Tattoo Stories

November 13, 2013

I like all my tattoos just how my life is lived- busy, classy, and full of love. You can bet if money wasn’t an issue I would be covered nearly head to toe in beautiful artwork full of intricate details and bold colors.

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Towards the end of high school the world started opening up for me. Having grown up in a conservative Christian home, I became somewhat of a rebel my senior year. Which meant I started to go to punk shows and thrift shop for vintage clothing- still never trying booze or even kissing a boy until I was 18.

When I started college, I realized my long term plan of being a teacher was not what I was meant to do, so I switched to a Fine Art major. As I studied I realized that my preferences didn’t fit the standard view of art. I’ve always been more drawn to the lowbrow and folk styles, which is generally not considered “fine art” at all. But the raw qualities and honesty attracted me to those fringe genres. Hence, tattooing became an exciting medium and I was specifically drawn to the more traditional, Americana flavor.

I was excited to discover a new way to decorate my body and alter my appearance. The mixture of the more rough style of tattoos with lady-like dresses and lovely vintage clothing is very appealing to me.

I started a few months after turning 18, with a poorly done harp on my back, and ode to my Irish heritage. Then a flower on my chest, from the tile in my grandparent’s house. Next came the most prominent and complimented of my collection, a half sleeve with very intricate imagery that also connects me to my family and our Irish heritage. And then there is also a small traditional horseshoe behind my ear for good luck.

Then there is my camera on my thigh. It is an image of the first professional camera I have owned, that my father gave to me to help launch the start of my photography business. It is framed by roses and a banner stating “rebel”- which is the camera model, but might also have a dual meaning. Next was the large framed image of Snow White on my other thigh as an homage to my childhood spent obsessed with collecting memorabilia and watching the Disney movie more times than I will ever know. I think my thigh tattoos are the sexiest because they are rarely shown and sometimes peek out the bottom of a skirt.

My only “matching” tattoo I have as of now is a record player on my inner arm that my friend Candy also carries.
It symbolizes the years spent working at a record shop together, going to shows and being a part of the punk music scene. There are lots of details and small band references in that one.

I like all my tattoos just how my life is lived- busy, classy, and full of love. You can bet if money wasn’t an issue I would be covered nearly head to toe in beautiful artwork full of intricate details and bold colors.

Tara

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