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If you are not familiar with the Two Dollar Tattoo Project please CLICK HERE! to get the 411 or read the sidebar info. To clarify this project is for industry professionals and not meant to be a way for the general public to get a tattoo for only Two Dollars. Please be sure to click on the images to see them large enough to really appreciate them. Our little project is run exclusively by the volunteer time of working professionals and the generosity of our industry sponsors. Help keep the lights on here, please comment if you like what you see and check out our great sponsors. To see our recent winners click here!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

These little tattoos can heal, here is proof!

Congratulations Canada On Dominating Olympic Hockey!

Now onto other news, Bryan Turnbull who you might remember remember from a previous post has been kind enough to follow up with a healed photo and testimonial that single needle tattoos can heal. Bryan had this to say:

"I included a photo of the R2D2 that I did, completely healed. Only took 4 days to heal. We'll see how it looks in ten years, HA!"

Now, if we all ran around worrying about what actions we take now and how they might effect us in ten years I don't believe we would be nearly as much fun as we proclaim to be... people would be a lot less likely to get good fun tattoos and where would this project be then? It is true tattoos age, though the aging process they can fade, soften, or just change in shape. The truth is we all will age and eventually fade, soften and change shape to match our tattoos to some degree.
My suggestion is live a little, do what you like and Get Good Tattoos! If you don't like the tiny memento of your favorite Sci-Fi character you received a decade prior there will always be an artist willing to cover up that rusty old R2D2 tattoo with a fresh new Imperial Death Star.

I will have more proof of healed Two Dollar Tattoos shortly. As well we all know Star Wars fans love a good prequel there is more Star Wars Two Dollar Tattoos coming this week, STAY TUNED!

Two Dollar Heart Tattoo By Bob Paulin

It's Sunday, I have a pile of work to do today so it's nice when I get an email submission that basically writes the blog post for me. Today's Two Dollar Tattoo is brought to you courtesy of Bob Paulin (at Studio 123 Tattoo In st. Catherines, Ontario). Bob is no stranger to the single needle as I have come to find out from clients of his I know personally. He had this to say about his experience doing a Two Dollar Tattoo on his client Lisa Carlo.

"She (Lisa) couldn't resist the price & I got a last minute cancellation. What a great way to take the edge off of the stress of a last minute cancellation. Usually these cancellations are a piss-off especially when I have a long list of clients waiting to get in. It's the only thing we ask of people, give us 24 hours notice so we can call someone else in. It's really funny because occasionally when it happens I'll take a walk-in & trick-out something small. Its a fun break! This project reminded me how kool that is."

In other news I have a few healed photos of previous Two Dollar Tattoo submissions and they look great!
Only taking into account your technique and the overall health of the recipient there is no way to tell how these will heal or how long it will take to just settle down. You find out after you have at least one successful attempt under your belt.

I have heard through the grape vine of a few recent attempts have not been sent in either because of procrastination or because the initial healing has been a complete mess and they are waiting to see how it turns out before sharing it. Single needle tattooing IS NOT EASY! and part of this being a challenge is just that. Sure, if you work in a busy street shop you might be doing small tattoos all day but being forced to work with the smallest possible needle configuration can make it super amazing or a huge headache.

Two Dollar Skull Tattoo By Jakob Shivengri

Skulls are and always have been popular themes in modern tattooing. From a standard anatomical skull to something a little more southern or eastern influenced if done well the tattoo can even take on a life of its own. In this case the chatty little single needle skull tattoo by Jakob Shivengri (at Transformations in Nanaimo British Columbia) is no exception. Fellow tattoo artist Nate Martin had (this little guy referred to as "Jimmy Talky-Head") tattooed on his hand and almost immediately it took on its own personality! According to Jacob "Now the whole shop is going to have to put up with Nate responding to everything with his chatty hand, forever" (don't believe us watch the video). With the current job market it is always important to have something to fall back on. If Tattooing doesn't work out for young Nate, rest assured he can always audition as a duet act with Jimmy on American Idol. Nice Job Guys! We look forward to seeing what Nate has planned as a mate for Jimmy on his other hand.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Two Dollar Futurama Tattoos By Seven Crowns Tattoo

Some of you may know Matthew Ellis and George Brown as two of the fine artists that helped to launch this project with me and continue to make help set the bar and help maintain the integrity of the project. Check out the awesome video they made (with the help of a friend that needs a website I can link back to, hey credit where credit is due.) for the project. Lots more images and videos to come in the next few days. There is a backlog to get caught up on so please keep visiting for new content as we get it. And as always the artists who submit work to this site are fueled by your comments, lets help make them feel important.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two Dollar Owl Tattoo By Sean Meraw

Many of us have grown up with nursery stories of wise old owls, some may have had a bubble pipe. The fez hat on the head of this scholarly nocturnal creature normally worn my men of The Shriner Persuasion did throw me off a little. Perhaps this was a page taken from The Tale of Solomon Owl? Or maybe this wise old owl is just a friend of Solomon? So it mote be, this is the second submission from our eager friend Sean Meraw (of Good Fortune Tattoo in Windsor Ontario).

Sorry this post was delayed, have been playing catch up with life this week. I have some more new submissions in the que just awaiting to be posted. As well as what is quickly becoming a laundry list of Artists who are promising to send in their submissions of TwoDollarTattoos they have done. Well as they say on the interwebs "PIX or it Nvr Hpnd!" In the mean time please do enjoy the work from the hard working folks who did send us their images and comment if you like what you see.

As well if love Owl Tattoos you need to visit The kind folks at The Owl Tattoo Blog! They have a very eclectic and extensive archive that is worth checking out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Dollar Willie Nelson Tattoo By Alie K.

Traditional Country Western music has a special place in all our hearts, no matter what your musical taste I believe we can all still relate in some way to what they had to say. I recently quit my day job to pursue a new career... Johnny Paycheck would have been my soundtrack that day (sing along with me if you know the lyrics).

Today, "Professional Manscaper" John Roth's soundtrack was probably "My heroes have always been Cowboys" as he had his Wee Willie* single needle tattooed by Alie K. (at TCB Tattoos Toronto Ontario). As I have come to understand Willie Nelson was not only famous for his Music but for being an outspoken supporter of the decriminalization of Marijuana. How else would you explain a quote like this?

“Ninety-nine percent of the world's lovers are not with their first choice. That's what makes the jukebox play.”

* Seriously, how long did you think I could get through this post before I had to make a dick joke?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two Dollar Little Mermaid Tattoo By Derek Burton

I truly enjoying how lately it seems submissions have been coming in that have continuing themes. Today I received another mythical sea creature, The Little Mermaid. In true Two Dollar Tattoo fashion it is literally the Littlest Mermaid, Ha!
Derek Burton (of Good Point Tattoos in Oakville Ontario) sends us this great little single needle tattoo he did on his lovely lady friend Tami. Good Point was in fact one of the shops dared via snail mail to take up the challenge by The Ittee Bittee Tattoo Committee at the beginning of the month. Derek shared this about the experience.

"I was glad to accept the challenge. It's been a while since I've done something like this. I'm usually being told to NOT to make stuff so small. Attached are the pictures of the Twoonie exchange, stencil and a photo of me tattooing the Littlest Mermaid on my girlfriend, Tami. I bought a coffee with the twoonie she gave me, a large triple triple."

There you have it folks if you find your self in Oakville and want to bring Derek a coffee you know he likes it: tall, light and sweet.

On a side note, I quit my job! I will now have endless amounts of time to dedicate to this project. Well that is until Monday morning when I start my new career. As I have mentioned before this project is driven not only by volunteers that work on the blog (me plus 3) but as well the hard working artists who submit work they have done essentially at a loss. So I will present to you my empty hat to fill. If you own or work for a company that could benefit from advertising on this blog we will consider making a trade for stuff to give away to artists who contribute to the project. We are open to offers so please email us at TwoDollarTattoo(at)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two Dollar Bearded Clam Tattoo By Dave Glantz

Zebras and Unicorns, both rare and majestic and despite all the photos on the internet only one is actually real. Much like the bearded clam there is a great deal of documentation on the internet however collecting them is another story. David Glantz (of Archive Tattoo in Toronto Ontario) decided he would use his wit, charm and single needle to help his friend Matt Darling last Saturday night to collect his very own bearded clam, complete with a monocle even!

In all truthfulness David told me this piece had been something he and Matt had been discussing for some time though it was not originally meant to be so small it is still appreciated by all involved. We should also mention David is extremely busy moving locations over the next few weeks and until then will be likely as difficult catch as the elusive bearded clam.

Please keep the comments coming! No one gets paid really to do this so lets help the hard working artists involved know if they wont get a fortune from this they can at least get a little fame.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Two Dollar Illuminati Tattoo By Derek Lewis

Secret societies are no secret, and have existed for centuries.
Skull and Bones, The Illuminati the Royal Order of The Water Buffalo and in some ways even The Tattoo industry for a long time could be regarded as a secret society. Strange hazing rituals, initiation ceremonies, proprietary languages and codes... all of these have been demonstrated in one way or another since tattooing was popularized in north america. So, Since we are on the topic I thought it be fitting to post this ittee bittee Illuminati Pyramid tattoo By Derek Lewis (of Hartless Tattoo in Toronto Ontario).

Within every one of these organisations there is often an even more secret group you might encounter, in the tattoo community this is the group of artists who work independently from a private studio. Really the only secret is you have to find them consult and book your time rather then just walk in off the street and hope you can get in right then and there. Lucky Lauren Jones managed to not only find the elusive Derek Lewis but also convince him to apply this lovely little sacred symbol for two bucks!

By the way for those who don't know Derek, he also plays in a band and if you are in and around Toronto and enjoy live music you should check them out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Two Dollar Bunny Tattoo By Richard Andrews

Well its almost consumption of fancy foil wrapped, oval shaped confection goodness season or at least the local drug store near me reminded me today with a display of Chocolate Cream Eggs. I also received this Bad ass little Two Dollar Bunny Tattoo by Richard Andrews (at Art of Affliction Tattoo in Oshawa Ontario). This "Wascally Wabbit" started out as a sketch for a painting that never quite got finished and was reborn with the help of this project on Richard's pal Greg Woodrow. Just like my favorite Easter branded hard on the outside soft on the inside treat this tattoo also demonstrates even a tough guy exterior can have a teddy bear interior.

I also received a record amount of submissions today... Three! Look out for new submissions tomorrow and every day after that (fingers crossed) as this project is quickly growing. To answer the frequently asked question of how many Two Dollar Tattoos can you submit?

As Many As You Are Willing To Do!

This is an ongoing project there is no closing date established. With every submission the bar gets set higher and higher so get in on the ground level! Did you know a box of single rounds has fifty needles in it, of course you did! Get your colleagues together and split equally on a box and challenge your selfs to use up every one of those little pins before year end, I Dare Ya!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

R2-D2 Dollar Tattoo By Bryan J. Turnbull

So when this post solicits a letter from the lawyers at the Skywalker Ranch i will actually get to reply with These are not that tattoos you are looking for! Bryan J(edi) Turnbull (of Tattoo Zoo in Victoria British Columbia) sent along this Mini portrait of his favorite little film star R2-D2. I must say this looks like it took some time and effort with getting all the little details in there that make it a great unlicensed reproduction of Lucas magic executed with only a single needle.

I meant to ask Bryan about what it was like to do this tattoo but i forgot or got busy or thought it be more fun to just make something up and hope Bryan has a sense of humor as well as the Lucas Estate.

2$T: what made you choose to do an R2-D2 tattoo?

Bryan: "The Force is strong with this one."

2$T: I have heard from other professionals that its likely all the tattoos done in this project will never heal, what do you say to them?

Bryan: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

2$T: How do you feel you did with this tattoo?

Bryan: “When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.”

2$T: So, I assume it was not easy on your vision working so small?

Bryan: "I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur."

2$T: So, I guess you gotta be pretty skilled to attempt something so small?

Bryan: “These blast points — too accurate for sandpeople. Only imperial stormtroopers are so precise.”

2$T: So, I get a lot of emails from professional artists saying they want to try this out but they are kinda scared, any words of wisdom?

Bryan: “Do or do not. There is no try.”

2$T: anything else?

Bryan: “The more you tighten your grip the more star systems will slip through your fingers”

2$T: So you really had to be aggressive to make sure that ink all got pushed in there?

Bryan: “Negitive, negitive, it didn’t go in. Just impacted on the surface”

2$T: Well thanks for your submission and your time Bryan.

Bryan: “May the Force be with you.”

Stay tuned folks there may even be a sequel! Or well more tattoos to post tomorrow so visit often! bookmark us, follow us, and comment comment comment!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Two Dollar Crimson Ghost Tattoo By Jimmi Hellbent

Sorry for the delay in posting folks but it is a commercial holiday after all.

This Submission actually came in a few days ago but like many of the submissions we get it was super cool but incomplete, missing only one very important photo so I had to email the submitter to say I WANT YOUR SKULL!. We simply had to hold it for continuity sake until we got all the photos we needed. Jimmi Hellbent (
of SunnySide Tattoo in Toronto) produced this cute + little (those words together always make me think of Glen Danzig) Crimson Ghost he tattooed on his employee and fellow tattooer Jen Moffatt. It has been an exiting week for Jimmi for two reasons, he got a new camera and decided to show it off with a photo essay of the two dollar tattoo process in extreme closeup, macro even! And second Jimmi along with his entire staff this week celebrated one year open for business in the quaint Toronto suburb of Parkdale. Congratulations to Jimmi and all the staff at SunnySide!

Now its trivia time, I would like to see how many Misfits fans can tell me what song this lyric is from:

whoa oh oh ohoh!
whoa oh oh ohoh ohoh!
whoa oh oh!

You can post your answer in the comment forum below.
As well don't forget you can also nominate your favorite working professional tattooer to receive a dare in the mail to do a two dollar tattoo! Maybe even on You!