Archive for the ‘Behind the Ink’ Category

Haylee Detroit The Tattoo Gypsy Queen!

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I recently have had the honor of meeting Haylee Detroit . I met Haylee Through a great Tattoo Artist Tim (Tiny Tim) Patton, who is well knowing in Detroit for his Art. One thing I immediately liked about her is that she helps by promoting positive images of women with Ink. Here are several ways she does this, one she is the Marketing assistant for the Gypsy Queens promotional team and Second she is involved in beauty pageants for ladies with Ink. If all that wasn’t enough she works at Pure Salon & Day spa and recently started a Cosmetology Apprenticeship. Haylee is now the proud employee of Club Via734 that is opening early April that is located at 8663 North Lilley, Canton, MI 48187. T o say she is one busy woman would be an understatement. You can also view both Facebook fan pages at Pure Salon and VIA734. I would love to be at the club opening to get some photos of both the club and Haylee. Haylee recently got a spot as a bodypaint model at a large event held at theMotor City Casino on Sat April 10th and also just recieved the second lead role in a hip hop music video shooting on Sun April 18th. Music video by Small Dog Films for the song Dream Girl by DJ X-Change Feat. Lewd Socitey & M-Rey. if you look closely you can see her twice on the audition video.   

The Gypsy Queens

The Gypsy Queens are run entirely by female members and there is no Nudity involved. You can visit them on their My Space page The Gypsy Queens show up at a lot of events such as Rock Shows, Record Release Parties, Art Galleries, Clubs not to mention two of my personal favorite Tattoo and Biker Events. I hope to do a write-up on more of the Gypsy Queens in the future. 



 Interview With Haylee

Steven:How many Tattoo’s do you have?   

Haylee: ” I have 10 tattoos: “Beauty Queen” Chest plate by” Jared “Bull” Ammons owner of Liquid Chaos Tattoos in Brownstown, Mi, Detroit (It included shears, blowdryers, lipsticks, makeup brushes, and bobby pins because I have always been a little obsessed with hair). The Detroit  D along with the skyline shoulder cap by Bull because I have moved alot in my life but Michigan is the one place that I keep coming back to, girly skull on fore arm that my husband drew up for me but Bull tattooed on me, Free Spirit Ambigram on forearm by unknown, 13 on neck by unknown to turn my luck around 13 has always been my lucky number and I got a matching one with my husband on Friday the 13th, mother and child symbol with my children’s names on upper back by Bull, mother and child fairy on lower back by Bull after my son was born I wanted to get something to commemorate my love for my new son, tribal on lower back for my 1st tattoo and tribal hips by Victor Locke who I believe is in Dallas, TX now.”   


Steven: What made you get your first Tattoo?   

Haylee: “I got my first tat when I was 16. I think back then it was more about rebellion than anything.”   

Steven: Tell us a little about what type of Night Club Via 734 is and the type of events that will take place there?   

Haylee:  “The 734 Nightclub will feature various genres of music throughout the week including but not limited to salsa, regge, hip hop, but mainly top 40. We will have many events at the club, our 1st big event will be a Hair/Fashion show that will be held on ladies night(Thursday). If you bring 8 or more ladies on ladies night you will receive a complimentary bottle service. and we’ll also have dollar drafts for the fellas. (just for an example)”   

Steven:  How did you get involved with the Gypsy Queens?   

Haylee: “I got involved with the GQ’s about a year and a half ago. found them on myspace and asked if I could help out because it was refreshing to hear of an alternative modeling group that believed in “tats not tits”! they ended up making me the president of the Michigan chapter, and I have moved up in the company since then.”   

Steven:  Out of all the Shows and events that you have done what is your most memorable experience?   

Haylee: “My most memorable experience(so far) was the Mario Barth Vegas Tattoo Convention last October(2009). I went with the Gypsy Queens(we had a booth). We were in charge of the tattoo contests and the beauty pageant. and boy was it crazy! lol! I am definitely going back this year!”   

Steven: Have you ever been featured in any of the tattoo magazines. If yes what one and how did it happen?   

Haylee: “I was recently featured in the March 2010 issue of Tattoo Magazine, pages 48 & 49. I did a photo shoot with Billey Tinney from Low Rider & Tattoo Magazinewhile in Vegas for the convention. They called me a month or so later and asked if they could feature me and do an article and of course I said YES!!!”   



  Steven: Out of  all your tattoos what is your favorite one and why?   

Haylee: “hmmmm.l..that’s a hard question. I think out of all my tattoos I like my Detroit D skyline shoulder cap the best. It’s very original and artistically speaking, I think it is phenomenal! I always get stopped and asked about it, even by older folks. It’s always something like “I don’t really care for tattoos but that one is very tasteful”. lol! the older generation cracks me up, but I always get a kick out of explaining why I choose to get tattooed and the long in-depth conversations I end up having with complete strangers!”   

Please be sure to show your support for Haylee as she is a contestant in the Miss Ink America Contest. This is a contest that will be held in September at Atlantic City. This of course is a representation of a beauty pageant for women with art look up MissInk America Contest on Facebook to become a fan! Also Check out Bull and Liquid Chaos Tattoos in two locations one in Dearborn Hights 313-299-3435 and Brownstown 734-479-2420, both are located on Telegraph Road.   




A Journey to a Traditional Tattoo (Sak Yant Part 2)

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

So I promised the follow-up to the Sak Yant, and here it is. This journey is pretty interesting to me and is what I am looking for when I say meaning behind a Tattoo. The difference is that this not only has meaning and a well thought out reason it also has a journey that goes along with it. The following is the story of Marianne told in her own words.

“I began getting tattoos when I was about 21 years old but had always been interested in traditional methods, such as Tebori (Japanese) and other tap methods such as used in Thailand for the Sak Yant.  Although there are artists in The States who offer clients tap method (without ceremony), I wanted to travel overseas for my own and truly experience traditional tattooing.”

“In early 2007 I finally was able to do just that. I was traveling to Asia for a charity education project and was going to be in Bangkok, Thailand as a central point while traveling in-between Myanmar and Cambodia.  I was staying at a popular hotel and had asked the front desk where the best traditional tattoo parlor was and if they felt I would be accepted for a tattoo. The hotel manager contacted Ajarn Noo Kanpai’s Samnak to see if they had any room for me and if Arjan (sometimes called Ajarn) Noo Kanpai himself would be able to tattoo me. Since he is no longer a monk, he is allowed to touch/tattoo women so this was very fortunate for me. I was accepted and told to come to the Samnak the very next morning with my translator.”

“Upon arrival at the Samnak (Samnak Ajarn Noo: 95/5 MOO.1 Tumbol Bangkayang Ampur Muang Patumtani Thailand 12000 Tel.0-2975-2799 Mobile.0-1363-1252 , 0-9144-9456 Website: it was very quiet. The Samnak looked like a large house with a slightly winding outer staircase up to the tattooing area. I removed my shoes at the bottom of the stairs and began to climb to enter the Samnak. There were about 30 Thais all waiting to get tattooed by the various artists. I was the only Farang (Westerner or Foreigner of European descent) in the Samnak. I took this time to pay homage to Buddha with a flower lei I had bought just for the occasion and some Thai Baht ($). I was told that Arjan Noo was in meditation and that he would see me when I was finished I was going to be first!  I was relieved because of two reasons, I felt it was special to be the first after meditation and also for some reason, although their practices are very safe and hygienic and I was not accustomed to their method, I still had some safety concerns.”

“When Arjan Noo was finished, I spoke to my translator about the correct way to approach him.  It wasn’t so much the respect for Arjan Noo I had to worry about, but the Budhas all behind and around him.   So I approached Arjan Noo as I would approach any temple by kneeling as soon as I was on the rug in front of altar. I was sure to keep my head always lower than Buddha’s, and never pointing my feet at Buddha, always facing the temple until I was well off the rug and still kept my head down.”

“I was asked what I did for a living, what I did for leisure and where I felt I was lacking. My translator and Arjan Noo as well as Arjan Noo’s accountant negotiated a price for a tattoo what he felt I would benefit from. He decided on a Sak Yant on the left shoulder (the left because the left arm is the receiving arm) and it would be a yantra for protection from death and injury as well as for prosperity and inner peace. This was exactly what I needed. However I was apprehensive because I knew that Angelina Jolie had gotten a Sak Yant by Arjan Noo (I do not know what hers is for, as I am sure it was very personal). He had suggested a tiger at first and I was very reluctant to get something so large; I also didn’t want a tiger tattoo. That was when he asked me about my life and chose the Sak Yant.”

“After the exchange of the appropriate funds, about 2-3 times the amount for a tattoo in the US this size and time, we began. Arjan Noo began cleaning my back and then drew on the design, and then the tattoo began…”

“I must say I was surprised at the sensation. It didn’t feel anything like a Western tattoo machine. There was no stinging, burning or that vibration that feels like electricity going through you. It felt like being punched and it bled more than the usual tattoos I had gotten. Although it didn’t really hurt incredibly much, it was not comfortable. I began meditating to soak up the experience and get everything out what I had traveled so far to do. Meditation made it much better.  When I had finished, I opened my eyes and many of the other customers had been staring at me. I almost think they were wondering if I was going to pass out. They had not seen that I already had tattoos so I am not sure what they thought.  There were two other girls waiting to get a Sak Yant when I was there, the rest were young men. The other art around the room was truly amazing, some men must have taken years to accumulate the amount of ink that they had. All in the traditional method as well.

“About 25 minutes later he had finished,  After cleaning with alcohol and then oils I was then bandaged and waited my turn to be blessed. Then the ceremony began. This was the best part. I wasn’t aware this would happen and I felt privileged. Arjan Noo blesses you and this is integral for the “magic” to work. He began by placing a piece of paper above my head as I drew my hands together at the heart. He then began splashing water from a split bamboo wand and then he placed the paper between his closed hands and prayed. He then blew on it and then he gave me the paper. During the ceremony I had lost track of time. I honestly do not even know how long it took to this day. I just know I felt honored to have gone through it. If you would like to see a video of Arjan Noo performing a tattoo and blessing ritual: (this is not me obviously).”


“I was told that in order for the magic of the Sak Yant to work I must abstain from Drinking, Smoking, Drugs and Sex. Although I could abstain from two of them, I couldn’t find myself not having the occasional glass of wine. However, part of me really feels as though it does work because I engage in many dangerous sports and have never been really hurt. Who knows, maybe it is simply luck or coincidence but whatever the case, I wouldn’t change a thing. Anyway, he gave me one of his books and told me to come back and help the Thai people (referring to the charity project I was there for to begin with.) I said I would send a photo and return and thanked him and bid him Sawadika and left.”

“Healing was not the usual experience I was accustomed to. My shoulder blade had bruised in a few areas. The strangest? There was no scabbing or lifting of the ink.  It had healed in about 3 days and I think that was what surprised me the most, Even the bruises were gone in about 4 days! “

“I do plan on going back to Arjan Noo’s and getting another tattoo again. But am also looking into the Tebori method very soon. I was unable to get my tattoo done while I was in Japan, but will return.”

Now that is getting a tattoo with some meaning behind it. If you find this interesting let me know I can write up more about the Sak Yant and other traditional tattoos. Or if you would like to have your tattoo story featured on my blog contact me.

The Sak Yant Traditional Tattoo

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The Sak Yan is a traditional tattoo that is done in Southeast Asian Countries, such as Thailand and Cambodia. Also known as “Magic Tattoos”, there are usually given with meaning behind it. Sak meaning “to tap” and Yant derived from Yantra meaning “sacred Geometric design”.  You might recognize it from the one on Angelina Jolie’s tattoos. Remember, just because a star gets a tattoo does not mean someone else gets one. Usually a star does not influence a person to get a tattoo design. The Sak Yant is a tattoo that one gets that has a prayer or a blessing over the person it is on. Remember try not to insult a person when looking at their tattoo by saying “Oh, you got that because (insert celebrities name) got it?” This can be an insult to the person who wears it.

For centuries the Buddhist monks would give this tattoo and today can only give it to men. Some tattoo artist in will place the tattoo on a female but a true Buddhist Monk is forbidden from giving the ink to a female. Later I will be doing a story of a female who received a Sak Yant from a tattoo artist who used to study the Buddhist Religion. The artist himself has an amazing story. He used to be a gangster over in Thailand and when he ran into trouble he was given the opportunity to become a Monk. With the plea bargain his mother was able to get for him. During his journey of becoming a Monk he found an interest in tattooing that he decided to become a tattoo artist instead. I have included photos of the tools used to.

I am trying to start a page with different types of tattoos which will include the meaning and origin.  If you have ideas or a type of tattoo you would like featured, please contact me with the information using my “Contact Me” page on the right.

Also if you would like to be featured on my page use the “Contact Me” page as well. I would like to do a write up for you.

The Tattoo kit is from Myanmar and the tattoo from Thailand, but the writing is Khmer (ancient Cambodian)

A Guardian Angel (Maria’s Behind the Ink Story)

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Last week I was pretty excited to get a message from Maria telling me she wanted to tell her story on my page. Not only is this my first “Behind the Ink” tale, but she’s also a friend of mine on Twitter.

 Maria’s inspiration for her tattoo has not only meaning behind it but a story that she enjoys telling. Although the Inspiration to her tattoo has many points that could be made, I want to focus mainly on the tattoo. Since Maria is such a great writer, I’ll be using her write-up for this part of the blog.

 “I was working at JC Penney’s at the time of Princess Diana’s death. I remember a coworker of mine buying up a bunch of the little Guardian Angel birthstone pins from the jewelry department and going around giving them to us. She gave me an Emerald one for May. Ever since that day, I’ve had that guardian hanging from my rear view mirror.”


“But even then, it wasn’t until 2000, when I lost my 3rd friend in 2 years, that I seriously made a point of religiously wearing my seatbelt.”

“In June 2007, I was involved in a fatal car accident. Of the three involved, I was the luckiest with the least physical injuries coming away with only a right broken foot and a severely sprained left ankle leaving both legs splinted for at least 6-8 weeks among several cuts and bruises and severe whiplash that lasted two days. When my mother collected whatever of my belongings were still salvageable from my car a few days later, there was the necklace my sister had given me for Christmas one year, with my Guardian Angel still pinned to it. When I got a new car, the first thing I put in it was that Guardian Angel pin.”

“Having recently returned to my faith, I strongly believe in Guardian Angels and firmly believe that mine never left me, no matter how far or how long I strayed.”

“It was in October 2007, four months after the accident, that I came to the firm decision on a new tattoo – a Guardian Angel, to signify my ordeal from that fatal accident, which was a life-changing event for me.”

“So I got a recommendation on a parlor here in town. I thought long and hard about it being that the state (SC) just recently started allowing tattooing. Used to be we had to drive across the border to get a tattoo and I had gotten my first two in Charlotte, NC. Too bad the shop that my original artist worked at was no longer open because I would have gone back to him. However, this artist here came highly recommended, having a tattoo shop in Japan also. She came to SC specifically to open a shop. She even had a hand in helping pass the laws for tattooing here in SC.”

Tattoo Angel

 “So I went in to see her and told her what I wanted. I explained to her what happened and what I wanted my guardian angel to look like. I wanted her to be kneeling in a way as if she was above looking over the edge of a cloud down at me, watching over me, and I wanted her wings to have a lot of definition with the feathers. ”

Maria had several differences with the original artist and since then has decided to complete the tattoo with a different artist. I will post more on this later but for now Maria has plans to complete the Angel detail with brown hair and clouds surrounding her.

If you would like to tell your story Contact me by using the Contac me Link located on the right side of my blog. Maria’s Blog can be found at