Tattoo Tuesday V.67

Name and blog name: Tenille Evans //

Age: 27

Occupation: Self employed jewelery designer and fulltime mama.

Age of first tattoo: I had it done for my 21st birthday. It was a pink diamond in my left armpit. The tattoo artist Zoe Windle was a little reluctant to do it, seeing as though it is quite a painful spot for a first tattoo! I figured I didn’t have anything to compare it to yet. I don’t remember it hurting too much but I’m sure that when I get around to getting the other armpit tattooed, I’ll be a much bigger wuss about it.

Favorite tattoo:
An anchor on my right ankle. My only piece of flash, my almost-husband and I both got matching ones on a whim on our third date. It was a bit of a joke that went way too far! Lucky it worked out between us, or it would probably be my least favourite tattoo now!

Featured tattoo/location:
Dead lady with pomegranate and peonies on my right upper arm.

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Heath Nock. Custom Tattoos Sydney, Australia.

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did
you choose this particular piece of art?

This is actually part of what will eventually become a full sleeve. It is a woman holding a pomegranate, inspired by a painting called Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She is surrounded by a wreath of yew berries and peonies.

It is based around imagery from a John Keats poem called Ode to Melancholy. To be honest, I am actually a bit of a nerd and really love poetry. This poem is about the transience of beauty and the inevitability of all things coming full circle. Without wanting to sound like a pessimist (because I’m not!), it’s really about the inevitability of death. It actually kind of makes sense as a tattoo metaphor. A tattoo is something “permanent” but really, in a larger sense, what does the concept of permanence really mean? In a way, getting tattooed is a way to remind myself of my mortality and be ok with it. Which I think is a lovely, humbling and truthful thing.

I was intended to have a line from the poem put into the banner. But never having got around to it, it’s been empty for 3 years and now I think I like it that way. Heath has also done a skull with a purple rose on my forearm. The two pieces will at some point be joined by some large death’s head moths and maybe some more flowers.

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where? 

A zombie Guadalupe-style nun on my left calf. This was done by Megan Oliver at Innervision Tattoo in Sydney. No story about it, I just dreamed that I already had it, so I thought there must be a reason, and had it inked!

Roses on my inner right arm. Done by Jeremiah Barba when he was working at Last Rites in NYC.

Two dead swallows on my stomach. Done by Carl Carlson from Diablo Art in Sydney. I had these
done before my pregnancy. They stretched out and have since gone back, completely normal.

Pink Diamond in my left armpit done by Zoe Windle when she was working at Innervision Tattoo in Sydney.

Anchor on my right ankle done by Ryan Ussher when he was at Skin Deep Tattoo in Sydney.

On the side of my right knee, I also have a heart with a banner saying ‘Cash’- my baby son’s name. Very badly done by me! I’ll go over it again at some point. Or maybe get a professional to do it!

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Yes! I would love to have more. The only thing that holds me back is money! Getting tattooed is an expensive hobby. I generally prefer to save up for quality custom work. And it isn’t cheap!

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? 

My immediate family love them. They are actually now all tattooed themselves! My mum got her first tattoo a few years ago with me in New York City. My dad and three sisters all have one or two each and always talk about getting more. My partner has a few tattoos but doesn’t have any really large pieces....yet! Like me, he’s very keen to get more.

As far as the general community goes, most of the responses I get from people are very positive. People think they look great and are genuinely interested. I do however, get responses and comments even when I haven’t asked for them. This happens often and although I’m pretty tolerant and generally don’t mind talking to people, it can get tiresome sometimes. “Did that hurt?” “Why did you do that?” “What does it mean?” “Did you think about....(whatever)...”

Whenever I’m feeling like I don’t feel want to talk to strangers and answer the same old silly questions, I just cover up. When I choose to do this, it’s just that, my own choice. I’m pretty lucky that I am self-employed and a work from home mama so I can look and dress however I like! In the past though, I have covered up for job interviews, for meetings and for my nanna.

I have had a couple of very negative experiences, the worst being when a man physically grabbed my leg and yelled obscenities at me! I have to shrug those off though, because people who are that offended by somebody else are obviously very unhappy people. Being angry about it only intensifies the negativity. It’s better to forget it and wish those people well.

5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

For me, the reason I got my first tattoo is very different to the reason I keep going back and getting more. These reasons are highly subjective and personal for me and your reason for getting tattooed should be as well. Even though Miami Ink would have us think otherwise, it really doesn’t matter WHY you get tattooed. You shouldn’t feel like you need to justify your choices to anyone but yourself. Every tattoo doesn’t need a story to be important.

On the other hand, you should definitely think hard about what you want to put on your skin and why. But, don’t think for too long. It’s just skin. As soon as you take the plunge, you’ll realise it’s not really as big of a deal as you first thought. Yes, it’s going to be on you forever but no one really knows how long that is. Saying that though, make sure whatever artwork you choose to put on your skin is meaningful and truthful to YOU, no one else. Then go for it!