I was walking up Seventh Avenue back in August when I spotted Michael, taking on break on the sidewalk, soaking in the summer pedestrian traffic.
He is a video game programmer who works for a firm called Atom Apps and has his own company called Broken Home Studios.
I noticed he had tattoos and, given his vocation, it made sense that the ink he shared with me had a gaming theme:
These logos are from the classic video game, The Legend of Zelda, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. When I asked why he had an affinity for Zelda, Michael explained:
"It helped me get through a very violent parent thing. It was like, the little boy, sent into the world, by himself, alone, to fight all the bad things coming at him. And, he didn't do this on his own. He was put into this against his will, like I was, with my situation. He was able to survive and fight and conquer and have a happy ending, and that's why I have that affinity for that character and that game - because I vicariously lived through that character to escape my own issues."
He got both Zelda pieces at Screamin' Ink Tattoo off of Route 4 in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Ian Shafer did the piece on the left
and he attributed the piece on the right to an artist he only remembered as Bob.
I'm familiar with the artists at Screamin' Ink, having witnessed their work up close at the last two NYC Tattoo Conventions. In fact, the work highlighted in this post, by Ian, is among the more amazing tattoos I have had the privilege to see up close.
Thanks to Michael for sharing these tattoos with us here on Tattoosday, and for being so forthright about the inspiration behind them as they related to his difficult childhood.