Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Drop of Joel


Name: Joel

Age: 35

Im of Maori origin from Auckland NZ,  I body pierced at Dermagraphics in Ponsonby from 1999 – 2004 under the late Phil Matthias.
I’m now married and live in Spain and have two boys 2 and 6 years of age, I speak 3 languages.
My main interests are Ancient History of Asian, Egyptian, American Indian, Maori and Polynesian.
I am currently learning the three levels of Reiki and then hope to complete my masters, I work with computers, self-employed…
I have travelled all over Europe, India, Egypt, North Africa, Australia, Pacific Islands..
I love to surf, go to the gym, anything outdoors, and hang with my boys.
I despise politics and politicians, I am a very spiritual person, I hate conflicts.

How many tattoos do you have: I have a lot of tattoos, mainly big themes, 250 hours of work…
I have full front and back, two half sleeves, one full sleeve on the left leg, full calf and shin on the right and full quad on the right..

Age when you got your first tattoo: 21

Do you have a favourite tattoo?: No, all my tattoos are my favourites, they represent my beliefs, interests, and they basically show who I am…

Any more tattoos planned?: Eventually I would like to finish both my half sleeves on my arms to full sleeves, I’d like to have two portraits of my sons with their chinese animal year tattooed in the background Asian styles on my right sleeve to continue the same theme and im still thinking on the rest….

Favourite style of tattooing?: Japanese and Maori are my favorites

Any other modifications?: Nipple, Navel, Labret, 2 x 14mm stretches


What is your tattoo story?: Well I was a body piercer and I have always had a passion for tattoos, being Maori it is really part of my culture, I basically wanted to tattoo my main passions being Asian, Maori, Egyptian, American Indian and Manga…
I have a lot of ancient magical  symbols tattooed, mainly Egyptian, I believe our body is only a vessel and we are always learning lessons from our past lives to eventually obtaining enlightenment…

I have a big Batman and Batgirl (half sleeve – upper left leg), I got this as Batman was my childhood hero and still kind of is, everything he represents...

My right arm which consists of a fire dragon and chinese letters for dragon with Maori korus tattooed in the background represent the year I was born in and my culture.


My left arm consists of the all seeing eye in the pyramid surrounded by the son and on the bottom hieroglyphics, the Ankh, reversed pyramid and the scarab which is represent eternal protection in the afterlife.. this tattoo also has the Maori korus tattooed in the background.


Inside left bicep is my son's name Kairo, he is named after the Cairo in Egypt..

My back starts at the base with a ancient Japanese bat ( I love bats ) and above it a lotus and rising from the lotus a Chinese dragon winding up the middle of my back to the top with a ninja head each side. I have a warrior in the middle who is surrounded by all the others with two Chinese symbols meaning 7 sins, my back represents my inner strength and will...



On the top of my back I have big dragon scales and Japanese tattooed from left to right..

My front is all Egyptian, a big pyramid with a tomb entrance, with stairs leading up and guarded by the two cobras down below, in the centre of my chest I have an alien head which goes into smoke to reveal the two mummies holding chains in their mouths on each side of my upper chest and beside them, an ankh and Egyptian scorpion.


I won the NZ Tattoo Convention for Best Front in 2003 for this. This tattoo mainly expresses my beliefs that Ancient Egyptians were connected somehow with alien or another force higher than ourselves..

My right calf is Maori tikis representing my culture and a symbol of good luck and strength

My left calf is an American Indian raven war bird or the Sun god in American Indian mythology, another symbol of protection



On my shin on the left and right are both Manga girls, on the left in a bikini surrounded by a wave, she is hot and on the right Chun Li from Street fighter, I always played her and she fits in with the Japanese theme well.


On my right quad, a samurai also tying in the Japanese history theme that I like.

On the back of my neck I have infinity tattooed in Chinese….


That about covers it, but my tattoos are for me , they are not tough stickers, it is art designed by me for me and is very personal, tattooing is a very spiritual process and that has been proven through all the different cultures through the ages…



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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Vikings

Like many ancient civilisations the Vikings provide massive inspiration for body art, people wanting to represent their heritage or displaying an enthusiasm for the culture. Viking themed tattoos are not uncommon in modern tattoo art, a simple Google Image search of "viking tattoo" will bring up thousands of intricate depictions of Norse gods, Nordic runes, warrior men with plaits and flowing beards wearing horned helms.


The question that I have been asked and come across in my research is whether or not the Vikings themselves were tattooed. The  have proved to be some of the most difficult on whom to collate information on their tattooing. It is only over the past few hundred years with photography and tattoos becoming more common that we have been able to see solid records of tattooing.  When a body breaks down, the skin is one of the first things to decay and the Vikings themselves did nothing to assist in the preservation of their body art. A traditional Viking burial generally involved cremation so the only tangible evidence that we have of Viking era Scandinavians is if one had fallen into the ice and been preserved.

The Viking’s, the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the late eighth to the early eleventh century. The Norsemen used their famed long ships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. This period of Viking expansion is known as the Viking Age, and forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles and Europe in general. At some point in history the Vikings met the Scythians. The Scythians themselves had been all the way to Europe to plunder and ravage. The Scythians' way of seeing things influenced the way the Vikings worked their crafts - and tattoos. The Vikings left few written records behind but their surviving artwork shows they had many important designs and symbols. The original meaning of most Viking symbols remains a mystery to this day. Viking symbols range from complex knot work designs to ancient pictograms like crosses, swastikas and triskeles.


Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, the 10th Century Arab explorer provided some of the earliest and most quoted data on the Norsemen. Saying in his travels that he had come across hat has later been supposed as the earlisest recording of Vikings. They are described as having bodies tall as (date) palm-trees, with blond hair and ruddy skin. They are tattooed from "fingernails to neck" with dark blue or dark green "tree patterns" and other "figures"

Due to the lack of tangible records, there is no way for us to know exactly what the Vikings tattooed, whether they tattooed images of their gods or Norse symbols. There are reports that they would paint runes on themselves but short of Ibn Fadlan's report there is no evidence to show us what designs were used.


Images: Tattoos sampoerna, new car information
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