5.11.2020
The first thing I'm doing after quarantine is getting another tattoo.

I've always been so attracted to tattoos; they're just beautiful works of art on the body that I can't look away from. For me, tattoos are a beautiful way of putting words and meanings into images that can show the world what you represent and want to present to the world. Most of my tattoos have a special meaning to me, and I've always wanted to share the stories and meanings of each of them.

THE FIRST.


Oh man. This was my first tattoo and damn... the story I have with this tattoo. The first piece I got were two lotuses on my d├ęcolletage with cherry blossoms behind one of the lotuses and the words "Just Breathe"  close to the other. The lotuses and cherry blossoms represented peacefulness and tranquility, and the words represented what I would telly myself everyday whenever I would get anxious and depressed. I wanted something that I could see every day that would bring me peace. 
When I first went to get it done, I went to a tattoo parlor (that I will not name) and got an appointment done with one of the guys there. He estimated that it would take 2 sessions to do: one for the line art and one for the coloring and shading. The first session went quickly and smoothly; I have a high pain tolerance, so it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. The only part that felt off was when I was getting my collarbone tattooed; it felt like my whole skeleton was experiencing an earthquake. After the line art was done, we scheduled a second appointment that would take 4-5 hours to get the shading and coloring done. A couple days before the appointment, he texted me confirming that I was coming in on Saturday. I texted back confirming the time and date and what was going to get done. Initially, he had said that the 4-5 hours would include finishing the rest of the tattoo, but when he texted me back he said that it would take 4-5 hours to maybe finish one of the lotuses. I was shocked. I looked back at our text messages to make sure that I wasn't going crazy, but he was contradicting what he was saying. I confronted him with this contradiction, and he got super defensive. Not only that, but he ended up scheduling someone into our tattoo appointment time. I was so bewildered. I ended up cancelling the appointment before he started calling me lame and blacklisting me amongst his group of tattoo artist friends.
Needless to say, I was crying and so shocked as to what had happened. This was my first experience and it had to happen like that. It took a couple months until I finally worked up the courage to find an artist that I trusted to finish what he had started. Thank you, Cece, for making the tattoo even more beautiful than I could ever imagine!

THE SECOND.


This is definitely my most favorite tattoo that I have. I mean, look at it! The shading! The line work! The movement! This one was done by Pepe from Black Lagoon Tattoo. How I found him was through my coworkers. At the place I work at, I think maybe 4-5 people have been tattooed by him, and each of his pieces are just so beautiful.
For this piece, I wanted to continue with the tranquility and zen theme that I had going on so far. I had initially wanted to have all colorful tattoos, but I thought that singling out the koi fish would make the tattoo pop out even more.

THE THIRD AND FOURTH.


The third tattoo I got was a spontaneous one that I had gotten with one of my best friends, Christa. One day when we were hanging out, we both felt an impulse to just get tattooed. She has so many gorgeous tattoos on her body that I'm honestly so jealous. I had always wanted to get a heart on this spot on my arm because I had a burn mark on it that would always light up red every time I drank. I thought it'd be cute to have a heart tattoo around it that would turn all red every time I had a sip of soju (the asian glow is very real). She decided to get a matching one with me along with another tattoo that she let me hand write. It's probably one of the most spontaneous things I've ever done, but so meaningful. It meant a lot that one of my tattoos matched with her, and it was an honor for me to be able to have my handwriting tattooed on her body, as well.

The fourth tattoo was one that I had gotten recently by Chihua from O Tattoo Studio. They specialized in anime tattoos that I knew I had to get. The reason why I picked the Spirited Away design (besides the fact that I'm also a basic bitch) is that this movie had such a strong impact into my life that led me to where I'm at today. When you're a kid, you don't realize that people are getting paid to make these beautiful movies. Though I'm not in the 2D animation industry, I can't help but feel that Spirited Away strongly moved me into finding a career in the animation and visual effects industry today.


So what's next for me? A ton of tattoos. I'm planning on one on my back, my thing, the rest of my right fore arm, and my left calf. I think for the most part, I know what I want to get for each of the next places, but we'll see! All these tattoos were going to be something else, but I wouldn't change them at all if I had the option to.

Much love,
Diane




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