Tattoo Boulevard

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TATTOO MAINTENANCE

How to Care For a New Tattoo

Whether it’s your first tattoo or your tenth, you want to make sure that you know how to care for it properly once you get it.  Proper care will ensure that once your tattoo has healed, there won’t be any faded areas or missing lines, and it will also guarantee that you are as comfortable as you can be with your new masterpiece, so that it doesn’t hurt or itch more than what’s to be expected. Your inner showboat also wants to strut your new art, and if you follow this guide, you will have a great tattoo that you can show off for the rest of your life.  You may even want to submit it to Tattoo Boulevard and get all our readers itching for some new ink.

Removing the Bandage from Your New Tattoo

The tattoo artist will most likely place some Vaseline or some type of ointment on your new tattoo as soon as it’s finished, and will then cover it with either a clear plastic or sterile gauze, securing it with medical tape. This bandage is meant to stop any of the bleeding that can occur in the first few hours after getting inked. Make sure you leave this bandage on for at least four to six hours after the completion of your tattoo so that it has time to stop any bleeding that may have occurred. When you do remove it, remove it slowly and gently, as your skin will be very sensitive at this point.  Gently wash your new tattoo with a mild soap, and when you dry it, use a clean towel to pat it dry – no rubbing now!

Keeping Your New Tattoo Moist

Once you’ve washed it for the first time, and then two to three times a day afterwards, you will need to apply some kind of ointment to it to keep the skin moist and promote healing. Make sure that the ointment you are using contains vitamin E so that it not only heals faster, but also protects the skin while it’s applied. Be generous with the ointment and make sure to apply it gently. Extremely dry skin over the tattoo and around it is completely normal, so just make sure to keep it moist, as it is one of the biggest factors in ensuring that a new tattoo looks the best it possibly can once it’s healed. Taking care of a new tattoo is easy as long as you keep it clean and moisturized.

What NOT To Do With Your New Tattoo

There are a few things that you must avoid doing while taking care of your new tattoo so that it can heal properly. Having dry skin on and around your new tattoo is normal, but don’t scratch or itch at it or it could cause the scabs to come off prematurely. If this happens, it can leave parts of the tattoo exposed to sunlight and other things that could pull some of the color out of your skin, affecting the appearance of the tattoo once it’s healed. Make sure to stay out of direct sunlight, or to cover the tattoo lightly if you will be out in the sun for a long period of time.  Also avoid swimming and chlorinated water, and last but not least, depending on the location where your tattoo is, avoid abrasive clothing which can rub against your tattoo and cause it to scratch.

Krysha Mayer

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ORIGINAL ART

 

For your viewing pleasure, we offer this stunning and surreal sketch, created exclusively for Tattoo Boulevard by a rising  artist. Just check out that detail. Amazing!

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FEATURED ART

For our first “Featured Art” piece, we’ve decided to go with this brash foray into surrealism called “Chessland” by artist Joel Dayao of the Philippines.

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STREET POETRY

Body Modification                                                               

The needle looms precariously close,                                                   
hovering with delicate precision,
over the human canvas.
Innately, the body is a work of art,
as much as a flower or a tree,
so is change not a blasphemy?

There is a tree that sits near me with
foliage spread wide and proud.
The trunk is gnarled and mighty.
The roots are tethered to
emerald green and welcoming black
while the utmost branches scrape the sky.
The tree is immense and welcoming
with the wise words of ages long gone
inscribed on its hallowed trunk.
“We may go where we want
and we may want what we know
but what we need is some love
and a place to call home.”

The needle touches skin with gentle pain,
immortal splendor and, infinite majesty.
Change is the ultimate homage to eternity,
so why not change yourself forever?

LostForMeaning

“Body Modification” was written for Tattoo Boulevard by LostForMeaning, a very talented and poetic writer from the Deviant Art forum.

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STALKING THE PIXIES

Rock n’ roll isn’t dead, but it certainly seems to be in a rut. The bigger than life eighties and the creative swagger of the nineties have taken a backseat to more mainstream radio stars, and although acts such as The Dead Weather and Arcade Fire continue to release quality music, alternative rock fans feel sense of longing that the Jonas Brothers just won’t heal.

    It’s when they casually flip through their CD collection and come across a copy of Surfer Rosa or Doolittle that the wave of mutilation sweeps through them, and everything becomes clear – the Pixies still don’t have a new album out.

    The Pixies, those supremely talented legends of alternative rock that left the world a string of classics such as “Debaser” and “Where is my Mind”, shook the music world with their surprising reunion in 2004.

    Their 2004 reunion tour was one of the year’s big success stories, with the band (Frank Black, Kim Deal, Joe Santiago, and David Lovering) actually seeming to gain popularity over the decade since their initial break up back in 1993. Vocalist/Guitarist, Frank Black, was said to be surprised by the amount of kids lining up to catch their shows during the course of the tour and observers noted that the fan base had transformed into a mixture of new, younger fans (many of which may have been introduced to the band through the memorable climax in the film, Fight Club, in which ‘Where is my Mind’ played over a crumbling city), and older listeners from back in the band’s heyday in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

    Many of the newer fans weren’t even born when a young Frank Black and Joey Santiago placed an ad in a Boston newspaper back in 1985. They were looking for a bassist that liked both Peter, Paul and Mary and hardcore pioneers, Husker Du. Kim Deal was the only one to respond, and later recommended a drummer named David Lovering that she had met at her wedding reception.

    Their hip combination of punk and surf rock caught the attention of producer Gary Smith, which allowed the band to produce an 18 track demo (known as the Purple Tape due to the purple background of its cover). The band was then signed by 4AD and eight tracks from the Purple tape went on to form the band’s debut, Come on Pilgrim.

      Come On Pilgrim debuted many of The Pixies trademark sounds, such as the use of Spanish lyrics, Frank Black’s screaming vocals, and the erratic guitar work of Joey Santiago. Throw in Kim Deal’s bass and personality, along with Lovering’s potent drumming, and the world was introduced to the bands infamous wide dynamics that would become their trademark and influence a generation of rockers such as Nirvana.

    The highly acclaimed follow up, Surfer Rosa, holds a special place in the hearts of alternative fans everywhere. It’s raw, stripped down sound is an eternal reminder that a large budget and slick production is no match for uninhibited creativity.  Both Melody Maker and Sounds named it Album of the Year, which opened the door for the band to sign with Elektra Records.

     Doolittle was their first major label release and a timeless classic that no deserted island should be without, with songs such as “Debaser” and “Here Comes Your Man” sounding as vital today as when they were first recorded. The album has become a fixture on many “Best of lists” and is undoubtedly The Pixies’ signature achievement.

   Unfortunately, it was after the Doolittle tour that the band began to self destruct. The increasing conflict between Kim Deal and Frank Black came to a head, and after two more albums(Bossonova and Trompe le Monde), the band officially split in 1993. The four members hadn’t played together again, until that fateful reunion in 2004.

    The comeback spawned one new original song (Bam Thwok), one song for a Warren Zevon tribute album (Ain’t That Pretty At All), and several DVD’s. One of the DVD’s is a documentary called ‘Loud QUIET Loud – A Film about the Pixies’, which chronicles the band dealing with such personal issues as parenthood and finances.

      Since then, there have been appearances at a few festivals, along with rumours of a new album to maintain a sense of hope for the band’s faithful. Apparently, one of the glitches in the plan for a new album is Kim Deal’s fear that the quality of the music won’t be up to their old standards, and thus, their legacy would be damaged. Frank Black has stated that there will not be a new album unless Kim Deal is on board.

    The legacy does, without a doubt, cast a very large shadow, especially since the first three albums are bona fide classics and the group’s long time supporters would also cringe at a less than stellar effort. The talent should still be there, though, since most of the band’s members (with the exception of David Lovering, who became a professional magician) have continued to release albums for their own various projects over the years.

    Frank Black’s solo career has produced ten albums, many of which are critically acclaimed such as Teenager of the Year and Black Letter Days. Joey Santiago also gained critical applause as a member of The Martini’s, with his wife, Linda Mallari. The greatest commercial triumph was saved for Kim Deal as a member of The Breeders. The platinum success of Last Splash allowed the group (which also included her twin sister, Kelley) to open for Nirvana and headline Lallopolooza.

     The group has individually managed to remain creatively active over the years, and the success of their concert appearances prove that the vitality and mystique of The Pixies is stronger than ever. They should be able to shake the rust off the old magic and put out the quality album fans crave.

   Several events in 2009 breathed new hope into a full fledged return to glory. After all, the band released Minotaur, an essential box set of their previous albums and bonus artwork, and embarked on a small European tour in honour of the 20th anniversary of the release of Doolittle. Most importantly, Frank Black announced the band would once again return to the studio to record a new full length album sometime in 2010. Hope finally turned to optimism, but after a recent cancellation of a gig in Tel Aviv, all bets are off.

    The mystery continues and the reunion no one ever thought would happen has continued to taunt fans and left them hoping that they haven’t heard the last of The Pixies. No one can blame them, though. Sometimes you just don’t realize how much you miss something until it comes back to tease you.

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TATTOO BOULEVARD ON BROADWAY

Our first appearance in New York never received the fanfare of the Beatles or the Stones, but we were ecstatic to see our name amongst the bright lights of Times Square nonetheless……… and who knows,  maybe we’ll even make it onto one of the billboards one day. Of course, we also believe a UFO crashed in Roswell and elves live in Suburbia.

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COMIC CANDY

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WHAT IF?

Everything about James Dean seemed to define rebellion and free thought, from the cigarettes that often dangled from his mouth to his love of fast cars and motorcycles.  He died much too young and lived in an era where tattoos were considered almost sinful, but if he had been born about thirty years later, one would imagine that this icon of teenage angst would have ambled into a tattoo parlour at least once, and who knows…..  he may have even taken Natalie Wood with him.

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DEMYSTIFYING TATTOOS II

Tattoos & Their Meanings

Tattoo designs are almost as endless as the stars, and in fact, the creative possibilities of a design is only limited by the artist themselves. If someone can think it and draw it, then it can be tattooed. Countless tattoos are born of deep personal meanings based on such ideals as family and heritage, but many designs have a more traditional meaning or historical value to them based on decades, and sometimes even centuries, of use. Knowing the symbolic meaning of a tattoo design is essential when planning to get inked. You don’t want to regret your decision when you find the true meaning of your tattoo is not what you thought it was or meant it to be.

Tribal Designs

Tribal designs are by far the most common type of tattoo design. Tribal tattoos can be based on Polynesian, Aboriginal, or Native American designs. You may also find some based on Maori or Haida culture as well. There are so many historical tribe designs to be discovered that being creative is certainly encouraged.

Angel, Wing, Fairy & Butterfly Designs

Angel, fairy and butterfly tattoo designs all have one thing in common – wings. Angel or wing tattoos typically signify devotion or spirituality but can also stand for guidance and protection if your faith is not what spurred the idea of an angel or wing tattoo. Fairies are traditionally used to express magic, folklore and childlike innocence. Many fairy tattoos are whimsical and fun. Mostly a feminine favorite, butterfly tattoos are used to express colorful freedom, and a oneness with nature.

Lion Designs

Lions are strong, powerful, formidable creatures, and a tattoo of one symbolizes many, if not all, of the same qualities. Lions are popular in Far Eastern mythology and as Chinese and Japanese tattoo designs have increased in popularity in the West, so has the popularity in lion tattoos. Lion designs are also used to represent the Leo, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Rose & Lotus Designs

The rose tattoos in the West and the lotus tattoos in the East have almost identical symbolic meanings of pure love. Rose and lotus tattoos are very popular choices for both men and women, although women’s rose or lotus tattoos tend to be softer with more muted colors.

Heart Designs

Heart tattoo designs seem to have always been a popular choice for both men and women. World War II saw a boom of heart designs that were meant to be a reminder of the loved ones they had left behind at home. With a heart tattoo you can signify love of family, friends, or even that special someone. Heart tattoos are one of the most popular, but are now mostly used as an element of larger or more complicated pieces.

Tiger Designs

Tigers can symbolize everything from passion and sensuality to cruelty and wrath. A tattoo design of a tiger usually takes on the meaning that the wearer associates with it. Many Japanese style tigers are popular today and are popular now all over the world.

Flower Designs

Roses are a flower all their own, but tattoo designs of any other flower take on the meaning that that flower has when given to someone. For example, a pink carnation stands for gratitude and a daisy for innocence. Make sure you know the meaning of the flower you are using as a tattoo before you get it done so that you can tell people what it means when they ask, and you are okay with the flower’s symbolic meaning.

Krysha Mayer

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THE FIRST TIME

How to Get Your First Tattoo

A tattoo, when done right, can be very meaningful and beautiful, but when done incorrectly or without the proper research and soul searching, it can be a lifetime reminder of a terrible mistake. You need to make sure that when you’re getting your first tattoo, you are making the right decision and getting it done at a reputable and clean shop. You can ask your friends who have tattoos where they had them done or you can do a search on the internet, but you are still going to have to do some legwork if you want to get the best first tattoo ever. These are just a few simple steps to make sure that your dream to have a beautiful tattoo comes true.

The Right Design

You may already have a pretty good idea of the type of design you are looking for, but knowing exactly what you want now can save a lot of headache later. Look at tattoo pictures and sketches on the internet, and if you’re an artist, try sketching or drawing out the design yourself. Don’t be afraid to sketch it right on your skin in the approximate location on your body where you would put the tattoo to gauge the sizing of it. Even if you are looking up designs online, try tracing it onto paper and then coloring it in with different color patterns to see what would look best, and what fits you and the design the best. The most important thing to consider when picking the design is why you are getting it. Make sure you are getting this tattoo for the right reasons.

The Right Place

Deciding where to put your first tattoo is almost as important as the tattoo design. You need to ask yourself questions such as: do I want this to be visible all the time or easily hidden? Or do I have enough space in the place I want it for the tattoo to look the best it possibly can? You will also need to ask about your pain threshold, since more ‘fleshy’ areas of your body won’t hurt as much as getting a tattoo in a bony area like your ankle, chest, or back. There are a lot of factors when deciding where the best place to put your first tattoo might be.

The Right Artist

Every tattoo artist has their own style and their own background with certain kinds of tattoos whether they specialize in traditional, pin-ups, Japanese, tribal, graffiti, etc. The artist that you choose to do your tattoo will largely depend on the style of tattoo you are looking for. Look at online portfolios for tattoo artists in your area, and don’t be afraid to stop in at tattoo shops and look at artist’s portfolios there since some may not have an online gallery of their past work. A tattoo artist may even offer to draw up the kind of design you are looking for so you can see exactly how it would look if done by that artist. If an offer is made to draw up your design, take the offer but let him or her know that you are still looking for the right artist so you may not end up getting it there, but that you’d really like to see what they could come up with for a draft drawing.

The Right Location

While you are going around ‘window shopping’ for your tattoo artist, also be mindful of the tattoo shops they work in. You want to make sure the shop is clean and has all the certificates that are necessary for a tattoo shop in your area. Is the shop busy and well known? You will be able to tell how reputable the shop is by how the shop is set up and by what kind of equipment and décor they have – if they are well established they will have permanent furniture and fixtures, and the place will be decorated very well and look like it’s been there awhile. You can also search for online reviews of the locations you are looking at as possibilities.

So no matter what kind of tattoo you want, or where, if you follow these simple steps to make sure you are getting the right design, in the right place, from the right artist in the right location, you will never regret your decision. Like they say, you’ll always remember your first.

Krysha Mayer

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