Palm Sunday: Royalty in Exile


I still shiver a little bit when I think back to having my palms done in 2008; kindly Thomas Hooper sitting me down and explaining that no tattoo I’ve ever gotten will properly prepare me for just how… unique.. the sensation of having your palms tattooed can be. The other artists at the shop were looking at me with a mixture of amusement and pity as I had the stencils applied and I received an unusual amount of pats on the back and words of encouragement which only added to the general ‘what am I getting myself into vibe’ of the afternoon.

Seven years later and yeah. I still remember every second of it and I’m glad, so very glad, that I’ll never have to experience that again.

Thomas has since moved to Austin, Texas which is, by pure coincidence, where my buddy Nic Lynds did these killer palm tattoos earlier this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Palm Sunday’ post, so… here you go.

My wife and I originally met Nic when we took a Halloween trip to Austin a few years back. We had wanted to get something done to commemorate our trip (and our relationship) and we were referred to Nic who, having only heard the basic idea of what we wanted from a mutual friend, had the design waiting when we got to the shop. He set us up with a pair of really killer tattoos and we left with a new friend in Austin.

Nic is working at Diablo Rojo in Austin where he specializes in traditional American and Japanese tattoos.
Look him up here: for appointment information and visit his Instagram here:

Finger Tattoo Healing

At just over a month my fingers are finally almost healed.
There is a little ‘bleeding’ of pigment in the tips that’s slowly being metabolized by my body, but otherwise things are pretty much settled. Thankfully the iguana skin of my last update is long gone and I no longer stick to things. That was un-fun.

The alpha/omega palm is coming up on three years old (in November) and was also done by Thomas Hooper.

Tomorrow I’m heading back to SAVED to get a little something from Scott Harrison while he’s in NYC. I’ve been getting tattooed a lot in 2011 and the Harrison piece should hopefully be my last new tattoo for a while. Give myself time to recoup.

I’m hoping to see some of my NYC friends while I’m in town, just depends on how grumpy I end up walking around with a fresh tattoo.

The Ugly Truth

I promised updates on the finger tattoos; for the sake of showing people the full healing stages I present you with this ugly truth- peeling, cracking skin and blown out lines.
Consistent with my palm tattoo healing but no less ‘icky’. There are still a few more weeks until they’re fully healed.

I’ve been calling them my iguana fingers.

Not pretty, but a reality check for anyone who wants palm/finger tattoos done the ‘proper’ way.

Sol Invictus


I’m updating via iPad with very swollen fingers from Boston; my birthday trip about to come to a close and my return to life’s responsibility a short sleep and a long bus ride away.

I visited Thomas Hooper at Saved on Wednesday 3rd August to do a little work on my fingers; bringing him abstracts and fragmented symbolism and asking him to work something up based on very little cohesive information.

To his credit Thomas was able to make something solid out of the more uncemented ramblings I presented him with and whipped up this piece and in no time flat had it on my fingers.

Despite the discomfort I left my visit happy; freshly tattooed and in the company of my sister and brother in law and en route to seeing an old friend who was visiting Boston. Thomas was kind enough to penguinize my hands to keep me safe from the elements…. Making subway and bus travel interesting to say the least.

Such and amazing few days that my current swollen finger situation prohibits me from talking about, but tomorrow I head home to  Bailey and will hopefully be able to make regular updates on the healing process of the fingers.

Palm Sunday pt. 1

I’m hesitant to start any kind of regular feature here on the OV blog due mostly to my lack of any sort of adherence to schedules and a fear of not having enough specific material to constantly fill space; so with that said…


There’s no doubt that palm tattooing is enjoying a massive upswing in popularity these days; while they were few and far between twenty years ago, you’re likely to spot them randomly in the strangest of places. Just last week I saw a set of beautifully tattooed palms while at the farmer’s market here in Philadelphia, and came home to see a few sets in my tumblr feed; effectively seeing more tattooed palms in one day than I used to see in a year.

My own palms, done by Thomas Hooper, are among my favorite of my own tattoos despite being horrible to get and even worse to heal. If you’ll forgive the expression- you have to earn palm tattoos if they’re done correctly. And if they’re not… congrats.. you get to do them again. And again. Not something that I’d be interested in.

So while not a regular feature, I’m going to occasionally run Palm Sunday updates as content permits.

Feel free to submit your own palm pictures to  Occult Vibrations.