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My tattoos and the stories behind them

My tattoos and the stories behind them

Oh, TATS! (laughing) I’ve gotten several requests lately from people that want to see my tattoos. I have been so busy working on showing off everyone else’s tattoos in the gallery that I haven’t even thought about posting my own. So, for those who are interested, here is the story of my own artwork.

My first tattoo was done in the Spring of 1998, not long after I had started my apprenticeship. My mentor, Mike Garcia, had some extra time one day and asked if I was ready. We had been discussing this tattoo for quite some time, even before I had started my apprenticeship. I chose this particular dragon, even though it was a flash piece, because it was drawn by a lady I tremendously admire and respect Judy Parker. Of course I felt a rush of anxiety as Mike got all the equipment set up, but I was ready! At the time, I didn’t know what color I wanted the dragon or if I wanted color at all. So, it has been left unfinished even until now. I am now thinking of how I can incorporate it into the back piece I want, so it’s future still remains unknown. I am very proud to have this tattoo, both because it was done by Mike and inspired by Judy.

Tattoo number two was done by my very best friend, Lagena Davis. Lagena was also currently an apprentice at the same studio, The Skin Art Gallery. She had been there around two years, and was looking to do some more color work for her portfolio. I really had no ideas for custom work, so we looked through some flash together. When I saw this piece, I immediately fell in love. I knew it would be a good challenge for Lagena and would make a great addition to her portfolio. She was really excited to do it and because the shop remained busy, it took us two weeks from the point of decision until we actually got to sit down and get started on it. This piece was actually done in two separate sittings. We did the linework one night, and about a week later she did the coloring. Legena has a lot of natural talent and even did some of the design freehand to customize it to fit the shape of my leg better than the original flash. As far as pain goes, it was really intense the farther down she got (closer to my ankle). Other than that, it was a pretty painless experience. What makes this tattoo so special is that it was Lagena’s last tattoo as an apprentice. She has since gone professional and is working for Reverend John at one of his shops in Lonestar, Texas.

My third tattoo was done by another good friend of mine, Gerry Beckerman. Gerry owns Ozark Ink Tattoo in Ava, Missouri and has been tattooing for over 20 years. I had talked with Gerry online for a long time and we decided to meet up at the Tattoo Rendezvous convention in Kansas City in July of 1999. While we were there, I decided I wanted some ink from him so we talked about what I wanted to have done. I had wanted a breast tattoo for quite some time but was a little apprehensive about baring my boob to some stranger. So, since I trusted Gerry, I decided this would be the time to do it. I was surprised at how little it hurt I barely felt it at all. I absolutely loved the colors he used and absolutely cherish this tattoo (as it is close to my heart, after all!).

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