First, you can vaguely see my first tattoo. It says “she wakes up lonely” – only it looks more like “she wakes uplonely” because the spacing is really wonky. I got this the day I turned 18. My mom picked me up and said, “Let’s get tattoos!” We both left with horrible, awful, no good, very bad ink. But the memory of that day is why I will never cover it. Sometimes it’s more about the experience than anything else, although, I would never recommend getting a tattoo on a whim, at the age of 18.
The geisha is about seven or eight years old, at this point. I’m part Japanese, and though I have no relationship with my father, I always identified with that part of me. I barely look like anyone on my mom’s side of the family – and my name makes me stand out, even more. I decided I wanted to get a geisha tattooed on my ribs, and sat with it for a couple of years before committing. I knew I didn’t want anything super traditional, even though I have tremendous respect and admiration for Asian tattoos. I wanted a modern interpretation, and I asked André Greppi to design it, for me. It was tattooed by Brian Dewitt in Orlando, Florida. Tonight’s Best Ink episode challenge is all about Asian artwork, so this geisha would fit right in. Not to mention, half of Bobby’s tattoos!
Last year, I got my anchor tattoo, in honor of my great-grandpa. He was my absolute hero, and still is. I had some awful men in my life, as a child – but my grandfathers and great grandpa were always absolutely wonderful and were true father figures, to me. We always called my great grandpa “Papa” and marveled at his war stories and sailor tattoos, which were an anchor and a portrait of Betty Boop. My mom has Betty Boop, in his honor, and I have an anchor, which was free-handed by Legion Avegno at Fallen Sparrow in Kissimmee, Florida. It’s strange, because as I was getting tattooed at my last session, I was telling Amanda about how I was excited to show my great grandma. She passed away as soon as I got home, and I didn’t get the chance to show her. She loved my “Papa” tattoo, and I know she would’ve loved the new flowers. We’re a tattoo loving family, and it’s all because of Papa. Even my grandma has a tattoo! P.S. Legion does amazing portraits (he did the one of Bobby’s dad, and of Vester) – so if you’re in the market, check him out. My mom is planning on having Legion do a portrait of my great grandma, because there is no Papa without the love of his life, Moe.
My most recent addition is something I’ve been waiting on for a long, long time. With the exception of my first tattoo, each of them were planned way in advance. They are permanent, of course! This one took a little longer than usual, because I was dead set on having it done by Amanda Wachob, and wasn’t willing to settle. There’s no secret to getting on her waiting list, except to be patient. It was 100% worth the wait. I’m absolutely in love with my flowers, and she is so lovely and incredibly talented. People always want to know the deeper meaning of each tattoo, and though there are motives, this is what it really comes down to: I like tattoos, and I think of them as beautiful art that I can appreciate for the rest of my life. I’m not big on fine jewelry, or luxury handbags and shoes – I’d much rather accessorize with makeup and tattoos. To each, their own, right?
Thanks, Best Ink, for prompting me to share my stories! Make sure to tune in to tonight’s episode to see the Asian Ink Challenge, and keep up with Best Ink Wednesdays 10/9c, only on Oxygen. In the meantime, I’d love to know: do you have any tattoos? Share your pictures and stories in the comments, below!