Occupation: I am a Registered Nurse working in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit aka I take care of critically ill children ages newborn (babies that have already gone home after birth) to twenty two!
Age of first tattoo: 18. You’ll see my first tattoo a little later. It is nothing to write home about. I have definitely become more creative as time goes on!
Favorite tattoo: Oh geez it’s really hard to choose! So lets say I was at the mercy of a power monger and he was forcing me to laser off all of my tattoos except one or else he would destroy every cuddly animal, I’d have to choose to keep the tattoo I am featuring. Phew!
Featured tattoo/location: The life cycle of a flower that begins on my left chest, stretches across my back and onto my right chest
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: The ever amazing Bill Kieffer at Eden Tattoo in San Diego, CA.
1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did you choose this particular piece of art?
I am obsessed with the process of life. We are born of our parents, grow into magnificent beings throughout our years and then at some point we begin the process of dying all while hopefully retaining our beauty and integrity. I think this is something amazing. Life can be painful, our death may hurt the ones who love us but it can also be beautiful! (Weird, I know. You can’t be an ICU nurse without being able to accept and talk openly about this) This tattoo represents just that. The life-cycle of a flower from buds to blooming and through withering. Even as the flower dies it retains its color and beauty, much like I hope my life will! Really cheesy, right? This tattoo was hand drawn directly on my body then completed over about 5 sessions, adding layers in over time.
2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?
I have a few others:
A crazy colored owl on either calf.
The traditional mousatche on the finger tattoo (That crap hurt! I was profusely sweating the whole five minutes it took to complete it!!)
My first tattoo. Located on my lower abdomen/above my ladybits, however you choose to look at it. It says "Only God Shall Judge the Worthy." Years later I realize its ironic placement. Almost as ironic as the boyfriend's tattoo "Poison Free" located in the same spot.
Little skeleton trees on either foot. Clearly I don't have two right feet. I got this tattoo with my cousin who is studying to be a doctor. My foot is the child sized one to the left of the frame.
A shepherd's staff wrapped around a rod (Psalm 23:4) done in the style of the medical symbol that I got in celebration of becoming a nurse. Also hand drawn on me.
3) Do you plan on getting more?
I definitely plan on being covered. I know what I want for the rest of my back and both arms (The story of Sleeping beauty on one and Peter Pan on the other, don't judge me!). It is a long process though, I have a harder time as I get older allowing myself to spend money on tattoos when I should be saving up to own a home!
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 parents always knew I would end up tattooed. I think my dad still gets a bit bummed with each new one but my parents truly love me no matter what. I was most worried about how my grandma would feel but she told me she thinks my tattoos are beautiful! It was quite the relief hearing that since she didn't even approve of me having my ears pierced when I was ten! I do have a few very ‘traditional’ family members that I know don’t approve, but it doesn’t bother me and I do not cover my tattoos in their presence. It is a part of who I am, and I am not one to hide that!
I can’t say I have ever experienced negativity but more so a lot of awkwardness. People I don’t know touching me, pulling at clothing to get a closer look. A lot of people thinking I want to see the lady bug on their ankle. So many people expecting me to lift up/pull down/basically de-robe so they can see the full tattoo. One man even asked me to take off my tights so he could see my owls better. Ummm... NO!
I'd say the boyfriend has a couple tattoos.
5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?
I’m going to go a different direction with this one.
Take care of your tattoos. For example, I got the flower tattoo six years ago and the above pictures were taken last month. The color is still vibrant because I use sunscreen and RARELY expose my tattoos to the sun. I take pride in the art on my body and I didn’t go through all of that pain getting tattooed just to let the sun destroy them! I also use a very specific regimen during the healing process and I DO NOT peel off anything as tempting as it may be! You pay for them, you go through pain for them, do not forget to take care of them! Side note: some people love the faded tattoo look. My boyfriend prefers his tattoos after they have faded a bit. If you are also one of those people, more power to you. This is meant for people who want to keep the fresh, vibrant look for as long as possible!