Brooke Long from Maryland
Where did you grow up?
A small city north of Baltimore.
How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
I loved growing up here, my extended family lived only minutes away, and our large Italian family would get together once a week for spaghetti dinner. But living in a small city with limited opportunities for tattooed/alternative models has definitely influenced me to push my modeling career full-fledged myself.
When did you start getting tattoos?
I started getting tattoos when I was 23 years old. I've always wanted tattoos, but was nervous about getting them (I’m a baby when it comes to pain). But now knowing the pain is a small price to pay for art that lasts forever.
How would you describe your style?
A mix of everything, rocker, punky, retro, glam. I keep it unique.
Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes I do. The best form of art in my opinion. Each tattoo is specifically unique to each person. Each tattoo tells a story of the persons past, and what they have been through in their life. Tattoos are your skins journal.
How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
The tattoo culture has grown immensely in the past few years. Unfortunately it has become very trendy. But the art of tattooing has advanced so amazingly and the artists have evolved that everyone wants a beautiful work of art on them.
What has been your inspiration for getting them?
Different things I've been through in my life. Highs, lows and things that inspire me.
What’s your favorite piece?
I have a broken hand mirror on my arm, and a banner wrapping around its handle saying, "You don't define me", I’ve always had self-esteem issues and the broken mirror symbolizes not letting culture and the world define who you are. Learn to love yourself in your own skin.
Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Yes. I don't mind people looking, it’s the negativity and close mindedness from people that don't understand tattoos that I don't like. People have said some very nasty things to me about being a young girl with tons of tattoos. Some people don't appreciate the art of tattooing.
In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Yes, in a way. When I’m going through hard times and see my tattoos, it sort of gives me hope that I will get through whatever it is I’m going through.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Make sure you'll love it forever. Don't get something just to get it. Make it mean something to you.
Will you be getting anymore?
What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
I'm a Christian, so living my life for the Lord is what keeps me going.
What is one thing that life has taught you?
There's too much hate in this world, love a lot and be the change.
Do you have a favorite quote?"To thine own self be true" -Shakespeare