The ink on Teya Salat


Teya Salat from Saint-Petersburg, Russia


How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
I grew up in a small town. I've always liked to stand out.

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo done when I was 18 years old.

How would you describe your style?
This is a difficult question for me to answer! I do not have a specific style.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes, I believe it is an art, but only when the artist draws it himself and does not use other artists’ ideas.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I wanted to try something new, back then I was still quite young. But now, I have formed a certain view of the tattoo culture

Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink?
Yes, I get a lot of attention because of my appearance. I would like people to look at me as a person.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
My advice to people is to not be in such a hurry to get tattoos. To put more thought in choosing the style and artist.

Will you be getting anymore?
No, I will not.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
My life.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“No one will be good next to you, when you feel bad with yourself.”

Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you! It was nice talking to you, come to Russia!

Teyasalat.com
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The ink on Shonda Mackey

Shonda Mackey from Scottsdale, Arizona

Where did you grow up?
Florence & Grand Junction, Colorado.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It was nice growing up there, beautiful and lots of outdoor activities! It influenced me to stay active and enjoy the outdoors, however, I didn't like the winters so I moved out to a warmer state!

When did you start getting tattoos?
I was not allowed to get tattoos while I was living with my parents, so I had to wait till I was 18!

How would you describe your style?
A style of its own I suppose, I cover a lot of genres with my modeling.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
I do, it is a form of self-expression. It’s not easy being the tattoo artist.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
The biggest it has ever been, it's all over magazine and television. More and more top name/main stream brands are incorporating tattooed models in their ads!  

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
Each one has their own story. Whether it's personal, a lesson, a loss of a loved one, or something I desired.

What’s your favorite piece?
I don't like to choose just one as a favorite piece, they are all my favorite! 

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Yes, most definitely. 

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Yeah, they help me cope with what I may be going through at the time. They also help me take my mind off of things in my current life.

Which tattoo has the most hours in it and who is the artist?
That would be my right leg, and I have around 40+ hours into it so far. The artist is Arlo DiCristina from The Raw Canvas in Colorado.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Do your research and talk to the artist one on one, look at their portfolio and feel out the vibe with the artist. Be clear with what you want! 

Will you be getting anymore?
Yes, of course.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
It might be the fact that I know within myself that I can do anything. To realize that what I have already accomplished is more than I ever imagined I would gain to begin with, and that the only one that it's going to matter to at the end of the day is myself and the fans that I have gained along the way.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
The only thing that matters is to do what makes you happy every single day, life is way too short and not guaranteed. Don't put so much effort and obsession into materialistic items and more so into helping, caring and improving the lives around you.

Do you have a favorite quote?
100's, but here is one: “Always help someone, you may be the only one that does.”

Anything else you would like to add?
Just to follow me on my Facebook fan page and on Instagram to keep up with all my current work! 

Photographers Credit: 
Lucas Media Production - 1. 
Photography by Terrence - 2.
Northern Downpour - 3, 4, 5.

The ink on Illyria Jade



Illyria Jade from Austin, TX

Where did you grow up?
Austin, TX.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Austin is a very progressive town, full of free thinkers and creatives. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else in this state (I have, & always move back here!) The town is full of positive and accepting people. I don't see how that could not influence someone. If anything, being an Ausitnite has influenced me to expect the best in people. Because here you get the smartest, the most creative, etc. 

When did you start getting tattoos?
On my 18th birthday. 

How would you describe your style?
I'm a recovering Goth. I still have my relapse moments, ha, but I prefer a much more natural, less artificial look these days. I'm a tank top and flowing skirt gal. Kinda laid back gypsy style. 

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Of course, but just as with all art forms there are different levels of it. An artist has to be serious about their art before they can expect to be taken seriously by others. I consider my artists to be just that, artists of the highest caliber. Now there are folks who do tattoos out of their garages who I probably wouldn't consider serious artists. And at that point I think they might not take themselves that seriously as artists either. 

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
I think it's making progress. The "tattoo acceptance in the workplace" movement and "beyond the ink" movement are not only helping people get more educated before getting tattoos, but also helping bring to light many of the erroneous stigmas and preconceptions people have about tattooed individuals. The tattoo community is full of hard working and intelligent people and right now the tattoo culture is really pushing to get those facts acknowledge by the mainstream. 

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I wanted them as far back as I can remember. I started planning out pieces when I was 12. I can't call it inspiration, there has just always been this internal motivating push to get them. Like, I was always meant to have them. 

What’s your favorite piece?
That's a really hard question. I honestly love them all. My chest piece was my first highly visible large piece that sort of moved me from the realm of being a chick with a few tattoos to being a noticeable collector. But I have other smaller pieces that I like, less on the aesthetic side, but more on the meaning side. Like my mother's name on my stomach or the small bear outline on my lower back/hip. So it's really hard to say. 

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Every single day.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Nope. My tattoos don't affect my mood at all. Except when I'm in the middle of getting one, my mood is definitely changed in that moment! 

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
This kind of piggy backs off the "favorite tattoo" question/answer.... and is just as hard to answer solidly! It's hard because some have specific meaning, some I find amazing aesthetically as works of art, others mark milestones for me as a collector....they all have significance in different ways, so it's like comparing apples to oranges. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Research, research and research. Make sure you have shopped around and looked at different artists' portfolios. Make sure you choose an artist who is strong in the style you want. Heed your artist's judgment on size and placement. Don't bring your entire posse into the shop with you. And you know what, wait until you're 25 or older! Seriously, the younger you are the more likely you will regret your choice of tattoo. Or regret you couldn't afford that very expensive high quality artist over the cheaper one. Or regret going small instead of big. When you are older, wiser, and have more money, you can get something you will be happy with longer instead of regretting. I think young people rush into it thinking their likes/dislikes/style will never change. And guess what...they do.

Will you be getting anymore?
Of course. I'm one big work in progress. 

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
Again, I don't have a pinpointable inspiration. Getting tattooed is like a basic need I have to meet, it’s like eating or breathing. I don't even have to consciously think about it. There's never a question of "will I get tattooed again?" It's more like "when will I get tattooed again?" I'm still working from a list that I've been adding to and working on since I was a kid. I'll never run out of things on my list. So I'll keep going until I run out of space. 

What is one thing that life has taught you?
It's just a ride.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I have many. I have a few tattooed on me. One I really like is "Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone" from the Ella Wheeler Wilcox poem Solitude. I have it tattooed on me, in Korean.

Anything else you would like to add?
I have a spread in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Inked Girls magazine that is still in stores. And you guys can always check me out on social media where I post all the new stuff I'm up to. 


Also be sure to check out my primary artist, Rooster, who's been tattooing me for going on 10 yrs!

Photographer's Credit:

The ink on Laura Elisa


 Laura Elisa from MIAMI, FL

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in sunny South Florida. Moved a lot of times, but never out of state.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
I would say growing up in Florida was probably the greatest state I could have been raised in. I learned how to be an independent, confident, aware, and ambitious woman by the many different people I was surrounded by as a child, till now. I grew up with mainly my 28 year old brother because my parents were divorced when I was about 10 and my mother worked all day everyday so, I was basically attached to the hip with him. I was put out into the world, on my own, at the age of 17 and ever since then I’ve noticed myself constantly becoming a stronger, independent woman.

When did you start getting tattoos?
I started getting tattoos when I was about 17 years old. I had a friend who tattooed me twice under the age of 18 (illegal I  know) and after I turned 18, it was ON! :) 

How would you describe your style? 
I would most definitely describe my style as unique. If you take my tattoos into consideration with my look, you would certainly agree. :)

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
I DO! I think the talent of some of these tattoo artists are by far some of the most amazing forms of art I’ve ever seen. For instance, the artists who tattoo portraits on people that actually look like real life printed photos, so realistic, you almost wouldn’t tell its ink on skin. There are many of those tattoo artists out there and I think they deserve some of the most credit.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
I see it GROWING tremendously! And also progressing artistically. It has really blown my mind how much tattoos have become so accepting nowadays. From young teens, to parents, to authority, just about everybody near my generation has at least ONE tattoo. And if it’s only one, it’s probably only one, “for now”.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
My inspiration for getting tattooed developed when I laid eyes on the first, "Suicide Girl", model I saw online who had some REALLY dope work. I noticed her tattoos weren’t just random symbols and words with no meaning. It really inspired me because the tattoos I’ve usually seen are sometimes a little star, Chinese symbol, butterfly, etc. I absolutely respect other people’s ideas and tattoos, completely, but for me personally, I knew if I had gotten a tattoo it would have personal meaning and would relate to my past. Considering my age, how much I’ve gone through, and my experiences, I probably could have my entire body covered by now. I’ve concluded I’m a 22 year old in a 28/29 year old body lol.

What’s your favorite piece?
Well, I can’t choose just one of my tattoos as a favorite because I love all of them. But my, “Strength/Struggle”, (Ambigram) tattoo on my upper back and puzzle heart on my shoulder are my favorites...they have the most meaning and tell big stories.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
ALL THE TIME! Especially elderly people. I feel like they look at my tattoos as a disgrace. But that’s ok, I accept their opinion. Men also stare. It seems to be a good, "pick up", line for them, haha. Asking to see a tattoo, what it means or says, is one of the most common ways I’ve been approached for conversation.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
In a way, sort of. My tattoos change my mood when it comes to the way I feel like dressing. Sometimes I like to cover myself completely so none of my tattoos are showing and other times I like to wear less, depending on where I’m going or what I’m doing.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
My most significant tattoo would be my, “SORELLA”, tattoo on my left side/ribs. It says SISTER in Italian. Me and my sister had the idea to get the exact matching tattoo because we wanted something on our bodies that we would remember forever when we saw it. She came down about 5 years ago and it was the first time we had met. My parents never told me about her, (long story) but she knew about me. She called me out of the blue one day,  leaving me a message explaining how she was my older sister, where she’s been, why I didn’t know about her, and that she was coming down from Washington to visit. As soon as she came down, that day she arrived, we got our matching tattoos. It was one of the most memorable days of my life. :)

Another one of my most significant tattoos is my zombie pin-up girl on my ribs. She’s me 100% but as a zombie. She’s got a big booty, my tattoos, looks like me as a cartoon, but with zombie features. This tattoo is actually also one of my favorites, along with the 2 others I mentioned above. Zombies have been known to control, dominate, and over power anything in its path and they almost relate to my personality (except with the eating people part, haha EW).

What’s your next tattoo?
I can honestly say I think I am done. 
Why? Because I feel if I got anymore, it would limit me with my modeling career. I am a full-time model and trying to reach many goals within. Even though I have 15 tattoos, I have opportunities with many companies that normally don’t accept heavily tattooed models, and that’s because most of mine aren’t entirely noticeable. Certain angles of me actually show more than others and sometimes you can’t even tell I have one. I placed my tattoos that way specifically because I didn’t want to limit myself to strictly alternative modeling and other job opportunities in the future.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
BEST advice I could give is, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THAT WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT, YOU WANT IT ON YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. I’ve seen so many people out there getting tattoos that they regret a week later. If you’re a person who gets bored easily, I would consider drawing the tattoo you want on your body in permanent marker or something that will stick for about a week and make sure you’re happy with it even after. It’s also important to remember where you’re placing the tattoo, because you would not want to prevent yourself from certain future opportunities. Also, I’d tell the person that it PROBABLY won’t be the only tattoo they get after the first one.

Do you have a favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes is tattooed on my right ankle. “LEARN. LIVE. HOPE.”

LEARN from yesterday.
LIVE for today.
HOPE for tomorrow.

www.LauraElisa.com