Hey #INKPLAY Family!
And the happiest of new year to you and yours!
Your found family here at LIPS is wishing you a most prosperous and healed new year. Speaking of being healed ... you are being called to be healed in 2023! (*oof* that sounds churchy but just go with it ...)
I'm swinging thru to share some tattoo photo spam as we wrap up 2022 and prepare for Tattoo Therapy 3.0 in 2023.
Before we hop into it though, let us introduce our latest immersive tattoo experience + brand activation.
It's been 7 years, quietly creating in a private studio and it's time to not only let the world know that I am here (and have been ...) but to really show the world what this small studio with a big heart is all about in Black tattoo culture.
I hope you're ready to experience Ink & Release in 2023
And now, for our feature presentation. ^.^
We have a high return rate and a great number of our clients stay with us for years until they feel complete. After that they hang out, mentor their family into healthy tattoo habits and become the most avid brand supporters.
Before we get started, let me share that we are coming out swinging this year!
So it's natural that we start with our #INKPLAY tattoo OG's, yes?!
We got to finish Lisa's sleeve in the 9th hour! It's crazy that it's taken us this long because we started back in 2020, later in the year after the world shut down.
Tattoo journeys aren't typically this long, but sometimes life be life'in' and there's not much we can do about that except take it in stride, together. So that's what we did.
And my long time homie, Corso slid thru for some Van Gogh and music related tattoo therapy. He hasn't gotten tattooed by me since my love affair with Biotech (yup! his back shoulder is my work over 15 years ago)
So we bonded more over our love of Van Gogh and these 2 scary guys, characters from one of my fav horror artists - Alex Pardee and for his fav band - Radiohead.
Below is where we brought is 20+ year old name back to life.
This beautiful koi, the brainchild of Johann - hugged by dogwood and cherry blossom, is a reminder of his fav places to call home.
Meanwhile ... supa OG, Tira is finally getting a sleeve. Ok! She thought she wanted a sleeve but she didn't want to do underneath the arm. Le sigh ~
But we added more fanciness to her bougie girl sleeve.
Somewhere in our FAQ's we list that we turn away requests for hands and face tattoos. That's because irresponsible tattooing can stop your life. >.<
I don't want that for any of our clients, so stipulation includes having been with us for some time, be heavily tattooed and preferably related to the industry (or at least in your career, NOT a job - those are 2 different ministries. K?!)
But this was the year of hands. Including yours truly above, who is now adorned to flip people off, with love.
More dogwood! ^,^
And below, this sibling piece was the absolute funnest moment of nostalgia with Devilman Crybaby surrounded by all the candy greats - Swedish Fish, Haribou, Nerds and Jolly Rancher.
Another reason we encourage you to have a relationship with your tattoo artist is because that (above) looks absolutely nothing like that chicken scratch (below).
There's a level of trust, like no other that has to be formed to merge the visual prowess of the artist with the expectation of the client.
Storme's sleeve is nothing like we envisioned years ago when we started it. But the time we spent together recommitting to this sleeve and letting it take a life of its own was well worth the wait.
And to my dear dear friend, below, I hope you are healing happily with your family.
This tattoo is to celebrate her 4-year old son, tragically killed by a car. It's a rather dark galaxy, void of many stars that translates her son's name. Nox means night, in Latin. And we added the whale star constellation because he loved whales. :-)
We've reached the end of our returning clients with this beautiful healed triple goddess piece.
Now let's see who we had the honor of meeting for the first time.
Fam! New clients did not come to play this year! In fact, I'd learned that many of them had been following the shop and my work for years *eek!*
This watercolor galaxy piece was everything I didn't know I needed in my life. And hope to create more in this style.
Artistically, I'd love to see work like this in a strong black & grey on dark skin. Hmmmm ...
And this Vorpal sword piece wa so fun to make moody!
It's her first tattoo, a half sleeve and she's got plenty room to grow!
The wife (above) and husband (below) duo, have quickly become some of my favorite humans for how they care for each other.
It's been a true pleasure getting to know them through our shared interests and art. I don't know about them but I'm already looking forward to our 2023 sessions <3
The remains four pieces are important to Black culture - pride, beauty, breaking generational curses, and being our ancestors wildest dreams.
This is what 2022 has remised us to have and do as we enter 2023.
One more look at 2022 before you go tho!
Sadly, our OG cat therapist, Sir Mingus passed in November 2021. But he didn't stay away long without sending us a precious package.
We are elated to share with our studio kitty - Her Majesty, The Magical Neko Sekhment Dorami Vaughn-Taylor Brown, PipSQUEAK of LIPS.
Our magical orphan kitty found us within her first few days of life and has been piercing hearts ever since.
Clients who have come earlier in the year, honored us with their wants and wishes to feed and look after Squeak during their sessions.
And we thought 2023 may be a great time to reintroduce our cat therapy option with our tattoo therapy experience.
Thanks to our loving family of clients who have helped
spoilsocialize her, Squeak thinks the studio is her second home and she should be there whenever I am.
Welp off to 2023! We can't wait to create with YOU!
I hope you enjoyed this 2022 wrap up ~
Til next update!
I know you are ready to tell your UNIQUE stories on skin.
Your tattoos are clothes. That should fit you – reflecting your personal style & journey, what you have overcome and where you are headed!
I style a lot of large-scale one-of-akind tattoo and can do the same with you.