Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Vibes 08!

Last weekend I took part in The Gathering of the Vibes music festival at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT. You may remember my mention of this fantabulous fest around this time last year, as I did indeed attend, but wasn't able to camp out. Well, after witnessing the glorious madness of last year's Vibes, there was no way in hell I was gonna miss out on the full experience this year. I camped (ahem...in my car...), consumed far too much alcohol, and best of all, listened to some amazing tunes. And in between it all I was, of course, on the lookout for the hottest tattoos the Vibes had to offer. My Tat-Dar was set to high and, despite my vision being a bit blurry for the majority of the weekend, I managed to spot some stellar mods. Mind you, I scouted the following tats while under the influence of substances that make everything seem awesome, so take the sampling with a grain of salt. Nonetheless I think the ink I captured was definitely some of the more beautiful work on display at the fest. So now I invite you mod lovers to take a gander at some of the tats I was able to score pics of and occasionally interviews about, and their proud owners. The pics aren't all that great, but it's really the stories that make them come to life anyways...
First up is Paul from South Windsor, whose tats are both by Tim Brewer from Body Graphics in South Windsor, CT. Referring to the stunning and intricate number on his left shoulder, Paul explained "It's a fractal, and a fractal is infinite chaos that creates beauty - that basically explains me."
And as for the grim, melty face on his right arm, "This is what I saw right before I went into a coma." Wow. Intense. I wish I hadn't been on the run when I met this guy - his tats suggest that he probably makes for some pretty interesting conversations!
I met the lovely Rachel from Sussex County, NJ while on a stroll down Shakedown Street, and ended up getting separated from my crew for a good 2 hours after running the opposite way to catch up to her. Totally worth it, she had a truly trippy and quite personal explanation for her half sleeve by Tony at Tattoo Factory in Ledgewood, NJ. "This is my castle in the sky and each puzzle piece is a different part of my life that I'm missing. Like I was missing this wall for awhile that I needed to put up around myself. There are a lot more but obviously I haven't discovered them yet - they'll go on different parts of my body. The owls represent me and I was married so this is me and this would be my daughter April Sky. And what I went through...like the cactuses represent that it hurts but beautiful things come out of it like the flowers."
We also chatted about how it sucks to be young and unable to afford tattoos that might help us cope with life difficulties better than any therapy or medication could.
I didn't get this chick's name, she was with some friends who kinda kept walking when she stopped to have a word with me. So, I really don't know much about her tats other than that her chestpiece is related to her veganism, but I thought they were worth posting solely because of the color saturation and striking detail of both.
This is Alex, and I spotted his arm piece while walking through the tent jungle. Little did I know he was hiding an extension of the piece on his ribcage!! Even better, I found out that this tat was done by an artist at a shop owned by a good friend of mine! This piece was done by George at Shelton Tattoo in Shelton, CT, and these snaps just don't do it justice. It was almost hypnotizing in real life! I hope George puts this in his portfolio so I can peep it when it's finally done.
Here we have Miss Ellie from Guilford, CT, who was camping out right next to me! Her tat is by Sean Zee at Transcend (one of my favorites!) in Branford, CT. At this point she's undergone 4 sessions of 3-4 hours each, and plans to have one more to give the leaves some color and touch up any lil flaws. I'm not usually a big fan of black and grey, but I think this one could even go sans color. It's really eye-catching.Ok, last up is Christine from southern New Hampshire. She was helping out at the "chill down tent for people who are spun too hard" when I first saw her, but later on she was kind enough to let me take some shots and hear about the meaning behind her colorful work. All of her tats are coverups done by Doug Mendoza at Artisan Tattoo Federation in Concord, NH. According to Christine, Doug saved her life, and since first getting tatted by him they've become close friends. "I just went in there and I was like I would like something colorful, floral, and a coverup. We hit it off real well, and I really think he spent extra time [on the tats]." In regard to the significance of her tats, Christine says that she was "shedding an old phase of [her] life." "I was having trouble with drugs and alcohol and becoming a new Mom, and I don't know why but [the tattoos I had were] the first thing I had to change. I had lived with crap tattoos for like 15 years, just poorly done." The coverups have helped her immensely in recovering from substance abuse as well as transitioning into life as a mother. Now that she finally feels comfortable in her own skin again, Christine says she's ready to get fresh, non cover-up tattoos that represent her new life.
I love attending events where mods abound. I hit up my first roller derby earlier this summer, and there was an extraordinary number of heavily modded folks there as well. Now, I would typically be opposed to generalizing about modders (or any group of people for that matter), but I can't help but notice that from my experience they tend to congregate at places and events that are pleasantly out of the ordinary. I don't know what this might say about the people themselves, but I would expect people who go to such places would be pleasantly out of the ordinary themselves, or what one might refer to as "interesting." I know the people I met at the Vibes certainly were just that. Tats have come a long way. Some people are still stuck on the idea that tats signal a disturbed mind or a rebellious lifestyle, but it's just not true anymore. So if you run into someone with a great tattoo, tell them so! They won't bite (unless you like that kinda thing...), and if you ask they'll likely be happy to tell you about their ink. Or about that time they went into a coma after a base jumping accident. Okay, so maybe modders are a little crazy. But aren't we all?


Anonymous said...

hey there! so im the chick with the chest piece that you spoke to at vibes. I can't believe I actually remembered the name of the blog. So yeah, since I have a moment I could better explain the two tats you got. my sleeve is a tribute to janis joplin. i absolutely love her and always have and thought this was a good way to show my respect to a woman who broke so many barriers in the music industry and didn't apologize for her badass ways. on my wrist (at the bottom of the sleeve) it says "vegan." I got that after my sleeve as a way to celebrate 7 years of veganism (im currently going on 10! 15 years veg altogether!) and my chest piece is a celebration of that veganism, my love for animals, and nature itself. it came to me in a dream, which was totally rad. the heart is dehydrated and being revived by all the animal and plant life. basically it states that we cannot live without these things and it will bring us closer to happiness. thats about it for those tats! hope you're well, keep rockin. hugs.

Anonymous said...

p.s.- just in case, my aim is whynotbecynical