Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tattoo Tuesday V.78

Name and blog name: Brenda Abel. You can find my blog at http://brendaabel.blogspot.com/ . I recently got more into blogging in the last few months. I enjoy writing about the things I am passionate about, and things that inspire me. I put my words out into the universe, hoping that maybe someone will read them and feel motivated and inspired as well. I like to write about the challenges I face, even the things that are rather hard to share. Because maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there going through the same thing; and I want them to know they aren't alone, but more importantly they are loved.

Age: 23

Occupation: Regional Manager for the non-profit organization, LiNK (Liberty in North Korea). LiNK raises awareness about the human rights issues in North Korea, and we also provide emergency relief to North Korean refugees. As a Regional Manager, I book our national awareness tours, and train/manage our Nomads (traveling representatives).

Age of first tattoo:
18. All throughout high school, I couldn't wait until I turned 18 so that I could get a tattoo. Unfortunately, because of my eagerness and lack of patience, I am left with a poorly done, poorly taken care of, and poorly designed permanent piece of ink on my body. I was one of the first tattoos that my friend did, and it was in his garage. I was practically asking for it. ...You live and learn, right?

Favorite tattoo: I don't have very many tattoos, but the two (out of three) that I do have, I am equally proud of, and love dearly. If I had to choose one though, it would be my floral piece on my upper right arm.

Featured tattoo/location: Floral piece on my upper right arm.

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Turbo - Goodfellas Tattoo - Orange, 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 got this piece when I was 21, but I had been thinking about it for 3 years. I waited a long time before I got it, because I didn't want to regret it. I wanted it to be something I truly loved. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Colossians 3:12. It says, "Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy & beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, gentleness, & patience... & above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." I wanted to get a tattoo that represented this scripture, because I feel it's a constant reminder of how I am called to live my life, and an accountability to the lifestyle I live. I didn't want to get the scripture written out, so I spent a while trying to design an illustration that represented this verse. Which is how I came up with using flowers. Every flower has a name and a meaning. I researched and cross-referenced a lot of different resources to find a flower that represented each characteristic: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Then at the top of my piece, I have "Dragoste" written, which means "love" in Romanian. The purpose for this being placed at the top is because at the end of the verse, it emphasizes on love being the most important characteristic, and that it binds everything together. It's written in Romanian because I am Romanian. I came up with the idea of the tattoo, and Turbo (my tattoo artist) designed it.


2) Do you have any other tattoos?  If so, what do you have and where?

I have two other tattoos. My first one is the tattoo I mentioned that I got at 18. It's a smaller tattoo, located on my inner left ankle-area. It's in black ink, and it is a cross with a treble clef, with Psalm 150 written in script. I eventually want to get it redone or added onto/changed. I'd rather spend the money, time, and let's be honest, the pain, on another tattoo, before I go "fixing" this one.
*I don't actually have a picture of this one. I wonder why? :)

My most recent tattoo was done in September 2010, also by Turbo. I spent about a year thinking and planning this one out. It's a feather with the phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I" written in it. This tattoo has a lot of meaning to me as well. My mother, who is one of the most inspirational people I know, raised me on this idea of living with a purpose. If you are here on this earth, there's a reason. Live your life like it's for a purpose, and don't ever get used to that idea. I wanted to be reminded of this daily, hence getting it done in ink.


3) Do you plan on getting more?

I do plan on getting more. I've always had this vision of having full sleeves, and lots of tattoos. I am not sure if this will ever happen, but I am not opposed to the idea. I think tattoos (if done right) are so beautiful, and I look at them as art. However, I am in no rush. It's more important to me to take my time to make sure it's something that I will love the rest of my life, and have an important meaning, than to just get covered as quickly as possible. Plus, I work at a non-profit organization, so money is really flowing right now, haha.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)?  Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? 

My mom was one who paid for my first tattoo, and she absolutely loves my floral piece, so there is no problem there. My sisters all have tattoos, and most of my friends have or want tattoos. I am surrounded by individuals who are accepting of all people, so I have never ran into any negative responses. Of course, when I am out and about, I get glares from time to time, but it never bothers me.

5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Don't get a tattoo on impulse. It's not worth it. I personally made a vow to myself to never get a tattoo that didn't have meaning, and more specifically that couldn't tell a story. I love asking people what their tattoos mean, and what made them get something permanent. Be prepared to talk about your tattoos everyday, because people will ask. If you're not up for attention, or questions, don't get something permanent and/or visible. Also, take care of your ink! Seriously. Treat it well, after all, it's art. I never leave the house without moisturizing my tattoos, and I always, always wear sunblock. I am really pale, and have colored tattoos, so I want to prevent fading and dullness as much as possible. It's the biggest compliment when even after 2+ years, people ask if my tattoo was recently done.


  1. Really love her flower piece! Gorrrrgeous. Sea Marie

  2. Great post! Love the feather piece. So pretty.

  3. So pretty. Love the meanings.

  4. The floral piece is amazing! I completely agree about the tattoos with meaning statement. Every single one of my tattoos have a meaning. And only 1 of my tattoos was an impulse and I also regret it.

    Eric from http://lifeinafathead.wordpress.com/

  5. Wonderful tattoos! That leaf is awesome.

  6. Your tattoos are so gorgeous!! Love the floral one on your arm, it's girly but meaningful and it looks great on you. :)

  7. I don't know if it's just me, but it really looks like her floral tattoo keeps switching arms from picture to picture. Anyone else notice this?

  8. Anonymous- good eye! It's from photobooth on Mac. It's mirror image. <3

  9. Thanks for all the sweet comments! Come say hi to me at: www.brendaabel.blogspot.com


  10. awesome post!! loved the feather piece! ^_^

  11. Bren! I love your story! I've always loved your floral piece and your story makes me love it even more :)

  12. what type of moisturizer does she use? I have had my sleeve for a year or so and it looks like it is 5 years old!

  13. @Angela - I tried going to your blog to leave a comment, but your profile is not public!

    I do a few tricks to keep my ink fresh looking and to prevent fading.

    -Neutrogena Body Oil: I use this every time after I shower. I naturally have dry skin, but this body oil has helped me (more than lotion).

    -Aveda All-Sensitive Moisturizer (I mainly use this product for my face, but I've noticed it's helped on my tattoos!)

    -Oil Free Sunblock. Get any brand, it really doesn't matter, just make sure it is high in SPF. I honestly put on sunblock anytime I am exposed, even if it's not summertime. Just get in the habit of it, and it will prevent any fading! I even carry a travel size sunblock in my purse with me!

    Hope that helps!