A Day in 10 Photos: 10.15.2010 Oct 16, 2010


Yesterday I met back up with Lyam Sparkes at East River Tattoo to continue working on my right leg with him. My plan is to get a piece done from him each time he’s in town from London. If you remember, he tattooed the goat on my thigh the last time he was in town. This time I had something a little different for Lyam to work with.

Check out nine more photos below.


East River is one of those shops that is constantly changing. Every visit, new objects are placed throughout the space.


Keeping with the nautical theme.


And the classic tattoo shop material.


But this shop is clearly NYC.


The notion of this makes my skin crawl.


Showing you to have a little backbone.


So I came across this imagery a while back and always thought it’d make a great tattoo. It’s a Philosopher’s Stone or ‘The Demonstration of Perfection’, an image from alchemy that represented the duality and perfection of combining Sulphur and Mercury. There’s more to it than that but the moon and sun represent balance. Which is why I felt like this was a solid choice for a tattoo. Everyone needs balance.


Lyam’s way into this kinda stuff and he was stoked to work on it. He’s a fast artist and I think this took around an hour to complete.


The outcome was exactly like the old etching. Once again Lyam delivers a solid tattoo. Here’s a larger photo of the entire piece. He’s in town until Wednesday and is pretty booked but if you want to hit him up for an appointment, you can try calling the shop!

  • los!

    what a rad looking shop.

  • jack

    Is that a different ink than your other leg?

  • No, the other leg is just older. This ink is the same, just fresh.

  • headbandana

    What is this style of work called? Just line work?

  • To my knowledge, they don’t really refer to it as a style. More of an approach to body art. Not sure. Lyam’s mark is very different from Duke Riley’s. One’s quick and one’s a long process…

  • Matthew

    That image actually has a TON going on in it. The male and the female are again part of the duality of the sexes required to attain the perfection that was sought after. The sun and moon represent the male and female aspects as well. Beyond that, the snakes represent what is known as the Ouroboros, which is typically represented as a snake eating its own tail but also seen as coiled snakes like in that image. The ouroboros is sort of one of the main principles of the more classical image of alchemy, where through decay and rebirth the philosopher’s stone is purified and refined into its eventual ultimate self– the REALLY neat thing is that sulfur and murcury mixes do that too!

    Super super cool. You picked an image with a really rich background.

  • Why thank you Matthew, you saved me from typing all that out! haha. Yeah, it’s a really awesome illustration. I’m keen on the individual humanoid Mercury and Sulfur drawing too.