Tattoo Tuesday V.73

Name and blog name: Meanz Chan // Koi Story

Age: 20


Age of first tattoo:

Favorite tattoo:
All of them.

Featured tattoo/location: Koi-phoenix transformation on most of my back.

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo:
Josh Bowers, Iron Heart, Des Moines, IA


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

Well, I have always appreciated and have been inspired by Japanese artwork and I’ve always loved koi tattoos. I am Chinese; my parents used to tell me a story about how when a koi fish swims up a waterfall and gets to the top it becomes a beautiful dragon. That’s always fascinated me. I decided to go for a phoenix instead of a dragon I decided to go with a phoenix, because according to my mom’s stories and some research I did, a phoenix is basically the female counterpart of a dragon. It is also one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen, and I thought it would be a unique idea. I haven’t seen it done before. Also, koi fish were originally brought from China to Japan.  So not only does it represent my culture, it also is a symbol of overcoming obstacles and perseverance.

2) Do you have any other tattoos?

I have one other tattoo. It’s an infinity symbol on my wrist. One of my best friends and I got the same one together, and it was my first tattoo. I know it’s a crazy jump from one tiny tattoo to a full back piece, but I had to start somewhere! To me this symbol represents infinite possibilities, and it’s there to give me hope, and spark some optimism.


3) Do you plan on getting more?

I would love to get more. The next one I want is of a dream catcher, to remind me to follow my dreams and never give up. I’m also really interested in the idea of dream catchers. I want it to have phoenix feathers, to I guess, keep a theme, and I just adore phoenixes. I want to get it on my forearm just a little above the wrist. I also want to get one on my upper thigh. I think those are really cute. I just am not sure what I’d get there yet. I’m just not sure if I can handle any more pain! I’m not very tolerant of it.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)?  Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?

My friends love my tattoos. I get compliments on it a lot. I have very open-minded friends, and many of them have tattoos of their own, and they think it’s awesome I got such a huge, colorful one. I think many people were surprised I went through with it because I’m not very outgoing! My parents weren’t exactly sure how they felt about it when I first told them my idea and showed them my sketch, and honestly, I didn’t really think I would get one this huge. It just happened. When my tattoo artist, Josh, drew up the sketch and place it on my back, I knew I had to get it the way it was. He even asked me if I wanted to shrink it, but I felt it was perfect, and curved well with my back. My mom began to love it after I got the outline and my dad liked it, every time I got more done, they’d want to see it.  They still think it’s a waste of money, but they think it’s beautiful, and I’m really glad they do, because I love it so much. I haven’t run into any negativity. People just don’t understand why I’d undergo the pain sometimes, but it doesn’t bother me, because sometimes, I’m not sure why. I get plenty of compliments though. Older ladies really love my tattoo because it’s so colorful and vibrant. I do have a boyfriend. He does not have any, but he likes mine. He’s an open-minded guy, and that’s what’s so great about him. I got my tattoo when I was with him, and nothing has changed. I don’t think he’ll ever get one, and that’s ok, I can get some for the both of us.

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

I guess, just really think about it, I mean REALLY think about it. I asked myself so many times, will I still like this in 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? Etc? My answer of course was always yes. I just thought, hey, I’m going to be the bad ass grandma with a back tattoo, that sounds amazing. It is a beautiful piece of art. Think about why you want the tattoo? Does it mean anything? Could you ever regret it? Also, think about the placement of your tattoo, can you cover it when you need to? I don’t know, there are many factors, and mine was pretty well thought out, and it took me a while to actually do it. Also, I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but you feel this incredible feeling when it’s finished. I was so happy when it was done. I am so happy everytime I look at it. Just think about it for a while and don’t get something you won’t still love in 50 years! Also, and this is important, research different artists, find portfolios of their work and get some opinions before getting one. The artist can be the difference between a good or a bad tattoo. It took me a while to decide on my artist, and in the end, I am completely satisfied.