Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tattoo Tuesday V.79

Name/blog name: Heather Marie // www.paperdollsmile.com

Age: 26

Occupation: Hairstylist/Make-Up Artist at Lush Salon and Spa in Midtown Sacramento

Age of first tattoo: 18

Favorite tattoo: This is tricky. I have a few that I absolutely love, but I think I'm gonna have to go with my sugar skull. Mainly because it's the most important one to me.
Featured tattoo/location: sugar skull on right forearm

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: all of my tattoos (well, except the one on my shoulder) were done by John at Pins and Needles in Tracy, 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?

All of my tattoos are ideas that I sketched. I take that idea and present it to John and he makes it into something bigger and better. It takes me a very long time to come up with an idea. Sometimes a year or more. It usually reflects something that has happened or is happening in my life.

The sugar skull is dedicated to my grandmother who passed away in '93. On the forehead of the skull you'll notice a "V" for Virginia, which was her name. I took Spanish class in high school and learned a lot about Dia De Los Muertos. We constructed a mini altar as a class project, and I of course made one for her. I fell in love with the idea of celebrating the lives of the ones we love, and have lost, in this way that I really wanted to use it as a permanent shrine to her on my skin.

She was taken from us way too soon. For the little amount of time that I knew her she made a big impact on my life, and from what I know of her she was a strong woman who overcame quite a bit in her forty something years of life. I miss her dearly everyday, and wish so much I had the chance to know her on an adult level.

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

I have a pegasus-unicorn-thing on my left shoulder that I don't usually brag about. Which is why there's no photo. It was my first tattoo and my first attempt at dedicating a tattoo to my grandmother. She loved Unicorns. It didn't go over very well. I was living in PA and had a friend do it for me in his studio. I was 18 and anxious and didn't know anything about researching proper artists. It's usually the tattoo everyone likes to point and laugh at because it's pretty My Little Pony-ish. I like to show it off at party's. LOL

The heart with angel wings wrapped around it is located on my right arm. Which I got for my nephew who was born with 'blue baby' disease. Basically the heart valves were not developed properly and the blood wasn't flowing to his heart as it should. His first few months of life were really rough, and I'm thankful that he is a healthy boy now.

The dahlia's are on my upper right arm. My mother and I are both libra's so we got matching tattoos for mother's day one year. She's an inspiration to me, and I love her more than anything.  Surrounding the dahlia's are music notes from a verse by The Dresden Dolls. Their song Good Day made an impression on me when I first heard it. It was the first song I heard by this duo and it's absolutely amazing. It meant a lot more when I broke up with my high school sweetheart after six years. The lyrics are "God, it's been a lovely day. Every things  been going my way. I had so much fun today, and I'm on fire!" I was scared that I wasn't going to be strong enough on my own. That relationship was all I knew for so long. Singing those words out loud one day just made me feel strong, and powerful, like I could overcome anything. Still love that song.

The revolvers with the dead man's hand on my upper left arm. I sketched something out for my step-dad and I to get together. I had to come up with something bad***. I can't have my dad walking around with flowers, ya know? He may have "step" in front of his name, but to me he's my real dad regardless of what a blood test would say.

I have an obsession with skeleton keys. I have one on my left forearm. John, my tattoo artist, added a little demon face to it. If you look carefully you'll see it. I like the touch of dark humor to it, but really the key symbolizes the key to opportunities. Each door needs a key, and you have the power to choose which door {direction} to go in life.

I sketched out the music box with the ballerina on my upper left arm because I had a music box as a kid, and I loved it dearly. Also, because I love the art of dance. It's a beautiful thing.

My newest one is the flowers with the Beatles lyrics from Blackbird on the inner part of my left arm. "Take these broken wings and learn to fly." Obviously, I LOVE music. Music is my life. I live and breathe it. The Beatles are one of my all time favorite bands. I know a lot of people say that because it's so easy, but really, I have absorbed every little bit of information that I possibly could about them. Especially John Lennon. There are no words. They've done so much for music and made such an amazing impact in the short amount of time that they were around. The lyrics to me just remind me that bad things happen, but I just have to pick myself up and continue on.


3) Do you plan on getting more?

I absolutely intend to get more tattoos. Again, it's just a matter of coming up with ideas. I honestly need to go back and get them touched up as you can see. I'm really bad at that and John hates it. He keeps telling me to go back in, but I just get so anxious and want to start on a completely different idea rather than going over one that has already healed. I kinda really like that they are more and the rough side. They're still bright and pretty, but they're not so perfect.

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? 

At first, my mother was not all that thrilled about them. They kept getting bigger and bigger and after a while I guess she just figured she needed to learn to love them, 'cause  nothing was gonna stop me. LOL

I don't think I have ever been confronted about them. Some strange looks here and there from the older generation. I actually had an older woman come up to me last week in Safeway and grab my left arm to take a look. She said she loved them, and thought they were beautiful. I was a little weirded out by the way she grabbed me, but just smiled and said 'thank you.' haha

I'm very lucky to have a career that is very open minded. A lot of my co-workers have tattoos. Tattoos in general are very much accepted in the Midtown Sacramento community. My clients love them, and always want to know what they mean, or when I'm getting my next one. As a matter of fact, I have actually had clients tell me that they wanted me to do their hair strictly because I do have tattoos. They feel that it means I am creative and able to think outside the box when it comes to doing their hair. My clients pretty much rock!

My boyfriend has two tattoos. My favorite one is on his upper right arm and it's of Little Red Riding Hood eating the Big Bad Wolf. haha fantastic!

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

Really think about it before you jump into it. I understand that they don't necessarily have to mean anything, but it doesn't hurt. I honestly change my mind about things so often. If it didn't mean anything I would probably end up hating it eventually. Be creative, and try to do something unique. The books and stencils that the shops provide are great, don't get me wrong, but think about the amount of people who have that same exact tattoo. I like knowing that although maybe my idea isn't all that unique, but that very tattoo is, because I sketched or designed it myself. Do something that represents you and who you are, not who people want you to be. 


  1. She's lovely and so is her artwork!

  2. Really like this Tattoo Tuesday! She has a really awesome writing voice and gave really practical advice! I loved the key and the two sets of lyrics. Also, her bf's tattoo of red riding eating the wolf sounds ingenious! Haha! Lovely post <3

  3. I absolutely love your key tattoo and your Beatles tattoo! So gorgeous and original. Awesome!

  4. I love this interview! she is so darling and her tattoos fit her charm just perfectly!


    (PS: love tattoo tuesdays!)

  5. i love the sugar skull tattoo & that she sketched them all out herself. that's awesome!


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