My New Tattoo

Friday September 16th kicked off the first day of the inaugural Melbourne Tattoo and Body Art Expo.

Thanks to Inked Australia/NZ Magazine, it is how I discovered Craigy Lee. I am a big fan of his neo-traditional style.

My original concept was an owl perched atop a skull, a pocket watch in its claws, surrounded by a mix of decaying and blooming roses. I went to Craigy Lee with this idea and booked in to be tattooed by him at the expo.

I gave him complete artist freedom to make the design his own. The pocket watch was an element which was removed from the design as it would have made it look too cluttered. The decaying roses would not have translated well as a tattoo, so instead the skull is missing the lower jaw, adding a dramatic effect.

After 4 and a half hours of tattooing, this was the end result:

 

While it did not win Female Tattoo of the Day (Friday), the tattoo is beautiful, and something I will forever love adorning my body.

Craigy Lee is in Australia for only a couple more weeks before he heads back home to England. Check out his website for more details.

Bryan Adams “Bare Bones Tour”

Ever the consummate performer, Bryan Adams is one of the few artists who are simply amazing live. Just him, his guitar, a pianist, and some of his greatest songs from his 30 year career, made for a memorable evening.

We weren’t suppose to take photos inside the venue, but by the end of the night everyone had their cameras out, taking photos, capturing a moment they’ll never want to forget.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Issue 9 – Inked Australia/New Zealand Magazine

With an ever growing fan base, Inked is now able to expand its horizons, reaching out to various members from the tattoo community. With that being said, they managed to get an exclusive interview with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this issue cover guys.

If you’re female, and love hot, tattooed guys, then you are in for a treat. The ‘Xtreme’ piece showcases guys who put their bodies on the line in the name of their sport. While Inked Guys may not be a viable idea to put to print, the many shirtless guys in Issue 9 are sure to satisfy your needs. But guys, don’t fret, there is, as always, several gorgeous girls gracing the pages of the magazine.

You could say the theme of this issue would be determination to succeed, whether it is developing tattoo skills, becoming a better athlete, or turning a dream into reality. None of this happens overnight. It takes years to perfect an art. They have tattoos that mark a place in time, memories to carry with them for the rest of their lives. People are easy to dismiss the successful as being “lucky” to be in that position.  Positive thinking, drive, passion all contribute to making the people we see before us in this is

The Skate4Cancer piece is so inspiring.  Cancer touches everyone at some stage in their lives. Raising money for research is crucial in the fight to find a cure for this horrible disease. Hopefully Rob Dyer’s story will encourage other Inked readers to be more charitable.  I know I’ll be more active in raising money for causes that I strongly believe in.

If you want to get involved, check out Inked’s website for more details on Rob’s journey and donate to or help promote the cause. Perhaps stories like this will help dispel some of the stigma associated with tattooed people.

The NY Ink – Wooster Street Social Club piece strips back all the mirrors from the carefully edited TLC show, and goes back to basics. The people on the show are tattoo artists through and through.  These tattoo artists are not one dimensional, they can tackle just about any tattoo style there is. They have branched out into other artistic endeavours to showcase their talents across a variety of mediums. While the idea of “reality TV” may not appeal to you, nothing can take away from their talent; talent doesn’t lie.

Once again the team at Inked have outdone themselves. This issue is jam packed with people with amazing life stories to tell along with beautiful works of art adorning their skin. Those of us with a passion for tattoos are special bunch.

And on that note, go out and buy the current issue of Inked. If your local newsagents have no copies, be sure to ask them to order it in for you. Better yet, head to http://www.isubscribe.com.au/title_info.cfm?prodID=32196  to subscribe, or check out pages 40 and 41 on details how to subscribe and receive a copy of Eastbound & Down Season 2.

 Issue 10 will hit newsstands October 26. For now, enjoy and spread the word.

– Modern Medusa

 

 

One Year Ago

On this day in 2010 I was in Prahran at The Piercing Urge/Abstract Noir Tattoo Lounge getting my feet tattooed by the talented, Ran Maclurkin.

After two hours this was the result -

Outline and shading of the Dia De Los Muertos gypsy girl and Medusa.

Two weeks later I returned to have them finished.

A year later and I still look down, amazed at what can be done with a needle and ink.

Tattoo Etiquette

It is strange to think that not too many years ago people were apprehensive about approaching tattooed people. They were labelled as scary and dangerous.

With society now much more accepting, due to a change in mind set brought forth by positive representations in the media, people are appreciating the body art on people around them.

While this change is good, there are some negatives. Some people have a “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” attitude which would be fine if I wasn’t busy working, serving customers. having a visible tattoo and working in retails means I encounter hundreds of people on a daily basis. And I see all sorts of body art; from the good, to the bad and the downright ugly.

Most customers are un-phased by my tattoo, and go about their business without making a comment. On the whole those who do comment have nothing but complimentary things to say. It’s nice that something as simple as a peony flower tattoo opens up a dialogue between two people. Art is a powerful thing.

But there is a time and place for such conversations, and me working is not the time nor the place for it. It is those select few people who occupy my mind space. On more than one occasion that I have had a customer grab my arm, pulling it towards themselves simply in order to get a closer look at my tattoo. I don’t know when invading someone’s personal space became a part of social etiquette.

Not only is it extremely rude to touch a complete stranger without asking, but to do it while they are working is unnecessary and disruptive.

Perhaps it has come time to add some social etiquette tips to accommodate the ever-growing number of people with tattoos….

Tattoo Etiquette Tip # 1 –

If you wish to admire a persons tattoo closer, use your manners and ask them politely. They’ll either say yes, and you can look without touching. Or they’ll say no and you’ll have to admire it from afar instead.

Tattoo Etiquette Tip #2 –

Just because you and the person you are talking to have tattoos, it does not mean you must show off your tattoos. A one minute conversation with a stranger does not constitute a friendship or relationship of any sorts. Generally people do not lift their shirts in public in front of someone they have just met.

Tattoos are meant to be for yourself, not something to ‘show off’ to the world to present yourself as some tough badass; because chances are you’re not tough at all.

Just appreciate tattoos for what they are – art. And just like in art museums, look but don’t touch.

Celebrating The One Year Anniversary of The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana podcast

 It has been one year since Colt Cabana first brought us The Art of Wrestling Podcast: “A professional wrestling podcast, a life podcast, a personal journal, an entry way into the minds, the souls, the hearts and the lives of people involved in the world of professional wrestling.”

But who is Colt Cabana? I’ll let him tell you: “I am a Chicago native, a podcaster, an entertainer, small businessman, an entrepreneur and a professional wrestler.”

The Art of Wrestling podcast shines the spotlight on the independent wrestling scene; Colt Cabana finds a way to draw the most entertaining stories out of his guests. His close bonds with these guys, and girls, who he has met, and maintained friendships with over the years, gives the listeners insight into the inner workings of the wrestling industry. Their passion for wrestling, despite the setbacks at times, is what makes this podcast so enthralling. The honest and comedic stories told with such charisma displays the characteristics of natural born performers.

This podcast has filled a void in the social marketing/media of wrestling. Instead of fans podcasting or blogging about their thoughts on the weeks wrestling action, with the occasional appearance of an actual wrestler, the Art of Wrestling is hosted by a veteran of the wrestling industry. Give Colt Cabana a microphone and one of his many friends (and fellow wrestlers) and what you get is an hour of no holds barred, honest and insightful content.

Colt’s personality shines through each week. He’s a real guy with many of the same problems that we face, but he always manages to do it with a smile on his face. He has such positivity and drive to succeed, traits we could all use a little more of.

Success isn’t defined by how much money you’re making, but by the life experiences and stories that you share with others. He and these wrestlers are out living life, travelling, wrestling, entertaining people, making the most of the time they have. These are not shoot interviews, but simply a place for wrestlers to reminisce about the amazing (and not so amazing) experiences they’ve had as wrestlers. Their stories are all different, they’ve come from different backgrounds, idolised different wrestlers growing up, but all share that common bond of living their dream; that of being a professional wrestler.

Listen to Episode 7 to find out why Adam Pearce affectionately refers to Colt as Shit Pockets. In Episode 20, Austin Aries and Colt share an interesting, but mostly awkward, story about the older gentleman they met whilst sitting in a hot tub together. Or there is Episode 15 where you find out why Matt Cross almost ended up in prison as a teenager. Roderick Strong tells of father’s mid-life crisis in Episode 17 and how it ended up with them wrestling in Jim Neidhart’s backyard. X-Pac, Jimmy Jacobs, Zack Gowen, and Cassandro’s stories, in Episodes 12, 14, 24, and 32 respectively, are hard-hitting and revealing of where they could have easily given up, but have overcome obstacles and turned their lives around.

It is these stories and experiences that are what makes the Art of Wrestling unique and a compelling listen week after week. A new found respect for independent wrestlers is what I have drawn from these podcasts. After having little to no access to wrestling for the past five years, my passion is now reignited. Stripping back all the huge production elements of the big name companies, I remember what I loved about wrestling; the competition, the athleticism, the good vs. bad storylines, and being so immersed in a match that I forget about the world around me. These guys truly put their hearts and bodies on the line whenever they step into the ring.

I think many forget or are ignorant to the wrestling industry outside of TNA and WWE. The independent wrestling scene needs continued support from us, the fans. These wrestlers are constantly out on the road, going from city to city, trying to make a living for themselves and their families, by offering us their talent in the form of entertainment. Go out to a local show, buy some merchandise and show your love that exists purely to entertain the fans.

This podcast is a form of entertainment, and in other aspects of our life we would pay for said entertainment. It’s not about forcing people into buying something, but thinking about it in a larger sense; the more people who support Colt (by sharing the podcast with friends, or buying merchandise), the longer he can continue to do the podcast. So, please go to http://www.coltmerch.com and buy a poster, a button, a T-shirt or a DVD, and help support Colt continue living his dream, and entertaining us all along the way.

Favourite Songs of the Week

“Land of 1000 Dances” by the 1986 WWF Roster
Episode 2
(6:48 – 11:14)  

“Be a Man, Hogan” by Macho Man Randy Savage
Episode 17
(9:55 – 12:47)

“I’m Your Man” by Rowdy Roddy Piper
Episode 20
(11:25 – 14:18)

“Grandma Versus The Crusher” by Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
 Episode 35
(8:23 – 12:23)

Favourite Quote

“Spandex, baby oil and boner control; the three most important things to being a pro-wrestler” – Colt Cabana (Episode 10 – opening monologue)

Websites
www.welovecolt.com
www.coltmerch.com
www.youtube.com/user/ColtCabanaWrestling
www.twitter.com/ColtCabana

Issue Seven – Inked Australia/New Zealand Magazine Review

(Originally posted 22/05/2011)

Issue Seven – Inked Australia/New Zealand Magazine Review

Issue 7 of Inked Australia/NZ magazine hit the shelves on May 4th. While Issue 6 was an all tattoo artist issue, Issue 7 is more heavily focused on some amazingly talented musicians, who just happen to be adorned in some equally impressive ink. Sabina Kelley was lucky enough to snag the cover (along with a feature in the magazine), being a favourite of men and women in the world of tattoos.

This is quite possibly my favourite ever Sabina Kelley photo spread; beautiful photos of a gorgeous woman. There’s nothing trashy about them, the photographs in themselves are pieces of art, with the subject herself (Sabina) adorned with art in the form of tattoos. These photos are classy and different to what is often splashed across the pages of less prestigious tattoo magazines. 

Sabina mentioned in the interview that she hasn’t had the support of her family due to her life and career choices. Being the strong and determined person she is, she has managed to create a life and career for herself which she loves and continues to excel in. Sabina is clearly much more than a pretty face. She is happily married, mother to three children who love her, intelligent, a skilled laser tattoo removalist, model, dancer, business woman, and respected by her peers.

Over the course of her career she has done so much, yet still has the drive and ambition to achieve more. Inked Australia/NZ has got it right, Sabina Kelley is Super Woman; someone all tattooed and non-tattooed women alike can look up to.

Issue Six – Inked Australia/New Zealand Magazine Review

(Originally posted 14/03/2011)

Issue Six – Inked Australia/New Zealand Magazine Review

This magazine has turned into something much bigger than I think many expected. With some many tattoo magazines on the market, produced both here in Australia and worldwide, Inked Australia has managed to find their niche and continue to impress with each issue.

It is more than simply a tattoo magazine, with some photos of tattoos done by Australian artists. It is a step inside the tattoo world, which even those of us with tattoos will never have the true chance to experience. The magazine goes deeper and finds the inspirations and other passions of the tattoo artists. These people are multi-dimensional, with the extraordinary talent to be able to paint, sculpt, play music, and, of course, the ability to draw and transfer the subject matter onto a persons skin. This is prime exposure for these artists, as they are featured alngside people they admire, in a magazine celebrating great tattoos and amazing art work.

While many people still refuse to accept tattooing as a form of art, the numbers of people who do are surely growing.
Who needs to go to an art museum when there are so many walking, living and breathing canavses out there, with art covering their own bodies? People are learning what a good tattoo is versus a bad one. They are understanding that cost should not play a factor when getting tattooed. The talent of the artist outweighs any financial issue.

I have been exposed to artists I have never heard of, and love that I am learning while being mesmerised by art like I have never seen before. Inked Magazine is celebrating and promoting talent, so lets all enjoy it while the artists are still around.

I Want Wrestling – How David Lagana is changing how we watch wrestling.

I Want Wrestling is a social media movement created by former WWE writer and ROH for HD Net producer, David Lagana. Since its creation in January it has spawned a website, podcast and gained an almost cult-like following on Twitter. The internet is abuzz with people saying “I Want Wrestling.”

I was fortunate enough to attend Wrestle Reunion 5 in Los Angeles at the beginning of the year. It was at the Ring Of Honor Q& A session that I first heard of David Lagana.  That weekend really opened my eyes to the real world of wrestling, and how important fans are in keeping these precious wrestling memories alive. The passion and love these men still have for this sport shines through.

In the seven months since I Want Wrestling was launched, it has gained over 20,000 followers on Twitter.  Lagana and the I Want Wrestling movement are delving further into the world of professional wrestling, straying from the format and content of other wrestling sites and podcasts on the internet.   It is not about attacking the wrestlers themselves, but constructive criticism regarding the storylines and the amount of air time which is spent showing actual wrestling. There are already far too many negative sites filled with rumours. I Want Wrestling is about starting a conversation, a positive one. It is the cold hard facts, transforming the online wrestling community’s views.

Lagana uses his social networking tools and legion of followers to help promote struggling artists and athletes, products and companies which he believes wrestling fans should be aware of. I Want Wrestling has given hope to people who had given up on WWE and TNA. There are alternatives out there.

Being a script writer for the WWE was a childhood dream that Lagana got to eventually fulfil, working for the company from 2002 – 2008. Lagana knows the inner workings of the WWE. He is dispelling the rumours and misconceptions people have about former and current WWE creative writers. The little control they have over the product makes them unfair targets. The writers don’t make the match bookings; they have to work with what is given to them.  In the end it ultimately comes down to those in charge/power and the wrestlers themselves.

Working for the WWE is a demanding job – little social life, long days and nights and extensive travel. The WWE doesn’t have an off-season, nor do the writers. An ordinary person could not do this job, it is not as easy as it seems. With his contacts throughout the wrestling community it makes for varied views and intelligent discussions on his podcasts, Formerly Creative, Promote This and Press the Press.

There are still some people who choose to use the Internet to attack Lagana, using their anonymity as a shield. But it seems now the majority of people have gotten to know Lagana, from his work in Ring of Honor and with I Want Wrestling that they now see his vision and have gotten behind the I Want Wrestling movement. Fans have even taken to bringing @Lagana signs to WWE events and starting “I Want Wrestling” chants during WWE and TNA broadcasts.

Sometimes wrestling fans are their own worst enemies. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the product, they read spoilers and visit wrestling “news” and rumour sites that carry no merit. Many have over-analysed all that is happening with CM Punk at the moment. We all know that the match winners are predetermined, so why ruin that last bit of uncertainty by reading the spoilers and then complaining about the show once you watch it? You’re ruining the surprise and the entertainment for yourself.

The point that Lagana continues to reiterate is “if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” If WWE and TNA continue to garner solid ratings each week, then nothing will change with the product. We, the people, have the power to create change, by speaking with our money. By not tuning in each week, not buying the PPVs, merchandise and tickets, it sends a message. Personally, I’d much rather find a product that delivers me quality matches than pointlessly complaining about one which I do not enjoy.

In a way CM Punk and Lagana are alike. They’re giving a voice to the voiceless, letting others be heard for once, and helping mould the future of wrestling. I Want Wrestling has given fans a forum to discuss what they want to see in the wrestling industry, and it is clear to see that the entertainment side (10 minute promos) and 5 minute matches is not what people want.

Lagana has opened up people’s eyes and is directing them back to what is important in wrestling. More people are aware of the other options out there, and the independent wrestling scene is sure to benefit from his words of wisdom.