New Ink in New Plymouth


We were lucky enough to be in New Plymouth for New Zealand’s biggest tattoo festival.


For 20 bucks, we got some live music, graffiti walls, burlesque, and loads of tattoos to check out. I went both days and it was a cornucopia of sights and sounds. The hall buzzed like a hornet’s nest, and freak flags were flown.

Nice shoes

There was a competition for the best and the judges made some hard calls. It wasn’t easy (nor all that nice, for that matter) but we’ve picked our own worst 5 of the show. (Hint: we don’t love portraits.)

Worst #5: Actually the best in show

Worst #4: Irony taken too far

Worst #3: A doggone bad idea

Worst #2: Why?

Worst #1: Wolves at grave/baby/snake tree?

It wasn’t all Chuck Norrises and bad pictures of grandmothers. There was some truly great art on display here. This isn’t really a comprehensive list, but here are 5 that really stood out.

Best #5: Colorful legpiece

Best 4: O’brien’s Raven

Best #3: Buddha backpiece

Best #2: Purple power

Best #1: Dragon War!

In the end, Rachel and her sister both got great tattoos–similar in conception but quite different in execution. They both sat an excruciating 5+ hours in their chairs. I lose it a bit after 4 hours, so their endurance (not to mention the endurance and skills of their artists) is commendable.

Ready Rach

Jen’s birds

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