Arm TatI was 20 years old when I first started getting tattooed so I wasn’t that young and it was certainly not on a whim. I had a clear vision of what I wanted and was not going to let anyone talk me out of it. I thought about this idea for a solid six months. It felt exhilarating to create something irreversible; to not to be afraid of what others might think. I felt empowered by my decision. I was not afraid of whatever stigma society would try to place on me.

My favorite holiday is Halloween. When I was younger, like any child, I enjoyed dressing up and going out trick-or-treating with my friends around the neighborhood. What I enjoyed even more was the Halloween festivities: pumpkin carving, decorating and watching Halloween-themed movies. So when I was looking for inspiration for my tattoo I looked to my love of Halloween. I wanted to combine the elements of the spirit of Halloween and my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion.

When it came down to deciding where and who to get tattooed by, there were no questions. My tattoo artist is a long-time friend and the owner of two successful shops in southern Florida. I sat down with him and discussed my ideas for this tattoo. He immediately grasped what I was going for, and couldn’t wait to get started. Within no time at all, he had drawn up a sketch for me; a beautiful Victorian-style frame with a dapper skeleton reflection. From start-to-finish, the entire tattoo was completed in 6 hours spread across 3 sessions. My first session was the initial outline of the tattoo. Just over a week later, I came back for my next session, which was the coloring of the frame. We had decided on a vintage color palate. After the frame was colored in, I waited for it to heal and came back a few weeks later to start on the skeleton. I knew immediately that I wanted this skeleton to wear a bowtie and a top hat. My artist laughed at the idea but liked that I wanted to add a certain sense of character to him. By the end of the next session, my vision had come to life. I could not stop staring at this new piece of art he had created for me.

My decision to be tattooed was met with a certain level of skepticism by my family.  They asked whether I would get bored with the idea and if I could remove it. My mother wasn’t too happy (as is the case with most mom’s) but I wasn’t expecting her to be. Even so, my tattoo reminds me of the optimism that characterized my early twenties and my innate disobedience. I wasn’t looking to rebel, but instead, I was reclaiming my individuality.


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