I had originally asked Ezra if he’d be part of the Ink Series way back in February but due to lots of procrastinating (on my part) moving some of the original Ink Series over from my Tumblr onto a proper blog site it’s taken a while to get him up here! Thanks for your patience bro!
He was kind enough to let me do a separate feature on him – check him out here where he talks about being the face/body of the character Daniel in Lani Wendt Youngs novels ‘Telesa’, his love of music – hip hop in particular and growing up in New Zealand. I had originally met him briefly at a David Dallas and PNC gig here in Auckland and had then found out later he was really good friends with mutual friends and cousins of mine. Both Devolo and my cousin Chano had suggested him for the Ink series when I had written their features so was stoked when he agreed to share his own personal ink stories with me.
Sidenote: Most of the photos used below are ones that Ezra sent me himself but I would like to give special mention to a couple of the photographers – Tim Rasmussen & Jordan Kwan. Lani Wendt-Young let me know that several of the photographs featured here were taken for the Telesa Trilogy by local Samoan photographer, Tim Rasmussen. Tim was the first to photograph Ezra for the book and the shots of him by the pool, on the rugby field, in the white elei shirt etc are from that photoshoot. Tim and Efi Rasmussen designed the cover for the first Telesa book – the ‘Daniel chest’ cover which has been a favorite choice for many readers…
Lani says “Im grateful that two talented photographers like Jordan Kwan and Tim Rasmussen were able to share their gifts with the Telesa books and of course, huge shout out to Ezra for bringing Daniel to life!”
A couple of the extra photos I’ve used are Jordans that I found on tumblr. Check out his facebook page here and his own personal blog site which features more of his photography here. He has just recently released a 2nd version of his Sexy Samoan Mens Calendar 2013 in which Ezra is featured in as well – I was lucky enough to get the first version but I’m thinking I might need another one for the office wall maybe? Hmmmm lol
Ezra’s Sleeve – Back View
Ezra’s Sleeve – Front View
Ezra’s Sleeve – Side View
In Ezra’s words …..
My sleeve has elements of family represented in it but mostly just contemporary Samoan designs. I had it done initially while I was living in Dunedin in 2008. It was done in the back room of an old student flat by a mates brother (Reece Sala). I later had it redone by Freddy Mose for some touch ups and shading in 2010. Reece is in Cairns now and just does tattoos as an interest on the side. Freddy Mose is based in Sydney, Australia.
Ezra’s Calf - Leatalua
I put a bit more thought into my calf and Fred (Freddy Mose) was awesome. It represents my family both Samoan and Palagi sides. The designs all have meaning. I had this done in 2009.
‘Leatalua’ is my wife Natalie’s middle name which was passed down to her from her grandmother.
Ezra’s Calf – Horsemen
Horsemen – Im not a musician but always wished I was. I have a massive love for Music especially Hip Hop. (Check out Ezra’s playlist he put together about a month or so ago here) I met most of the boys growing up and just hanging out. We were all affiliated some how through Friends, Family or Music. I wasn’t around in the very early days of the round table as I left South Auckland to go to Dunedin for Rugby but got to know most of the boys the best way we know how “Riding the Horse” haha. I went to the same School (Wesley College) as Savage & Shady1 (DJ) who are a bit older. I was pretty tight growing up with Woody & later his younger brother Lil Mark aka Mark Antony who went to Wesley as well. Woody’s my age and was around in the early days of the Horsemen. So yeah there were various connections. When we can – which is pretty hard these days cos everyone “grown men” now – we get together. The boys are a bit spread out now though. There are a few still holding it down in Rewa (Manurewa) and South Auckland but there’s a heap of the boys in Australia now especially Brisbane….I’ll always rep Horsemen Family…..
(Ezra goes into a lot more detail on his love for music and how he came to be part of the Horsemen Family in the People to See feature: Ezra Taylor – Face of Telesa)
Ezra’s Chest Piece - Family Love Peace
The chest piece is a little different. I guess the 3 words (Family Love Peace) are important to me and a little reminder about the good in Humans.
The Dove as most of us know represents Peace and Love. Its also a spiritual reminder for me as well. The Lion represents Strength and pride through the hard times.
Chest piece was done in 2011 by Stan Lolohea – he went to my school at Wesley and when I found out how well his tattooing was going I wanted to see him again. During the Tattooing we talked and I grew a respect for him learning about his life experiences and where he had come from and what he’d achieved. Stan’s an awesome artist and doesn’t just specialize in Island tattooing. His Portrait skills are nice. I’d definitely like to get more work done with him.
You can check out a video of him at work here:
Me: Any more Ink?
Yeah definitely, I see it as a timeline. Experiences and times in my life. Lessons learned, lessons not learned etc. I mean I don’t want to cover my whole body but the process and experience all has meaning. Its sort of therapeutic. So yeah Id definitely like to get more.
Thanks so much for sharing your Ink stories Ezra – really appreciate it!
And for all you Ezra Taylor fans I’ll leave you with a Jordan Kwan pic of him from his Sexy Samoan Mens Calendar shoot …. yes, you’re welcome lol!