Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Tattoos (so far)



The folks at Best Ink asked me to share the stories behind my tattoos, and since I've gotten these two new ones since my last tattoo post, it seemed appropriate!



First, you can vaguely see my first tattoo. It says "she wakes up lonely" - only it looks more like "she wakes uplonely" because the spacing is really wonky. I got this the day I turned 18. My mom picked me up and said, "Let's get tattoos!" We both left with horrible, awful, no good, very bad ink. But the memory of that day is why I will never cover it. Sometimes it's more about the experience than anything else, although, I would never recommend getting a tattoo on a whim, at the age of 18.

The geisha is about seven or eight years old, at this point. I'm part Japanese, and though I have no relationship with my father, I always identified with that part of me. I barely look like anyone on my mom's side of the family - and my name makes me stand out, even more. I decided I wanted to get a geisha tattooed on my ribs, and sat with it for a couple of years before committing. I knew I didn't want anything super traditional, even though I have tremendous respect and admiration for Asian tattoos. I wanted a modern interpretation, and I asked André Greppi to design it, for me. It was tattooed by Brian Dewitt in Orlando, Florida. Tonight's Best Ink episode challenge is all about Asian artwork, so this geisha would fit right in. Not to mention, half of Bobby's tattoos!




Last year, I got my anchor tattoo, in honor of my great-grandpa. He was my absolute hero, and still is. I had some awful men in my life, as a child - but my grandfathers and great grandpa were always absolutely wonderful and were true father figures, to me. We always called my great grandpa "Papa" and marveled at his war stories and sailor tattoos, which were an anchor and a portrait of Betty Boop. My mom has Betty Boop, in his honor, and I have an anchor, which was free-handed by Legion Avegno at Fallen Sparrow in Kissimmee, Florida. It's strange, because as I was getting tattooed at my last session, I was telling Amanda about how I was excited to show my great grandma. She passed away as soon as I got home, and I didn't get the chance to show her. She loved my "Papa" tattoo, and I know she would've loved the new flowers. We're a tattoo loving family, and it's all because of Papa. Even my grandma has a tattoo! P.S. Legion does amazing portraits (he did the one of Bobby's dad, and of Vester) - so if you're in the market, check him out. My mom is planning on having Legion do a portrait of my great grandma, because there is no Papa without the love of his life, Moe.




My most recent addition is something I've been waiting on for a long, long time. With the exception of my first tattoo, each of them were planned way in advance. They are permanent, of course! This one took a little longer than usual, because I was dead set on having it done by Amanda Wachob, and wasn't willing to settle. There's no secret to getting on her waiting list, except to be patient. It was 100% worth the wait. I'm absolutely in love with my flowers, and she is so lovely and incredibly talented. People always want to know the deeper meaning of each tattoo, and though there are motives, this is what it really comes down to: I like tattoos, and I think of them as beautiful art that I can appreciate for the rest of my life. I'm not big on fine jewelry, or luxury handbags and shoes - I'd much rather accessorize with makeup and tattoos. To each, their own, right?


Thanks, Best Ink, for prompting me to share my stories! Make sure to tune in to tonight's episode to see the Asian Ink Challenge, and keep up with Best Ink Wednesdays 10/9c, only on Oxygen. In the meantime, I'd love to know: do you have any tattoos? Share your pictures and stories in the comments, below!

49 comments:

  1. They are beautiful. Esp. love the flowers. I don't have any tattoos. I'm too scared :)

    xx Mira

    www.glamdevils.com

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  2. Such a wonderful story behind your tattoo's....x

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Your tattoos are beautiful! I esp. love the geisha and the flowers because I have a thing for colours :)
    I got my first tattoos last months and I love them! I am recently planning on getting more in the future.

    xoxo Nicole

    http://wordpress.fantasmagorium.de

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  4. awesome, the flowers look like a painting.

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  5. I really love your last tattoo, it's my favorite one!

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  6. wow,they are so uinique!just like you! :)

    www.glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm in awe of your floral tattoo. It has a beautiful watercolor feel to it.

    I have two tattoos..both are based on patterns.

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  8. totally loved your tattoos and the stories behind them, thank you for sharing them with us!

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  9. wow! so stunning! just gorgeous.

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  10. I love each of them! All different, but so you! The flowers really are stunning. Thanks for sharing! xo

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  11. So pretty. The flowers on your arm is beautiful, it looks like its been painted on.

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  12. i love all of your tattoos so much!!!! and i agree with kelly rae - the flowers has a perfect watercolor feel to them!

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  13. Those flowers are beyond gorgeous. I can't even take how much I love them . . .

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  14. I love the flowers! (:

    www.anetesdomas.blogspot.com

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  15. I'm far too much of a wimp to get a tattoo. I'm also extremely indecisive, I would keep changing my mind all the time so none for me

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  16. Those flowers are just incredible. I love the mix of modern and traditional with your tattoos.

    I've been planning/designing mine for a while now, and more recently wanting to incorporate tributes to my beloved dogs that crossed the Rainbow Bridge this summer.

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  17. Thanks for sharing. I've been dying to see all your tattoos uncovered. the geisha is simply stunning and the flowers are exquisite.

    I have 3 tattoos so far and planning my fourth. I also like to plan in advance and make sure I make the right decision regarding the design and tattoo placement. you check them out here:
    http://www.mihaskinnybuddha.com/2013/08/the-importance-of-being-idle.html

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  18. Such beautiful work! Let's see.. all my tattoos have been gifts. The first was a birthday gift from a good friend. It's a set of cat paw prints going up my side. Not great work but like you said it's about the experience. The second is a map of Cuba on my shoulder in honor of my dad. It's really nice work and was a gift from my sister and her ex-BF who is a talented artist. My next one is going to be stocking seams with one ending in a spool and the other in a needle. Tribute to my obsession with sewing!

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  19. I've been dying to find a local watercolor tattoo artist for ages (strangely enough Amanda didn't come up during my initial search), and now that I found one, it looks like she's not even accepting names for the waiting list anymore. Bummer! Guess I'm off to Europe instead ;)

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  20. Wow. Your flowers are incredibly gorgeous!

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  21. The anchor tattoo is very cool and oh so sweet :).

    ArteresaLynn.com

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  22. I love all of your tattoos so much. I have three currently. An anchor on my hip, 'always' on my shoulder and a Harry Potter tattoo on the upper half of my back. There is one I really really want, but I'm waiting to have it done because I too want Amanda Wachob to do mine. Her watercolor tattoos are so pretty. And then I want to finish my nautical piece, but I'd like to get it done by Megan Massacre because I love her work.

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  23. The flowers are stunning! I love seeing color tattoos on people but I don't get color on myself because I'm super picky about colors and on my tan skin, they wouldn't be as vibrant. So I have all black tattoos, which evens out since I mostly wear extremely bright colors on colors on colors! But after all these years, even your geisha is so vibrant! and it's just lovely.
    Thanks for sharing your stories with us. I've always felt tattoos are so personal even though they're sometimes so public.

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  24. So beautiful! I love tattoos, especially bold ones.

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  25. Beautiful tattoos! I Today I was in the Tattoo Studio and finally I have 4 tattoos:) One day I make similar post like You with my all tattoos :) I have: inscription Be Yourself, owl, fox and flowers.

    P.S. I'm a Polish, my English is not good, sorry ;) I hope, that You understand what I want to say.

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  26. The flower tattoo is so beautiful! Wow. So well done. I don't have any tattoos because I can't decide what I'd want on my body forever but I do like them.

    I'd love to hear the stories behind Bobby's tattoos too if he's willing!

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  27. these are all really beautiful and i love hearing the stories behind each one!

    i currently only have 1 tattoo -- it is the outline of the key to my childhood home with a 'W' in the head of the key for my dad's name. my sis and i have matching ones and we got them a week after my father passed away. it is on my left ribs....

    the plan is to get the words of the chorus to a specific song, in honor of a friend/mentor who passed away. and then something involving a pig because i love them so....

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  28. Your flowers are stunning! I also adore the anchor and can't believe it's free hand. I am planning on getting an anchor for my grandfather also and yours is stunning x

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  29. You are one of the few people with colorful tattoos I actually like! hahah I'm 99% on the P&B side, but yours are so vivid... quite impossible not to love. I've got to words on both wrists, but I'm sure I'll have other tattoos as soon as I have some spare British Pounds lying around. :)

    Awesome post, Keiko! xo

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  30. I love, love your flower tattoo! I've been considering getting some watercolor style flowers on my shoulder, but I'm letting the idea set in for a while first. Approximately how long did it take with all the sessions combined?

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  31. I have one tattoo which I got last January. It is "No Matter What" on the inside of my forearm - where I can see it to remind me that no matter the situation I will be ok. xx

    www.hausofsarahrachel.blogspot.com

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  32. You make tattoos so feminine! Adore your style, Keiko!

    Love,

    Séchoir

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  33. Your new tattoo is so pretty!!!

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  34. beautiful art and beautiful stories! I do have a couple and am itching for a few more.

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  35. I liked your tats before, but after hearing the stories behind them I appreciate them even more. I also like that you went a more unique route rather than a traditional one with the geisha. And the flowers, wow, they really are beautifully done. I only have one tiny tattoo, mainly due to fear of committing to the images. (Hey they are permanent.) But I love the one I have, a heart and crossbones on my ring finger. My husband has the same one and we got them four years ago on our sixth anniversary.

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  36. I really enjoyed reading the stories behind your tattoos, Keiko. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of tattoos on myself, but you sure make them look lovely.

    Love, Amy

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  37. I love how you aren't afraid of where your tattoos are. I know my family would kill me if I ever got one, but I am still hoping that someday I'll have the courage to just do it! I have thought of a few ideas, but I've never seen how tattoos can age as skin gets older and such, so I'm afraid to commit to something so permanent. Thanks for sharing your stories and letting your readers get a little closer to you, <3

    http://kelseythedig.com

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  38. All of your tattoos are lovely. I actually have a consultation tomorrow for my very first tattoo. It took me six years to be completely certain it is what I want and I am so excited and nervous to see the tattoo artist's interpretation. Similar to your geisha tattoo story, I am part Native American (Seneca) but never had the chance to know that side of my family as my dad didn't have a good relationship with his mother and grandmother. So I am getting my take on the traditional medicine wheel to commemorate that heritage. I can't wait!

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  39. Your tattoos are so beautiful. I love the flowers on your arm. I usually don't like colorful tattoos, but that is just so gorgeous.

    xoxo, Kenzie
    easy-lucky-free.com

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  40. I love how the flowers on your arm aren't outlined like most tattoos are, it makes it look like someone painted with watercolors right on your skin...beautiful!

    Also, the story behind your anchor tattoo is so sweet :')

    Xo,

    Elise

    www.w-t-fab.com

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  41. Love the flower one, it's so pretty!!

    http://vintageloyal.blogspot.pt/

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  42. I love the story behind the Geisha tattoo, but my most favourite is the one with the flowers!

    xo
    Anastasia
    http://natbeesfashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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  43. I love the symbolism! My favourite is the nautical one :)

    xo
    Annie
    http://littlestsparrow.blogspot.com

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  44. wow your flower tattoos are gorgeous!

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  45. I love the stories about your tattoos. The geisha is gorgeous and it's my dream to have a tattoo by Amanda.

    http://brittannytaylor.com/blog/

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