(very old photo - circa 2008)
I get alot of questions about my tattoos both on the internet & in person. With Spring fast approaching, I thought it would be a perfect time to do a little tattoo post since some people aren't even aware that I have them until I start wearing sandals & short sleeved shirts. I have four tattoos located on my the tops of my feet, my right wrist, & my left arm.
I took the plunge to get my first tattoo at age 18 while in NYC visiting some friends. A small skull & crossbones on my right foot. It bears no deep meaning but is a great representation of my personal style & I absolutely adore it still. I had it done by an artist named Buddha at Red Rocket Tattoo. It was a great first experience, having a few hands to hold since my girlfriends came with me. The tattoo took about 15 minutes & Buddha was a great artist to have as my first. He warned me how addicted I would become to the process of getting inked. & boy was he right!
My second tattoo was done on my left foot. Most definitely the most painful one & the most painful experience of my life. It took about two hours & it was done by Kenny at Lone Wolf in Franklin, TN. He designed the whole thing by hand. I teared up a little when I saw his sketch. This tattoo is my most meaningful one for it is a tribute to my beautiful parents & family. The date of their wedding is written on a banner with their wedding rings resting above it. I got the tattoo on my mother's 50th birthday. My parents cried when they saw it. Success.
Tattoo #3 and #4 were done by John Kline at Lone Wolf again. He and I had a deep connection so I was glad that he could do both. #3 was my Audrey Kawasaki piece, based on one of my favorite drawings by her. #4 was the ouroboros on my right wrist which represents my spiritual beliefs. Tattoos #3 and #4 are incredibly meaningful to me. They're not really something I choose to explain or even enjoy explaining. I think spirituality is a personal journey & it is completely acceptable to not share every aspect of it. They're both very personal tattoo & they help me to refocus every time I look at them.
A side note: I've gotten all but one tattoo completely on my own. No one came with me or visited me in the process. I like to keep the process as sacred as possible & I don't have any plans on ever allowing someone to come with me. I like to get in the zone & get to know my artist or contemplate why on earth I do this to myself (kidding!) ;)
Now onto the nitty gritty: My parents have always been very weary of tattoos. My mother was definitely more open & accepting to them than my father. He took some convincing. His fears have always been that I would have trouble finding a job or that I would regret them later in life. He has most certainly come around & although he will never understand my tattoos, he accepts them. My parents both love asking people about their tattoos now when they have a waiter or bartender who has tattoos. I think it's their way of understanding more, which I am extremely appreciative of. My friends have always been supportive. Surprisingly, only one or two people have tattoos in my close group of friends. However, Nashville is crawling with tattoo-junkies, which makes it entirely more acceptable to have them. My hometown, Franklin, is still coming around. I receive the most stares & criticism while here. This town is as white-bread & stuck up as it gets. Luckily, criticism is not something I deal with alot though. I assume it will get worst as I get more...but maybe not since tattoos are becoming more prominent in almost every town.
I most definitely plan on getting more and hope to have a full half sleeve on my right arm one day. I also have a piece planned for my back (between my shoulder blades). All in time. Tattoos are both expensive & the pain is stressful, so I'm in no hurry! :)