Carla P., Sports Nutrition Supplement Consultant, 44 Years (San Diego, CA)

When a friend of mine heard about my tattoo blog, she immediately said “You’ve got to interview my sister!” Now I understand why…this is one vibrant woman who is living a passionate life. I look forward to sipping coffee and having stimulating conversation with her again in the near future…

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WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD ‘TATTOO’?

Beautiful

WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST ONE?

21 years old

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET A TATTOO?

At the time I just wanted to do something different…it was 1987, and [getting a tattoo] was more different then that it is now. I went to one of those downtown “navy/old man of the sea” tattoo parlors 😉 …[the Gaslamp district] wasn’t cool then like it is now.

WHICH ONE IS YOUR FIRST TATTOO?

It’s a four-leaf clover…and, it’s on my bikini line.

HOW DID YOU PICK THAT DESIGN?

Because I’m a quarter Irish…my grandmother was 100% Irish, so I just always thought if I got [a tattoo] it would be a lucky four-leaf clover.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHERE TO PUT IT?

I didn’t want anyone to see it…and, it was kind of a sexy place. I thought [this place] was kind of “lucky”…like if you see it, then you’re lucky 😉 .

WHO WAS THE ARTIST? AND, HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THEM?

It was just an old “bail bonds” type tattoo guy in downtown San Diego. I’m sure that tattoo place is no longer there…for sure. I was driving with some friends of mine…we were kind of buzzed. We kept talking about it and then we’re like “Let’s go do it!”. I was with my best friend (she was 23) and her really good friend (she was 21)…she was a former Playboy model. She was Playmate of the Year that year.

WHICH ONE IS YOUR SECOND TATTOO?

My second one is the “tramp stamp” on my lower back. It’s just a design my friend (the artist) did.

WHEN DID YOU GET THIS ONE?

Many years later…in 2000.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO PUT IT THERE?

It was kind of becoming a popular spot, I guess…and, I kind of liked it because it was still out of sight and I wasn’t looking to show it off too much.

WHO DID IT?

A family friend…Louie Alvarez. His artist name is ‘Zodak’. He has a private artist loft studio in Spring Valley.

[You can read about Zodak in a July 2009 article in Lowrider Arte magazine.]

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR THIRD TATTOO…

The third tattoo was also done in 2000…in Cabo San Lucas. I was there with my boyfriend…he was a musician and he had a gig there. We went out one night and got matching tattoos. It was on my arm, but it’s been covered up…he probably still has his. It was a Celtic tattoo…a triangle with an embryo inside of it to symbolize a “new beginning”.

HOW DID YOU PICK THAT DESIGN?

It was on the wall and I thought it was very unique…I asked the artist in the shop what it meant and I really liked that meaning. I wish I still had it because it was really a cool design…because everyone would always ask me…”What is that?” It was really interesting…

HOW DID YOU PICK THE LOCATION OF THIS ONE?

I was getting a little more bold…and, I wanted it to show more.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR FOURTH TATTOO?

Number 4 was on my back, on my left shoulder. I don’t remember why I chose my shoulder…I just knew I wanted it on my back. It was my boyfriend’s name (“Robbie”)…he got my name done at the same time. I thought he was just the love of my life, but I covered it up.

WHO DID THIS ONE?

Another artist at the same shop as my tattoo artist, Louie. Louie wouldn’t do it. He said “No way…I’m not doing that.”

OK, SO YOUR FIFTH TATTOO…

Number 5 and 6 would be my son’s and daughter’s names. They were probably done in about 2002. And, then my seventh is my last name on my calf, which was done at the same time.


WHO DID THEM?

Louie…

YOUR EIGHTH TATTOO…

I covered a bite on my left leg…I got bitten by a recluse spider. I just couldn’t stand the red dot there. I didn’t even know what I wanted…I didn’t even care, I just wanted [Louie] to put something there. So he did a cross. That was in about 2003…

YOUR NINTH TATTOO…

Number 9 is the one on the back of my neck. I got it done a little after the cross…a couple months later. This one is the “Elements”…it symbolizes air, water and fire.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO PUT IT ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK?

I just kind of thought it was blank and it would look cool if I pulled my hair up.

DID LOUIE DO THIS ONE?

No…a guy in Pacific Beach. My friend was getting her tattoo done and I was completely in a distraught state and I said “ I just want to get a tattoo”. I wanted something to focus my inner pain…tattooing is definitely something that does that. Because it’s painful…you forget about your problems for that time.

OK, SO NUMBER 10…

Number 10 would be the wings on my back…this was a cover of Robbie’s name at the end of 2004. I wanted wings for a long time because they symbolized freedom…freedom from Robbie. Louie was very happy to do this tattoo. 😉

AND, YOUR LAST TATTOO…NUMBER 11?

Number 11 was another cover…of the embryo…because Robbie had a matching tattoo and I didn’t want anything to do with him. So, [in 2007] I asked Louie to put something that he thought would flow and look pretty on my arm…flowers or whatever. It’s a full sleeve…

SO, AT THIS POINT YOU’RE CLEARLY OVER YOUR TATTOOS NOT SHOWING… 😉

Exactly! I’m like “Go with it.” I couldn’t wait to get a sleeve…

WHICH TATTOO, IF ANY, IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU?

Probably the wings…

HAVE YOU EVER REGRETTED GETTING ANY OF THEM?

Maybe the name…but, I knew there was an out. I wasn’t going to remove it, I knew I would just cover it…so, in a way, I did regret it and I didn’t regret it. I actually went into it thinking if I ever have to cover it, no big deal…I would love to have something really cool back there. I wouldn’t get someone’s name again…not unless they were my blood relative.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO GET ANY MORE?

Yes…more flowers or vines. I kind of want to do something that says “I’ll never settle”…like in Latin. That’s my mantra…it has multiple meanings for me. Like settle down, settle for someone, settle for something I don’t like…

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