For as long as I can remember I've wanted tattoos. Not just one but several. The obsession started with a bet me and my mom made when I was 13. While she was on vacation I had a friend of mine pierce 13 holes in my ears. My mom came home and saw it and was afraid that Iíd go and get a homemade tattoo since she knew I wanted tattoos. She told me that if I waited until I was 18 she would take me and pay for my first tattoo. Knowing how expensive they could be I agreed. So on my 18th birthday she took me to Avalon Tattoo in pacific beach CA, the same place that did my older sisters tattoo (thatís how my mom knew about it). I got a design, that I drew, on my lower back. From that point on I was hooked. Since then I've been tattooed by 6 different artists from all over the west coast. The one dearest to my heart is my chest piece (a Caduceus in honor of my late father) done by Ugly Bill at Chronic Tattoo in Pacific Beach CA. most are works in progress like my right forearm (my boston terrier bats) being done by Tom Blessing at Tat2fiend in North Park CA.
Not all of my tattoos have deep meanings. Most of them just represent a moment in time. When I look at them they remind me of that time, what was happening in my life, where I was and who I was with. I still remember getting each tattoo and how I was feeling when I got them. Each one is special to me from the small, not so good ones done by random artists when I was younger to the intricate pieces done by professional artists today. I'm a collector of art. The art I collect just happens to be on my body forever.
It never really crossed my mind when I was younger that I would be looked at differently because of my tattoos. That is until I started working in the medical industry at hospitals where I have to cover them up. I wouldnít say I'm really looked down upon but I'm definitely looked at differently than everyone else. Its kind of like I have to hide the real me when Iím there. I also bartend at a bar that tattoos are highly accepted. As a bartender you want to be memorable and my tattoos definitely make me more memorable to my customers. They spark many conversations and I get a lot of compliments from my younger and older customers. So I deal with both the positives and negatives of being tattooed on a daily basis just in my working environments and I can still say, for me personally, the positives outweigh the negatives by far and I would not change a thing. I love the way my body looks and thatís the most important thing, right?