Behind the Ink: Students explain tattoo origins, stories By Justin Kirkham and Patty Bowen
From waving grass and setting suns to photographic-like portraits and catch phrases, student tattoos come in endlessly different forms.But, such a permanent, bodily imprint often comes with a distinct set of reasons and back stories which are as varied as the tattoos themselves.
Local tattoo shops like Chalice Tattoo Studio on Latah and Devotion Tattoo on Broadway are easily accessible to students, making the thought behind the ink that much more important.
A deeper meaning
Sporting 11 tattoos, junior health sciences major Jade Lowber uses her body as a canvas to convey her upbringing and identity.Each tattoo has its own underlying meaning, many of whichwere purchased in tandem with friends and family.
“I think all tattoos tell a story. Whether it’s a tribute piece or just a drunken mistake, there is a story about it,” Lowber said. “For me, my tattoos tell my story.”
Lowber’s collection of ink includes two tattoos reflecting her strongest friendships.One is a “Supernatural” pentacle that reflects her love for the television show as well as her deep-set connection to a friend with whom she watches the show.The other is of cuddling yin and yang cats.
“The cats describe my unhealthily close bond with my best friend Sammi and how, even though we live in different states now, she’s still my best friend,” Lowber said.
In addition to birds and subtle white-ink phrases of empowerment, Lowber also has a portrait of her late grandfather decorating her thigh. “I’ve always had love for my grandpa on the inside,” Lowber said. “Now it’s on the outside too.“ The importance of family The decision to get a tattoo for senior environmental and occupational health major Jessica Porter was very connected to herfamily.“Basically, (my sister and I) wanted to get a sister tattoo,” Porter said. “We both got something that was symbolic of Japanese culture because we’re both from Hawaii. We wanted to tie in the Hawaii […]