All that ink for what?

20th March 2019

I am often asked about my tattoos and it’s certainly a great conversation starter.

You may notice that I have a few and, they are all rather random. What I love about it; is that each of them has some meaning behind it, and whilst not everyone gets it; I feel that I’m a walking piece of art with a pinch of my biography.


Taken by Peter Driessel from Boudoir Fusion Photography

The very first (Mistake)

My very first tattoo was a home job; done by a high school friend. In fact, he bought a tattoo gun but wasn’t quite sure how to use it. I actually repel to think what we did. We used the needle from the gun and manually poked my ankle whist dripping ink into the wound. Mine was a cross.

A badly done cross.

This sat on my ankle for 2 years.  My mum wanted to kill me!! Thank goodness my mum was only thinking that, as my friend’s mum took sandpaper and bleach to hers. She didn’t come to school for a few days after that, as her ankle was badly infected.

The second which is still the first

I then became close friends with Pieter who had his first tattoo shop across the way from my house.

Pieter “fixed” my mishap of a cross and covered it with a blonde angel. This was for my 17th birthday – and he designed/created it.

An angel with a snake wrapped around her and my star sign (Aquarius) above her head. I still have this piece on my ankle. This represented me (I was blonde at the time), and life experiences having a hold on me (the snake).

Tramp Stamp Generation

A year later I fell in love with the idea of a ….dum dum duuuuuum TRAMP STAMP! Not any tramp stamp…. A  TRIBAL stamp – which I designed myself. It was pretty and fluffy and feminine. And Pieter did it for me too.

I then decided I had enough tattoos… That was short lived though as whilst living in the UK, I wanted more I realised. This took a backseat since I had to “adult” first and raise two babies.

Phoenix Rising

By the time I moved back to South Africa, I had decided I wanted a side or back piece (Only about 10cm big) of a phoenix. I have faced many adversities and managed to get over many stubbling blocks in my life time.

Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again

I went off to a recommended tattoo artist who told me that the bird I wanted was never going to look the way I wanted it to look, at the small size I wanted. So they set out drawing what they said would be the right size…. My entire back.

This was beautiful, and powerful and gorgeous. And I wanted it so badly, I told them to go ahead.

5 hours later; my body went into shock. The outline was done, but because I was so very skinny at the time as well as 5 hours is a long sitting – we called it a day. After that day I had another 4 sittings with this tattoo artist. A couple years later I went to a female artist who coloured my bird; added beautiful tail feathers and extended the wings.

Shortly after that I had my first thigh piece done. A crystal heart that represent my household, surrounded by my husband and children’s birth flowers.

Taken by Peter Driessel from Boudoir Fusion Photography

The love affair continues at AWHE

But the bug has bitten. A couple years ago I went AWHE Tattoo’s and had my thigh piece added to. I am obsessed with geometry and ancient geometrical shapes – and the meaning of it.

I’ve added two triangles that are meant to be prisms with a rose inside of each.

One is facing up and the other downwards. Triangles represent the past, present and future as well as body mind and soul. Pointing up triangle means strong foundation or stability; pointing downwards would signify ascend from above/heaven. Upwards triangle also indicates male as downwards indicates female. This all tied together with a plant motive (although the triangles aren’t together they grow together)

Medusa

My next piece is my Medusa.

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed upon her face would turn to stone.

Though Tony and I stumbled across the idea, it has deeper meaning to me. And without divulging too much into that; it does represent a stage in my life where I have questioned male intentions.

Skull

Along came the skull. This piece is probably the only piece that doesn’t have a personal attachment for me. It’s F*#king amazing right?? At the end when we all pass away we return to bones then to dust. My pretty skull lady has my favourite flower (Orchids) on top her head and a mandala behind her and you can see glimpse of it through her eyes.

Flower of Life etc.

My next piece was my butterfly with the Flower of life and Metatron Cube. I am very spiritual and upon my journey to figure out what my purpose is; I have learnt that I am a 22 (in numerology this is a powerful number) and that I’ m a powerful healer. Metatron’s Cube starts with the Fruit of Life shape, and connects all 13 circles with straight lines.  It’s named after Archangel Metatron, who watches over the flow of energy in creation and provides a connection to the divine.

My piece on my arm (which will likely grow into a sleeve) is from my very favourite artist Chiara Bautista. Her art is a mixture of love stories. To me I see the universe in all of them.

My latest tattoo is a vine-like plant on the right side of my body. This has so much potential to add to should I wish. I love plants and I’m rather surprised that I don’t have more on my body. Plants remind me of growth, Mother Nature, natural healing and most of all renewed love and beauty. Like second chances.

NEXT!

My next tattoo will be done on April Fool’s day. Though Tony and I have a couple things we are adding to my art work; I still keep thinking of new ideas.

I want people to want to take a closer look. Not think that it’s just another body covered in tattoos. Tony’s talent is beyond amazing!! I am blessed that he is my artist and has become such a dear friend. All of the AWHE team are incredible.

You may get hold of Tony on 072 248 0092 for any tattoo related quotes and bookings. Check him out on IG: @tony_barcelos and @awhe_tattoo_lifestyle_studio

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