On the Right Frequency

Let’s tune in as our tattooed contributor’s colorful story continues at the Philadelphia Convention Center. 

February 9, 2016
By Diane Batalsky

I’m going to the convention, whooo hoooo! On Frequency Tattoo’s dime, yet, but it’s the least John can do, frankly, after all the ink I’ve sat for this past year. In addition to the sugar skull tattoo I blogged about, I’ve added a cowboy boot/Jack Daniels image (for my father), and a Snoopy tattoo to go with all the others but that’s not all….

I am the proud possessor of the biggest, baddest tattoo I could ever imagine on my body! It stretches from the top of my thigh all the way down to my calf, and almost wraps around my leg, yet.

It’s actually a cover-up of a poor piece of “flash art” that I impulsively got while on a trip to Coronado many years ago, ugh. I’d always meant to have it redone — my dream was to one day have a realistic portrait of my scarlet macaw, Bandit, on me, but such a piece seemed quite a gamble. Birds are hard to tell apart, unless you really focus in on the fine details like feather shading, eye positioning, and even head tilt.

Of course I wanted a big beautiful parrot tattoo! But what if after all the time & expense, the final result didn’t capture Bandit the way I’d hoped? John was up to the challenge, and — working off a few photos I gave him — he totally knocked it out of the ballpark. My Bandit tattoo looks so realistic, she reacts to it like a mirror or another bird. Too funny!

My tattoo caused such a social media stir with my friends, I created a Facebook page for Bandit and now she has over 2,300 fans world-wide!  If you enjoy bird pics and stories, especially ones about a diva scarlet macaw who rules the roost, be sure to stop by.

Meanwhile, follow Frequency’s Instagram and Facebook — as well as all their artists, who do such amazing work. East Falls is lucky to have such a fantastic tattoo shop right on Ridge Avenue. The guys are always creating art, especially David McCall, who reprinted his sell-out “Grim Pooper” t-shirt (!) available at the shop for $20 or online for $25 (he also sells a lot of his distinctive “retro-tattoo” paintings, all different sizes).

The whole shop is super-friendly and professional, and it’s a beautiful space with cool art everywhere.  If you’re local and considering body ink, any research really should begin at Frequency Tattoo. First-timers and women, especially — read my post below for all the details. They’ll be tattooing live at the convention, too, so if you’re going, be sure to find them there. 

Looking forward to Saturday already, we’re entered in the Women’s “Large” category. If we win we’ll live tweet our victory beers!  Wish us luck !

Support local artists John Howie David McCall (aka Frequency Tattoo) at the Philadelphia Arts Tattoo ConventionTix: $22 Day / $45 3-Day Pass. Info: 215-423-4780


This year’s Philadelphia Tattoo Convention was great fun, even though my big, bold bird portrait designed by John Howie, of Frequency Tattoo on Ridge, didn’t win the prize in the Women’s Large Tattoo competition, despite its obvious awesomeness. Boo.

But still, what a day.

I was so jazzed to get to the Philly Convention Center on Saturday February 13th that the bitter-cold temps barely bothered me. Neither did the crowds, which were massive (as I’d figured)  There were hundreds of tattoo shops from all over the country, and illustrated people everywhere. You could hear the irons buzzing all over the place and the Frequency Tattoo booth seemed to be right smack dab in the middle of it.

Once the judging started, I had such an adrenaline rush it all went so fast. Seems it was only a couple minutes before they were handing out trophies…  and the sting from losing set in, ha.

No biggie, of course… but it’s a bummer to come all this way from Delaware County just to turn back around without a trophy. I really wanted to win more for John and the shop than for me. Win or lose, I still have an awesome tattoo that the spitting image of my life-long pet that means the world to me.

Frequency Tattoo Company
4098 Ridge Ave

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