Happy New Year!

We wish you all a wonderful 2017!

Thanks to everyone who got tattooed in 2016. It was a pleasure to have met you all and to have the opportunity of adorning your skin with art!

We’ll see you all in 2017!

Posted by Jess

New Artists & Upcoming Events!

Hey ya’ll! You may have heard we have some lineup changes around here this month.

Vinny Romanelli has moved out of New York City to start a new chapter in Lancaster, PA. He’ll be back to visit and tattoo as a guest at our shop in the future, so keep an eye out for updates on that. In the mean time, you can find him at Dreams Collide Tattoo. Follow him on instagram at @Vinnyromanelli to keep up-to-date on his work and to find out when he might be visiting us.

That being said, we have two new artists- Joshua Nonas & Rocky Burley. Click on their names to visit their instagram profiles.

You can also click on the links on the left side of your screen to see their portfolio pages, hours, etc.

Josh has already joined us, and Rocky will start on the 13th of December.

We’re super excited to have them on board.

Contact the shop to inquire about setting up consults & appointments.




DECEMBER 10TH: STAR WARS DAY- You may remember this from last year- we’ll be taking walk-ins for super-fun custom & flash Star Wars tattoos all day to gear up for the release of Rogue One. 12-8pm! Keep an eye out on our instagram & Facebook accounts for more updates, or contact us with questions.

DECEMBER 11TH: Drink n’ Draw- After we close on Sunday evening (6:00pm) we’ll be doing a fun art night at the shop. Limited space available – contact us for more info.


We’ve also started utilizing an email newsletter. It will be semi-frequent updates (never more than once a week, probably not even that often!) to keep you guys up to date on this kind of information. If you’re not already on the email list and would like to be, shoot me a quick email at yourfriends@redrockettattoo.com

Want to give someone the gift of a tattoo for the Holidays? We have Gift Certificates. Click Here to read about them.

As always- feel free to reach out to the shop with any inquires about consults, appointments, art, puppies, whatever, at redrockettattoo@gmail.com or 212-736-3001.

Posted by Jess


Our schedule for the upcoming Holiday Season is as follows:


We will be CLOSED:

11/24 & 11/25 (Thanksgiving & Black Friday)

12/24, 12/25, 12/26 (Christmas eve, Christmas Day, & The day following Christmas)

1/1 (New Years Day)


Besides these closings, our normal hours will continue every day (12-8pm Mon-Sat, 12-6 on Sun).

In addition, we’ll be doing a special tattoo event on 12/10: STAR WARS DAY!

In anticipation for the Rogue One release, we’ll be doing Star Wars tattoos all day the second Saturday in December.

You may remember this from last year, or if you missed out, here’s your chance! More info to follow, but mark your calendars now and make plans to be first in line!


As always, call or email the shop with any questions!

212-736-3001 | redrockettattoo@gmail.com




Posted by Jess


We do offer Gift Certificates here at Red Rocket. As of right now, they can only be purchased IN-PERSON, in CASH ONLY at the shop.

Here’s everything you need to know: (Click on the image to enlarge)

Posted by Jess

Shop is open + important updates!

If you didn’t already know, the shop is open for business as of last week! We’ve got all new windows, and we also took advantage of the time we were closed to put on some fresh paint & redecorate a bit! We love the fresh space and we’re sure you will too.

We are back to business as usual, but we also have a lot of travel & events going on this summer. Many of our artists will be traveling or on vacation, so read below to find out when your favorite artist might be out of town.


BB-8 By Shannon Ritchie & Leia by Adam Hays

First off, Shannon Ritchie & Adam Hays will be in London at the Star Wars Celebration event making tattoos licensed by Lucas Film July 15th-17th. Shannon will also be at the Cardiff Tattoo & Toy Convention in Wales the following weekend, July 23rd- 24th. Adam will be back at the shop on the 21st, and Shannon will be back at the shop on the 29th.


Next up- Red Rocket will be at the Empire State Tattoo Expo next weekend, July 15th- 17th! We’ll have two artists there each day. The shop itself will still be open, but if you’d like to get tattooed this weekend, we highly recommend coming by the convention to get tattooed! We’ll be taking walk-ups, and you’ll get to see tons of cool artists, art work, and fun stuff at the convention. You can get tickets here.  Here’s who will be there each day:

Friday: Thomas Leyh & Greg Rosenfeld

Saturday: Mike Bellamy & Max Shoberg

Sunday: Mike Bellamy, Thomas Leyh & Greg Rosenfeld

Click here to find out more about the convention, or contact the shop with additional questions.

—————Traveling & Absent Artists——————

Derek Martinez is out of the shop Mon-Friday until the week of July 18th due to Jury Duty. He is taking appointments & walk-ins on the weekends. He’ll be back during the week on his normal schedule starting July 20.

Vinny Romanelli will be traveling around Italy July 13th- August 1. He will be back in  the shop on August 3rd. He’ll be booking more appointments once he’s back.

Mike Bellamy will also be traveling around Italy from July 25th-August 15th. He will be taking appointments for the end of August and beyond.

——————-Guest Artists—————————-

Past resident artist of Red Rocket; Billy Jordan will be working at the shop with Frank Phoenix August 1st, 3rd-6th, & 9th-12th.

Champion Grubbs & Tom Haubrick: September 5-7th

Fibs: October 3rd-8th

Uncle Allan: October 12th-31st.

Keep an eye out for reminders & more specific updates on these upcoming guest artists!


As always, feel free to call or email the shop with any questions! Thanks everyone!

Posted by Jess

Shop Temporarily Closed

The shop will be closed for renovations by our building management June 27- July 4.

Please feel free to contact the shop with any questions.

Posted by Jess

Artist Spotlight: Thomas Leyh

Painting by Thomas Leyh

If you’ve ever been in our shop on a day that Thomas Leyh was present, you’ll almost definitely recall yourself hearing some strange noises and/or comments coming from a goofy dude tattooing in the corner closest to the office. Even more likely, you’ve been tattooed by him yourself-  Thomas is available for walk-ins and creates a wide variety of designs on a daily basis. Everything from a single letter, a taco, skylines, birds, maps, he’s done it all- and probably made you laugh along the way.

When he’s not crafting up specific pieces by request, he’s working on his personal art and carving out his own twist on traditional tattooing. Using the most basic components of classic tattooing- bold, clean lines and bright colors- as the framework for his art, he creates original drawings that catch the eye and are a touch out of the ordinary.


With an affinity for the weird, Thom enjoys adding a bizarre twist to many of his designs, but he also creates pleasing twists on classic motifs. Roses, ladies, animals, butterflies… images seen regularly are made fresh & unique.

Gramophone & Lady Liberty
Lucky cat & Wolf

Not to be limited by one style; He also enjoys doing mandala and mehndi-inspired work. Creating these pieces, he fashions them in a way that they work with the body as an ornate decoration, acting like a piece of permanent jewelry.

To see more of his work, you can check his page on our website here or check him out on instagram @Thomasleyh

Contact the shop for consultations & appointments. If you’re visiting New York from out of town, you can email us at redrockettattoo@gmail.com to set something up. If you’re located in NYC, please call the shop and we can set up a time for you to consult with our artists & schedule appointments. Don’t forget to check out our FAQ & look around the site for other questions- but feel free to reach out to us for any other inquires.



Posted by Jess


Ganesh, Oil on Canvas 36″ X 36″- On View in the Shop

The world of tattooing is growing and changing at an exponential rate with every year. Those trained in the skill of tattooing come from all different walks of life, and they can each claim their own unique connection to art and what inspires them in their craft. Generally, a tattoo artist is versed in several different styles of tattoo art from all over the world- from the beginnings to the current day, and they can also draw something unique for any client request that comes through the door. But just outside the realm of tattooing exists a large and varied sea of fine arts & crafts made by the artists who populate the tattoo industry.


Michael Bellamy, 49, founder & owner of Red Rocket Tattoo has been tattooing for 23 years, and has been producing fine art even longer.  Born and spending his formative years in Denver, Colorado, Mike began painting in high school. He found quickly that he didn’t enjoy using the popular medium of acrylic paints for his work and tried his hand at Oil Paints. Oil painting is generally considered a challenging medium but immediately became the sole method for Mike, although he maintains an ongoing learning process with his chosen avenue to this day.

Neda Cathedral, Oil on Canvas 60″ X 60″

Mike attended community & state schools in Denver studying an array of arts & philosophies before moving to New York city at 23, where he began his Fine Arts degree at Parson’s. After graduating with his BFA in 1992, he worked as a freelance illustrator for several big name brands. Mike began tattooing around 1993, opening his own shop in 1998, but continued his personal artwork all the while. He has traveled all over the world and been featured in many art & tattoo magazines, and curated or participated in over 30 gallery shows.

Headdress Girl 24″ X 36″ Oil on Canvas, on View at the Shop

Nowadays, Mike has a studio space at home where he still paints regularly. He says he’s inspired by other inspired artists, he feels motivated by art that is above the status quo- he’s excited by seeing art that blows him away. Tattooing 4 days a week out of Red Rocket here in Midtown, Manhattan, he’s still creating beautiful paintings in his free time. For quite a while, Mike says he tried to avoid allowing tattoo imagery to influence his personal art. Eventually, he chose to embrace it and has produced a series of paintings inspired by popular tattoo imagery, but in his own painterly style.

A colorful life full of travel, adventure, and knowledge have given Mike a remarkable vision with which he creates stunning pieces of art. Several pieces are on view at Red Rocket, and you can visit his website to see more at www.michaelbellamy.com.

Check back for updates on his upcoming shows, or stop by the shop to speak with him about tattoos.


Posted by Jess

New Stuff in the Red Rocket Webstore!

This week we added some new stuff to our webstore! We’ve still got the previously added apparel & accessories, and now we’ve got some cool stuff for sale from our artists. The shop features high-quality prints of paintings from Erica Flannes, Vinny Romanelli, Thomas Leyh, and Adam Hays. Additionally, there’s a 4-piece flourished pen letterpress set made up of a Greeting Card, Post cards, and a Bookmark by Derek Martinez. Any of these things could make great gifts for a friend or loved one, or for your own home…treat yo’self!

You can visit our webstore on Etsy here.

We’ve got even more cool stuff in store and will be updating the webstore periodically. Have something in mind you’d like to see more of? Let us know!

As always- call or email the shop with questions!

Posted by Jess

What to Consider Before Getting a Hand/Finger Tattoo

Requests for tattoos on hands have become increasingly popular lately- almost every day I find myself disappointing a client by telling them that finger tattoos simply don’t hold.

We don’t enjoy telling people why their tattoo ideas won’t work- we’ve chosen to work in this industry because we enjoy putting cool artwork on your skin forever. We never tell anybody “No” just for fun, or just to be jerks. We want you to have something you’ll be happy with forever. If you’re going to trust someone to take sharp needles to your skin and leave permanent marks on you, you need to extend that trust to believe that your artist has your best interest in mind when they tell you what’s best- it is their profession, after all.

That being said, we thought it might be helpful to lay out a comprehensive explanation on this topic in hopes that it will help you better understand, so listen up!

Reasons why we recommend you don’t get that tattoo anywhere on your hands: 

1. Your Future

Let’s start here- I’m not sure why, but this is the bulletpoint people seem to brush off most often when we explain it. It’s true that tattoos have become much more common and tattoo acceptance has seemingly grown proportionately- except it hasn’t. A whopping 42% of all people still think that tattoos are inappropriate in the workplace. This  Skinfo article has a great infographic with statistics on tattoo acceptability in the workplace.

Keep in mind that it can be difficult or impossible to cover a tattoo on your hands.


Now, maybe you’re one of the lucky few who have, or will in the future, have a job in a tattoo-accepting industry…Let’s consider society and world culture as a whole. In the future, your hand tattoos might not be a problem for your jobs, but there are many situations where you’ll be judged for your visible tattoos without you even realizing it’s happening. Applying for housing, meeting new friends & families, traveling in foreign countries, etc… you’ll never know exactly where your future will take you, and who you may meet…and how you may end up regretting those incredibly visible hand tattoos.

You also may be thinking “well, I don’t plan on ever associating with anyone who would judge me on my tattoos.” Unfortunately, that just isn’t possible unless you plan on never making any acquaintances outside of a Hot Topic in Portland, OR. Someone judging you based on your tattoos doesn’t necessarily make them a terrible person, it’s just that many circles and cultures still aren’t as familiar with tattoos as we are, and they aren’t equipped with the same world view as you are- they might not even be judging you negatively, but it can be difficult for many people to remove certain associations from their mind.

Moving on to more tangible evidence:

2. Your Skin & Science

Here’s the cold hard facts on exactly what we mean when we say tattoos on your hands just don’t work the same as tattoos do anywhere else on your body. As you likely already know, all tattoos fade over long periods of time. I’m not going to outline the science behind that, but if you’re interested check this out.

Small details are also not ideal for the skin on hands

The skin on your hands is much thinner than almost anywhere else on your body and therefore takes ink much differently than anywhere else on your body- because of this, a tattoo on your hands will fade much faster than anywhere else on your body. All tattoos fade over long periods of time as your skin changes with age, with sun exposure, etc. Now think of how much you use your hands every day! Your hands are worked harder, exposed to the elements, washed, etc… they are put through much more work than your other appendages. Most of those pictures you see online of finger tattoos are photos taken immediately after the tattoo is finished- many times the tattoos are almost completely gone within a year.

Even the most skillfully done finger tattoos will fade

This issue could be solved with regular touch-ups, but keep in mind that most tattoo shops (including ours) don’t offer free touch-ups for hands, so having your hand tattoos touched-up regularly can be time consuming and expensive. Can you commit to that?

So there you have it- a detailed explanation on why your artist may say “no”, to your hand tattoo. They aren’t trying to ruin your day- they’re trying to make sure you have a quality tattoo that you’ll love-forever.


*all the tattoo images in this post were found by google image search- none of these tattoos were done at Red Rocket, and I was unable to find their original sources. They were likely all quality tattoos to begin with- I use them here as a testament to the unavoidable fading nature of all hand tattoos.




Posted by Jess