Stephanie Collazo (writer),
Sasha Gulish (photographer)
With the rise in popularity of tattoo removal for employment purposes, it’s nice to see that a big company like Red Bull hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon. The Director of On Premise Marketing at Red Bull, Todd Palmerton, has a full Japanese sleeve done by True Tattoo artist Paul “Small Paul” Stottler that is often visible during work hours.
“Red Bull is very progressive and tattoo friendly,” said Palmerton. “I’m kind of [at a place in] my life where tattoos don’t define where I am and I would never work for a company or in a position where people would define me by my tattoos. “
Palmerton’s traditional Japanese sleeve was done in the style of the Horitoshi family. The piece tells the story of life, death, rebirth, virility, perseverance and strength through the use of iconic Japanese symbols. The piece was something Palmerton thought long and hard about and was inspired by the passing of his mother and close friends.
“It really helped me mature and grow up as a man,” said Palmerton. “I realized how fragile life is and how it’s about doing what you want to do and taking risks. That’s the only way you get rewarded.”
The cherry blossoms done in a deep red, shedding their petals represents the short life of the samurai. This is a very special time of year when cherry blossoms come to bloom, shed, die and of course come back again, symbolizing the cycle of life. The koi fish embody strength and perseverance, often putting themselves in compromising situations to accomplish their goals. Much like the koi fish that Palmerton admires, he chooses to live a life of fearlessness and without limitations.