The Temporary Tattoo Project is a creative Givology philanthropic project collaborating with 6 top tattoo artists to create temporary tattoos that will be sold to raise money for Flying Kites’ Child Sponsorship Program. Each artist was paired with a Flying Kites child in need of sponsorship who inspired limited edition works of art meant to be showcased on your skin.
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Way, way overdue. We wanted to do a special Valentine’s Day edition for the cutest couple we’ve ever met, but alas we overshoot on Valentine’s Day expectations once again.
So I was in California on a business trip this past week with Emily McCombs, managing editor of xoJane, not to mention one of the coolest ladies around. She’s pouring her orange juice, we haven’t officially met, I’m staring down the blank space where I’ve been told the breakfast sandwiches are going to be placed and I find myself fixated on her calf. On it was the very same vintage teal typewriter tattoo that I pulled from Virginia’s portfolio to create her bio page for the website. Can you say kismet? “VIRGINIA ELWOOD!!!!!” I basically scream at her at 9 in the morning. (Yeah, and that is why Lauren does the PR and I do not…) Point being, it jump-started my geriatric memory, reminding me that I had a post to write.
On that note: Stephanie and Virginia invited us into their home in the cutest nook of Brooklyn on a Tuesday in July. They have one of those perfectly curated, impossibly cool apartments of the creative-type that awakens your latent Freudian insecurities, reminding you that your apartment still looks like a dorm room and the only art you have on your wall is that stick figure sketch your friend drew of your imaginary boyfriend while trashed. A-nyway… Rita, Stephanie and Virginia’s pint size dog hams it up for the camera as we film Stephanie for our video. Virginia is next in front of the bookcase. Cooing words of adoration and congratulations bounce back and forth between the two of them—I never want to leave this bubble of happiness. They catch us eyeing the backroom and give us a tour of their studio. Nautical scenes explode out from sketches on the table; paints upon paints upon every art supply you could ever wish for line the room. Two huge amounts of raw talent just percolating under one, exquisitely designed roof. I will not rehash the new Freudian insecurities that begin to percolate.
Stephanie’s humble demeanor and warm energy are not things you would expect from such a coveted artist as herself. The adjective ‘versatile’ could not even do her workjustice, I spent hours just pouring through her portfolio trying to select the best representation of her style—every last piece is so seamless and flawless, I just couldn’t choose. Stephanie was paired with Martha, a quiet, endearing little girl with so much heart. Coincidentally enough, Stephanie’s first tattoo was of a horse that she was so glad to revisit for Martha—as Martha’s super power would be to have a secret magic horse to ride on.
Working for several years as a graphic designer before embarking on her tattoo career, Tamez’s approach to tattooing is highly influenced by meticulous precision and an awareness of every piece in context of the larger picture. Tamez’s breadth of work covers everything from traditional Japanese to black and gray to detailed etching inspired tattoos. She has been living and tattooing in New York since 2001 and currently works out of Williamsburg’s very own, Saved Tattoo.
Virginia’s bold designs reflect the work of an artist that has such a keen sense of playful lightness. I find myself mesmerized by her images, I see her so clearly though every tattoo that she does. And when she created our kite, our 3”x3” knock-it-out-of-the-park tattoo, we along with every person who has ever come into contact with the project were head over heels for it. There is such a strength in her simplicity and vision that we are ever so grateful she lent her talents to us for this project.
Beginning her tattoo career in 2001, Elwood has based her craft largely on American folk art influences with some black and gray realism thrown in. Shifting focus from finer line tattooing to much bolder, traditionally inspired pieces, Elwood constantly endeavors to evolve her technique and her art. Elwood was recently featured on The Gypsy Gentlemen, a traveling documentary series profiling the world’s greatest tattooers. Elwood tattoos at New York Adorned in Manhattan’s East Village.
Big, big thanks to the two of them. We are eternally grateful.