1. Janet D., Homemaker, 42 Years (San Diego, California)

Photo taken by Luis Vargas

This is me, the blogger! I figured it was best for me to go first so I could show everyone else what they were getting themselves into…

WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN I SAY ‘TATTOO’?

Freedom

WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST TATTOO? HOW OLD WERE YOU?

December 6, 2009 (42 yrs old)

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET A TATTOO?

I first experienced what it felt like to have a tattoo about six years ago when I had a henna design applied around my belly button. I absolutely loved when the henna was still on my skin making the design stand out boldly…I remember being so disappointed when it flaked off the next day and when it completely faded away over the next two weeks. That was the first time I thought about getting a permanent tattoo, but I wasn’t quite there.

In 2009, I went through a significant life shift…pretty much a total change in mindset. I realized that for the past 30+ years, I had been forcing myself into a box that I didn’t fit into and I busted out. For the first time in my life, everything felt authentic and I finally achieved that elusive state – happiness – I had been searching for in all the wrong places. In September 2009, after a solo trip to Kauai, I knew it was time…I was fully ready to have an outward expression of my inner change and completely separate myself from the world I was leaving.

IS TATTOOING PART OF YOUR CULTURAL HERITAGE?

Not really….there is definitely no tattooing no matter how far back you search through my very Caucasian family tree. But, there was a day I looked down at my completed tattoo and had an overwhelming feeling that it was always supposed to be there. Must be a past life thing…I can’t shake the feeling that there’s some tribal in my soul.

HOW DID YOU PICK THE DESIGN?

If I was going to have something permanently inked on my body, it had to have deep meaning to me. While in Kauai, I had an incredible moment swimming with sea turtles and almost considered getting a turtle, but it didn’t feel completely right. Then, I remembered my henna tattoo and I knew that’s what I wanted…it was connected to belly dancing, which was the first “out-of-the-box” activity that started me on the path toward my recent life shift.

Photo taken by Luis Vargas

HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHERE YOU WERE GOING TO PUT YOUR TATTOO?

I knew for sure that I wanted to see it, so the lower back was out. I debated between my foot, ankle or hip. The vision of me being in a classy black dress and sexy black heels was a bit marred by a tattoo on my foot or ankle, so the hip it was. I’d originally planned to have it on the smaller side so that it would be hidden in a bathing suit, but my artist had other plans. When I looked down at what he had drawn – about five times larger than I had planned and following the curves from just below my naval, around my hip, around my back to the top of my buttocks – I fell in love.

WHO DID IT?

Luis Vargas from Northridge, California

HOW DID YOU FIND HIM & HOW DID YOU KNOW HE WAS THE RIGHT ONE?

It seemed like I looked at the online galleries of every tattoo artist in San Diego and I was seriously concerned. No one had a picture of anything even remotely resembling henna and I was not about to be a test case. While I was contemplating going to an artist in Belgium, I saw an ad in the newspaper for Tattoopalooza on Halloween. I talked my husband and teenage son into going with me. After walking down several aisles and seeing more of what I had seen online, I was about to give up. I turned down the next aisle, heading for the exit, when something made me walk over to the nearest table. I started flipping through the artist’s binder and gasped when I saw a photograph of a beautiful woman, close in age to me, with the most artistic tattoo I had ever seen. My husband and son gave me the thumbs up. Luis quietly approached me and offered me his card. A few days later, I visited his website and knew without a doubt that he was the one…a spiritual and independent artist with nearly two decades of experience.

HAVE YOU EVER REGRETTED GETTING YOUR TATTOO?

Not yet…and I can tell by the way I feel about it now that I won’t. Everybody thinks they are so original when they say… “But, won’t you regret it when you’re 70???” My response…when I’m 70, everything will be sagging and I will always see my beautiful tattoo as a symbol of that special time in my life when I achieved deep happiness & fulfillment.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO GET MORE?

No…but, I’ve learned never to say never.

2 Comments

  1. Janet, this is awesome! Your tattoo is gorgeous and the photos are beautiful. You go girl!

  2. Well, I DID get another one (in June 2010)…just need some good pictures of it and I will re-interview myself! Now THIS one will be the last one…I think. 😉


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