rest of the world) her one of a kind tattoos about her heritage and dedication tattoos to her family members. These photos are courtesy of her Facebook page.
There are many things, places, and people in life that can bring nostalgia to a person. A person can feel a sense of sentiment through a stuffed animal they used to sleep with as a child. For Jason Kramer, that nostalgia comes from his tattoos.
Jason Kramer is a 21-year-old Asteelflash worker who used to live in Mt. Laurel, NJ but who now lives in Owego, NY. With four tattoos and counting, Jason’s love for tattoos is inspired by events that have happened in his lifetime. I was able to catch up with him this week to talk about his current tattoos and his plans for more ink.
Q: What are your tattoos and why did you decide to get them?
A: I have a Glassjaw tattoo, a skull, “the blood of thine enemies” tattooed on my back and a surgeon cutting my flesh on my ribs. Glassjaw is my favorite band of all time and the tattoo reminds me of growing up. I was really into that band when I was 17 and 18 and they kinda changed my life. I know it sounds lame, but every time I see it I smile and it reminds me of a lot of drunk nights in my friend Ronnie’s car. The skull was to remind me how death is around every turn. I felt particularly depressed because someone close to me died. So the skull is to remember that death will always be with you. It changes you. Days are a little less bright when all the good stars burn out. “The blood of thine enemies” is to remember i am only as good as what pumps in the heart of the things i hate and the surgeon is to remind me there is always something underneath the skin.
Q: When did you get your tattoos and who did them?
A: Well my first two tattoos (the Glassjaw tat and the skull) were done in a kitchen by my friend Dan and my friend Philly. The surgeon was done by Tattoo Mary at Owego Tattoo in Owego, NY. “The blood of thine enemies” was done in my friend Roger’s house but he has a
studio he runs out of his home. I got my first tat when I was 17, my second one when I was 19,and my last two this year. I’m getting my chest done in a month.
Q: How long did they take to complete and how painful were they?
A: The glass jaw and the skull took about 20 minutes each, the surgeon took about three hours, and “the blood of thine enemies” took four hours. Well at first on a scale of 1-10 they were about a 2 but when i hit hour three it started to hurt badly. The surgeon on my ribs hurt like hell when I hit hour three. After that, I started sweating from the pain.
Q: What is your next tattoo going going to be?
A: I’m going to get the album art work for “On My Shield” by the band Converge on my whole chest because of the lyrics “all of our pain is worth it together we fall apart, as love’s war rages on.” Love will always be a fight but its always worth it no matter how many nights you spend on an empty bed.
Q: Has your opinion changed about them and how do other people react?
A: Well my friends think my tattoos are awesome and girls think they’re sexy so I can’t complain. I have all of them are on my chest
and back and ribs so no one can really see them but whoever can is usually accepting. My opinion hasn’t changed about them really. Each one means something to me, even if it looks like it got done in a kitchen. Each tattoo is a badge of pride for me. Each one is very special to me and carry a lot of “sentimental” value. I got each one for particular events in my life, each one reminds me of someone or some period of my life and the events that drove me to get tattoos.
Pete Delia, 34, is the owner of Sinful Art Tattoo in Vineland, NJ who has been tattooing for 11 years and owned his own shop for six years. This week I wanted to take the time to not just tell you about his unique talent and skills, but to show you his artwork that is permanently attached to many tattoo lovers’ skin.
Growing up in my household, tattoos were forbidden until you turned 30 (when my mom got her first tattoo). In Dana Jeffries household, it wasn’t strange to get your first tattoo before you turned 16.
Dana Jeffries is a 29-year-old mom with eight tattoos and counting. She lives in Gloucester City, NJ and loves going to events like Comic Con in New York and going out with friends on the weekends. In between events, I was able to catch up with her about her artwork and what her permanent ink means to her.
Q: Describe your tattoo(s) and what they mean to you.
A: Tattoos are a reminder of different points in my life. The tattoo itself generally is not as meaningful as the memories that they bring back when I look at them.
- My first tattoo is a dove carrying a rose and my dad took me to get it for my 15th birthday. It reminds me of him, and how silly I was at that age.
- My second tattoo is a vine with roses on it and a butterfly at the top that reminds me of the friends I had when I was 18 years old.
- My third tattoo is a gecko that reminds me of my first marriage and my fourth tattoo is a black rose with a rosary around it. It reminds me of a lot of things that happened in my early 20s that I don’t ever want to forget.
- My fifth is a dragon that is placed on my arm to chase the gecko because the gecko was lonely.
- My sixth tattoo is an R.I.P for my dad that has a treble clef and drumsticks because my dad was a drummer.
- My seventh one is a sun with an eye in the middle. I’m not gonna lie, that one doesn’t have much meaning to me because that day I just felt like getting a tattoo, but it makes me smile though.
- My last tattoo says, “Live Humbly”. My soon-to-be ex-husband, brother, sister-in-law, and I all got the same tattoo on my wedding day. I’m going to get it covered up some time soon, because that it not a memory that I want to keep and the font is crappy so it looks like it says, “Live Hombre.”
Q: Where did you get your tattoo(s) at on your body and why did you decide to put it there?
- Tattoo number one is on my right ankle. I wanted to get it on my left ankle, but I got a cut on my ankle the day before I was going to get the tattoo. My dad would only let me get a tattoo on my ankle because it can be easily hidden.
- My second tattoo is on my stomach, to the left of my belly button because at the time, I had an awesome stomach. I don’t anymore, but that’s okay.
- My third, fifth, sixth, and seventh tattoos are on my left arm. It was a spontaneous decision to put the gecko there, and the others are there to keep him company.
- My fourth tattoo is on the upper right side of my back that I can only see with a mirror, but I like knowing it’s there.
- My eighth tattoo is on my right arm because there wasn’t enough room on my left arm for it, so I had to branch out a little.
Q: What place did you get your tattoos at and who them?
A: I’ve gotten three tattoos at the Ink Castle in Bellmawr, NJ one at some random place in Watertown, NY, one at Sick Creations in West Deptford, NJ, two at some random place on South St, and one at some random place in Las Vegas. I do a lot of research before getting tattooed.
Q: How long did your tattoos take to complete and how painful were they?
A: I don’t remember how long any of my tattoos took. Not super long, none of them are very big. The tattoos on my arms and ankle didn’t hurt much at all. Maybe a 3. My back tattoo hurt quite a bit. Maybe a 7. The one on my stomach was the worst. Probably a 9. I would not recommend stomach tattoos. The price range of each one was maybe $50-$250?
Q: Do you plan on getting more and do you have any ideas of what they might be?
A: I’ll probably get another one with my daughter’s name eventually, and I’m going to get the Live Humbly one covered up and made into another tattoo. I don’t know what I’m going to do for my daughter yet but it will probably be on my left ankle. I don’t know how I’m going to cover up the tattoo on my right arm, I’ll have to talk with an artist about it. I want to come up with a funny way to do it.
Q: How do people react to your tattoo(s)?
A: Sometimes people that I meet in the winter are shocked to see me with exposed tattoos in the summer. I’m told a lot that I don’t seem like the type of person that would have tattoos, whatever that means…
Q: When did you get your tattoo and has your opinion changed on how you like it or not?
I got my first tattoo when I was 14, about a week before my 15th birthday. I still like that one a lot.
Q: What is your advice for other people who want or are thinking about getting tattoos?
Covering up arm tattoos in the summer sucks.
One of the hardest things people have to do in life is move on. Whether someone’s significant other broke up with them or someone close has passed on to the next life, the emotional pain can be unbearable. People search for many ways to deal with the pain, but not everyone is able to accept it and move on. Danielle Fewer of Haddonfield, NJ has found her way of moving on.
In the state of New Jersey, the legal age to get a tattoo without parental consent is 18-years-old. At 20-years-old, Danielle already has five.
With five tattoos and counting, Danielle is no stranger to the tattoo gun. Her artwork is placed across her heart, wrists, and left shoulder blade that will last a lifetime. With no end for permanent art in sight, I got in touch with Danielle this week to talk about her pieces and why she decided to get them.
Q: Describe your tattoos and where they are on your body.
A: I have my biological mom’s initials with her birth and death date across my heart. I never met my mom, so this was my way to honor her because she is my role model. I have “To err is human; To forgive, divine” on my wrists because i went through some really tough times when I was 12-13 years old and the only way i could “get over it” was by forgiving him. I heard this quote in the middle of the whole ordeal and it always stuck with me.
I have “strength” with an infinity symbol around it below the “To forgive, divine” because being strong has been the only choice I’ve had to deal with what I’ve had to deal with in my life. This tattoo is a reminder for me to be strong when it seems like I can’t be and it takes a lot of strength to forgive someone.
Lastly, I have a red rose in the shape of a heart on my left shoulder blade to honor my mom because she had a tattoo of a red rose on her left shoulder, which was her favorite flower. I added the shape of a heart because even though I never met her, I will always love her.
Q: Where did you get your tattoos done and how long did they take to do?
A: My tattoos were done at Body Graphics in Philadelphia, Body Art in Stratford, NJ, a friend of my girlfriend’s, and a tattoo party. My “To err is human; To forgive divine” tattoo took about a half hour to complete and my “strength” tattoo took about 5-10 minutes to finish.
My Mom’s initials and birth and death dates tattoo took about a half hour and the red rose tattoo took about two hours to finish and it was the most painful out of the rest of my tattoos. The cost of each tattoo ranged from around $30 to atmost $200. I definitely want another tattoo on my upper arm, but I was also thinking about getting one on the back of my neck, on my ankle, or behind my ear.
Q: How do people react to your tattoos and has your opinion changed about them?
A: People do not really react to my tattoos in a positive way. They usually get annoyed that i choose places on my body for tattoos that make it difficult to cover up for work, like my wrists.
The only change that I would do if I could have them done all over again would be the placement of each tattoo because it is frustrating and difficult to try to buy clothes for job interviews and always having to wear long sleeves if I was offered the job.
Q: Do you have any advice for people looking to get tattoos?
A: My advice to people tattoo shopping would be to make your artwork meaningful and always go to a professional. Getting a tattoo from a friend or at a tattoo party is cheaper, but you get what you pay for.
When someone thinks of a typical “Mom” tattoo, they usually think of the word with a design around it and put somewhere obvious like on the arm or a leg. But not 19-year-old Corinne Bat Watson of Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Massage therapy student Corrine decided to get her first tattoo dedicated to her mom not only at a young age but in a different style than most people are used to seeing. I caught up with her this week to talk to her about her one of a kind tattoo.
Q: Describe your tattoo and where is it on your body?
A: My first tattoo is a rose with a banner that says, “My best friend/my hero/my mother/I love you” and I got it for my mom (obviously). I decided to get it done on my back so I could show it off if I wanted to but still be able to be professional when I need to be.
Q: What place did you get the tattoo done at and how long did it take to do?
A: The rose was done by Tony Nos at RC in Folsom, Pennsylvania on March 21, 2011. The banner was done at Indelible Ink Tattoo in Wilmington, Delaware on March 13, 2012 and altogether it was $230. I was supposed to get it done at the same place but I didn’t have money at the time and the artist went to a different shop, so the second part was done by a different artist named Jamie. It took about four hours to do all together and from a scale of 1-10 my tattoo hurt about a 7 around my ribs and lower back.
Q: Do you plan on getting more tattoos and how do people react to the one you have now?
A: I have a lot of ideas for other tattoos but I don’t plan on getting any more for a while. Tattoos are a lot of money and I need to
save up for them. If I decide to get more, they will probably all be done on my back or somewhere else concealable to not be passed up for future job opportunities. People usually love my tattoo when they see it and they think it’s really sweet but they usually think it’s too big.
Q: Do you have any advice for people that are thinking about getting work done?
A: I encourage people to get tattoos whole heartedly but if you can’t stand the pain of a getting one done, I suggest that you rethink the sizing of your tattoo and where on your body you want to get it done.
My friend Vinny passed away almost three months ago now and things haven’t really been the same since he left. I miss him more than words can describe, but I know that he is in a better place now and hope he is happy wherever he is. Every time I saw him it seemed that he got a new tattoo somewhere on his body; he was truly an addict for ink.
I posted a dedication post to him to show how much his life meant to me and to other people who had the honor to meet him and get to know him, but some how that wasn’t enough for me. A lot of people got dedication tattoos for him and I am now one of those people.
Everyone’s tattoos regardless of the subject matter are in some way, shape, or form are different from other people’s tattoos. A decent amount of people got tattoos of stitches in Vinny’s memory because that was his nickname for a long time before he prefered being called Vinny or Little Vinny. I did not want stitches because “Stitch” was not what I saw when I was around him. I saw Vinny.
So Vinny’s name became permanently attached to me. In black, cursive letters his name was placed at the bottom of the back of my neck with his birth and death date on each side and a green bandana underneath of his name. To me the bandana represents family and Vinny almost always wore a bandana going into the mosh pit at Club Shampoo on Wednesday nights. It just so happens the last bandana I saw him wear was a green one and that was the one I wanted to go under his name.
The tattoo itself lasted a little more than an hour but there was more detail in it than in my first tattoo on my lower back. I was more relaxed during my second tattoo because I had already been through that experience and once I had relaxed it didn’t really hurt until tattoo artist William Trask got to my neck. But hey, artwork like beauty is pain and I love my tattoo so much.
This week I explored more work done by Tattoo Artist William Trask owner of Premiere Tattoo, but more so dedication tattoos to the loved ones who are no longer with us today. My dear friend Vince Pellegrino committed suicide exactly one month today, but his memory lives on with us in our hearts and for some people in their artwork.
This dedication tattoo was done on Jennifer O’Neill Trask’s inner ankle in honor of Vince Pelligrino. There is an RIP over tattooed stitches because Stitch was Vinny’s nickname for a long time. A lot of people didn’t know his actual name because they were so used to hearing Stich instead of Vinny or Little Vinny. The photo is courtesy of William Trask’s Facebook page.
This tattoo of stitches was done on William Trask’s left hand in loving memory of Vinny. It is one thing to do dedication tattoos, but it is something else completely when you are tattooing dedication tattoos for a best friend that you lost. This photo was courtesy of William Trask’s Facebook page.
This photo is of two dedication tattoos done on Steven Wallenburg‘s left leg. The tattoo with the skull in the crown above the rose was a dedication tattoo to our friend Gabe who was murdered in 2006 and who is missed very much. The tattoo below it is of stitches for Vinny with green blood instead of red because it was one of Vinny’s favorite colors. This photo was courtesy of Steven Wallenburg’s Facebook page.
This post is different from all of the posts that I have written so far. I had planned to see a friend of mine this week to take pictures of his remarkable, one of a kind tattoos after I got out of work. I texted him right when I got out of work Thursday night and there wasn’t any response.
I brushed it off, thinking that maybe his phone died or got turned off or he may have even lost it. Saturday morning I went onto Facebook and saw that a friend of mine put in her status, “RIP Vince Pellegrino.” I was confused, I had just talked to him two days ago. So I looked onto his Facebook and learned why my friend hadn’t been texting me back for the past two days.
I found out through this social medium that my friend Vince “Stitch” Pellegrino, who I had just hung out with on Sunday and who I had talked to Thursday afternoon, had committed suicide. He was only 20 years old.
It seemed like every time I saw Vinny, he always had a new tattoo. He couldn’t get enough of them, tattoos were his life. The pain never seemed to bother him, he had his last tattoo done two Thursdays ago and the only thing that bothered him was that it kept sticking to his wife beater. Tattoos covered Vinny’s arms, legs, chest, back, you name a place and he’s had work done there. He loved piercings as well, pain was never an issue for him.
Not only did Vinny enjoy getting tattoos and piercings, he also enjoyed
going into mosh pits even though he was only a little bit taller than me (I’m 5’3) and skinnier than me. He was a tough guy, and he wasn’t afraid of anyone. Vinny found himself in a decent amount of fights, but it was never because he just wanted to pick a fight with someone. There was always a good reason why Vinny defended himself and others through his fists instead of his words.
I am not sure how long it has been going on for, but Vince had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Life hadn’t been too kind for him, he told me he had been bounced around from foster home to foster home when he was younger.
He was living with his friend Jacob Callahan in Pine Hill, NJ just before his untimely passing and was trying to get his life back together. Vinny told me that he had a couple of job interviews lined up, he was working on his car, and that he had been happier then he had been for a long time. I can only hope that he was telling me the truth.
Vince Pellegrino will be truly missed by his friends and family members. Wherever you are, I hope you are happy and are free of the pain you felt when you were here. I love you and so many others love you too.
On Tuesday, November 8, 2011 his funeral will be held at the Mark C Tilghman Funeral Home on 38 North Forklanding Rd., Maple Shade, NJ 08052-2630 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be donations at the service to help with the service cost.