Speaking of tattoos…

I love tattoo art a lot and have been fascinated by tattoos and piercings ever since I was a little kid.  There was a lady who worked in the nursing home my mother, father and I all worked at when I was 14 (mom was a nurse aid, dad was the head chef, and I washed dishes/waitressed in their cafeteria part-time) who had barely visible tattoos and a tongue piercing.  She would change out the color of her tongue ring every day, and I thought she was the coolest lady EVER.

I got my first tattoo when I was 21.  I called up a friend to go with me, went to a random tattoo shop on 6th Street, picked a piece of flash art off the wall, and got a tribal “tramp stamp.”  I don’t regret it, but my taste has definitely expanded since then.  🙂

I was bitten by the tattoo bug though, and I was ready for more.

My second tattoo is the symbol on my shoulder, the zodiac sign Cancer.  My mom was a Cancer and I got that in her memory a year after she passed away (around 3 months after my first tattoo). Again, flash off the wall at a different studio in town, but this time it meant something to me.

I got my next tattoo when I was 22, and little did I know it was the beginning of a full sleeve for me.  My ex and I got tattooed together by a good friend of ours, Carl. I got “love” tattooed on my right wrist and he got “life” tattooed on his left.  It was because of a song, “Love Life” by Atmosphere… YouTube it.  We agreed before we got them that we would be happy to have them even if we broke up, and that’s good, because we eventually did.  🙂

I was 24 when I got the first stage of stars on my right forearm, also done by my friend Carl.

I have a praying mantis on my foot that was a gift for my 26th birthday from Alex.  His buddy Roger who owns a shop in town did it for me. My friend Will drew the little guy a long time ago, and I always loved him.  Plus, I’m crazyscared of spiders, and mantises eat spiders, so I draw strength from him.  Mmhm.

Later that same year I celebrated my one year anniversary of sobriety by changing up my stars to look more like a complete sleeve, Carl’s work again.  This is several sittings and about 9 hours worth of total work.

From there I moved onto a chest piece, three sittings so far (and still not done).  This is probably the most painful tattoo I’ve received because of the thin skin in the area.  I did some volunteer work at our local Wildlife Rescue, and I really grew to love the blue jays, even though they can be jerks sometimes.  They are very curious and loyal birds.  I got the cardinal for my grandmother, as they were her favorite birds.

My most recent work is the top half of my full sleeve.  I told Carl that I wanted “an oak tree and an acorn, and I want the acorn to be kind of a big deal.”

Ta-da!

For the record, the elbow hurts like a BEAST.

We’ve still got one more sitting on this one, but being in massage therapy school is making it impossible to get any work done!  Soon and very soon though.

My next piece is going to be a calf piece, I think, and I have three others in the works in my head.  Money and time permitting, they will all materialize at some point.

My art is pretty significant to me in that I spent YEARS hating my body and everything about it.  I have grown to love myself and my body (most of the time anyway), and tattoos to me are a celebration of that self-love, a way to decorate my awesome being and an extension of who I am and what I’m about.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe.  Do you have any tattoos?  What are they?

-C

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3 Responses to Speaking of tattoos…

  1. innerobsidian says:

    yay, a tattoo post ! ..and nice back shot ! 😉

    i am curious if you are still planning on using the picture of mr. angel duck as a calf tattoo ? or are you thinking something else ? ….calf tattoos are pretty awesome. i can’t wait to get more work done…probably won’t be for a little while though….but when the time comes i want an octopus resting on the ball of my right shoulder..with his tentacles going down my arm a little ….on my left shoulder in the same place i have a little spider..i got him a few days after i watched a spider spin a web..pretty amazing to watch..and then her web got tore down by my mom..and it made me sad 😦 …so i wanted to commemorate her ……also, spiders and octopi are my two most obvious animal familiars, not including the peacock..which maybe at some point i would like to get a feather of tattooed up the middle of my back……..as for my spider lady and octopi ..they will be a constant reminder of what those creatures have to teach me 🙂

    and i have several other tattoos as well ^_^

    ❤ …look forward to see your future inkiness !

  2. you have GREAT looking AND meaningful tattoos! that is the best combo there is when it comes to tattoos 🙂
    i grew up with a biker dad and so having tattoos was part of the norm for me. my dad also has some around and on his elbows (hinges) and he said those hurt REALLY bad. i got my first when i was 18.
    it’s very similar to your Cancer zodiac sign, but on my ankle. i don’t believe in astrology, but wanted to represent my birthday and it also represented my effort to overcome a fear of committment. up until then i HATED committing to ANYTHING! job, sport, project, hobby, etc.
    the only other one i have is around my bellybutton that i got when i was 19. it’s a crescent moon and clouds. being 19 i never thought what it might end up looking like if/when i ever got pregnant! but, i now have a 7 year old daughter and the tattoo went back to normal after i gave birth! (whew!!) here’s a fuzzy picture, but gives you an idea…
    http://heathers-perspective.blogspot.com/2010/10/we-made-it.html
    i’d like to get one more on the nape of my neck of a triquetra and a cross inside the triquetra. my daughter’s name is Trinity and that represents the trinity 🙂

    love this post!

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