Traditional Japanese Tebori Tattooing

If you’ve always wanted to get a traditional hand poked tattoo but haven’t been able to make the trek to Japan, now is your chance. The Gomineko crew will be back in the Southern Hemisphere, attending the Melbourne Tattoo & Body Art Expo and the NZ Tattoo & Art Festival in November.

I was fortunate to experience tebori earlier this year at the Rites of Passage Festival. I got a Bakeneko/Nekomata tattoo from Horishin which was tattooed using the tebori hand poking method and the modern tattoo machine. You can read more about my experience here.

I was hoping to get a Kawauso tattooed on my other calf next month, however paying bills (unfortunately) comes before tattoos. I’m looking forward to being able to watch the Gomineko crew in action this time around. There’s just something all the more special about being tattooed using the same traditional methods as people centuries ago.

If you can’t make it to either expo, the Gomineko website has an extensive range of Japanese tattoo reference books which they ship worldwide.

The book topics include:

  • Plants/flowers
  • Buddhist imagery
  • Monsters/Demons
  • Animals
  • Geisha
  • Kimono patterns
  • Sketchbooks
  • Goth Lolita

If you’re interested in getting a traditional Japanese tebori piece, contact Crystal via email:


Tesselaar Tulip Festival


Today I travelled to Silvan, in what felt like the middle of nowhere, to attend the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. What has that to do with tattoos you ask?

Spending the day surrounded by so many beautiful colours, I couldn’t help but be inspired. There were sculptures scattered around the farm which made me think of art, which led to me thinking about tattoos on the drive home.

I’ve finally decided on the design for my left arm sleeve. I’m going with a loose Japanese theme, with flowers such as chrysanthemums, lotus, cherry blossoms, dahlias, daisies, hydrangea, iris and lilies, incorporating them with my existing peony flower on my wrist. I’ll also have some dark clouds in the background to really make the flowers look vibrant.

Now comes the fun part of deciding on a tattoo artist and the not-so fun part of saving for the tattoo.


Where do you draw inspiration from for your tattoos?


Check out some of my favourite photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


How much does the alpaca look like Napoleon Dynamite?


The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is running only for another week. For more details click here.

Awful Modifications

I was browsing the Awful Modifications Tumblr page this morning when I came across this photo:

Look familiar? If you’ve been following my blog since September last year, then you would know that I got tattooed by Craigy Lee at the Melbourne Tattoo Expo. You can read the full post here.

Other than the Hold Fast banner, this is a direct copy of my tattoo.

Craigy Lee gifted me with the two original sketches that he did for this custom design. Since this design has already been stolen, I won’t post a photo of them.

I don’t know what compels people to steal tattoo designs from other people. But if you are going to do so, at least go to a decent tattoo artist, not some backyard scratcher.

That person will have to live with that terrible tattoo on their body for the rest of their life. That is punishment enough.