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Celebration of Life and Death Through Love

gust 27, 1999 I got my first tattoo. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted a tattoo and I got in trouble for drawing all over my self and buying those fake tattoos and sticking them all over my 10 year old body. As I grew older I looked at tattoo magazines, tattoo websites (including BME), and talked to people about their tattoos. When I turned 18 the obsession intensified because I was of legal age. I began checking out tattoo studios earlier this year and found the perfect place: Black Cat Tattoo in Kailua, Hawaii (all the way on the other side of the island of O'ahu). I know a few people who got tattoos done in Black Cat and they were very satisfied. I found the perfect design for myself: a red lotus flower with the Chinese character for love above it, surrounded by flames that come out of the flower. The lotus is a symbol of rebirth. To me the flames represent an eternal flame of passion (for life), nurtured with love (the character). I'm in a new part of my life; where it has just begun. That doesn't mean I shed everything from my past and am starting with a completely new slate; it means I still have a lot more growing up to do. My grandfather passed away recently and my tattoo is also a symbol to remember him by; he was very passionate about (mortal)life. He moved onto a different part of his life and will still be remembered with love. I chose a Chinese character because I'm 1/4 Chinese. My tattoo design is a combination of a lotus flower with fire that I found on a website, the love character from a Chinese Calligraphy webiste (reconfirmed with other sites and books), and my drawings. Kandi did a wonderful job of splicing all of my ideas together and came up with a beautiful tattoo. It's 2.5" wide and 4" long on my lower back. I went to Black Cat after school with my boyfriend and met up with a couple of friends there for support. I estimated I would pay $150 and I was right (of course I paid after I got the tattoo). After Kandi made the stencil she put it on my lower back and I sat facing away from her, leaning forward on an angled chair. There was a towel draped over it and I was glad because when she started outlining it over the spine I gripped the towel and wrung it with my hands. I didn't cry or feel sick, which was a good thing. I ate a snack at Arby's 2 hours before I got my tattoo so I was fine. She tried to talk to me while she outlined but I was pretty incoherent because I just thought, "Ack! Pain!" but when she started filling it in I could speak clearly. I told her about the meaning of my tattoo and we talked about our hobbies and favorite music. I asked her how she got into tattooing and she said she had an art degree that didn't do much for her and then she was approached by a tattoo artist who asked her to be his apprentice. She was Sailor Jerry's apprentice; some of you might know him as the guy who started the sailor tattoo style in Honolulu, Hawaii (not too far from my hometown). She has been a tattoo artist for 23 years. I knew I was in good hands. When she was finished I showed it off to my boyfriend and friends and they all thought it looked really nice and sexy. Kandi bandaged it up, I paid her, and she gave me a paper with after care instructions. My lower back kinda hurt during the car ride home so I had to slouch in my seat and make sure it didn't touch the back of the seat. Four hours later at a get-together I unveiled my tattoo and got lots of "oohs" and "aahs" and "that looks like it hurt!!!". I'm very proud of my tattoo and I enjoy showing it to people. It's a good conversation piece and it's fun to compare tattoos with other people. Right now it's in the peeling stage so in a few more days it'll heal completely. I think when I get married I'll get my next tattoo. I want my tattoos to tell stories; my body is like a human scrap book. I've given a lot of thought to my first tattoo and I'm glad I took a long time to decide what I want and why I want it. Tattoos are a personal thing and like losing your virginity, it should be special if done in the right place at the right time. MiSH Behavior August 30, 1999

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Sept. 1999
in Tattoos

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Artist: Kandi+Everett
Studio: Black+Cat+Tattoo
Location: Kailua%2C+HI

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