When I saw a contest from Inked Magazine, I didn’t think much of it, then I saw the prize was $20k, and as a girl who has been houseless for the better part of close to a decade, I knew this could be huge!
The thought of entering a tattoo contest never crossed my mind, but I am beyond excited it’s an opportunity. Could you imagine? A feature of Moi in a tattoo magazine?! My introverted quest for fame would be more quenched than downing a cold LaCroix on an Eastern Oregon summer day. Feel me? If you’f be open to giving me a vote, here’s my link! Winner of the contest gets the most votes, so I’d love if you could help me by voting here! (starts 8/21/23) <3
I have a lot of art, and my tagline is I’ll tell the story for a piece per free drink from you, and I don’t want to ruin that for me, so I’ll explain a couple of things but mostly spell out what’s there. So let’s get into it.
Let me introduce Indiana Doanes
My best friend for 14 years! This portrait of him is my favorite piece I have; note the accuracy of the tongue to the side and his signature smile! Indy was a therapy dog for six years and hiked the entire Appalachian with me in 2017. All in all, he’s hiked over 3k miles! Indy has also been a road dog, living with me in my F150 for the past four years before we got the school bus last year.
Front Left Leg
Upper thigh: a geometric skull with flowers with script ‘We all smile in the end’
Lower thigh: ‘Live free or die’ I got this with my best friend Mellow; we worked at a hostel in NH together. Believe it or not, this is the motto for NH.
Knee: old style tattoo rose, above is the best year ever (year of my birth).
Foot: Inspired by the tale of two wolves. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a great one, and I purposefully got it facing me so every day I could be reminded which one I feed. (If you haven’t heard it, here’s a reference)
Rear Left leg
Upper rear thigh: my retro portrait on my upper posterior thigh, featuring me and my wolves.
🍑: perfectly manicured nails letting a bird carrying all the fucks fly away.
Knee pit: is my latest, and still in progress—a mandala piece created by a fantastic lady veteran tattooer in Truth & Consequences, NM.
Calf-ankle: another unique collaboration in my hometown of Buffalo, NY; I told him the idea of sun, waves, and rain, and in a couple of hours, he had turned some scribbles on my leg into the fantastic line work you see today.
Ear: olive branch & stripes
I won’t get into each piece; we’d be here all day!
Inside bicep: my friend growing up wrote this in my senior yearbook; she passed away in her late 20s from brain cancer. I got this on her birthday, which I’ll never forget as it’s right before mine. We grew up together, and she was a massive part of my life.
Forearm: I have an anatomical heart to show that I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Cap before wrist: 3 stripes mean many different things to people; for me, it’s ‘earning my stripes,’ I believe everything comes in threes, so each time I go through a significant life event, I get three stripes. I have four total so far.
Inside shoulder: I got my swallow as the traditional tattoo that sailors get. Being a nomad, you get one on each shoulder for conquering the East and the same for the West. This one, though, came out very dark, and I’m not a fan. My fav girl Noelle tried to help me by adding flowers and paisley around it.
Bicep: triangles with flowers represent male & female—more to it, but a general idea.
Represents my journey on the Appalachian Trail. It took Indy & me a little over five months to complete walking southbound. I wanted a bolder look, so I filled in the mountains after.
Shoulder: traditional Buddhist script tattoo I got in my travels to Thailand.
a family tribute piece and a consequential cover-up; I earned these stripes. Weirdly I got into a bike accident where the scar perfectly matched my stripes. Kismet?
That’s a wrap! There’s more, but they remain very personal.
Thanks for traveling the tattoo tale path with me! I plan to fill every space on my left side with ink (minus the face). I am so excited to be a badass old lady with all my art.
Tattoo advice: don’t overthink it! Artists hate when you come in with a million ideas and try to squish them into one piece. Find someone you love their style, be open to their designs, and go for it! The only tattoos I regret are the ones specific to certain people, so ALWAYS do it for you, not anyone else.