Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday V.116

Name: Alison Ziebell
Age: 24
Occupation: Whole Body Assistant Team Leader at Whole Foods Market San Francisco
Age of first tattoo: 20
Favorite tattoo: Owl on my inner arm
Artist/ Shop/ Location: Jim Quinn II/Istari Studios. Tucson Arizona

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

When coming up with an idea for my very first tattoo I immediately knew I wanted to get something for my grandma. She is such an inspiration and a positive influence in my life I wanted to remind myself of that every day. She loves owl collectibles and it seems like every square inch of her home has one in it, so I knew that's what I had to get! I started collecting vintage owl necklaces in hope of finding some inspiration for my tattoo. One year for my birthday I received an awesome owl necklace, nothing too fancy, but I knew this was the one! At the time I worked at Jim's shop as a shop girl, and being the only non tattooed person in the place, he jumped at the idea of giving me my first tattoo.

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

I do! All of my tattoos were done by the wonderful Jim Quinn II at Istari Studios. I have an old rotary phone down my arm with the receiver on the four arm and the base on the upper arm. I have 7 vintage buttons representing my family members, two of my close friends, and for the last button I let Jim tattoo his own which he so thoughtfully put our initials on. I also have a vintage pocket watch with a Z on the top for the my last name. I chose 3 of my favorite flowers: a magnolia on my shoulder,an orchid on the back of my four arm, and a gardenia for some of the major pieces on my arm. The gardenia I got for one of my favorite female jazz singers, Billie Holiday. I have a black bird on my shoulder blade and an unknown crazy bird from a vintage Lincoln car ad on my upper thigh.


3) Do you plan on getting more?

I have definitely thought about getting more and I have a few things in mind, but nothing is in the works just yet.

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 was a little shocked when I came home with my first tattoo and I just remember my mom saying, "Now don't you go and get a full sleeve! This is the last one..." I feel like we had this conversation over and over again until eventually it happened, a full SLEEVE! After a while things calmed down and now there's talk of my mom getting a little work done herself. Its very rare for me to feel nervous to show my tattoos, but when meeting my boyfriend Josh's family I got that very uncomfortable feeling. They were never supportive of him getting tattoos and on our recent trip to Hawaii his parents saw his tattoos for the first time after 6 years of wearing long sleeve shirts. Josh has two full sleeves and a bird above his knee and he always talks about getting more.

5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos?

The only weird experiences I've had with my tattoos is when working in retail. I've noticed that some people are so fascinated with tattoos that they forget the boundaries of stranger interactions. I remember a couple times working and someone would come up and start talking to me about my tattoos and move my sleeve up or move my shirt to see the bird on my back. They don't seem to realize that us tattooed gals don't like to be touched all the time, we are still human. I also got into it with a lady at a restaurant that was so fascinated with my arm she grabbed it to take a closer look while i was trying to eating my lunch.

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

Like everyone says, wait until you really know what you want and always shop around for the perfect artist that fits your personal style. I was so fortunate to find an artist that became one of my close friends, and that I can always go to and know I will get exactly what I want.


  1. Mmmm...GORGEOUS! I love all of the black and greys. All of my sleeve will be black and grey when its finished. I really wish we could have seen a picture of her Owl tattoo though...since it was her favourite and all :(

    Love this work.

    Louise xo

    1. Hey Louise!

      For some reason some of the photos weren't showing up but the owl is visible now! <3

    2. AHHHHHHH....I see it now!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! SO ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Thanks for this lil lady! Louise xo

  2. Her tattoos are interesting, I've never seen a sleeve done like that before! She is beautiful!

    xoxo, jjanga

  3. Great article ...I love how sweetly she phrased "us tattooed gals don't really like being touched all the time" ... made me smile! ... ITS THE TRUTH THOUGH....I yelled 'stranger danger' once at a lady who grabbed me enthusiastically at a Costco while shopping with my kids.... (we all laughed about it)

  4. They are all so beautiful!! I love the pretty buttons as well as the phone!

  5. She has one of the most unique and original sleeves that I've seen in a while. It's truly awesome!

  6. Just discovered your blog via A Beautiful Mess and i looove your Tattoo Tuesday! Got my first tattoo about a year ago and thinking about my second one ever since. Love the way here sleeve turned out. And she's so pretty :)

    Thanks for sharing!
    xo Sari

  7. I just found this food blog + it made me think of you :) http://eatgood4life.blogspot.com/ All of her recipies look so yummy!

  8. i love her tattoos. beautiful.


  9. Her tattoos are beautiful!

  10. My arms have been grabbed so many times, it's crazy! People just don't understand personal space;-)