Tattoo Artist Magazine

Most Unbelievable Tattoos

Source: *Note from TAM - Unfortunately, the site that originally posted this list didn't provide information on the artists who are responsible for these tattoos.  If you happen to know who did one of these pieces, please feel free to leave a comment and let us and the rest of the readers know!

#1 Mind-Boggling 3-D Tattoo

Amazing, isn't it? The 3-D tat almost appears carved! It's so perfect, we'd be tempted to "knock" on it, just to see if her leg was not in fact wooden.


#2 Warrior Eyes To Watch Over You

You might think, what.. is this really inked? The 3-D tat is so realistic, until you notice it's on this guy's bicep! No one is messing with him, his tat is likely to start a conversation rather than a fight.


#3 Hand or Face?

This looks downright creepy. Imagine walking around like this?


#4 Flesh Peeled Away

Amazingly real.

#5 Leg Wound

This tattoo looks alarmingly like a 3-d leg wound.

#6 That Eye

That eye looks supremely real.

#7 Bricks Behind A Human Skull

Surreal in every way.

#8 Supremely 3-D

The artist achieves an 3-D effect with tons of detail in this tattoo.

#9 Creepy

Imagine having an eye below your neck. This is cringe-worth.

#10 Tattooed Mystic

How must it feel to walk around with that tattoo on your back?

#11 Mechanical Arm

Eerily mechanical.

Knives and Needles with Jairo Acevedo

By Molly Kitamura



We are back!! After a couple months break, Knives and Needles Blog is back! Sometimes even bloggers need a break to recharge with new material!! And what better way to get back into things than with Jairo Acevedo!!!! He is one talented and tattooed chef, so read on and check out his food and tattoos….. You will not regret it!


Molly:  Tell us a bit about yourself, please include what you are doing now Jairo:  I’m a 27 yr old chef from Boston Mass. I’ve been here in Los Angeles for about 6 months now and I am currently the Personal Chef for Athletic Gaines, a professional athlete training group. The Head Trainer, Travelle Gaines, trains the athletes and I make their meals certain nights a week if not every night. Right now we are in the middle of a 8 week training camp for The NFL Scouting Combine. It’s been an absolute blessing to be able to move out here to California on a limb and be where I am.


M:  What got you into cooking?

J:  I have a friend who is no longer in the industry and he would tell  these great stories about work and a few horror stories, “And this happened and that and then we sat this many people…” etc. I was getting into trouble and I asked him to help me with a job and he got me hip to this cool ass chef named Cliff. He taught me so much and threw me under his wing, he let me crash and burn and never gave up on me. I was still fucking around, 20 yr old tatted working the grind of the kitchen. I fell in love with the grind and the partying. Mostly the partying but the grind drove me.


M:  What is your specialty?

J:  I like to mess around with odds and ends and whole animal eating (nose to tail), I don’t go to far off the map people are sometimes turned off when you start talking sweet breads and calfs brain or pigs tails. So I try to do simple things like veal breast with a parsnip puree and a raspberry jam. Which I’ll show you how to make later on. I like to eat Italian so I like to cook italian inspired dishes.


M:  When did you get your first tattoo and what was it?

J:  I was 14 when I got my first tattoo. I got my mothers name. She beat my ass. So I got more tattoos. To this day she still beats my ass. Love you ma.
M:  What made you decide to get tattooed?
J:  I wanted to be cool. I saw a whole bunch of older kids with them so I’m like “I’m cool get me inked up.” So we got some ghetto ass jail bird to tatt me up with a guitar string I bought at guitar center. M:  What do you love about getting new ink?
J:  When its over.
M:  What do you not like about getting new ink?
J:  Getting it done.


M:  Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions? If so, which ones? Did you have fun?

J:  I’ve been to 1 in Boston, I brought my daughter and we did a little photo shoot. I had barley any ink and she got her first sticky tattoo. It was a cool experience to be there with my kid. My boy Keith miller ( Gippa Mills on Facebook) was at one of the booths. I didn’t get tattoos that day but my kid did, it was fun.
M:  Do you read any tattoo magazines? If so, which ones?
J:  I wouldn’t say I read tattoo magazines, I’d say I browse thru them. I’m a visual person I don’t really read because my A.D.D  sky rockets when I try to focus on reading. but I like tattoo society and skin art and inked. I like coloring books like dora the explorer those are a huge hit in my house.
M:  Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?
J:  You know I think it has something to do with the fact you rarely interact with guests. it also add personality and toughness. to be in the kitchen you have to be a “Hard Body” know how to take care of business. I think you wouldn’t want to fuck with the chef who’s tatted to the gils. I do it because i love tattoos I love art and fashion and I’m just super artistic, it goes hand in hand.


M:  Any cooking advice for a novice?

J:  This is not a paycheck job your in my kitchen be here to work and hustle. #HARDBODIES only. Master your craft, and listen watch and do. Your title is ” I do whatever the fuck chef asks me to do” sometimes you’ll be looking for dingle berries in dry storage and other you’ll be breaking down a whole pig and learning charcuterie. I beat you because I love you.
Jairo was amazing enough to share a specialty of his, check it out and try it yourself!! This sounds incredible…..


Oven roasted veal breast  with parsnip puree and pistachio raspberry jam  

For veal breast 5lbs cleaned veal breast Pancetta curing recipe follow these to a T do not skip a step 2.4 oz kosher salt 1.5 TBLS crushed black pepper 4 garlic cloves 4 bay leaves crumbled 4 rosemary sprigs rough chopped untitled in a PLASTIC container mix all together and then rub thoroughly all over the veal breast place curing veal on a PLASTIC cutting board and place in the friedge for 24 hours and then rinse off with water or white wine. Roast veal in oven at 375′ for 30-35 min or in till firm to the touch For parsnip purée 3.5lbs  parsnip cleaned and rough chopped 1qt heavy dream .5tsp nut meg Salt while your veal roast In a sauce pan add chopped parsnip and cover with heavy cream And cook on low till tender When ready add to a blender, first the pa rsnip the the cream till smooth Set a side For raspberry jam 1.5lbs fresh raspberries 1/2 cup light brown sugar Toasted and salted pistachios And 1/2 cup of veal stock of beef stock if available if not no liquid is fine Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and cook down for 5-7 min stirring constantly then turn heat down and let it slow cook until a loose but together jam forms. Remove from heat and add pistachios taste, add water if to thick.


Thank you, Jairo for taking the time with us and submitting this mouth-watering recipe for everyone to try!!

Also, thank you to all our readers for sticking with us for almost a year now!  We are back in action for our weekly blogs on food and tattoos….  : ) You can catch more of Jairo Acevedo on his instagram, @easties_veryown_chef, he is definitely worth following! If you are a tattooed chef or a foodie tattooer and you have something you would like to submit, email us at – we would love to feature you!!

DTLA Tattoo HOLA Event

By Pep Williams
Pep Williams and Lara Calhoun, owners of DTLA Tattoos located in downtown Los Angeles hosted the largest skateboard tattoo art show for ST Tattoo's 15 year Anniversary last week on March 1st. The turnout was great with hundreds of people attending to support HOLA! (Heart of Los Angeles,) a charity in the Los Angeles area that provides underserved youth with the educational tools to be able to realize their potential and one day become leaders in their respective communities.
Over 60 artists from all over the world including but not limited to Retna, Rick Clayton, N8, Bob Tyrrell, Big Gus, and Big 5 all contributed hand painted decks, all which were available for sale.
Everyone involved asked that we extend their deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone who showed up and/or sponsored the event.  Big thanks to Sullen, Tattoo Artist Magazine, Tattoo Culture Magazine, and Chaz Hayes for helping make it a memorable evening! Also, HUGE Thanks to Jordan Schwartz for most of the pics.

Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Liza Minnelli And Other Pop Culture Icons Covered In Tattoos: ART


Ever wonder what Spock or Princess Leia would look like with a full sleeve of tattoos? The Tumblr site Shopped Tattoos adds gallons of ink to everyone from AC Slater and Wonder Woman to Grace Kelly and Bette Davis. There’s even a few presidents in the mix. Enjoy!


Janet Leigh


Mario Lopez as AC Slater


Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski


Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia


Dolly Parton


John Lennon


Katharine Hepburn


Audrey Hepburn


Bette Davis


Grace Kelly


Johnny Cash


Mr. Spock


Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman


Katy Segal as Peg Bundy


Stand By Me


Princess Di


Barak Obama


Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused


The Graduate‘s Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman


Marilyn Monroe


Muhammad Ali


James Dean


Liza Minnelli


Jackie and President John F. Kennedy


Kate Middleton and Prince William

Behind the Sleeve with Russ Abbott

By Kevin Miller Tattoo by Russ Abbott Tattoo by Russ Abbott at Ink & Dagger Tattoo in Decatur, GA Tattoo Snob: Since the beginning of 2013, you’ve been working on a sleeve that you just posted. Before we start talking about the specifics, can you share your thoughts on larger pieces such as sleeves, back pieces, torso pieces. How do you approach them? Do you prefer to do these over smaller pieces? Russ Abbott: Well, from my perspective as the artist, I feel most comfortable doing large-scale work, specifically arm sleeves, although I am doing more torso work than ever before. But with the sleeves, I love the unique challenge of designing around a cylinder. I also love that the work is such a serious part of the collectors life. Obviously, arm tattoos get seen by a lot of people in day to day interactions. I like to think about how the piece will be viewed by the world outside of tattooing. I ask myself, “Will this be the tattoo that changes someone’s mind about tattooing?” Hopefully in favor of it. Haha! But I do really love when client’s tell me stories about members of their family going from tattoo critics to true fans after seeing the work I do for them. I’m sure every tattooer gets those stories. TS: Let’s talk about the concept of this sleeve. How did it come about? RA: I met the collector, Chris a few times through mutual friends. He didn’t have any tattoos a couple of years ago but he’s gotten covered up fast! When he talked to me about doing his sleeve I was pumped because in just a short time, he had already managed to collect nice work from amazing artists like Timmy BKelly Doty, and Ryan Thomas. Chris had already proven he could sit for long sessions and his skin tone is ideal for the full range of colors. Plus he seriously doesn’t seem to have any concern about what he’s getting. I would try to check with him about my ideas for colors and such and he would just be like “Whatever dude, I don’t care. I trust you.” He just had this concept that was perfect for me. If you look at the photos of the sleeve, the concept he pitched me is exactly what you see. He’s into photography so he wanted a camera, a model, and the resulting photographs. He also requested that the model be in a flapper costume and suggested I fill space with my signature ornamental scrollwork. I loved that his concept would give me the opportunity to showcase two distinctly different styles of my work, black and gray realism, and illustrative color. Russ-Abbott-Sleeve-3-300x300   TS: You made all of the stops in preparing this sleeve, including models and photographers. Can you tell us about that process? RA: For the way I tattoo, I always need to find the best reference material available. I could have probably found a decent reference photo for the camera and maybe even the girl, but to hit the jackpot and find multiple poses of the same girl in the right costuming? Not likely. But I did start with a Google search to see what I could dig up. No dice. Then I contacted a few models to see if they had any photo sets that might fit the project. Several beautiful girls sent me photos but I still didn’t find anything that felt right. In the process of seeking out models, a friend suggested I talk to a local model named Brittany Michelle aka Ladee Danger. Luckily, she was stoked about the idea and even offered to handle her own costuming, hair, and makeup. We met at the shop one day and spent several hours taking photos. Mary D. helped out with the photos and the lights. Thanks Mary and Brittany! I couldn’t have done this without your help. TS: Do you prepare for every sleeve, back piece, and torso piece in the same way? RA: Full on photoshoots are not required for every piece but I do put in quite a bit of work on the front end of a big project. There’s no substitute for great reference. I recently completed a Battle of Gettysburg sleeve that required me to hire Civil War reenactors. TS: How many sessions did it take, and do you know what the total amount of time was? RA: Chris’ photography sleeve? I’d have to guess because I don’t have accurate records but I would say maybe 8-10 sessions. 40-50 hours. TS: You worked on this sleeve throughout the entire country, at various shops and at various conventions? How did that come about? RA: Chris lives in Ohio or Kentucky I think so traveling was a big part of the process. He came to my studio in Decatur, Georgia for most of the sessions. But he also loves going to conventions so we met at both of the Hell City conventions and also Ink & Iron in California. Again, he’s a totally dedicated collector and I can’t thank him enough for all he went through to make this tattoo happen. Most clients don’t think they deserve much credit for having great work. But to me, they deserve way more credit than they think! TS: Nobody really saw pictures of the progress of this sleeve as it was progressing. Was this on purpose? Do you prefer this versus posting pictures during every session? RA: Yeah, I used to post a bunch of in-progress work because I’m not one of those artists who finishes a new tattoo everyday and I wanted to still be a part of social media everyday. But after careful consideration, I decided it was better to post quality over quantity so I made a conscious decision not to post as many in-progress pieces. That’s funny you noticed that. I guess that’s kind of your job though. Ha. Behind the sleeve with Russ Abbott TS: You just posted a layout of a new sleeve that you did with Manga Studio. What exactly is that? Are you preparing more pieces like this? RA: About a year ago, I purchased a massive digital drawing display made by Wacom. (Cintiq 24HD) I’ve been learning to use it ever since and I’ve found all kinds of useful drawing programs. Manga Studio 5 by Smith Micro is my new favorite though. It’s just a really natural way to draw digital art. It’s tools and interface are simple to use but extremely powerful. I can’t recommend it highly enough. TS: What do you have lined up for 2014 in regards to large tattoo projects? Outside of specific projects, what do you have planned for 2014? RA: That digital sleeve design you were just referring to was actually a really exciting experiment for me. I came up with the concept and did the entire design without a client to get the tattoo. I wanted to see if I could post a sleeve drawing and sell it online. I posted it up on Instagram and Facebook, and a girl brought me a deposit and set her first appointment 2 days later! So at it turns out, I think I will be able to control the ongoing direction of my work by doing custom artwork and then finding the client. I’m still not technically accepting any new clients on my waiting list so really picking one of these ready-made designs will be the fastest way to get tattooed by me. All I ask is that people show me the respect of not stealing these designs that I’m posting. Like I said, it’s an experiment. TS: Any last words? RA: I just wanted to thank Tattoo Snob for helping raise the standards of tattoo related media. I know you guys do this work out of love for tattooing and you incur a substantial financial strain to travel to shows, not to mention all of the time you put in. You guys always seem to put the spotlight on incredible artwork from all over the globe. You’re doing great work. So thanks! Follow Russ Abbott on Instagram and Facebook, and follow Ink & Dagger Tattoo onInstagram and Facebook to see more.     

The Modern-Day Tattoo Renaissance by Joey Knuckles

By Joey Knuckles


Joey Knuckles

Tattooing is all about progression. We learn from our mistakes and we grow every day; we should all approach it with humility and respect for our fellow artists. True tattooers want to continue to grow, and to become the best tattooers, artists, and people that they can be. To do this we must get rid of the negativity. I can tell you from my own personal experiences over the past couple of years that there are already enough things to bring you down. A little advice: about two years ago, I stopped listening to news/media/political arguments. I also fought off some personal demons, such as drinking, anger, and depression. Not only have my anxiety and stress levels dropped drastically, but also my thought process has been liberated and I’ve been able to focus on what truly matters. Separating yourself from all the negativity and drama in your life, and surrounding yourself with people who support you is so important. The people in my life, including my wife Tori, my ever loyal Philadelphia clientele, my continuously growing Columbus clientele, and my brothers everywhere, are what keep me going and continuing to progress and to further my understanding of the past, present, and future of this craft. I can wake up in the morning, work on some sketches, and just be happy and honored to be part of the tattoo community. We are the few and the lucky to be “true tattoo artists.” We must understand that we are all folk artists responsible for handing this craft over to the next generation with integrity and intelligence. If we ever want to progress as individuals and as artists, we have to understand fully what builds a true “traditional tattoo.” Not that everyone has to work in a “traditional style,” but everyone should understand and be able to accomplish the fundamental tattooing techniques. We must understand the tools involved in this trade, and resist relying on shortcuts such as tracing other artists’ work, Google images, and using programs like Photoshop to create graphic images that are unrealistic in the tattoo world (never mind Photoshopping tattoo pictures to create colors and vibrancy that do not exist in nature). As the saying goes, “Don’t confuse the menu with the meal.” People in the beginnings of their careers in this industry are learning these days with rotaries right from the start, without taking the necessary 5 to 10 years needed to master working with coil machines, among other aspects of tattooing. It seems everyone is rushing into fame without absorbing the knowledge required to become a “tattoo master.” So let’s take this note from one of our forefathers in tattooing, which has been a personal motto of mine, so that maybe we can all treat each other, and our craft, a little better: “I ‘Joey Knuckles’ am in the business of rendering a service to this community for the small group who choose to have their bodies decorated in some way or another…I choose to pursue my profession with intelligence and skill, wishing not to offend anyone, but instead with my love for mankind do what good I can do before I die…” —Pledge by Stoney St. Clair. Joey Knuckles has been tattooing since 2003. Beginning his career in Columbus, Ohio most notably at High Street Tattoo, where he honed his tattoo skills in a fast-paced environment under his mentor Giovani. He then moved to Philadelphia in 2008, working in legendary shops like Philadelphia Eddies, Olde City Tattoo, Art Machine Productions, and Black Vulture Gallery, over the past five years. He has now returned to Columbus full-time, after inheriting High Street tattoo from his good friend, mentor, and High Street Tattoo founder Giovani. Joey prides himself on being a well-rounded tattoo artist specializing in anything ranging from cover-ups, custom lettering, floral work, to large-scale illustrative designs.


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