Jessi Anne from Florida
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hodgenville, KY.
How was it growing up there, would you say it influenced you?
It's a very small town and everyone knows your business. I think it did influence me at least to some extent. It helped me realize that I want to go places and that I'm much bigger than a small town in KY.
When did you start getting tattoos?
I believe I was around 19 when I was first tattooed. It was a small, pink Playboy bunny on my spine. I know, very original. After that, I couldn't stop, nor did I want to.
How would you describe your style?
I'm not sure exactly. I do what is fun and feels comfortable to me. I know I look a lot different than most women, but I love who I am. I just try to have fun with my appearance, my tattoos, and just my outlook on life. I'm just me.
Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Oh definitely! Tattoos are art (unless of course, you get them from a kitchen cowboy). For someone to take an image and transfer it to skin is phenomenal and then to have it for the rest of your life...How can it be anything other than art?
How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
It's definitely becoming more acceptable, and as a tattoo shop owner and tattoo enthusiast, I hope it continues to. However, there is still the stigma that lies with tattoos and the tattooing industry. We are often stereotyped, thought to be criminals or drug addicts. I'm a business owner, body piercer, mother, and wife. There is nothing scary about that.
What has been your inspiration for getting them?
There have been many inspirations for my tattoos, although some of them are just for funsies. My upper right arm is dedicated to my husband (still a work in progress), I have angel wings for my children, an inspirational/motivational Marilyn Monroe quote on my right thigh...I'm also very into Buddhism and I have a few Buddhist pieces on my left arm.
What's your favorite piece?
I have several favorite pieces so it's hard to choose just one. Two of the top ones would be my head tattoo, which is leopard print and my mermaid on my left thigh. My husband put eleven hours into my mermaid and she is beautiful!!!
Do you catch people staring at you because of your ink?
For sure! Everywhere I go, people stop to look or ask me about my tattoos. I'm flattered.
In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
If I'm having a rough day, I'll read my quote and that helps. I know if I'm really stressed, I'll get tattooed and that makes me feel tons better.
What's your most significant tattoo and why?
My most significant would also be my MM quote: “Imperfection is Beauty. Madness is Genius. And it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. And when it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, I'm already better than them.” I absolutely adore Marilyn Monroe and the quote helps me stay focused on what is important in life. It doesn't matter what people say or do, NEVER give up on the things you love and the things you are truly passionate about in life.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Definitely choose wisely! Don't get what everyone else is getting and do NOT get tribal!
Will you be getting anymore?
Oh yes! I would love to eventually be covered head to toe. We shall see.
What is your biggest inspiration? What keeps you going?
My children and my husband keep me going. Without their love and support, I would not be where I am today. I love them with all my heart!
What is one thing that life has taught you?
Life has taught me to love and accept myself for who I am and who I want to be. Follow your dreams in life and be the best you can be every day. Life is too short to be mediocre and unhappy.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” - Unknown
This is tattooed around my collar bone. You NEVER know what someone else is going through, so don't be so quick to judge or mistreat someone. You can't go wrong with kindness.
Anything else you would like to add?Find happiness within yourself and love yourself as you would love others.