In an industry dominated by men, Tattoo Lou’s offers a touch of femininity in the Selden and Huntington shops, and occasionally in the Grand Concourse of Nassau Coliseum at New York Islanders games, with a beautiful, young artist by the name of Alecia Rey.
Although she enjoys being a feminine standout among tattoo shop masculinity, her gender hindered her beginnings in the business. Several failed apprenticeships where she was forced to do grunt work, rather than practice to become an artist, stifled her learning process and creativity.
This changed when she met Tattoo Lou’s owner Lou Rubino and artist Jason “Irish Jay” Mohl.
“Most people didn’t take me serious…it was rough getting in, but thank God I met Lou and Irish Jay,” she said. “They brought me into their doors with big arms. I’m really lucky for that.”
Rey’s relationship with Tattoo Lou’s began with a chance encounter with Rubino at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention.
“I met Lou and I showed him some of my work, the next day I made a whole entire portfolio and brought it to him,” she said. “He offered me a spot as an apprentice underneath Irish Jay…I finished, after like eight months, and I started working full time for Lou.”
While tattooing was Rey’s first passion, she initially put off the profession to take art education classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and CW Post, with plans to become an art teacher. Feeling stifled creatively, a career tattooing wouldn’t get pushed off again.
“When I was in college they wanted to put me in the box, saying ‘no, you have to do art exactly like this.’ It wasn’t for me,” she said. “Here, being a tattoo artist you’re like, so free. I don’t even know why I’d never became this, it’s just amazing.”
Now a standout artist for Rubino, Rey said Tattoo Lou’s is the only place she wants to be.
“I’ve got to stay where my roots are, they’re the ones that bred me to be who I am. If it wasn’t for Irish Jay and everybody else helping me out, I wouldn’t be tattooing the way I am now,” she said.
“I’m really lucky that I’ve had such a great mentor and have other people really backing me up and really rooting for me.”
On December 6, Massachusetts-native and hip hop artist J The S, a.k.a.- Jake The Snake, visited Tattoo Lou’s in Deer Park to get some work done by Po Po—one of our hugely talented artists whose history in tattooing and concept art reaches the rocky crags and mountains of distant China.
“Po Po is doing a fantastic job, he’s breezing right through it,” said J at the time of his tattooing. “Some tattoo artists are heavy-handed, it feels like they’re putting a fuckin’ pile driver in your skin. This feels like a massage, it feels good.”
J, who began his rap career battling other MCs locally has opened shows for artists like: Kool G Rap, AZ, Fat Joe, Talib Kweli and Wu-Tang Clan, was interested in getting some roses, thorns and branches tattooed on his right arm—a tie-in for a similar theme that begins on his back and connects to his chest.
When it comes to his overall impression of Tattoo Lou’s, here’s what J had to say:
“Tattoo Lou’s is dope, clean shop, cool cats and most importantly—talented. ‘Cause you don’t want to get some bullshit from somebody. You want to make sure it’s something that you love forever. It’s not like a car you can trade in.”
On January 18, J drops his latest release titled The Last Days, as reported on TheBeeShine, an underground hip hop blog that documents artists and producers while taking the time to comment positively on the current music culture.
The young rapper was featured in a short video production directed by Fredo Tovar for A Plus Films called “Painted Man” and was quoted as saying that Tattoo Lou’s is unequivocally, “Long Island’s finest tattoo shop.”
Thanks J, we appreciate the kind words and look forward to the new record!
Just in time for the holiday grind, the good folks at World Famous Tattoo Lou’s are pleased to present the calendar to end all calendars. Our marketing director was kind enough to lend his talents in taking 12 stunning photos of equally stunning women who are raring to go and tatted up for your viewing pleasure.
To add a little tattoo history to the half-nude menagerie of gifted girlies, we’re imparting the story of Lou Rubino Sr. and his son Lou Jr.—who just happens to oversee five killer shops, complete with a truly talented staff that hope to have you seated in their chairs soon! Of course, the tale goes back to the inception of Tattoo Lou’s; it’s establishment in 1958 and what the future holds in store for New York’s premier tattoo and piercing chain.
We won’t spoil the surprises, but expect big things from our brand, people, and expect ‘em soon!
The Official 2012 Tattoo Lou’s Ink Girls Calendar will be available for purchase online or at any one of our five fine stores. So, inquire within, and own yourself a great piece of Tattoo Power History!
Oh, and don’t forget to visit Nassau Coliseum for a peek at an Islanders home game this season and the chance to meet some of these lovely Ink Girl ladies in person! Don’t be shy they won’t bite.
World Famous Tattoo Lou’s and the New York Islanders hockey club signed a contract that would feature a tattoo and piercing parlor area at the Nassau Coliseum concourse courtesy of Lou’s before the start of the current NFL season, and it’s been wild so far, people.
The deal, forged from the collective minds of Islanders assistant coach Scott Allen and Lou Jr., was set to feature the mammoth Penalty Box, the now famed Lou’s tattoo and piercing booth, for 10 home games this 2011-2012 season. Following its widespread success, Tattoo Lou’s is and will continue to be the official tattoo brand for the New York Islanders. Great news, indeed!
“We’re gonna be staying with the Islanders at the Coliseum, and continuing our partnership with them,” said Lou Jr. “It was a great partnership and we’re very proud of it. It worked out really awesome. We’ve gotten such great press out of it, we’ve decided that it’s definitely a must to continue.”
No longer will Lou have to pick and choose which games his staff will work at the company’s Penalty Box, saying, “Instead of just choosing certain games like we did last time, we’re going to stay for every single game that the Islanders are home.”
The Penalty Box, found between gates 14 and 15 within the arena’s concourse has seen heavy traffic since breaking ground there and has catered to just about everyone. From adult patrons wanting a serious tattoo or piercing, to young sports fans desiring a neat temporary tat or airbrush design, as well as those game goers who are aching for the latest in fashion, loose jewelry and Lou’s brand Inked Republic tees—they’re all flying off the shelves and selling like hot cakes!
“It’s been a really good experience, everybody’s blown away by it,” said Lou Jr. when discussing the Penalty Box. “It’s been a cool experience and it’s great to see the expressions on people’s faces when they realize that we’re actually doing real tattoos.”
The 41-year-old tattoo shop pres has been taken aback by the fans’ wonderment over the fact that real tattoo sessions are in progress during game time that he often has to pinch himself to see if he’s snoozing.
“We’ve actually got to walk them over to the person that’s doing the tattoo and show them that it’s physically a real tattoo that we’re doing there,” he said.
For the remainder of the 2011-2012 season, Lou Jr. expects to see the same outpour of support he and his great staff have so far received and hopes to turn even more heads as the Islander games progress. Tattoo Lou doesn’t plan on making any serious alterations to the stand, but wasn’t hesitant to discuss the sometimes-frigid temperature.
“We’re going to get some outdoor heaters to keep us a little warmer in that booth, because it does get very cold in the concourse,” said Lou Jr., with a grin and continued by saying, “You know people getting tattooed and pierced with their shirts off…we’ve seen them shiver in there, and we’re gonna make a better situation out of that.”
As it stands, everyone at World Famous Tattoo Lou’s and the New York Islanders club, as well as all of the fans and supporters alike, are pleased with this partnership and the tremendous success of the Penalty Box. So much so that the rest of the hockey season is destined to look brighter than ever for everyone who’s determined to come along for the white-knuckle ride.
With all the emphasis being put on the holiday rush, its no wonder that people look into the art of escapism for some much-needed relief. To some, it could be trying their hands at caroling or shopping, but others turn their eyes to their next great tattoo piece.
With Christmas around the corner, parlors across the nation can expect to see an increase in traffic from customers wanting religious symbols to express their faith and to help add to or complete an existing design.
This can also be for any number of other reasons, and certainly comes from a place of personal preference for those wishing to opt for designs that fit this bill.
Crosses, whether Christian, Celtic or otherwise, seem to be growing in popularity. A simple Google search for the term ‘cross tattoo’, for example, elicits a result with over 10,000,000 matches.
Celtic crosses have their place in Irish culture and were first introduced by Saint Patrick, according to some scholarly texts, but you’d have to be blind not to notice the selection choice and prevalence of the cross in tattoos and tattoo culture, today.
If you’re considering going Celtic for your next tat, may we be so bold as to suggest Irish Jay of Tattoo Lou’s in Selden. His work in this art is unparalleled. Wait. Was that just a shameless plug, or a bullet of truth? You be the judge!
This nifty tat was done by none other than Ms. Alecia Rey of the Selden and Huntington shops and showcases impeccable skill and precision that can only come from years of dedication and a real commitment to the craft. We are most definitely proud to have Alecia as part of the Tattoo Lou’s team, and see her achieving a whole lot more as the months fly by!