tattoos

Tattoo-sday: Floral Childhood Garden Half Sleeve

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Not a lot of my tattoos are planned out for years. Most of them were gotten on a whim of a couple weeks or hours. But my floral piece was years of planning. My phone was filled with screenshots of flowers, I had a constantly evolving note on my phone with different types of flowers, and I was constantly researching artists.

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The biggest flowers in the piece are Passion Flowers. Native to humid climates, they bloom during the summer and are called “Passion” after the passion of Christ. Apparently they have a bunch of Jesus symbolism. I just love their complexity.

I saw a photo once as a kid and immediately told my mom I needed them. She helped hunt them down, and immediately after we planted them in the front yard, the gardener cut them down. I was devastated. Over a year later, they bloomed anyway. Somehow, they survived the plant reckoning and re-sprouted, filling our summer yard with hundreds of flowers. I used to cut them off and give them to my favorite people.

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The other major flowers are Birds of Paradise and Morning Glories, both flowers that grew in my childhood home. I was convinced the Birds of Paradise were real birds, hibernating. I cut one open once and felt like a murderer for weeks.

The Morning Glories covered our back fence, and I was convinced that fairies lived inside of them. I would sit incredibly still of what felt like hours, hoping the fairies would be comfortable and let me see them.

The remaining space is filled with California Poppies, as a nod to home; bumblebees for spring and renewal and hard working; and a ladybug, for luck and eventually, an unintentional nod to my great aunt.

My floral piece started as a nod to my love for flowers, but it turned into a nostalgic ode to imagination, a fanciful reminder of childhood gardening with my mother, and a colorful work of art I love looking at every day.

This amazing piece was done by Becca Gillen at Mainline Ink.

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