It's been a while since I've made a personal type post but I want to take the time to talk about my tattoos.
I have two tattoos done by two very talented artists. I have a swallow tattoo on my upper back and I most recently got my queen of spades tattoo done on my bicep. Each piece has a special meaning to me and I spent a long time thinking about what I wanted to get. So far I haven't gotten any of the tattoos that I wanted to get while I was in high school, which is a good sign! It also reminds me that you should maybe wait a little bit longer after your 18th birthday to go and get a tattoo.
This is my swallow tattoo:
This was a little after it was fully healed.
I got my first tattoo done in Cranston, RI at Iron Hand Tattoo by my talented cousin, Andrew Labanaris.
Well, he's really my second cousin, but none of the less he is an incredible artist. Having a family member work on my tattoo was a true bonding experience and having him do my first tattoo was very special. This event was also special to him because I was the first family member that he tattooed!
In sailor culture and tradition, sailors have always gotten these tattoos on their chest symbolizing each 5000 nautical miles sailed.
They also stood for, homeward bound and safe journey home
For me my swallow stands for the number of miles that I've travelled in my life and that you can never forget where you came from. But you have to also put the past behind you and move forward in your journey. The branch in it's beak is a lilac branch. The lilac is New Hampshire's state flower and by adding that it means that I will always have a piece of home with me where ever I may go in life.
If you ever find yourself in Rhode Island, Iron Hand Tattoo is definitely the place to go!
My second tattoo is a Queen of Spades tattoo aka Queen of pain. I had Mike Munter from Hunter Gatherer Tattoo worked on this bad girl for me!
By definition, the queen of spades stands for intelligence. It is representative of judgment that is practical, logical, and intellectual. It represents a woman who is creative and makes her plans ahead of time. In the game of hearts the queen of spades is an "unlucky" card but can make you the winner if you get all of the hearts in the deck and you can shoot the moon.
The parallel to this card in tarot is The Empress, which is also a very interesting card.
Getting this tattoo was quite the process. Because of the amount of detail and line work I actually had this done in two separate sessions. The first session was about 3 hours of work and we only finished the line work and some of the black shading
There was a part of me that spent a lot of time thinking about keeping the tattoo as it looks in the picture above. There was something about the simplicity of the black and white that I found feminine and truly beautiful. I received a lot of compliments from strangers before it was even finished and some were shocked to hear that there was going to be more added. When I was living with my roommate Evelyn, she made me feel better by telling me that whether I decided to colour it or not it was going to be amazing either way. So, I decided to go through and get it finished up.
( I'm truly and really a goober in real life. Also Mike is so awesome!)
The second session took about 2 and a half hours or so and was probably the most painful part of the tattoo. My first one didn't hurt as much as I had anticipated but, it also was on a spot that isn't as sensitive. For the most part, it wasn't that awful. The only times where I got a little squirmy was in the center of the bicep where the heavy black shading is, near the ditch in my elbow and close to my armpit. Overall it was a great experience and Mike is definitely someone that I would consider going to again! He's focused and really talented and charges a fair price for the work he puts out.
It's been a few months now and I've healed up quite nicely!
(unfortunately I am much too lazy to take a good picture at this hour)
Now I wouldn't say I'm an "inked chick" or what have you, but I love the work that I've decided to have on my body. For me it's more about the art and the meaning. It's okay if you like weird tattoos, tattoos that don't make sense or that are flat out just stupid, everyone has their own reason for getting stuff. I just prefer for my work to be meaningful, it's going to be there forever! For whatever your reason is for getting a tattoo don't ever feel like you have to explain yourself to someone. It is your body! Adorn it the way that you like best :]
These certainly won't be my last tattoos! I know it'll be another few years until the next one but until then I'll be thinking about what I want more and finding the right artist to carry it out!
(Pictured left is me with Andrew and on the right is me with Mike! I think I'm going to make it my own little tradition to make a silly face each time someone is poking me with a needle :p)