Do a Google search on “Frank Sinatra Tattoos” and you’ll find 845,000 results.

That said, the impact Frank Sinatra had back then is still present today, and after looking at his black and grey portrait done by Robert Pho, it not only provided inspiration for this post, but also insight on the man that changed an era who’s charm is still relevant today. Born Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, the man in the tattoo was a star of stage and screen and long considered one of the finest vocalists of all time. Thanks to his status within the pantheon of great entertainers, it is also no surprise that Sinatra has became the subject matter of many tattoos and afternoon discussions. For those who are old enough to remember, Sinatra was the original teen idol and pop icon, and his legacy has stood the test of time.



Massive crowds forming for his show.

In reality, there are many who will enter an industry but very few who will change it, and Frank Sinatra was definitely one of them.  As an artist and musician, he changed the landscape of entertainment and made music that not only had an impact in the way we listened to music but also in the way we felt. His songs shared stories of personal statements, struggles, and life experiences and in the end, he left this earth well connected, well respected and never forgotten.



                                                                       A snapshot of the image that inspired the tattoo which the client wanted.

It wasn’t up until the Sixties that he made his way to Las Vegas, where he performed for sold out crowds at Caesars Palace, and though he’s long gone, his music lives forever and doubles as the back drop for the infamous Bellagio fountain show. To truly experience Vegas without hearing one of his tracks is pretty much impossible, and it really comes as no surprise that he’s become a legend even in modern times.

As the leader of the infamous “Rat Pack,” a group of entertainers who became the poster boys for hard drinking, partying, and the quintessential “boys night out.” Frank’s carousing is well documented and even after his death, the impact of his life became something of legend as the F.B.I. released a 1,300-page file that contained rumors of his ties to organized crime. Of course, it comes as no surprise that the man who was known for taking up to 12 showers a day came out “clean” as he was never officially linked to anything suspect.



A picture of epic proportions.







Tattoos and the culture that surrounds it, has sparked a billion-dollar industry that runs more than skin deep. But even more impressive than the financial numbers themselves is the art and the communities it has positively influenced.  With each unique tattoo, is a piece of art indicative of someone’s values or beliefs, and often times they also represent milestones in someone’s life. But as the art and culture continues to grow, so has the unique ways it has inspired other forms of creativity and industry growth. From t-shirt designs, housewares, to custom car wraps, tattoos have inspired a wave of creativity that ceases to amaze and this example by Punctured Artefact is no different.


A close up look at the process.


The artisans over at Punctured Artefact in the UK have created these unique art pieces which substitutes a live canvas for leather, and the process is one which is both tedious and time consuming. As chronicled on their site, the process involves hand-picking a piece of leather, dying it the appropriate shade, and then tattooing the leather with their own original designs. From there, the leather is worked using special techniques to help bring out the fine line work and the end result is stunning.  Needless to say, we were impressed with their artistic vision, and the launch of their limited edition pieces are sure to awe and inspire. Be sure to check out their official site by visiting them at Punctured Artefact.


As we enter the holiday seasons, one of the most important and sentimental holidays for me is Thanksgiving. Just a few days away, it’s the one holiday that revolves around food, family and friends. It’s also a stress free occasion to cherish with those you truly appreciate – unless you’re the one cooking – and it’s also a time where you express sentiment to those who hold you down. In addition, it’s a holiday where we express gratitude; compassion and support to those you call family and with that said, I’d like to thank my Skin Design family. Through the thick and thin they’ve stuck by my side to create what we have today and for that I’m thankful and forever indebted. In addition, I would also like to take  the time to thank all those who believed in me for the past two decades. Without clients believing in my work (and even the naysayers who doubted – and motivated me), I would not be where I am today.

In addition, I have to thank the founding forefathers of the game as well as artists both past, present and future. As a family of artisans we’ve all helped create an industry that we enjoy today and together we can keep this industry as one that was built, maintained and regulated by us.  I say this because we’re at a critical moment in growth and its up to us to make sure that we hold tattooing up to the highest standards possible.

That said, I’m proud to release a newly revamped website which gives back to this amazing community. The new Skin Design Tattoo site still contains all the basic essentials but the one part that I’m most proud of is our decision to run content, which will be updated daily. From artist interviews, news and industry products, the team at Skin Design will be chronicling our industry from a global vantage and in the end our ultimate goal is to create a hub which will capture, educate and entertain the truly evolutionary spirit of tattoos.

Updates on the site will begin to launch next week so check back with us and enjoy this holiday with your loved ones!

With Respect,







When it comes to reference, there’s still something about books that we tend to love. Maybe it’s how personal it is to flip through glossy pages bound together by a hard cover, or maybe it’s just the fact that we’re old and magazines/ books are to us what iPads and websites are to younger generations. Needless to say, magazines may be on the experiencing a down turn but hard cover books (or coffee table books) are still a valuable resource that never run out of batteries. This time around we got our hands on a release by Edition Reuss entitled,  “Traditional and Modern Styles: Tattoo in Japan”. This hard cover book is a 1st edition release, which boasts 320 pages, and at 6.4 lbs it’s good enough for a doorstop or quite possibly even a weapon.


An inside look at the pages of “Traditional & Modern Styles: Tattoo in Japan”  |  Photos by Garret Carter


In this opulently illustrated title, it chronicles a variety of methods and styles, which range from old school to modern. Of particular interest to us were the neo-traditional styles of tattooing and with rich photographs and a photo journalistic feel which is uncompromising and raw, the book is more than generous.  With text in both English and German, this is a must have book for your home or studio library. Inside, there’s page after page of Japanese style tattoos, which range from the mild to wild and the body suits featured in this epic volume, are timeless and tireless pieces, which deserves the attention it gains.


Tattoo in Japan, is a book that deserves to occupy space in your library and it elegantly captures Japanese culture and art in a package that is deserving of its high price point. If you’re particular in the way you examine tattoos you’ll find this book a great visual piece,  which will stimulate your creativity as well as your craft. So in closing, you already know that you get what you pay for so catch a budget and break bread.


There are always motivational quotes that get our blood pumping and this one here is one that definitely strikes a nerve. Any artist – whether it be a tattoo artist or a painter – can definitely relate to the struggle and it’s a fight that we endure for years on in. For starters, we have to hone our craft and incessantly put in the work necessary to get where we want. It’s a never ending process that requires years of frustration and plenty of meals that consist of Cup O’ Noodles, yet soon thereafter it eventually pays off.


So for all you struggling artists, keep your head up and keep your eye on the prize because far too often there are great and talented artists who quit too soon. Please don’t be one of them.


With the winter cold upon us, Skin Design Tattoo is happy to announce that we’ve just restocked a new shipment of beanies, tees, hoodies and snap backs! We just got them in early this week and they’re going fast so give us a call to find out what’s left! These will be available for a limited time only!