“And then she showed me the back room where she took all of her clothes off. “

The first time is always so magical, like when Johnny Depp and Tim Burton teamed up for the first time with Edward Scissorhands. It was the film that took Johnny from being a teen heartthrob, to the quirky actor we know today.

Portrait by Mick Gray from Shades of Gray Tattoo in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

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Movember Memorial

In addition to being a month dedicated to facial hair, Movember is also a month for testicular and prostate cancer awareness.  Granted all cancers are bad, but like breast cancer, early screenings can help reduce the number of lives lost every year, which is what the awareness campaigns are all about.  Now for this memorial tattoo, a client of Jackie Rabbit‘s lost his father to cancer after battling it for many years.  While I don’t know exactly what type of cancer it was, what I do know is that this particular portrait was chosen as it depicts his father at one of the happiest times of his life.  He wanted to remember him not as the frail person he became at the end, but rather the man that was full of life and joy that he knew so well.

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If you started to follow a trail of breadcrumbs this week, you may have ended up at Star City Tattoo in Roanoke, Va.  You see, Jackie Rabbit has been working on a special piece for a client who is a big architecture buff.  This client had taken a trip to Europe many years ago and fell in love with architecture, specifically the works of Antoni Gaudi.  One piece in particular stood out in her mind, the gingerbread house from the entrance to Park Güell in Barcelona, so that’s what she asked Jackie to recreate in tattoo form.

We can do it!

So Monday night I was out at the bar with some friends and we were talking about just how difficult it can be for female tattoo artists to be taken seriously, especially at the beginning of their careers.  One friend in particular talked about how at one of the first studios she worked at, the owner would call her “Tits McGee” and ask her to take part in wet-t-shirt contests to promote the shop.  To think that we’ve come so far as a civilization that the idea of a female president is a topic of serious discussion, yet female tattoo artists still have to work twice as hard just to be recognized for their talent and not their “assets”.  Jackie Rabbit from Star City Tattoo in Roanoke, VA is another artist who, like my friend, had to work her ass off to be taken seriously as an artist.  So when a client came into the shop and requested a Rosie the Riveter tattoo it meant a lot to her.  Here’s what Jackie had to say.

I dont know the significance this tattoo has for its owner but I know it has a lot of meaning to me and was very proud to do this classic symbol of female strength. It can be very hard to feel strong in the “boys club” that is the tattoo industry. It has gotten better over the years but that isnt saying much. I got my apprenticeship at 14 and was second chair by 16. When I struck out into the world and started traveling I found it very hard to be taken seriously when in most studios (particularly at the time) the only place for a woman was as shop girl eye-candy. It has been a struggle to be seen for my work instead of my sex and my age. I have now found a wonderful studio where I am comfortable and respected. I may still be the youngest and only girl in the studio but all that matters is my personality and my work. I love you Roger and all the Star City crew. Im so glad that I have finally found a forever home <3