Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Q&A: Tattoos

 I was asked a lot about our tattoos. I had posted some pictures of some of our tattoos a while ago, but I will go more in depth as to what/why/when/where we got them and all that fun stuff. I don't know if I will put all of them up, as I don't have great pictures of some of them, but I will do my best. Hold on to your hat, this may be a long post.... (I don't have pictures of all my tattoos, but I will try and shift through as many old pictures that I can to find most of them.)

I have always been surrounded my family friends (most of whom where my parents friends from the military) who have a lot of tattoos and knew that I wanted them ever since I was an early teenager. I believe tattoos are just another way of expressing yourself, much like how someone dresses or styles there hair, only it's permanent. I like that they give an artsy appeal to the person who has them. I really love most of my tattoos because they encompass my feminine side while still being sort of edgy. It's another way that I can show off my love of girly artwork and ladylike flair.

My first 3 tattoos
When I was 18 I got my first tattoo, just because I could. I didn't put much thought into the tattoo, I just wanted something really general that hopefully wouldn't be outdated in 10 years. There was no meaning behind it, I think I was just trying to be somewhat rebellious.  It was a lower back tattoo (yes, I have one of those) that consist of 3 stars with spirals in them. I couldn't decide on what colors I wanted, so I told the artist I would be back to finish it when I decided. I went back a month later and that artist had moved on, so it never got finished. I have had the opportunity to finish it later in life, but I would rather spend the money on a new tattoo instead. I kind of like that it is unfinished because I will show my children what happens when you get a tattoo just because you think your cool and don't put any thought into it.


My second tattoo was 3 years later when I was 21. James had a friend who was tattooing named Ray Jon. This time I knew that I wanted some type of flowers, but I couldn't decide on what type because my favorite flower usually changes from time to time. I wanted something bright and fun. I knew I wanted something organic that "flowed" well with my body. I ended up getting orange flowers that flowed up and over my left shoulder blade. This was back in 2006. It looked great at the time, but now that I have some awesome tattoos that of much better quality that are located right next to it, it looks pretty bad in comparison. Someday I would love to get these touched up with my current artist.


My next tattoo I got was my giant peacock from Susan Kidder. She is the same artist that tattoos all of my "aunts". This is by far my biggest tattoo. It is a peacock that sprawls across my back from my right shoulder blade to the bottom of my left hip. The peacock is sitting on apple blossom tree that wraps over my right shoulder cap to the top quarter of my arm I have been obsessed with peacocks for many years. I love that peacocks represent beauty and I always knew I wanted one tattooed on me (this was well before the big peacock craze). Unfortunately, I went on a Hawaii trip a couple days after most of the blue body was done and because I was out in the sun so much while it was still healing, the blue on the body of the peacock had faded a little (but that's a different story). It is so free flowing, organic and very detailed. It took about 25 hours of work. I love how realistic it looks. This is one of my most favorite tattoos that I have.


Bejeweled tattoos from our wedding. Our wedding was skull & tattooed themed.

The next two tattoos I had gotten were in the beginning of 2008. They both are from flash art by my favorite artist Angelique Houtkamp . I received Angelique's art book as a gift from the husband and I loved her art so much I literally wanted everything in it tattooed on me. After I realized how ridiculous that sounded, I settled on two of them that really stood out to me. Both of these were done on the same day by Guf at Tattoo Royale. Guf is now our permanent tattoo artist. His colors are so vibrant and I have never had an issue with fading yet. I decided to get two birds with human heads tattooed on my right upper arm. I love birds, so I knew that I wanted more bird tattoos. Birds give me the feeling of happiness, optimism, and being free. Both of the birds from Angelique's drawings have a 1920's feel to them, which is one of my favorite fashion eras. I also wanted to get an owl since I went to school for education and wanted to get something symbolic of wisdom.



My next one was a lock and key that James and I both have to commemorate our love and our bond that we have with each other.  Now the sucky thing about the tattoo is I can't claim it as my own. It was created from a remote tattoo design that I had saw a picture of one time and absolutely loved. I figured that since I didn't know the person who had this tattoo and would never ever see this person, then why not? I would definitely never claim that I came up with the idea, but I didn't think it would be all that bad to copy most of it. So we drew up the key to match it and got them tattooed. I didn't really think about how much of a bad idea that was. To take something that was probably very personal to that person and try and make it my own was not right. I have had people who have asked my permission to copy my tattoos and to be honest, I tell them I don't think they should that it is something personal to me. I don't regret getting a tattoo to honor James and I getting married, but I do regret not coming up with something more original. Please, don't judge me based on this for now I have to live with that reminder tattooed on me forever. 

In 2009, I got my "lucky me" tattoo. This was created from another Angelique flash art that I had. Now, I believe in God and I do believe that luck is really just being incredibly blessed by Him. However, because I did not grow up Christian, I had always been known as a lucky gal. So that was the inspiration for my next tattoo. You really are only as lucky as you think you are, and I, my friends, happen to be extremely lucky.The horseshoe is on the back of my upper right arm. It really fits well with the rest of my feminine and colorful tattoos. Sometimes I forget it's there because I never see it, but then when I do catch a glimpse, I love it. It's a good reminder for me to always be optimistic.



Not only am I obsessed with Angelique Houtkamp and birds, I am also obsessed with Russian dolls (I know, a lot of obsessions). This is a design my artist and I came up with. We wanted the faces to go well with the birds faces and the 20's style hair. I wanted it to look like me with blue eyes and dark hair (even if it isn't natural hair color). I use to always wear a flower in my hair. Seriously, every. day.  I wanted a cross in the center because Jesus is at the center of my life. We threw in some pretty filigree and a bow and made it all sorts of girly and also included a traditional rose. It is locate on the outside of my right forearm. I just love it love it love it (in Jim Gaffigan voice).



My latest tattoo is for my daughter, Chloe. I got this one this year just a couple months after she was born. I decided that I would get a replica of the necklace that I made while I was pregnant with her initial on it. I wore it almost every day. It has a C on it with her birth date (now I'll never forget it!) and we used her birthstone in replace of the pearl. It is located on the outside of my right wrist. I am thinking of making it to look like a bracelet when I get the rest of my arm filled in, to finish off the sleeve. It is definitely the tattoo that gets the most exposure and people are always asking me about it. It's nice that I have a way of keeping Chloe "with me" even when I am away.



So there you have it. I think I covered all of them. This post was much too long to have James' tattoos included in here. Maybe I will have him post about his someday. His are pretty rad. 


6 comments:

Haley Galloway said...

In. Love. With so many of your tattoos. If I had all the money in the world I'd be covered in them. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your art with us!

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

you and your tattoos are gorgeous. i adore the peacock. :)

Kacie said...

love it. the stories behind tattoos are always interesting.. whether they are SUPER thought out.. or not :) its part of who you, me, others are.. and that's what helps make us unique

Callie Nicole said...

Your tattoos are so pretty! i'm too chicken to get one myself, because I tend to be rather fickle about that sort of thing and I think I would change my mind about it later. but you carry all your tattoos so well - they suit you!

Kelly said...

That peacock is incredible - the detail is beautiful. I love tattoo posts - it's very personal, but they all have such intense meaning, I love it. It's a sneek peak into someone really is.

Emily said...

What beautiful tats! I really love the 'lucky me' one. It's simply gorge.
xx

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