The ink on Marcella

Marcella from Delaware

Where did you grow up?
A couple of places actually. I grew up both in Philly and in Brasil. My parents were born in Brasil so we went back and forth to visit and lived there for a while. I still have family there and would love to visit more often.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It was interesting growing up between two countries, though I have lived in the US for a greater part of the time. There are so many things that are different and make the experience of growing up in both places influential, mainly the culture differences. Having grown up with such a culturally rich background influences me to keep up with my culture, as well as interests me in learning others.

When did you start getting tattoos?
The day after my 18th birthday. And they’ve been adding up ever since.

How would you describe your style?
My style, that's a funny question, I don’t really pay too much attention to style. I wear whatever I feel comfortable in, but most of my clothes are skater style.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes, I do. They may not always have important meanings behind them, but they’re not just pretty pictures. I love how with every different style of Ink lets you be unique and express yourself in a way that fits you.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
It is expanding and more and more people are seeing it as a form of self expression, instead of looking at it as ruining your body.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
Most of my tattoos are a reminder of something though there are a couple that I got because I liked them.

What’s your favorite piece?
I can’t pick a favorite, I love all of them the same.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Sometimes, people will usually ask what it means and/or compliment it. I get caught staring at other people’s tattoos as well, sometimes you just can’t help it. :-)

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
No, I wouldn't say that, but when I’m feeling a little off track I’ll think about what they mean to me and it helps bring things back into focus.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
There are two that mean the most, the Japanese style Koi and a Lotus flower. The Koi is a reminder that you need to be strong and determined to work through the tough parts of life, so you can achieve your goals. And the Lotus is a reminder that no matter how many times life knocks you down, you have to build yourself back up and keep fighting for what you want.
The second is the "Heart of Steel" on my chest, that to me means you sometimes have to pretend to be unaffected and be logical and take a pragmatic approach to issues in life.

What’s your next tattoo?
Well I have several ideas for what I want to get next, but before I pick a new one I want to get the one on my back finished. Eventually I want full sleeves.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Don’t just pick anything because it’s your first. Make sure it’s something that you will want on your body as you grow older, they go on easier than they come off.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
Life has taught me many things, but I believe the most important is perseverance. Never give up on yourself.

Will you be getting anymore?
Absolutely, I’m not done yet.

Do you have a favorite quote?
The Four Reliance’s
First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words;
Second, rely on the teachings, not on the personality of the teacher;
Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation;
And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind, not on judgmental perceptions.