Posts tagged with tattoos
The Creators of NYC: Tattoo Artist Virginia Elwood
Josh Wool spent a decade as an executive chef, opening restaurants across the south. But all that changed in 2010, when the carpal tunnel in his hands meant he could no longer work. To keep from going stir crazy, he picked up a camera and found his next calling. Two years, thousands of portraits, and a move to New York later, Wool is documenting the people who inspire him on a daily basis. Welcome to Creators of NYC.
Tattoo artist Virginia Elwood has been plying her craft for the last 12 years and has made a name for herself at New York Adorned as one of the top talents in the industry. I first saw her work several years ago, and I bumped into her on the G train in Brooklyn shortly after I arrived in New York. After almost a year of exchanging emails, we finally sat down in her Carrol Gardens home.
When did you figure out that tattoo art could be an actual career?
When I was a little kid, I remember wanting to be either a scientist, a ballerina, or a garbage man. I don’t think I had a definition or reference for “art as a career.” I set out on my own at a really young age and drifted from one random job to the next … a career in fine arts was not a realistic or practical goal at that time. The idea that a person could actually get paid to draw didn’t occur to me until I fell head over heals for tattoos as a teenager in the 90s.
How Many Words Is That Tattoo Worth?
Be it the symbolic stamp of a life-altering experience, the constant reminder of a lost love, or just the product of some late-night revelry, every tattoo shares one thing: a story. San Francisco illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and Rumpus managing editor Isaac Fitzgerald have made it their mission to condense these stories into the delicately drawn, concisely potent posts that comprise Pen and Ink — a blog of illustrated tattoos and the tales behind them.
But what’s their story? We talked to Wendy and Isaac about their tattoo philosophy, and how life, in essence, is really mastering the art of the mistake.
Who’s idea was Pen & Ink?
WM: It was Isaac’s.
IF: It was Wendy’s.
WM: Isaac, stop. It was yours.
IF: OK, well, I knew Wendy’s art from working with her on The Rumpus and have always been in awe of her amazing ability to capture a story with her drawings. Most tattoos, to me, represent some form of narrative, so when I thought of trying to capture the stories behind peoples permanent ink scars I immediately knew that Wendy had to be a part of it.