I wanted to add Cherry blossoms around my first tattoo because they represent the beauty and fragility of life. As a Buddhist they are a visual reminder to remain within the present moment, that life is fleeting and we have to celebrate the gift of life whilst we have it. They also serve to remind me of my rebirth out of depression and that I deserve to live a life of happiness.
I’ve had cherry Blossoms added 3 times by 3 different artists, the tree was added with the last lot done by the very beautiful Steph at Elsies Ink, these ones are my favourite and I most likely will get her to re do the previous ones so they all blend in at some point.
On this arm I had a crow done which now sits at the top of the tree branches above the Cherry Blossoms. This was done for our eldest Draven as he’s named after Eric Draven from The Crow, a crow tattoo represents wisdom, future and love. This arm still needs some work as the sky behind the crow needs adding.
We both have Koi no Yokan tattoos for our love of Deftones and this album was the soundtrack to our pregnancy with Draven. The main reason we had it was because the translation for Koi No Yokan is – ‘the feeling upon first meeting someone that you will inevitably fall in love with them’ which we both feel is a perfect representation of how we felt when we first met, way back in 2004. This was done long before I had my cherry blossom tree added in to make the others already there have a home instead of floating around my forearm.
I’ve also had three little wishes added above Koi no Yokan, they were for a charity event to raise money for a little boy with cancer, I loved the idea of the wishes to represent each of my babies.
The owl I had for our youngest of the twins Camilo, is from Deftones album Diamond Eyes because Camilo is named after Chino Moreno, we dropped the extra L in Camilo so it had the same amount of letters as his twin sister Cosima. Owl tattoos also represent knowledge, wisdom and transition.
I had a nautilus for Cosima as she was named after Cosima in Orphan Black who has a nautilus tattoo. A nautilus is a symbol of expansion and renewal and is also represents the golden mean number 1.61803398875. I’ve started to add magnolia flowers under the owl moving down my arm because I wanted a tree growing flower and the Magnolia Champaca is sacred in Buddhism, but the flowers are not visually that appealing for me so I opted for a sweetbay magnolia instead. This is far from finished but due to an arm injury that has taken the best part of 8 months to heal I haven’t been able to add any more to it. The blue within the nautilus needs some extra watercolour adding and the magnolia flowers need extending down my arm.
Before I get a new tattoo I always look up what I’m thinking of having to find out the object / wording etc’s meaning is to see if that’s something that actually sits well with me, I like each piece to tell a story or to at least flow together nicely. Some of my earlier pieces like my tribal foot tattoo was just something I liked and that’s it, I am probably going to re work that at a later date when I start work on full leg pieces. Having tattoos is such a personal choice and should be celebrated as the beautiful works of art they are, not everyones will have meaning and that’s cool, decorating your body for the sake of it is just as wonderful as having super intricate meanings behind each and every one.