Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday V.112

Name and blog name: Theresa LaVelle // thehumancanvasproject.com
Age: 31
Occupation: Graphic Designer for Action Sports Companies
Age of first tattoo: 23
Favorite tattoo: I have “Bliss” spelled out, somewhat abstractly, on my upper left arm. Not only does it represent extreme happiness and joy, but also it was my grandmother’s last name.
Featured tattoo/location: My entire left sleeve is made up of a combination of work designed by my amazing tattoo artist Anton, and myself.
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Anton at About Face in Oceanside, 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?

As an artist I really wanted to design work that was meaningful to me, but I also wanted Anton to incorporate his own personal style, color, and subject matter into the piece as well. Knowing that it was going to take a tremendous amount of time to finish, I wanted him to really enjoy what he was working on. The sleeve started out with “Bliss” and hibiscus flowers near the top of my shoulder. As kids my dad use to drive my sisters and I around in his Volkswagen van with this gorgeous ‘nectar’ hibiscus sticker on the back window. I fell in love with it! I drew the flowers in that style to surround my grandmother’s last name. There is one hibiscus flower for each time she beat cancer. On the inside of my arm is a geisha, who’s most literal translation into English would be an ‘artist’ or an ‘art person.’ Wrapping around the outside of my arm are gold fish for good luck, as well as some waves and highly detailed lotus, cherry blossoms, etc.

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

Down the inside of my right arm I have a bird and Alstroemeria flowers, which symbolize friendship and devotion. I am extremely close to my 95 year old grandfather Patrick, and his favorite past time is gardening. The Alstroemeria is his favorite of all of the flowers that he grows. To this day he continues to give me pots of flowers for my concrete patio. He seems to think showing off my garden is a great ploy to bring a man back and make him my husband. Haha I haven’t had the heart to tell him that I can’t seem to keep the flowers alive, so that plan may not work out so well!

I also have another hibiscus on the left side of my back. This was actually my first tattoo, and I designed it while traveling Europe after graduating college.

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Absolutely I have been planning on more, but recently I had a psychic randomly approach me and tell me I should hold off! It was really bizarre and I haven’t yet decided if I should heed her advice!

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

I think most of my friends, much like me, forget that I even have them. You get so used to seeing them every day, it’s almost like looking at bare skin after a while. Much to my surprise my mom actually likes them now and is grateful that they’re at least nice to look at :) The only thing she stands firmly against is me getting any sort of piercing in my face, but I don’t think she needs to worry too much about that any time soon!

I really didn’t have ANY idea at the time just how much attention tattoos draw, and I don’t think you’d ever really understand until you walked around with them for a day! So far I have been lucky enough to only receive positive feedback from people in regards to my tattoos, other than a few head shakes from an older person every once in a while. But I completely understand that it’s a different generation, a different time with different interests. At the end of the day, I didn’t get them for anyone else other than myself. They are personal and a part of me.

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

Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen! I am so crazy about always carrying it with me, it’s ridiculous. I have lots of freckles to begin with, so I am even more cautious now about protecting my skin as well as the vibrant color of the artwork!


  1. Her tattoos are so colourful and lovely! I love her Grandfather gives her flowers, that is so sweet!


  2. Lovely bright colours! Love it when tattoos have special significance but are fun at the same time. x

  3. Good advice about the sunscreen! I love colors and would love to have a colorful tattoo, but I hate how they look when they fade or bleed. Never thought about the sun's effect on them. :)

    A great post by a lovely woman, very inspiring!

  4. Such pretty tattoos! I love the one with the bird and flowers.


  5. i love the cut of her tattoo on her left arm. if i were to get something, i would want a 3/4 sleeve! they're so classy and pretty! she's gorgeous!

    drop by allister bee soon!

  6. How beautiful!! I love the idea of bliss with a flower representing each time her grandmother beat cancer!! How sweet!! xo

  7. wow - gorgeous tattoos and a lovely story!

  8. I love your blog. So beautiful and innovative. Good job!

  9. She is so pretty! Love tattoos on her. I miss O'side!!!

  10. beautiful tattoos! I'm with ya on the sunscreen. I carry a stick of 50spf in my purse always!

  11. i love that she is close to her 95 year old grandfather. wow :) so sweet. and random to read about alstroemeria flowers as I just received a bouquet of them yesterday :)

  12. Great post! I love reading about what your tattoos mean to you.

  13. Reesaroo. Love the work. Who would have thought..20 years ago... You had IT in you. Nice. Get in touch. Luv to hear from you. Christoph