BATG Vlog 3- Creating A Goddess

A time-lapse look over the creation of the mural outside of Black Amethyst Tattoo Gallery.

BATG Vlog 2-2nd Annual Art&Ink Anniversary Show

This week’s Vlog will focus on an overview of this months 2nd Annual Art&Ink Anniversary Show.

Batg Vlog 1- shop tour

Welcome to the new BATG video blog! Here is a little walk through of the shop- hope you enjoy!


In Tampa I heard of a hunny

who was always too tight with her money

so she sat on some dude’s couch

at his house and said “ouch”

while he pounded out a black Playboy bunny.

This dude who got hammered in Ybor

Ended up on his ass on my shop floor

His buds called him “Pooh”

So what else could I do?

His butt cheek now looks just like Eeyore.

From St. Pete to Tampa to the beaches

You can rant and rave and make speeches

But if your idea is wack for that piece on your back

You grasp will exceed what your reach is

Get ink when you’re drunk at your peril:

One dumb choice puts you over a barrel.

When you’re sloshed people’s names

May look just the same

But an “o” changes “Carl” into “Carol”

In Tampa, St Pete and the Suncoast

You brag, showoff ink and always boast

But of all your tattoos, and all they mean to you

Your next one’s the one you will love most


Points of View/Points of You

It’s all in how you look at things. For instance, if someone says to you Dayum, that’s a squirrelly, girly, scratchy fugly tattoo, it could be that 1) The lighting is bad. 2) Someone forgot to eat their Wheaties. 3) Some people should keep their opinions to themselves. or 4) You’re sporting a squirrelly, girly, scratchy fugly tattoo.

Your Body, Your Choice…

A 24×8” infinity symbol on your back. Cuz That’s How You Roll. OK.
The serenity prayer. You know, demonically backwards. Down your hip and leg. Cuz you such a rebel. Fine.
Your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend’s face. Between your boobs. Cuz, you know, he likes it there. Sure.
A mash-up rebel flag, family crest, shamrock and Louis Vuitton logo. On your face. Cuz you are CONFUSED. Right on.

…But: My Shop, My Rules

I’m not gonna write on you. Or F-up your relationship with your Mom. Or stop your career path. Or make you look like an idiot. Or go against my professional judgment. Cuz, you know, it’s my face in the mirror.

Supply & Demand

Supply your ideas, demand perfection. We’ll get along great and your ink will be epic.

Happy New Year

If 2016 sucked for you, 2017 is just around the corner. Grab it by the balls. Fuck with it first. Don’t let it push you around. And for godsake, get a(nother) tattoo. You only live once. Or, if it turns out that’s not true, get a head start looking soopersexy in your next life.

Guest Post: Tats, Stats & Perceptions

Guest Post: Tats, Stats & Perceptions

From our home base in St. Pete, FL we’ve been asking people around the state and across southeast to tell us what they’re thinkin’ about inkin.’

Today’s Question:
Are more people getting tattoos, or are we just more used to seeing them…?

The Answer, from a guest blogger in Clearwater, FL:
There was a time, not too many years ago if you are older than 20ish, when getting a tattoo here in Clearwater was a classic career-limiting move. People who just didn’t give AF were getting tattoos anyway, and very few people were committing to anything that (a) couldn’t be covered by “normal” clothes and (b) was more interesting than some old-school flash-inspired I Love Mom, Dad or Wifey designs.

Over the last decade or so, as tribal types, bikers, pro wrestlers, indie musicians, porn stars and others who on the fringe moved toward the mainstream (thank you, interwebs, thank you crappy reality TV), people in places like Clearwater saw more tattoos on others and thought more casually about what tattoos are and mean and represent…and those same people started booking consults or putting on their big girl panties & big boy boxers and wandering into shops to see what was going on.

The result? Based on a sampling of about 570 people, around 23% of residents of Clearwater FL have at least one tattoo. That’s 23 out of every hundred people in town. And 4 out of every 10 people you see – 40% if you’re playing along – have at least one person in the fam with at least one tattoo. Like I say, that’s a small-number view of Clearwater, but I’d bet the same trends are regional, probably even nationwide.

Next time you’re imaging someone nekkid at Publix, be sure to add that mental ink. Because it’s fair & accurate (and cool) to answer the original question with yes and yes: more ink is being worn, more people are wearing it and the more time passes not only is skin color not an issue, skin colors aren’t either.

Do you have something to say about art, ink, skulls or guitars? Wanna publish it on Send it in.

From the Interwebz: Burn, Scars & Tattoos, part 2

Here’s the next bit from the incredible world of wide web, discussing burns, scars and how tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL – and other places with tattoo shops – address the physicality of tattooing scarred skin and the mental & psychological benefits that proactive body decoration can provide.

“Therapy” can mean different things to different people, but in most instances the hoped-for result is the same: relief. Whether emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual or all of the above, life’s traumas require attention. Change. Growth. You know the drill.

Recently when some tattoo artists gathered in a tattoo shop in Clearwater, FL, someone asked “What’s the most ‘therapeutic’ [tattoo] work you’ve ever done?” The answers were interesting, inspiring and in some cases intimidating:

            “Memorial tatts are always somewhat therapeutic. And I find that the stories clients tells while getting them have as much positive effect as the actual act of getting the ink.”

            “Once a woman came in to see if I’d help her “decorate” what she called her “well-earned scars.” She had survived some rough shit in her personal life, which left physical reminders of some bad times. Her idea was to “dress up” those places on her arms and left leg that some people would have wanted to cover up and forget, so she could claim what happened as part of her past, and move on.”

            “I’ve been asked to work on scars and burns before, and even tho it’s some of the most challenging work I’ve done, it’s also some of the ‘best,’ in that it went beyond just looking good to actually, I’m pretty sure, doing someone good.”

The whole concept of “normal” isn’t something that, historically, tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL and around the country have embraced. After all, aren’t we inked folk somewhat out of the norm, and, admit, somewhat proud of the fact?  So it’s ironic (in a good way, not an overpriced craft beer hipster way, or an intellectually/academically literal way) that our tattoo work can help to normalize how people who have burns and/or scars may feel about themselves. Keep rocking that individuality, and don’t fear becoming “too normal” when addressing what those annoying REALLY normal people might consider a physical flaw.  Real life leaves marks. Live inked.

From the Interwebz: Burn, Scars & Tattoos, part 1

Here’s an article from dubdubdub about tattoos as part of the psychological healing process for burn victims. Altho it was primarily written to talk about tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL, it applies to other locales as well. Give it a read, and say what you think about it…

Car crashes, house fires, hates crimes, terrorist attacks, war injuries, industrial accidents….any of these can lead to scarring, both psychological and physical. Trauma to the mind and spirit may be related to the physical injuries inflicted. Healing is multi-layered.

Assuming physical injuries are tended to and life’s other necessities are back on track, burn victims have options to consider when addressing the physical remnants of a disaster, mishap or accident. Tattoo shops from Clearwater FL to Muddy IL, and from St Petersburg FL to St. Petersburg, Russia have often served as a real resource for people seeking mental relief from burns and scarring.

Not every burn can be “covered” by tattooing, and not every tattooer can work on skin which has been burned. But many times the artful application of ink can do much to relieve the stigma some people feel related to “imperfect” skin. (A recent, very unscientific survey of Clearwater, FL tattoo shops showed a wide range of reactions to the question Would you consider a tattoo to help cover or adorn a burn scar?

As all burns are unique, so are the scars they leave behind, and so too tattoo shops differ: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure; one artist’s forte may be another’s downfall; and burn and scar-covering tattoos are each individual in terms of application technique, number of sessions required and the re-healing of scarred, now tattooed skin.

It takes a special touch, a steady hand and a patient attitude to successfully work with burn victims in helping transform a dermal embarrassment into a proud asset. Tattoo shops in Clearwater, FL can help. As can others in your neck of the woods. Don’t be shy to try. Ask around. Google till your knuckles ache. And let the healing – and tattooing – begin.

Stay tuned for part 2 of From the Interwebz: Burn, Scars & Tattoos, which discusses other types of scarring and what tattoo shops in Clearwater FL (and beyond) can do for people who want to cover or even enhance scarred skin.

Tequila on the Beach/Tools of the Trade

So, I’m hanging out at the beach in Clearwater FL, one tequila shot in, looking at the people, thinking about ink. Another day in paradise, as people say when they are only being half sarcastic. Half-castic. Sarc-half-stic, Did I say one shot in? That’s just an estimate.

My brain connects these dots: The beach is prehistoric. Prehistoric people made tools. There are a lot of tattooed people on the beach. Those two guys look like real tools. I can see two tattoo shops from here. I wonder what it would be like to tattoo in a shop in Clearwater FL using ancient tattoo tools. Damn, that’s smooth tequila.

I read somewhere that prehistoric tattoos were done with volcanic glass. Little cutting stabs of natural glass, over and over. Picture, if you can, your caveman tattoo artist, setting up in his shop in Clearwater FL, ordering supplies from the Volcano Brothers Supply or WTF-ever. Caveboy, the apprentice, is grinding up berries for color. The tattoo shop pet dinosaur/mascot is snoozing up front. The Flintstones drive by, courtesy of Fred’s two feet. Brontosaurus burgers for lunch again?

Hang on, shot time. God bless agave and I wonder what prehistoric liquor tasted like.

Where Was I? Oh yeah, Clearwater, the beach, tattoo shops and cavemen. Where there’s a will to get ink, there’s a way to apply it. Whether it’s volcanic glass and berries in my imaginary Clearwater Caveman Tattoo Shop, a Thai needle or bamboo spike and snake-venom ink, Maori shark teeth chisels and caterpillar ink, a Polynesian tortoiseshell rake needle and sooty ink, or the homemade electric tools and ink-pen ink used by our incarcerated brothers and sisters, people who are destined to be inked will discover a way to make it happen. Time, technique tools…and tequila. Paradise, indeed.





Tattoo Shops Clearwater FL to Mud Lake ID and beyond…

Have you noticed the increase in inked folk walking around almost anywhere you go these days? Overheard people on the street complimenting, not disparaging the work they see on passersby? And have you thought about how many successful tattoo shops doing strong tattoo work can be found from sea to shining sea (and beyond)?

Our tribe is not just growing, with tattoos on moms in Clearwater FL to tattoo shops on busty streets in Clearlake CA, but is also being viewed as more mainstream, or at least not not normal. Tattoos and tattoo shops today are as accessible as overpriced lattes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love an overpriced latte as much as the next guy. But we do a disservice not to recognize that things haven’t always been this way. Ask a teenager if tattoos “mean” anything about the wearers and you’ll likely get a radically different answer than you would have asking the same question 15 or evn 10 years ago. It’s taken time and exposure, and an unending stream of people willing to express themselves despite and any potential negative societal judgment.

Are people today generally more accepting of tattoos? Are tattoo shops no longer considered sketchy neighbors? Is coming home from spring break in Clearwater Beach FL sporting a new tattoo or two less likely to enrage a parent or shock a family friend?

Probably. Screw it – definitely. And why is that? Progress, some would say, Inevitability, others would answer. “The world is going to hell, that’s why,” a handful would reply.  The natural evolution of what’s acceptable, from others.

Me? I say: Thank you “reality” TV, thank you movies, internet, thank you social media and mainstream press, for catching up and catching on. And thank you old-timers, rebels, badass babes and couldn’t-give-two-effs dudes. Skin art has moved beyond its once limited audience.

Thank you artists who are committed to good work. Thank you Average Joes and Janes and the “tattooed and employed.” Thank you tattoo shops in Clearwater FL that clearly care; in Black River, NY that specialize in black and gray tattoos; shops in Muddy Gap WY who cover up old muddy scratchy work.

Gone are the days when most Americans slap immediate (negative) labels on people with ink or on blocks/neighborhood with tattoo shops.

One thing is clear: tattoos shops from Clearwater FL to Clearbrook MN to Clear Lake Shores TX are abundant, and where there are shops, there are great tattoos being imagined, sketched and made. Here’s to progress.