Tattoo Tuesday V.87

Name // blog name: Tiffany Fowler //
Age: 24
Occupation: Student and Server/Bartender
Age of first tattoo: I was 18 and waited till I moved far away from my mom for college to get it. It was a dove on my shoulder and I hid it from her for two years somehow along with a few others I got while living in Flagstaff for college.
Favorite tattoo: Probably my chest piece that is currently being worked on, or my shin tattoo which is my featured tattoo!
Featured tattoo/location: A sheep in wolf's clothing on my left shin
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Mykil Zep currently at Black Lantern Tattoo in Phoenix, AZ (Just found out this week he will be relocating to San Diego at the end of the month! Lucky duck!)

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

While growing up, my best friend Brendan was a huge role model and big brother to my younger brother and sister. He was like loyal to his friends, stood up for the bullies at the bus stop for my siblings, and always super goofy and out there. He would even play video games with my brother until I got home from soccer practice just so he wouldn't have to be home alone ever (my mother worked long and late hours unfortunately). We always joked around that he was a sheep in wolves clothing, opposite of the general comparison because he always acted super tough, but was a softy at heart. Brendan took his own life in 2005, right when I graduated high school and right before I moved 3 hours away from home for college. It was completely devastating to mine and everyone who loved him's world. I knew I would never forget him, but wanted to have something tattooed on me so I could always carry him around with me. Took me 6 years, and my brother finding an old poem he wrote about him at his funeral to finally come up with a tattoo idea. The sheep in wolves clothing, and on my left shin because freshman year of high school he had thrown a rock at me while skateboarding and scarred the middle of my shin pretty well. Seemed to go hand in hand.

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

Yes, so many I forget sometimes haha. A Coco Chanel-esque victorian lady on my right arm, pocketwatch right by my elbow, an old phonograph on my lower arm, old film camera on my ditch, “mum” written on my forearm, singer sewing machine on lower arm, tulips on wrist, my brother's initials (NPF) on top side of my wrist, “I am not afraid of tomorrow for I have seen yesterday and I love today” on my inside upper right arm, a victorian pen on the outside of my right arm, an owl and Arizonascape on my left upper arm, a hand holding sunflowers in the shape of the sign language “i love you” on my inner right arm, “beau knows best” on my right forearm, a dove on my right shoulder, a doggie vignette of my pup dori on my left calf, a maple leaf on my right muffintop (haha), “amigos” on my right foot, a gas pump with 13 on it on my right ankle, “little nate” written behind my right ear, the number 7 behind my left ear. A huge spacescape with astronaut on my right thigh, I have "Be Bold" and "Be Love" written on the insides of my fingers on both hands. Oh! And my chest that I am currently finishing that says “Always Looking North” with poppies and leaves around it.

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Yes, it's almost as if I come up with more ideas while I'm half way through a piece. I know for sure my next one is a mock up of my fractured skull on my left side. Back in the end of April I got thrown into the edge of a pooldeck, face first and fractured every bone on the left side of my face. Two surgeries and 5 grand later, I want to have it on me since it has been life changing and really made me realize who my true friends are and how dearly I love my family.

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

My family, well, they have been.... interesting. I hid my tattoos for 2 years before my mom found out through a picture message I sent my step-dad that I had gotten a new one. My step dad has been my best friend since he came into our lives and was pretty understanding at first (he hid his from my mom for almost a year! Tell me how that worked haha). It has taken a lot of patience and explanations of the meanings of all of them for my mom to finally come around. My brother and sister love them, my mom cried when I told her about the ones I got for her, but the rest of my family is pretty against them. My grandmother slapped me when she first found out. I think part of it has to do with the whole different generation thing and also my family grew up on a tiny farm in North Dakota, so they really have never been exposed to it. Part of my family automatically assumed I was doing drugs as well, so that was kind of hard to deal with at first. I figure everyone has their own opinion, and I am completely comfortable in my own skin, so why the hell should I really care.

Most of my friends are covered in tattoos, and so they obviously love my tattoos and are always eager to get new ones when they see I've recently gotten stuff done.

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

Have fun with it! I feel like not all tattoos need to have meaning behind them, it could be that you were feeling spontaneous one day and really wanted to get something done. Just make sure that you go to a good shop, there are plenty of chintzy shops that you can go to, but just remember there are diseases and infections you can get if you compromise just to simply get one. Be sure you're comfortable with people staring, people will judge no matter how times change, and realize that people are curious and may ask you about them. That's part of the fun about making yourself a walking canvas of beautiful work! And yes, it DOES hurt, but it's definitely worth it.