I know there are many varying opinions about tattoos. I've actually lost a friend because she found out about the one on my back. She was quite religious, and told me that the marking of my skin is a sin.
That is her opinion, and I am fine with that. I do not believe in her religion. I have my own very strong beliefs in God and we will leave it at that. What really amazed me, though, is that this woman sneered at the meaning behind my tattoo.
My mom died December 21, 1998. It was a very difficult time in my life, but even more difficult when I realized her things had been picked over before I could choose a keepsake to have of hers. There was a very specific box with an intricate, tribal design heart laser etched into it. Of course, it was gone, and I was heartbroken as I knew the meaning behind it. I realized later that she had left me a gift that would keep giving on a quarterly basis, and I can't thank her more for it. It's gotten me of some tight spots before, but none more so than when I came here - a large part of that gift was also from my friend Sledge, but mom's gift paid for the rest and more.
So, back to 2000. I had worked for many months from memory to redesign it for a tattoo*. When I finally had the design where I thought it would work, I set out to find a parlor. I cannot stress how important it is to do your research on these places!!! In most states, you can look to see if they are registered and if there have been any complaints against them registered with the board.I was young and new to town, so I picked one I drove by a lot. It looked somewhat clean, but when I learned the guy's name who did my tattoo was "Chief," I should have run. I gave him the pic I had designed, he didn't seem too pleased by it but he transferred it to my back and started going. It really didn't hurt that much, except when he crossed my spine, it burned. He showed me at the shop when he was finished, but the lighting was bad and my skin was pretty swollen, so to me it looked ok.
The next morning, I cried. He had messed up my design so badly that it looks like a kindergartner did it. I've been wanting to get it fixed forever, but haven't known where to go. It will be my next project after tomorrow's. I also want to add the wings I had purposely left off the original design for when I finally felt her soul fly free. Now that I am here in Alaska, I've felt her move on and so it's time to add her wings.
I did my research on this next tattoo pretty thoroughly. The computer age has made information much easier to find, and I soon found myself at The Hole Look, as they were the highest recommended from Yelp, Yahoo, and word of mouth. Unfortunately, they are SO good that they are booked out until the end of August for new appointments. What I found really impressive is that the owner was more than willing to refer me to two other shops that were just as good and well-respected. I chose Primal Instinct based on the awards they had won and some of the examples they had posted. I usually prefer to keep these things a secret until after they are done and I can post a pic, but the tattoo will be of various-sized small-medium hearts that start at my big toe, wind up the side of my foot, and end at my ankle. They start out pink, turn to aqua, and then purple. They also won't have a black border, they will just have color. What that means to me is that my heart is finally lifting. I'm finding happiness and love in my life, so this is a way to show it. There's no limit to how high I can go, but financially I'm choosing my ankle :).
After getting mom's tattoo fixed, I will be getting two more, but I won't give them away yet. They have very strong significance and are both for the loves of my life. I can't wait to share them with you alll! Pics of tomorrow's will go up on Facebook tomorrow night as I'm having it done in the late afternoon.
By the way? Every one of my tattoos (current and future) are hearts, and I design all of them. I love having a theme and I love hearts!
*here's the kicker - mom hated tattoos :). I know how much she loved irony, so I knew the tattoo would give her a big laugh in heaven :)