Congrats to our "Bad Ass Tat" winner Matt - Well for starters its Lady Liberty. Americas Freedom Icon. You see her and you see welcome to this bad ass country. Its the first piece of a military tribute sleeve going to my chest. Including fan favorites like Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter. I served with 3//75 RGR Battalion at Fort Benning in Columbus GA. Everyone have an awesome St. Pattys
Damon- Dave Scearce from blood sweat and tears tattoo studio! When I can to save I had to gargoyles in each shoulder bald and one huge gargoyle in the middle. I told my back was his and make it look like one huge piece. I feel Dave did an amazing job and did it all free hand!
Caitlin- This is a picture just a few days after the third and final session was completed. It rocks because it is an original and unique design by a published artist and took a lot of blood and sweat, but no tears!
Doug- My tattoos are all awesome to me. I have 20+ hours on my sleeve alone, back probably about 15. I couldn't pick just one. I have a few different artists. The top half of my sleeve was done by Paris at Paris Tattoos in Charlotte and is a version of Alice in Wonderland. The bottom half was done by John Carroll also at Paris Tattoos, who unfortunately passed away last January. R.I.P. The art is based on Brian Froud, with a little of John flavor. My back tattoos were done in PA and NJ. The peace sign, steele, waterfall, and writing were done by Mike E Cheese. The cross was my first tattoo and don't remember who did it. Its just flash, everything else it custom and badass!!!!!
Cyrielle- My tattoo is bad ass for it represents all of my family. My brothers and sister all have the same father which is why everything is connected with black tribal. He is our connection; he is currently is prison which is why his initals are enclosed in the mustang and that's where I've know him the longest. However my mother raised me on her own so her flower is the biggest and it is colored "chrome". Chrome is not one color it's a reflection of colors around it and I am a reflection of my mother more so than anyone else.
Amanda- My tattoo is only visible under black light, so it can only be seen in certain situations and sometimes shocks those who do not know it's there. It is a mixture of my own design plus the Tool Lateralus eyes on the sides and top in honor of the music that helped design me. I think it creative, unique, and a good compromise for having such a large tattoo that I may not always want seen.
Robbie- This is the 2nd part to my traditional japanese sleeve. On the other side of my arm, I have a coy dragon. I really like this "honya mask" because the artist that did it was the coolest guy you will ever meet. I got screwed by another artist and Marc stepped in and gave me, what I think, to be the best tattoo that I could ask for. Clean lines, bold colors. LOVE MY TATTOO.
Alejandra - This represents my grandfather, who passed away 2 years ago. The lion, Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia, roses from Alice in Wonderland, and the pocket watch from the tin man of The Wizard of Oz. We both had fascinations with these 3 amazing movies. I'm in love with my half sleeve Tat, because it not only represents my grandpa but myself. It rocks!
Nobie - Tat has 4 meanings: Us Patriot I served in Marine Corp & still uphold my oath to defend the constitution of the United states that what the III in the skull stands for (Three Precenter) Infidel & Punisher Skull I take out bad people who cause harm to the good ;-)
April - I sat for all of that one sitting. Five and a half hours of needle to sternum tattoo. It's custom and also themed around Oscar Wilde's 'The Nightingale and the Rose' short story so it doesn't just look cool; it means something.
Gregg- United States Marine Corps Emblem: The Eagle, Globe and Anchor!! Work done by local Charlotte Tattoo Artist of the Year and World Famous Tattoo Artist Paris Pierides. This is the Mother of all EGAs, work is amazing, detail is amazing. I proudly wear it anywhere I go!!
Terry - First of all just look at it! A badass skeleton cruising through some psychedelic foothills. This drawing is based on several images from the Grateful Dead and is an original work of art. Lastly it is drawn by wonderfully talented local tattoo artist here in Charlotte, Emily from Cosmic Tattoos.
Emily- I got this tattoo in memorial of one of my best friends, Landon Hill, who passed away two years ago from Meningitis while studying aboard in Seville Spain. This tattoo was based off on an actual photograph, the artist captured it perfectly and beautifully.
Ashley- This is my first and only tattoo so far. I got it to symbolize my passion for my unique career path in Forensic Anthropology as well as to tell the story of life: Beginning of all life =plant Butterfly= change throughout your life Skull= biggest part and end of life. I get complements quite often on it can't wait to get more.
Sarah- This is my totally original tattoo with abstract lilies and beautiful, realistic red fox. It is the start of a full color sleeve that will compliment the black and white half sleeve that is already on my left arm. My tattoo artist Phillip Franklin is beyond amazing, he is at Dragon's Den Tattoo Co. in Granite Falls NC.
Heather- Aurora Borealis Realistic Tattoo (Northern Lights) done by Eric Mills at Deja Vu Tattoo & Piercings in Winston Salem NC. The picture on the left is the picture I brought to him & the picture on the right is after 2 sittings (one more sitting to finish entirely).
Emily- Hi, this is a 70 hour tattoo that tells a story about the universe. Earth, is represented with the tree of life and roots. Wind is represented with peacocks. On the front thighs (not shown), are water, coy fish and waves, and fire, represented with a dragon and flames. All 4 elements combine are my mural of life!
Keith- It is my military tribute tat. I got it from an artist locally(where I grew up) after a few years of living through ptsd I had to have this for anyone to see. Technically it is facing the wrong way but I insisted because of the nature of the story of combat that made me want to never forget even if I get alzheimers or some disease that makes ya forget, I won't. I'll always know "I'VE BEEN THERE".
Jerry- I got my tat in 2011 at Capones Parlor in Belmont NC by Chris Cambell. I wanted this tat in memory of all Firefighters that have past away in the line of duty. Me being at full time firefighter this is one way of showing my patriotism and honor to my fallen brothers and sisters.Chris and I worked on designing this tat for about a month.Pictures doesn't do it justice. It has some amazing detail.
Kourtney- My tattoo speaks for itself. Johnny Cash was the man... The king of folk-rock and roll. Nothing is sexier than a hot girl with Johnny Cash flipping the middle finger! It's the most badass photo ever taken of him.
Christina- My steampunk tattoo is pretty much everything i could ever dream it could be plus more,it is the biggest tattoo i have thus far taking 12 hrs over 3 sessions and i adore it. It came right from the head of my amazing tattoo artist Kelsea McCree at Family Tradition Tattoo in Mooresville. So even if i dont win she def deserves props for her amazing work.
Josh- This tattoo rocks because it's the classic battle of good and evil between two of the most iconic characters of the 21st century, Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort. The tattoo has awesome line work and amazing shading. Lee Robinson of Twisted Ink in Bessemer City is the artist.
Bonnie- It is a tattoo of my grandfather. He was 1/2 Cherokee Indian and could be a little crazy. He would pull a gun or a knife on anyone that he thought was about to do him or his family harm. You might say he was a little unstable at times. This photo completely represents him and how he was. Now he forever has my back and will always protect me.
Daniel- One of three excellent pieces I have from Wayne at 510 in Noda. I went with this because of the excellent detail and it was the first. St. Christopher. Great meaning for me as he's the patron of travel...protecting me on my journey.
Chris- Well I got this piece a week after Junior Seau passed away. I'm from San Diego and am one of the biggest if not THE biggest Chargers fan in the Carolina's. So I got the sickest Chargers tattoo anyone has ever seen. It's Junior as a zombie ripping a football our of a dead and mutilated Jerry Rice of the Oakland Haters!
Kristina- what's more awesome than a sugar skull backpiece surrounded with colorful roses and beautiful butterflies!? over 60 hours so far in this piece... more decorative detail and full color coming soon! <3 tattoo addict
Courtney - I got it when I was 21. Took two 6 hour sessions to complete. Its a cover up. I got it because my nickname is midnight and the skull looks completely awesome with the star cutout in its forhead. The roses are dead and wilting. Its just all around badass. The tattoo is 4 years old and still looks amazing
Tim - This is my first and only tattoo. It is a black swan, which represents being separate from the traditional crowd. Swans are not usually an aggressive creature but yet this one is in an aggressive stance and they of course are almost always white but this one is black. There is a lot of awesome symbolism in it and I just love the image in and of itself.
Jordan - This is my horror sleeve by Joshua McJunkins. It has Freddy, Leatherface, Ash and the skull from Evil Dead 2, Micheal Myers, Jason Voorhees, and pumpkin and the Billy Puppet from Saw. I love it!
Josh - Awesome classic Japanese style with a little new school flavor!!! And it's HUGE!!!! Struggle between good and evil, timeless style and beautifully detailed work done at Family Tradition Tattoo in Mooresville
Danielle - they represent my two favorite people in the whole world. Every part of each has meaning. Kelsea at Family Tradition Tattoo rocks, she made them everything I ever wanted and sooo bright & colorful!!
Debbie - This is actually the top part of my full sleeve! I'm from California and peacocks roam the streets wild where I grew up. This amazing piece was done by the super talented Kelsea Mc Cree at Family Tradition Tattoo in Mooresville.
Billy - What better way to control this journey we call life, let the Captain take the wheel! This tattoo was inspired by my love for Pirates, one day when I finished the last drop of some Morgan, I saw this on the inside label, and said I'm getting this on my leg! So know I've always "Got a lil Captain in me" and on me, hahaha.
Happy St. Patricks day, drink responsibly and stay thirsty my friend!
Jennifer - This is a painting by Anne Stokes. I love it so much I decided to put it to skin canvas. SHE liked it so much, I got a full page spread in her last book, Stoked: The Art of Anne Stokes Tattooed!!
Jenn - This is a tribute to 9/11. The clock is set to the time the first plane hit the first tower. My father was there, directly across the street and bore witness to it all. I thought I lost him that day. The trail through the trees in blood is for the hero's of flight 93n that took the plane down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania that day.
Lauren - I wanted a strong Celtic piece in the form of a corset across my ribcage upper abdomen. The day before I got inked my artist called me and asked 'birds, spiders or stags' I replied 'stags', came in the next day and this is what he had drawn up. It was perfect and he did a stellar job.
Mike- This tat represents my wife (she was born on Halloween !) and below her is all the dark past that she helped me get away from! The picture does not give it justice or how much more is in the scene! It rocks super hard!!
Christel- This is my one of a kind piece by Jon Story of Kingpin Studios in Greensboro NC. It is a slightly altered version of Alphonse Mucha's painting entiled 'Amethyst'. I get stopped by strangers all the time who tell me they typically don't like tattoos, telling me how beautiful it is :) .
Lisa- My first tattoo at age 38, done over the course of a year (30+ hours) while I was caring for my dying husband, and finished just weeks before he died. Latin words for Strength (in stone), Wisdom (on banner), and Spirit(living vine). Done by Steve Huntsberry @ Immortal Images.
Anna- I drew the skull and roses about 2 years ago and finally decided to do something with it and got it as a tattoo about two months ago. A month later i decided to add on the key and lock. The lock design came from a necklace my mom got for me on Christmas and the key is a symbol for choose life.
Melissa- I think my tattoo has a chance to win because this was my first tattoo I got when I was 18. It took 3 different sessions with a total of about 8 hours. I underestimated how much the ribs hurt, but it was worth it. It means a lot to me motivation wise, and the quote is a lyric from my favorite band Rise Against.
Jason- Won't see this plastered around every shop in the worlds flash. Sorry its difficult to get a pic of, Mr. Mauney the artist had difficulty getting pics of it for his portfolio. Among my circle of fly fishermen and tackle shops it draws a lot of attention.
Brittany- I think my tattoo is bad ass because it is my dream tattoo that I had wanted from the beginning and it is my 4th tattoo (and last most likely).
The tattoo artist free handed it on my ribs and I think it looks awesome personally. It has 7 music notes and 13 stars both very important numbers to me! And it combines two of the major loves in my life.
Taylor- Its a dot-work mandala its it an old idea I've had since I was 16. It took me ages to find an artist I trust with the idea but after I did it came out perfect and exactly the representation of what I wanted.
Sheryl- This tattoo is a coverup in the making. There's 20+ hours of chair time in it already & still some touch up & darkening to be completed. It covers up my married name Amy husband left me 8 months ago. The pheonix represents new life & rebirth. Yeah it's bad ass!
Nicholas- This tattoo was done by Jason Drager. It embodies what a good color tattoo should have; perfect line work, awesome shading, great and subtle blending between colors, brightness and boldness, and it seems to have a depth of field. The tattoo is a Korean inspired design consisting of a dragon holding an orb resembling the center of the South Korean flag, a Korean woman wearing a traditional Korean wedding dress (Hanbok) adorned with the South Korean national flower (Mugunghwa), and a Korean warrior on his noble steed.
Allyson- It's cover art from American Head Charge's album The Feeding and the lyrics are from their song "Ridicule". That album helped me get through a rough break up and death in my family. As a business professional, my clients and coworkers are always shocked to see it on me. And who doesn't love a good nurse clown?
Robert- U.S. Navy, need I say more! The tophatters is the oldest squadron in the Navy. Fighting 14, was when they were flying TOMCATS, F14s'. Now they fly the super F18s', but they have been around since 1919.
Steve- It was actually a joke at first to get a leprechaun tattoo. Then I thought to myself, why not get a awesome looking leprechaun tattoo. It rocks because the artist is phenomenal (luke scheid) and also its something different then you normally see. Not to mention its a badass leprechaun tattoo :)
Amber - The tattoo says "kiss the chef". As I am a chef for a living not only is it a well done tattoo, thanks to lil tommy at ace custom tattoo, but is also shows passion for what I do. This tattoo like myself rocks!