This week I am featuring a lovely lady by the name of Kristen, who I met via Flickr. Interestingly enough, I only realized we had the same quote tattooed across our chests after I had already contacted her, which I think is really crazy and pretty cool! Kristen is adorable, and I especially love the tattoo on her ribs. She takes a very realistic stance on getting more tattoos, and I truly enjoyed reading everything she is sharing with all of you! Thanks Kristen, for allowing us a little peek into your life!
Name and blog name: Kristen Walter / “Sew on and Sew Forth”
Occupation: Kohl’s Retail Store
Age of first tattoo: 18 years old
Favorite tattoo: My chest since that’s the one everyone notices first and always seems to strike a conversation! Also because I’ve always had a problem with my chest being exposed as a teenager, so it is comforting having art there now.
Featured tattoo/location: I am going to go with my chest piece, which is two doves and a human heart and it says “Heart means everything” going across them.
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: All of my tattoos were done at a shop in Sunbury, PA called “Body mods”, but unfortunately I transferred over to a shop in Shamokin, PA called “Totem Tattoo” to get the tattoo on my ribs fixed up, and I am also planning on having my chest redone there as well.
1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did you choose this particular piece of art?
Well I got this tattoo when I was eighteen years old and it originally started as a script piece across my chest with the words “Heart means everything”. I got this quote because of the band “With Honor” and I could also relate to it on a personal level. Growing up, my mom always coached me about going to school for what I love, not for money. She would always tell me, if I loved flipping hamburgers at McDonalds, then I’ve got to make sure I am the best damn hamburger-flipper there is (not that this very ever my profession of choice!) So the quote “Heart means everything” did a pretty good job correlating with my personal life. Later on down the road I decided to add to the simple script and thought doves would make a nice addition, but my major concern was whether to go with a real human heart in the middle or a simple “valentines” heart. After talking with my tattoo artist, I went with the human heart instead.
2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?
Yes I do! I know this is going to sound generic, but I have two more tattoos, both of which are owls. I got my first tattoo (the back of my neck) shortly after my 18th birthday. I sort of got it on a whim though, I just got out of my first real relationship and I was rather devastated at the time, so, you know how some girls go out and cut and dye their hair for a change? Well, I got a tattoo. I wanted a cute little owl (but not too cartoonish) on my neck. The owl represents my nana because as a child, she would always say this cute little rhythm about a wise old owl! The last tattoo I got was my ribcage, which is of a Great Horned Owl. This one I wanted to be realist looking, unlike my neck. I found the perfect picture on flickr and had my tattoo artist draw it up. Unfortunately, this is the tattoo I went and got redone by another artist. After the outline was finished, it honestly looked like a 10 year old sketched it on my side, it was horrible. It was so shaky and unprofessional (just so everyone knows, I do suck at getting tattooed, I will fully admit) But I decided to ask another tattoo artist for advice, and he pretty much said “you get what you pay for” which was 100% true in this situation. So set up an appointment there to get it shaded in and fixed up, thankfully he did a terrific job, even with me bitching up a storm the whole time and practically passing out in the chair!
3) Do you plan on getting more?
Actually, I am not too sure on this one. Of course I want more, but my career goal of hopefully being a psychologist does not promote tattoos in the work force. I am already aware I am going to have to cover my chest piece, which I am fine with but I’m stuck on whether I want any more or not. I know this is a hot topic for some people because I am supposed to be my own person and not care what others think of me, but in reality, I am well aware that I get judged for my tattoos on a daily basis, whether it is for the best or the worst. If I do get anymore though, they will almost certainly be in places that are easily hidden. Also, since I work in retail, which does not pay well, and currently having to pay for college and text books, the high cost of tattoos are keeping me away from getting a new one any time soon!
4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?
My family (mom and dad) do not like my tattoos at all, especially my dad! He hasn’t outright said anything to me about it, but I know he does not like them (he is more on the conservative side). But obviously, it has not affected our relationship as a family in the least. Funny enough, my mother actually went with me to get my chest piece continued on!
On the other hand, having a job in retail and having to work directly with the public has brought up some controversy. I have had customers say to me “Why on earth would you ever do that to your body” and I was even told I was going to hell because of them by an older man. Obviously with thing like that, you have to just blow it off. Some people like tattoos, and others don’t.
I do have a boyfriend right now and he does not have any tattoos, though he does sometimes talk about getting one! Overall he says he likes the ones I have now, but would prefer if I did not get anymore, which I fully respect.
5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?
My advice for anyone looking into getting a tattoo is to check out the shop first! Look at the artist’s portfolio, talk to the artist and make sure he or she can work with you and that you two can come up with ideas together. Also, do not, and I repeat, do not go to an artist based on money. You get what you pay for. I learned that the hard way and I cannot stress that enough!!