I got my first tattoo when I was 18-years old on a trip to Seattle with my Mom to visit family. It says “Life” on my right wrist and lowkey covers up a scar from where I stabbed myself in the wrist when I was 14 in a super awkward suicide attempt. It’s a reminder that “life” goes on.
My second tattoo was the word “Live” on my left wrist and is the only tattoo that I’veever had any type of regret about. I got it at a hole-in-the-wall tattoo shop by CCSF while waiting for my ex-boyfriend to get out a club meeting. I wanted the word to face me because I wanted the word “live” to be a reminder to..well…live and the word “life” to face outward since life is what I’ve already done. The artist insisted that it would look stupid since it wouldn’t be symmetrical and would mess with the flow (idk) so he just tatt’d it the way he wanted to. The linework was super patchy when I first got it but I got it touched up by the artist who’s done essentially the rest of my work. I would have gotten it touched up by the original artist but he just had bad energy. It also now serves as a reminder to always be adamant about what I want and to be patient when it comes to finding tattoo artists.
My third tattoo was the forget-me-nots on my right wrist. This was the first tattoo I got from Jen @ Picture Machine Tattoo. She was super sweet and the majority of my tattoos are by her. Reason for the tattoo: Forget-me-nots are my favorite flower and I never want to forget the life I’ve lived.
Fourth, I believe, was the quote “Every book it’s reader” on my right shoulder. It’s done in Gutenburg Gothic script and is one of the Five Laws of Library Science. Obviously, I love books and libraries. The reason why I chose Gutenburg Gothic as the font is because Gutenberg is credited with the creation of the printing press which helped increase literacy in the medieval world. The library quote is because I strongly believe that there is no such thing as a book that nobody should read.
Fifth was the violetsand they serve as a reminder to always live my life with humility, wisdom, and grace. Violets are also the birth flower for February (my birth month).
Sixth was ribcage. I got the Ovid’s quote “Fortune and love favor the brave” in red ink after I had broken up with my ex. I aim to be brave in chasing my dreams and in putting myself on the line in terms of love and relationships. The reason why I got it in red is because to me red symbolizes strength, rebirth, and purity and I needed that at that junction in my life.
Seventh was a blue rose for my doggie Star. I didn’t want a giant color piece so I asked Jen if she could just create a halo effect for the rose and we tried to match the blue to Star’s eyes based on an old photo. Also, when you’re brown – you get worried about color payoff when it comes to tattoos. This was like my trial color run on a part of my body that gets a lot more sun and is a lot darker than the inside of my wrists.
Shortly after I got two more roses added. The red one for my Dad (who’s still alive but we should still give flowers to those living) and the purple for my grandma who passed away when I was 8 but was such a hugely influential part of my life.
Gretal was the next piece and she was a two-session process; one for the outline and one for shading. My grandma had this beautiful dragon drawing and I’ve always loved it and I always wanted to get a dragon to commemorate her and one day it just clicked that I should get that dragon tattooed. So that’s exactly what I did.
I think I ended up getting the banner around the words after Gretal got shaded, but I’m honestly not sure at all. I can’t pinpoint when I got it for the life of me.
For my 24th birthday and Valentines Day/ Friday the 13th I got my little Grim Reaper. Jen was having a flash sale and I saw Franklin (what I’ve named him) on her Instagram and I snagged that little sucker. He’s adorable and I absolutely love his little scythe with the forget-me-nots.
Next up, my pinky hearts. I got them done at Cold Steel Tattoo on Haight St (usually I’ve only gone there for piercings) after deciding that I was officially done with my relationship with my ex-fiance. Finger tattoos are pretty hit-n-miss so the wonky healing is just a result of hand oils and etc (NOT MY PINKY RING). The reason for the two hearts is to pinky promise to always love myself first and foremost.
After the pinky hearts came my tea-pot genie lamp. Once again, it’s another tattoo done by Jen and she essentially was having a flash tattoo sale and I saw it on her Instagram and instantly just thought – “omgoodness, that is perfect!” The reasoning is that I’d much rather make wishes on daisy petals than have three wishes from a jinn.
Now, time for all my recent tattoos – these have all been done within the last year.
I got my bison when I went to L.A. last year. Random tattoo shop, random spur of the moment desire, and it worked out perfectly. I love bison, I grew up by the bison pen in Golden Gate Park, and I think they are the sweetest creatures alive.
Following the bison, I got a dagger on the inside of my left forearm, which is also the first tattoo that I got this year. I got it from Oliver at Temperance Tattoos in the Tenderloin. I’ve had a long-standing promise with myself that when I know that I’m truly ready to commit to being self-harm free I would get a dagger or knife to commemorate that promise to myself and to constantly remind me of that promise. I got it on my left arm because I’m left-handed.
After that I got my poppies done by Jen at Picture Machine. Poppies because I’m a California girl and they are the state flower.
My most recent tattoo is one that I got in Flagstaff, Arizona. I really, really, really wanted to get a tattoo in Arizona because I crossed something huge of my bucket list which was to go to the Grand Canyon. Michael, at Birch Avenue Tattoo hooked me with this awesome dagger coming through a cactus flower and I absolutely love it. It’s still a wee bit in the healing phase just because my skin doesn’t react too well with color but I absolutely love it and think it’s beautiful.
AND, that’s it for my tattoos!
If you have any further questions, just let me know!