Tattoo Stories: Beyond Skin Deep


Kristina Ivanova and Yonka Angelova

When she was 15 years old, Mrs.Annette Miller kept drawing the same image over and over again through high school as well as college. The image was of a heart with wings, with “DAD” written in the middle of the heart, a reminder of her father who had recently passed away.

Mrs.Miller's Tattoo.jpgAfter sketching it over and over, Mrs.Miller decided she wanted to keep the image forever. She asked her mom if she could get it as a tattoo. Her mom said no, so she waited until she turned 21 and got her dream tattoo on her ankle. She said, “I want people to be able to see it because it means a lot to me. It’s not something I want to cover.” Mrs.Miller later got a second tattoo with meaning: an infinity sign. There are two reasons towhy she has an infinity sign. The first reason is because she loves mathematics, so infinity represents her passion. Secondly infinity is forever, a reminder to her that everything will last forever as long as you’re surrounded by the people you love.

Mr.Anonymus Tattoo.jpgMr.Anonymous2.jpg Other teachers have stories to tell behind their tattoos. One of the teachers we interviewed has tattoos that represent his family. They’re all about his kids, his extended family, pretty much everyone that’s in the family. For him, tattoos are a way “to have my family with me all the time, all of them!” On his arm, the tattoo represents “my spouse, my kids, myself. Every symbol would mean something to me, but it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else,” he said. The other tattoo on his back is of a four leaf clover that has all the four kids represented. Around the clover are nods to his extended family, and his spouse is in the middle. He also has a tattoo on his foot that represents his love for dogs! When we asked if he would get another tattoo in connection to the ones he already has, he said “I’m happy with what I have, but I may think about it.” He came up with his tattoos by seeing symbols and sketching them and by incorporating them all in a picture, with the help of an artist.

Mr.Baker's Tattoo.jpgMr. Alan Baker, ESL Study Hall supervisor, has been getting tattoos for a long time; his first tattoo was when he was about 17 or 18, but his favorite tattoo is the one on his arm, which was done by the winner of the show Ink Master, Scott Marshall. He explained, “A lot of the tattoos I have, most are biblical images.” For some, he chose existing images he encountered, but for others, he would get an idea and try to find an image online or find an artist and tell them verbally what he wanted, so while they were sketched by artists, they’re ultimately his idea.

Araceli's Tattoo.jpgFinding a Senior student with an unordinary story was difficult, however Araceli Velazquez has an amazing story to tell. Velazquez has two tattoos. She got her first tattoo at the beginning of her freshmen year. It reads, “Let it Be” a song title from the Beatles, “which was me and my dad’s favorite song together and if something was wrong he would say ‘Daughter just let it be.’” Velazquez explained that he would say, “Try not to worry about the things you can’t change, but rather accept the things you can, and if something goes wrong in your life just go with the flow and let it be.” Velazquez said, “I definitely want more!”