The ink on Tiffany

Tiffany from Florida

Where did you grow up?
Boca Raton, Florida

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Boca Raton is definitely not known for any kind of tattoo scene that’s for sure! South Florida is “a sunny place for shady people.” Pretty much everyone cheats and lies and all that fun stuff, so no I didn’t enjoy growing up here. But hey it could be worse right? Boca is known as a big retirement area, so I’d have to say that living here has not really influenced me much at all tattoo wise.

When did you start getting tattoos?  
I was 15 when I got my first and it’s terrible! It’s a tribal band around my wrist which I hide all the time with a watch or bracelet. I’ve done 2 laser tattoo removals but it really hurts and is very expensive, so I’m not sure if I’m eventually going to cover it up or stick with the tattoo removal. Then when I was 16 I got the tribal tramp stamp, ugh horrible!! Luckily I have a great artist now who was able to cover it up. When I was 18 I got the typical cheesy tattoos, a flower, butterfly, hummingbird, and horoscope symbol. Then I stopped with tattoos until I was about 28 and I just went for it! I covered up all those bad tattoos that didn’t have any meaning to them. I am glad I waited until I was older, because now I know who I am and what I like and want.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes, I definitely believe tattoos are a serious art form. Tattoos can express without the use of any words, things about a person.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
Tattoos have definitely become a lot more accepted then they have been previously. Shows like LA Ink and Miami Ink have really taken tattooing into mainstream America. Tattoos aren’t just for sailors and freak shows anymore! Hell, even Miley Cyrus has tattoos! But you are always going to have the people who judge, and who don’t understand, and who will look down on you for having them. I have a college education, my own car, home, job…yet I’ll get looked at like a scumbag sometimes. You just have to take the good with the bad and not care about what people think.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I was a Medieval history major in college and all my tattoos seem to follow that general theme. Every year I travel to Europe and while there, I look for things that could go into my next tattoo. For instance, my back piece is essentially a collage of different Medieval period paintings, such as frescos, woodcuts, and stained glass images taken from seeing them while traveling. For my back my artist didn’t have to actually come up with any of the images himself, he just drew them out from the actual real life painting or fresco or whatever. I love history and Europe and it really means a lot to me to have these images tattooed on me.

What’s your favorite piece?
I am in love with the gypsy woman tattoo on my left side. My artist Gabe Tucker did an amazing job and it came out way better than I ever expected. He really blew me away on that one.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Oh God yes all the time!! Sometimes I’m ok with it and sometimes I’m not. My boyfriend hates it. I get good looks and bad looks from people every day. But that is to be expected when you have a lot of tattoos. I am still trying to get used to it myself. If I’m really not in the mood, I’ll just wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt and then I am invisible ha!

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
I really like the tattoo I have on my stomach. It is the sacred heart in front of a stained glass window with the phrase, “Memento Mori.” Translated from Latin it means, “Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die.” It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose; to remind people of their own mortality. The phrase has a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity. This was also a very common phrase on tombs during the Medieval period.

What’s your next tattoo?
I plan on doing a mosaic style portrait of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on my upper right thigh. But it probably won’t be for a while, because I want to totally finish my back first before we go on to something new.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
I would tell them to definitely stop and think about what they want and not to rush into it. Don’t just walk into a shop and pick flash off the wall, because the design looks cool or something. Make sure to have the artist draw it up and be sure that you will be comfortable with something permanently on your body. Don’t go with fads, because those come and go so quickly. Get something that you know you’re not going to get sick of or grow out of. Research shops and artists online beforehand, don’t just go into a random shop and get tattooed by whoever is available. It took me months to find the shop that I go to now. I have to wait about 1-2 months for an appointment, because they are so booked up, but it is well worth it.

What is one thing that life has taught you?  
To guard your heart, choose your friends wisely. Also to do what truly makes you happy, not what someone wants you to do.

Will you be getting anymore?
Yes definitely! I keep telling myself that I am going to stop after this one or that one, but I just keep on going.