Name/blog name: Amber – www.bebebirdbeck.blogspot.com
Occupation: Police Dispatcher/ Student
Age of first tattoo: 18
Favorite tattoo: I’m the worst at picking favorites. If I was forced to pick I’d say the word lovely on the inside of my right bicep. It makes my heart swell every time I see it. It’s the first tattoo I got that really meant something big to me. In short, I got it because my God has called me lovely. There was a point in my life that I definitely didn't love myself or even really like anything about myself. I wasn't in a good place at all. I figured there was no way that I could be pleasing to God. Through several people that I looked up to most in my church, my Bible, and quiet times with Him He called me lovely. I felt a peace deep down and knew that my God delighted in me, He has called me lovely (which is actually my right sleeve theme is). My heart was flooded. I never felt as beautiful or as sure about life. It's such a sweet reminder every time I see it, especially on those days when I tend to be too hard on myself. I'm lovely.
Featured tattoo/location: Initials AB on my left rib panel.
Artist/shop/location of featured tattoo: Mike Tweed at Inkfluence Tattoo in Lubbock, TX.
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’ve wanted to get my husband’s initials since the day we
met got married. We ended up getting ring finger tattoos of a favorite scripture instead. I decided to get the tattoo without him knowing as a present. I wanted it to be as girly and fancy as possible. It was the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep. I showed it to him on Valentine’s Day (corny… but cute nonetheless ;] ) He was completely shocked, but he adores it too!
2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?
I have most of my right arm done. It contains script that reads, “I delight in you my treasure my bride,” an owl, the word “lovely”, a little birdie, daisies, floral/girly designs, an Indian girl, 2 more owls, a fox, and the word “beloved” in Hebrew. My left arm has a cherry blossom tree and Japanese waves. I have 1 Cor 13:4 and a bow tattooed on my ring fingers, a diamond on my left upper chest/shoulder area, and a fleur-de-lis on my left hip.
3) Do you plan on getting more?
Definitely. I’m not sure what my stopping point will be. I do believe I’m done with the cherry blossom/wave arm. I like the way it looks with my upper arm blank. I will definitely complete my right arm. I go back and forth between wanting a chest piece, so far I can’t dream up anything substantial enough to get there. I want my thighs done and feet also. I’d like to think someday I’ll be mostly covered. Strangely enough, I even love being tattooed. So to answer the question that everyone and their mom (literally) asks, No it doesn't really hurt that bad. I kinda like it. ;]
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 wasn’t super stoked on my tattoos at first, but I think they have all mostly come around and accepted that they are part of me and that I will continue getting them. My mom took the longest. She just couldn’t figure out why I wanted to have something so permanent on my “beautiful skin.” She cried when I got my first tattoo (and probably 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on) Granted I got my first against her wishes when I still lived at home and hid it from her as long as possible. I would have done that differently for sure and waited till I was on my own. She has come around and even thinks some of them are pretty now. She never treated me any differently because of them, just couldn’t understand why I wanted them. She loves me all the same though, which is awesome. :]
I actually don’t have any heavily tattooed friends, but they all love them.
As for random strangers, I live in a highly conservative town, so I’ve come across plenty of negativity. A woman recently told me, “You might have been pretty if you didn’t completely ruin your skin.” I guess being visibly tattooed makes strangers think they have a right to approach you with their opinion. I just smile and walk away, usually. Sometimes I accidentally let out a sharp sentence or two and then smile as I walk away. However, I try to just respond kindly no matter the situation; it makes me happy and them just feel like a bigger jerk. With that being said, I am approached by plenty of strangers who love my “ink, tatz, sleeves, or work.” My favorite is when old little women tell me how pretty they are.
My husband has a quarter sleeve, loves tattoos, and adores all of mine. He loves dreaming up new tattoos with me. He's about to get another one this week actually. Yay!
5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?
It’s been said plenty of times before, but really, find an amazing tattoo artist. I’ve had my fair share of bad tattoos, luckily easily fixed by my tattoo artist. I got one out of town, on my honeymoon, from a random tattoo shop. His portfolio looked pretty rad, but his work was not up to par. I don’t know if it was a stolen portfolio or what, but the tattoo was horribly HORRIBLY done. The lines weren’t straight or connected and the shading was ridiculous. I made him fix a few things but then just realized every time he went back to work, he made it worse. I didn’t think it would be fixable, but luckily it was! It’s the diamond on my shoulder. It always sounds like such a brilliant idea to get a tattoo as a souvenir, but I definitely won't be doing that anymore unless I already know the tattoo artist is amazing beforehand. I also accepted a tattoo as a gift once. Never a good idea, unless it’s from the shop/artist you already know and love.
Also, be prepared to have random strangers approach you EVERY day about your tattoos. I’m probably asked a minimum of eight times a day if my tattoos hurt. A lot of people just really are intrigued by them. It used to bug me pretty bad when strangers would grab my arms and rub them, but I’m pretty accustomed to it now. I try to take it as a compliment and move on. An older lady even told me once, “I’ve found that people who are tattooed are very affectionate and loved to be touched.” Apparently she has done her fair share of touching tattooed folk.
I usually wear a cardigan if I'm not feeling extra friendly that day. Can't a girl go grab some milk in peace?! And don’t get me started about being a tattooed lady in a gym.
Lastly, tattoos are lifelong commitments, duh, but get something that you really want. Whether it's because it means something super important, or because it's just too dang pretty not to have on your body; make sure you love it. Don't accept whatever the tattoo artist draws up IF you don't like it. I've had my tattoo artist change things after he has it completely drawn it up if I just don't feel right about something. He doesn't ever care and gladly changes it. If he did care, I would have found someone else. The art is going to be on you forever. Now, I completely trust my tattooist's artistic vision and how well he knows me. He knows what I like and can tell what sort of style I want my tattoo to be. I think that's super important.
OH, and tip. :]