Page 1

April 2010 . Volume 1, Issue 1

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

Your thoughts, your words

Your words, your story My thoughts to you

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

What’s safe? What’s not? Get this or that? Where should I go? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Check out our Tattoo Tips to get a safe, original tattoo.

Disclaimer: So, I totally made that up... but it’s what I use! Feel free to use my advice anyway you see fit. Stick Aquaphor in the fridge to soothe a burning tattoo.

Created by:

Katrinka Swneson Terra Berlinski Kenny Charnell Matt Norris Matt Helmer Faye Moss Lauren Stockton Rich Rushton Stephanie Atwell

Photo Experts: Katrinka Swneson Terra Berlinski Tat Magazine 2328 42nd Street West Bradenton, FL 34207 Tat Magazine reserves the right to refuse publishing of any contributors. Advertisers are sponsors of Tat Magazine but not involved with the editorial process, excep in this issue.... But that’s a conicidence. Tat Magazine was created to show my design and writing capabilities. This is a magazine that I would love to publish on a regular basis, if I can get it up and running on a consistent basis. I have always had an interest in tattoos. They have facinated me since I was a young girl. I also enjoy getting some ink. I’ve been tattooed by both of the artists in this magazine, and I have to say they are both quite talented, and good at their trade. I want to say special thanks to my husband Chris who has put up with me through my college process. He is a source of strength for me and has pushed me to succeed throughout this process. Special thanks to Dr. Wang for being awesome. Special thanks to both Terra Berlinski and Katrinka Swenson for shooting and editing photos for me. A special thanks to all my friends who helped me along in this process. You’re help is greatly appreciated. And finally, thanks to Matt Helmer, Matt Norris, and all the tattooed moms out there for being a guinea pig in this experiement.

Photo credit. Terra Berlinski


Editor, Lydia Beljan, and her dad, Kenny Charnell; he’s never liked her tattoos.

There is a photograph of my daughter sitting on my lap outside our church on the bench of a picnic table one Easter Sunday. I’m in my suit with my pretty little girl with her alabaster skin and her long brown hair pulled back with ribbons. She is wearing a white lace dress, the sun is shining behind us, and we are both smiling ear to ear. I love that picture. I love and adore that little girl. That girl is now a 26 year old woman with TATTOOS. I hate the tattoos! She also has a husband that I like and approve of. He too has tattoos. I hate his tattoos. I’m sure that there is special place in Hell set aside for whoever was the catalyst for starting this raging epidemic of skin ink. I try to practice grace over judgment, but for this guy whoever he is I suspend the rule. I still adore my daughter. After being a husband, I’m a father first and foremost. It is one of the primary things that defines me as a person. Not loving my kids is not an option. Therein lays my problem with tattoos. Human beings are not static. They change, they move on, they acquire new information, and change their behavior accordingly. This is a good thing for us, our families, and our communities. This is called maturity, which by-theway is always in short supply no matter how old you get. A tattoo is a statement that is placed indelibly into your pigment. A statement that in time you may want to walk away from, but won’t be able to do so easily, if at all. My daughter has left that little girl way behind. She will leave the young woman she is behind also. I just fear that now that she must carry her tattoos along with her she may be stuck with a statement that in time she will no longer want to make. - Kenny Charnell Bradenton, Florida

Got something to say? Send your letters to:

2328 42nd St. W. Bradenton, FL 34207

Clothing to meet your TRASHY needs. We specialize in retro inspired designs with a fun and flirty twist.

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

“As someone who rarely talks about her religious views, this is probably one of my most in depth tattoos. The Tree of Life is a symbol found in many different cultures, each coming to their own meaning, but all deriving from life itself. This is interesting to a person who was raised with no religious background. As humans we naturally want to believe in something higher than us-but who are we to say what’s right and what’s wrong? To me, The Tree of Life simply symbolizes the beauty of mother nature. Maybe there’s more to the big picture, but this is something I know and can truly believe in.” -Lauren Stockton Bradenton, Florida

“I decided to get my tattoo in memory of my boyfriend, Brandon Fox, who passed away on May 17, 2008. I chose to adorn the fox with olive branches because they symbolize peace and forgiveness. Having his memory permanently placed on my body helped me to find peace within myself to deal with such a terrible loss and to find the strength to forgive. I wrote this poem before I went under the needle.” You were taken from us by God’s might, but I still don’t think it was right. My eyes cry thousands of tears, My heart holds hundreds of fears, My sole is now only half whole, So I close my eyes to see your smiling face, I feel to remember your warm embrace, I heal my sole to live in peace, The pain subsides when I remember, Heaven is where you’ll be until the day we can hold each other for eternity. -Faye Moss St. Petersburg, Florida

“As a bit of an over thinker, I have a hard time selecting an image with timeless meaning. I am, however, quick to associate images with past or current events. I have had a recurring dream over the past 25-years starting when

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

I was five. The vivid image, of my family separated from me by a long bridge and impressively tall stair case, has been easy to interpert. But at the same time, the mean has changed repeatedly, from bad to good. I don’t believe all tatooos have to be profound, but when it comes to permanent helps.” -Rich Rushton Bradenton, Florida

Photo credit. Faye Charnell

Worried you’re ink’s going to look bad? Don’t want to get tattooed at a gross shop? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Check the bathrooms and floors, if they’re clean chances are everything else is too.

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Matt Helmer

1. The line work, completed June 19, 2009. 2. GranLois’s last Christmas, 2007. 3. Miss Kitters on her perch, April 2008.

My most recent tattoo was done at Oddity Tattoo Studio in Sarasota, Florida. Matt Helmer, an alumnus of Ringling School of Art and Design, was finishing up his apprenticeship at the shop. He needed a few more pieces to become an artist. When I heard he was looking for work I decided to send him my idea. I’d like a zombie cat please. Why? Well, for starters, Matt’s zombie work is out of this world. I’ve seen several pieces he did, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get my own, original, Matt Helmer tattoo. We batted around a few ideas and several sketches. But on the day of my appointment, I walked into Oddity, and Matt showed me his sketch. It was a cartoon drawing of my cat. Why would you get a tattoo of your cat? Well, I rescued Miss Kitters from a group of boys who didn’t know how to handle a female cat. She was full of worms and unfixed when I got her. She needed lots of tender loving care. So after three years of caring for her and transforming her personality, her untimely January death hit me like a falling piano. She was the first pet I’d lost in adulthood. Miss Kitters had outlived her nine lives. A week later my grandmother died. She was the first grandparent I’d ever lost. I wanted to memorialize my grandmother in ink. She was the person who taught me to read. Mom didn’t like the idea. She cried when I told her my idea. I went through months of missing my grandmother and Miss Kitters. That’s why I decided to tattoo the cat on my back. Even though the correlation between my cat and my grandmother isn’t clear to everyone, it gave me peace. It gave me relief. To me this tattoo is a way to save the memories. I’ll always have them with me. They changed my life.

Visit the shop and meet the artist before you get inked, check out how she tattoos other clients. Beware of flash! Artists would much rather tattoo their own designs than one off the wall. Want special ink? A portrait? Graffiti? Wait for a specialist to pop by your shop! Some artists are better at specific styles. Drew Hall of Anna Maria Island, Florida waited months for a graffiti artist from Los Angelas to do this piece. It’s a reverserable graffiti H, for his daugther Hailey. It’s a combination of east and west coast graffiti. The ink was done at Baby Blues Tattoos in Bradenton, Florida.

Send your tattoo questions to:

2328 42nd St. W. Bradenton, FL 34207

“I guess for my dad,” Helmer said. “He rode motorcycles. I thought it was cool.” Helmer was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida. He went to Ringling College of Art and Design and got a degree in illustration. “Painting alone is not metal, tattooing is metal,” Helmer said. While he was in college, his professors made fun of him for getting such a lavish degree. “They’d say, you don’t have to go to school and pay all this money to tattoo,” Helmer said. “I like tattooing dead things,” Helmer said. “You paint and draw anything dead rather than do pretty things,” said Brittany, Helmer’s wife of almost three years. “Why can’t you do something nice?” Helmer’s wanted to tattoo since he was a kid. He said his dad is the inspiration for it because he was always fascinated with his tattoo. The Helmer’s now have a little girl, Ayden. Brittany said that Helmer will probably use a pirate sword to fend off Ayden’s future suitors. In his spare time, he watches scary movies.

Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Katrinka Swenson

7-year-old Clareese Kenniston will never get tattoos. “I’m never going to have any,” Reese said. But, it doesn’t bother her that her mom, Syndee Kenniston, has them. “They’re painful,” Reese said. “After Mommy gets a new one, it hurts her when I touch them.”

Vanessa and her son Desean, in their home.

Syndee’s arms are al-

brushed Syndee off at an

most completely covered

open house. He’s the first

with tattoos, a goal that

teacher to do that to her.

she’s been working on for

And when she goes in for

several years.

a parent/teacher confer-

“I’ve always wanted

ence, the teacher always

my arms covered with

brings up her tattoos. Re-

tattoos,” Syndee said.

ese’s other teachers have

“That’s it.”

been accepting.

It doesn’t bother Re-

“I think I’m judged by

ese that her mom might

the way I look before they

be the only mom at her

meet and get to know

school with arm tattoos.

me,” Syndee said about

Reese has a friend whose

other moms.

mom has some ink. Tattoos are becoming

Syndee is a good mom, and Reese’s behavior shows that. No other

ture. As they are gaining

mother has refused to

more acceptances in so-

let Reese go to Syndee’s

ciety, how are the mom’s

home because of her tat-


toos. Reese doesn’t think

me,” Syndee said about

she’ll ever change her

going to Reese’s school.

mind about getting a tat-

Syndee’s been asked by a teacher if her tongue has been split. The teacher said that Syndee reminded

too. She wants to be an

“I’ve always wanted to cover my arms with tattoos.”

her of a show

environmentalist or a rock star when she grows up. “I need to because no one else is,”

she’d seen; the girls had

Reese said about environ-

tattoos and split tongues.

mentalism. She wants to

The same teacher

tackle projects like trash,

Photo credit. Ian Adamski

a part of mainstream cul-

“Everyone stares at

Heather RoeAdamski and her 1-year-old daughter Dascha. Heather planned on getting a new arm piece done when she got pregnant with Dascha.

lighting, reusable water bottles, and car-pooling. “The bow and my name,” Reese said are her favorites of her moms tattoos. Vanessa Byrnes and

School. “Do my tattoos embarrass you?” Vanessa asked Desean. He smiles, and shakes his head no. He’s at the age where he’s ready to

her 15-year-old son De-

think about getting one of

sean have a really close

his own. And he already

relationship. They’re both

has some ideas.

play sports. Vanessa is on

Vanessa has a full

the Bradentucky Bombers

sleeve done on her right

roller derby team. De-

arm; she’s also a pin-up

sean wrestles and plays

model. Currently, she’s

football at Manatee High

working on a line of 50’s

Syndee and her daughters, Reese, 7, and Kendall, 1, at there home. Reese loves her mom’s tattoos, but doesn’t want any of her own.

Photo credit. Lydia Beljan

style clothing.

New York City Skyline

to represent their kids.

at least 18 years of age.

bursting out of an apple.

Syndee has Reese’s name

Most of the moms got

if he has other friends

He wants to put it on his

tattooed on her wrist.

their first tattoo between

whose mom’s are tat-


Desean doesn’t know

tooed. His mom’s tattoos don’t bother him.

“He’s got great arms

Tat Magazine recently did a survey of over a

the ages of 18 to 23 in a clean tattoo shop.

for an arm piece,” Van-

thousand tattooed moms

essa said.

about what they’ll tell

surveyed have one child.

their kids about tattoos.

Tat Magazine web re-

becoming more common-

90.9 percent of moth-

searcher, Stephanie At-

place in today’s society.

ers surveyed

Tattoos are fashionable,

said that they

and shops are full of

wouldn’t let

a tattoo representing

people who want to get

their child get

his home, saying “Home

some new ink. Moms

a tattoo until

Sweet NYC,” with the

are also getting tattoos

they were

“Can I get mine this year?” Desean asked his mom. “We’ll see,” Vanessa replied. Desean wants to get

Tattooed Mom’s are

A lot of the moms

“Can I get mine this year?” Desean asked his mom. “We’ll see,” Vanessa replied.

well, posted the survey on several “new mom” blogs. Results came in from blog readers throughout the country. Some moms have small tattoos of flowers, stars, or their kid’s names. Others have large pieces done on their arms, legs, and chest. “I am an army wife, married to an infantryman. MLNW literally stands for, Make Love Now War, because I’ve always assumed there was a non violent answer to any situation,” one

Tat Magazine used Survey Monkey to ask 1009 moms throught out the country about their ink. Eager online moms spread the survey on Facebook and other web forums for to retrieve answers to this anonymous survey. 64.5% of Moms have 3 or less tattoos. 5.2% of Moms have 11 or more tattoos.

75.5% of Moms were ages 18 to 23 when they got their first tattoo. 1 Mom was over 40. 93.6% of Moms got their first tattoo in a tattoo shop. While 4.4% were with a homemade machine.

Where is your most visible tattoo? What is it?

You’re kids think your tattoos are:

“My daughter’s name inside my left wrist. Harlow.”

A lot of moms replied with the fact that their child was too young to notice or care.

“I have a 3/4 body suit, starting at my shoulders and ending at my knees. It also extends to the top of my head, but my head is no longer shaved.”

“My child is only 15 months but he is interested in them. He likes to try to pinch them or pull them off. I don’t think he realizes its anything out of the ordinary just yet.”

67% of the Moms surveyed have only 1 child. 3.8% of Moms have four children or more.

respondent replied. Kids have their opin-

71% of Mom’s have visible tattoos.

ions on tattoos also. “My 17-month-old points to it all the time. She can say tattoo! Its so cute,” another Mom wrote. Either way, moms are moms, tattoos or not. The ink in their skin does not make them any different

Where? 63.4% on their back, 30.1% on their legs and feet. 17.5% on their arms. .4% of Moms will let their child get tattooed before 15 years old. 90.9% of Moms say wait until they’re 18. 66.9% of Mom’s say their parents aren’t tattooed.

“I work for the ambulance, I have a tattoo of the star of life on my upper arm.”

“My son is two, and he is always touching them and saying “mommy pretty.”

“The tatt runs from my ankle to hip and it’s a Hawaiian Tribal design that was created for me to represent my family and heritage.”

“She’s one so she doesn’t know what it is, but she does trace it w her finger!”

“I have a 3” tall tattoo above my left ankle (outside). It’s an old fashioned key with a heart at the top with blue and green butterfly wings. Inside the heart is my son’s first initial in Braille.”

from a mom who doesn’t have a tattoo because all moms are about loving, and caring for their kids. This article was created by Lydia Beljan with help from Stephanie Atwell, who did most of the web crawling.

Survey Monkey only allows non paying users to write limited questions and receive limited answers. The survey was not intended to be considered professional, as this was an amateur attempt at collecting some interesting data, which I feel like I suceeded in.

“The whole side of my right leg is done with my daughter, husband and my birth flowers. There is also a butterfly and sparrow that is holding a banner that says strength. still need to get my sons birth flower!”

“My daughter hates them. She likes them to be covered before going out. She says she has learned from mommys mistake and will not get tattoos. She even asked her grandmother “what was mommy thinking, why didn’t you stop her” “My two olders boys know I have them and have seen two of them. The other one says “Spank It Baby” on my butt even though they are 19 and 14 I am too embarassed to tell them! Thank God the baby can’t read!”

Photo credit. Matt Norris

Photo credit. Matt Norris


att Norris was 16 years old when he got his first

tattoo. A year later, he and some friends ordered a tattoo kit out of a magazine. “It wasn’t easy,” Norris said. “And they [tattoos] looked bad.” Thus, the love affair with tattooing began. Tattooing wasn’t a lifelong dream; it was something he stumbled upon. Norris was interviewing for a for a job at Level 5 Studios in Sarasota, Florida. Shop manager Joel Illch asked Norris to join him at his new shop, Webber Street Studios. Norris has been inking there ever since. Norris’ style is a cross between American and Japanese traditional. He calls it neo-traditional. hanging out with his son Riley and his fiancée Liz. Or he’s working on his collection of Volkswagens. Lydia Beljan

Photo credit. Matt Norris

Photo credit. Matt Norris

When he’s not tattooing, he’s

Tat Magazine  

This magazine was designed during my time at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. I chose to compose a tattoo magazine because I have...