The ink on Ming Min Luftig

                   Ming Min Luftig from Colorado

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Evergreen, Colorado, but I was born in Hefei, China.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It was great growing up as a kid, but as soon as I reached high school I started to hate the town. There was no diversity there whatsoever and I was literally 1 out of 4 Asian girls in a town of 28,000 white people, so because of that I consider myself whiter than my actual heritage.

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo the day I turned 18.

How would you describe your style?
Anything, as long as I feel great and confident about myself that’s all that matters.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Most deff! It is art for your body.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
A booming industry. People are becoming more comfortable with other people having tattoos and it’s becoming more accepting. There are still people out there that will judge you because you have ink on your body but slowly people are becoming more accepting. It is also I’ve noticed becoming a huge trend for younger kids.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
My modeling.

What’s your favorite piece?
The girl riding the swan on my arm. It symbolizes me riding over to America when I was adopted as a baby, because every child who is adopted from China must go through The White Swan Hotel before coming to America.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Most definitely! When I had bright pink hair little kids in Wal-Mart would follow me around. Now I get lots of interested college students stare at my tattoos when I’m out by the pool or eating out. The baby boomers stare at me a lot and they are always so surprised that I hold the door open for them and say “thank you” and “you’re welcome”, it puts a nice smile on their face.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Nope. Now if the tattoos could move like the painting in Harry Potter, then they would definitely change my mood.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
The tattoo under my left arm that says, “I’m wide awake”. Yeah it’s a Katy Perry song, but it has a lot of meaning to me. I went through a 9 month physically and mentally abusive relationship. A month after we broke up I realized “Holy shit! I was in an abusive relationship” everyone says “oh it’s easy, just get out of the relationship”. It’s really not that easy, you have to have gone through one to understand why the person being abused can’t leave. Mine was because I thought I was in “love”.

It took me a month after the relationship to realize that hitting was not normal, making fun of my body, telling me who my friends were, and telling me to shut up was NOT love. In April of this year he tried to break into my apartment to get me back after telling me when we broke up to go kill myself. When I was talking to him outside before he tried to break in, I just laughed in his face telling him that I will accomplish more in life than he ever will.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Always go to a professional shop and stop thinking about it and just get it! Unless you are drunk, then wait until you’re sober to get it.

Will you be getting anymore?
Of course!

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
I want to be happy in life so my parents can be relaxed and be happy also.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
Never take it too seriously.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man!” – Count of Monte Cristo.

Photographer's Credit: 
James M. Dougherty - 1.
Blake Dieters - 2, 3, 5.
Jodajen Artist - 4.
Marcy Faith Photography - 6.