Stories Behind My Ink Pt. 2
My one and only tattoo done in the city of angels!
Two years ago, I visited Paco for two weeks to see if Los Angeles was a city I could call home...we all know what my consensus was, ha. Any ways, I wanted to get a tattoo from a shop in L.A. as my own little souvenir. On my last Monday in town, we hopped in and out of a few shops until we found one that matched the vibes we were looking for. We flipped through flash pieces and even researched a few ideas online. Eventually Paco got struck by inspiration and now we are branded for life with our party skulls.
Fun Fact: Our initial idea for tattoos was to get de Leon in script on the side of our wrists.
Props to anyone who knows what this is from without me having to say it! I will let you ponder on it for a few moments while I share the story behind it.
I had driven up from Athens for a job interview in Johns Creek and right as I entered my interview, I received a text asking if I was free to come in for a tattoo. I told him I could be at the shop in about two hours, depending on how the interview went and the traffic getting to Atlanta from where I was. I gave him two options: the cartoonish typewriter or two hearts that say "I love you" and "I know". He chose the two hearts because he had just completed a painting with similar hearts the night before.
Still haven't figured out what it's from? Star Wars kids. The oh so famous words spoken from Princess Leia and Han Solo.
Fun Fact: this was my most popular tattoo during my stay in Bali. All the Indonesian men would say "I love you" to which I would reply "I know". It was always a fun and playful gesture that brought laughter and smiles.
The next tattoo was done completely on impulse and I gave Miguel complete creative control as I studied for my personal finance exam at the front of the shop. I unfortunately do not have a picture of the gorgeous lady vase on the side of my thigh, but I will tell you it is my only tattoo without a touch of color and I adore it greatly.
Fun Fact: The original idea for the tattoo was supposed to include a color scheme, but I preferred it without it.
Ode to Dale is my first tattoo below the elbow and the second tattoo to hold the most value and sentiment.
For fourteen years I had a black lab, with the spirit animal of a cat and for fourteen years he was my best friend. Hell, I enjoyed his company more than most humans. For fourteen years, he was my shoulder to cry on, my cuddle buddy through horror films, my trailblazer through the steep hiking trails but most of all, he was my companion. Prior to his hip dysplasia, he would sleep next to me and I would tuck him at night. I would give him priority over my homies in the car and he would ride shot gun, ha. Then one random day last July he experienced his first seizure. The vets did not know what caused it, but prescribed medication to hopefully prevent future ones from occurring. He was totally groovy for two months until one morning in September. I remember each moment vividly if I am being totally honest. It was Labor Day and I had finally had a day off and the ability to sleep in. Somewhere in a dream, I was jolted awake as my mother barged in my room and told me to come downstairs. I shooed her off at first and told her I would take care of whatever it was in two hours, and then I heard the crack in her voice as she said it was Dale. My heart immediately got heavy and I rushed downstairs to see him lying on the kitchen floor, not able to lift his head and a puddle of drool surrounding his face. I asked her how many he had, and she said two. I grabbed a towel, sat on the floor next to him and placed his head on my lap. Over the next hour, as I waited for my father to come home, he would have four more seizures. There was nothing I could do but comfort him, tell him everything would be okay and to hold on just a few moments longer. I was not able to lift him into the car by myself, to rush him over the vet. Upon my father's arrival, we did just that together. The vet came out with a stretcher for Dale and took him into the back office. She instructed us to wait out in the lobby while they ran a few tests. She eventually invited us into a room, where she told us we could keep him overnight for observation. My father considered it, but I immediately rejected it due to the fact that he had another seizure in the short time we were there. I would not let him suffer in a florescent lit room by himself and no love surrounding him. I asked the vet about euthanasia and the realities of him coming out of this free of pain and happy. She gave an honest answer and allowed us time to speak about it. We made the decision that it was best to euthanize him and prevent any more pain from occurring. She brought Dale into the room, made him comfortable and as a family we said our goodbyes.
I waited a few hours before telling anyone, and hit up Miguel asking if there was any way he could squeeze me in for a little tattoo. He made the space and now I forever have Dale with me.
Fun Fact: I got this tattoo after my last break up and received a lot of shit for it, ha. Why did I choose this particular design after a break up you ask? Because I had been a fan of the design for weeks prior when he originally posted the sketch on Instagram. The only reason the timing squares up is because I was under the impression someone else already called dibs.
Plus, I have a thing for ladies and love remember?
The last tattoo I received was done at Southern Star in Atlanta. It is simple script on my wrist and reads as follows, "Courage, dear heart." I got the tattoo one month prior to my departure from Atlanta and continue to remind myself of it daily.
Every tattoo I have is special in its own unique way and I am grateful for the artists I have.
I have yet to get tattooed since my move to Los Angeles for two reasons: 1. I have yet to find an artist who blows me away that has open availability in the near future and 2. Yo, this is an expensive city to live in, ha. I do not have the change to throw around.
Not to worry through, I am browsing through more artists, saving up money and even scheduling an appointment for my arrival back in Atlanta.
Keep on keepin' on!