The ink on Stephanie Marazzo






Stephanie Marazzo from Tampa, FL

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hillsborough, NJ.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Definitely. I loved Hillsborough, but the longer I was there the more I wanted to branch out- I think that's pretty typical hometown syndrome. It was a small town once upon a time, but tons and tons of families have moved in over the last decade or so. It's a beautiful town, with beautiful parks and reserves, and many well-to-do families. If you aren't turned into a self-righteous prick, then you'll turn out like myself and be driven to reach the same level of comfort and success your parents were able to achieve.

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo on my eighteenth birthday as a gift from my then boyfriend. My first tattoo was a violet, the NJ state flower, on the top of my right ribcage.

How would you describe your style?
I like to dress comfortable. I think for the most part my wardrobe is basically just t-shirts and skinny jeans. I wear sandals all summer and Keds if for some reason sandals just aren't an option.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
I do. There are numerous artists who tattoo their entire lives and dedicate all they have into their work. I've seen absolutely incredible tattoos in person and on the web that are nothing short of perfection.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
I'm enjoying the fact that tattoos are becoming more of a socially accepted form of self-expression, but I dislike the way tattoo culture has become a bit mainstream over the last few years. I'm constantly seeing new tattoo tv shows that seem to highlight shop drama or horror stories instead of incredible artists and phenomenal work. Also, I was invited to try out for "America's Next Top TATTOO Model" a few months back, which I feel is going to flood the alternative modeling world in a negative way if that happens.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I have always been an artist. I went to art school and I appreciate the way tattoos are a collaboration between the artist and the person receiving the piece. The process of being tattooed means more to me than the design in some instances. I frequently allow my artist, Javier Eastman at Get Ink Tattoo Studio, the artistic freedom to tattoo whatever design he'd like. 

What’s your favorite piece?
Every time I get a new tattoo it's my new favorite. Right now my favorite is the top portion of my black and grey sleeve depicting a beautiful brunette, a cat, and a sparrow. The girl is holding the cat up to her chest and the cat is reaching into the air with one paw trying to swat the small bird out of the air. The piece means a lot to me having to do with life and death, and also reaching for the things you want that always seem to be just out of reach.

Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink? 
Yes, not usually in a negative way, but I do see it. I get a lot of compliments along with the staring so I don't mind it.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Not unless healing a new one. If I'm sore I'm probably a bitch.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
I have three stars tattooed on my neck that represent myself and my sisters. All three of us have three stars tattooed somewhere on our bodies and it's nice to think we are all connected in that way.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
RESEARCH. I cannot say that enough. Stop trying to get a good deal and focus on who can most successfully achieve the look you want. A good tattoo is an investment, stop trying to haggle.

Will you be getting anymore?
I'm in the process of sleeving both legs and my right arm. I hope to start a full back piece in the next year or so.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going? 
I probably enjoy creeping on other models a little too much. My biggest inspirations are my friends in the modeling industry, I push myself to do more and accomplish more and seeing my friends succeed motivates me to do the same.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
When I was growing up I was actually very self-conscious and there was not much about myself I actually liked. I spent a lot of my time trying to be like the people around me who I perceived as "better." I don't know exactly when it happened, but soon after I got to college I started to really like who I was. I am comfortable with my body, I am thankful for my family and friends, I really love who I've become and ever since my life has blossomed. I would say the biggest lesson I've learned is that choosing to love who you are is the biggest step forward you will ever make. It has changed everything.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Anything else you would like to add?
Surely. You can find me at all of the following links.

Photography: Hugo Velazquez
Makeup Artist: Jessica Marazzo
Lingerie: Bklyn Noir

The ink on Venus Starr




Venus Starr

Where did you grow up?
QLD, Australia .

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Very hot and tropical, and it was quite the art scene. Of course my experiences growing up have inspired me. 

When did you start getting tattoos?
I was 16.

How would you describe your style?
Tattoo Barbie - Red carpet ready or homeless drug, addict depending on my mood. 

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes, of course.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
"In style" (yawn). 

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I love art. 

What’s your favorite piece?
Cat woman.

Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink? 
All the time.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
No, they do not.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Go to an artist, a good one!!!! Don’t do it because it’s a good cheap price, EVER! 

Will you be getting anymore?
YES, I will.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
We are oh so temporary, be grateful for what you have.

Anything else you would like to add?
My official Facebook page.
Instagram

Photo Credits:
Sarah Barlow Imagery and Photography – 1, 3.
Juice Lab Photography – 2.
Paradox photography NZ – 4.
AJ Photography – 5.

The ink on Jeselyn



Jeselyn from Rhode Island

When did you start getting tattoos? 
I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form? 
Of course! It takes serious technical skills as well as an artistic eye to create an amazing tattoo. 

How do you see the tattoo culture right now? 
It's making strides! Tattoos are becoming a lot more widely accepted in the work force, as well as every day society. 

What has been your inspiration for getting them? 
Growing up I knew I wanted to have a lot of tattoos. I find them attractive when done properly. And for each piece, it varies, it could be an art piece, a movie, or just something I like. 

What’s your favorite piece? 
All of them, otherwise they wouldn't be on my body. 

Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink? 
All the time. By now, I barely pay attention to it. Mostly they are intrigued, or have questions. I rarely get bad reactions to them anymore.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often? 
I have to admit, some days I can't stand people staring, or answering the questions that I have answered a thousand times already. Most days, they make me very happy. 

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
The most significant one is the smallest. It's a matching tattoo with my Mom. A small Patron bee behind our right ears. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo? 
Do your research, know what you want, and be prepared to pay for it! 

Will you be getting anymore? 
Absolutely!!!

What is one thing that life has taught you? 
Tenacity. You may not be the best, but if you work hard and stay tenacious, you will succeed.

Anything else you would like to add?

Photo Credits:
Keith Selle Photography - 1, 3, 5.
Greg Easton at Pazuzu Studios - 2.
Twisted Image Pin Up - 4.
Dastardly Dave Photography - 6.

The ink on Kelsey Alyssa


Kelsey Alyssa from New Jersey

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in NJ and have lived on the shore for most of my life.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It was great living close to the beach and most of my family. I'm not the typical "Jersey Girl" or anything like the ones you see on television, I like rock and roll/metal music. I'm not too big into going to clubs or partying, I can't dance or stay up past midnight. My town was small and cruel, filled with closed minded, judgmental teenagers who prayed on the innocent for not being "like them", I moved the moment I turned 18. Though not the most inspirational small town, they did teach me a few things: 1. Empower never destroy, it's easier to make friends if you support each other as opposed to tearing them down out of jealousy or anger. 2. Go after your dreams, don't let anyone stop or discourage you. And 3. Be careful who you make fun of; that crooked smiled, athletic, small town girl might one day embrace her flaws, and her inner beauty, and make a living off of it. 

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first Tattoo as a Christmas present when I was 17, my father signed for me, and then when I turned 18 I gradually started getting more. 

How would you describe your style?
I love working out and doing yoga, so behind the scenes and at home or on workout days, you can catch me in leggings and sweats quite often. On set and when I'm out and about with friends, I love the good old fashion jeans and a band T-shirt, and of course sexy lingerie.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Absolutely. I admire the artists whose work look like a portrait on a canvas. I'm an aspiring tattoo artist, I believe my art is good but transferring it onto skin with a machine is a talent that takes time, patience and practice to learn. So absolutely, tattoos are a serious art form.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
I see a culture that's growing out of Taboo and into the norm. More and more people are getting tattooed every day, and less people are judgmental about it. 

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I get tattoos because I love them, and because I believe they help in most healing processes as well. For example, memorial tattoos, tattoos for lost loved ones.

What’s your favorite piece?
My favorite piece at the moment is my cow skull, I just think she did an incredible job and it was for a great cause.

Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink?
Pretty often, but not as often as people stare at my hair!

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
I have a nick name on the side of my forearm for my brother’s girlfriend, and a friend of mine, who passed away while they were in high school. Her name was Frankie Marie Previti, and she was beautiful, stunning, inside and out. She was the smallest little one, you'd think she was a porcelain doll if you didn't crave her laugh. One day she woke me and my friends up with the smallest pancakes after a long night of drinking, my friend shouted, "what are these little Frankie Cakes?!" Thus her nickname was born.

When I got my first tattoo on my arm (half skeleton Marilyn Monroe), she began to tell me her dreams of being covered in ink, and how my Marilyn was her favorite tattoo of mine. I told her I'd take her to get her first tattoo by my artist. She passed away a few days shy of her birthday in 2011. I remember the chaos that ensued as I rushed to my brother’s side and before I knew it, it was over. I never intended on getting a sleeve, but I couldn't stop thinking about our late night talks and her dreams and aspirations that are now just memories. So I decided that if she couldn't get her sleeve, she could officially start mine. So I got "Frankie Cakes" tattooed on the side of my forearm right next to her favorite Marilyn tattoo. This is the only name I have tattooed on me, I love it.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
They all hurt. Only let an artist touch your skin with a needle.

Will you be getting anymore?
Yes! My goal is to eventually half one giant tattoo, my legs arms and stomach all connected by my back.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
My biggest inspiration would have to be my dad, he's been through a lot and I've watched him rise from his lowest point on his own. I'd never want to disappoint him, and his journey has inspired me to keep moving. 

What is one thing that life has taught you?
Life has taught me that not many people can be trusted, but, those who can be trusted are well worth your time and love.

Do you have a favorite quote?
"Sweetest things turn sour by their deeds, Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." It's a quote from Shakespeare, which to me means good people turn bad because of their actions, the people most important to you turning bad hurts more than a regular person or friend. This was my first tattoo I got when I was 17 on my ribs. 

Anything else you would like to add?
I am a Wildlife and Forestry Conservationist, a Veterinary technician, a current Wildlife Biology student and a bartender.


Photo Credits:
Richard Marz - 1, 2, 3, 7.
Keith Selle - 4, 5, 6.
Kat Attack Photography - 8.