Family means a lot to Samantha Marie Safchinsky. At 20 years old, she has three tattoos and counting. However, if Samantha gets any more tattoos right now her mother has threatened not to pay for her college tuition anymore. Needless to say she is taking a little break from permanent ink on her body. This week she wanted to share with me (and with the rest of the world) her one of a kind tattoos about her heritage and dedication tattoos to her family members. These photos are courtesy of her Facebook page.
Pete Delia, 34, is the owner of Sinful Art Tattoo in Vineland, NJ who has been tattooing for 11 years and owned his own shop for six years. This week I wanted to take the time to not just tell you about his unique talent and skills, but to show you his artwork that is permanently attached to many tattoo lovers’ skin.
Growing up in my household, tattoos were forbidden until you turned 30 (when my mom got her first tattoo). In Dana Jeffries household, it wasn’t strange to get your first tattoo before you turned 16.
Dana Jeffries is a 29-year-old mom with eight tattoos and counting. She lives in Gloucester City, NJ and loves going to events like Comic Con in New York and going out with friends on the weekends. In between events, I was able to catch up with her about her artwork and what her permanent ink means to her.
Q: Describe your tattoo(s) and what they mean to you.
A: Tattoos are a reminder of different points in my life. The tattoo itself generally is not as meaningful as the memories that they bring back when I look at them.
- My first tattoo is a dove carrying a rose and my dad took me to get it for my 15th birthday. It reminds me of him, and how silly I was at that age.
- My second tattoo is a vine with roses on it and a butterfly at the top that reminds me of the friends I had when I was 18 years old.
- My third tattoo is a gecko that reminds me of my first marriage and my fourth tattoo is a black rose with a rosary around it. It reminds me of a lot of things that happened in my early 20s that I don’t ever want to forget.
- My fifth is a dragon that is placed on my arm to chase the gecko because the gecko was lonely.
- My sixth tattoo is an R.I.P for my dad that has a treble clef and drumsticks because my dad was a drummer.
- My seventh one is a sun with an eye in the middle. I’m not gonna lie, that one doesn’t have much meaning to me because that day I just felt like getting a tattoo, but it makes me smile though.
- My last tattoo says, “Live Humbly”. My soon-to-be ex-husband, brother, sister-in-law, and I all got the same tattoo on my wedding day. I’m going to get it covered up some time soon, because that it not a memory that I want to keep and the font is crappy so it looks like it says, “Live Hombre.”
Q: Where did you get your tattoo(s) at on your body and why did you decide to put it there?
- Tattoo number one is on my right ankle. I wanted to get it on my left ankle, but I got a cut on my ankle the day before I was going to get the tattoo. My dad would only let me get a tattoo on my ankle because it can be easily hidden.
- My second tattoo is on my stomach, to the left of my belly button because at the time, I had an awesome stomach. I don’t anymore, but that’s okay.
- My third, fifth, sixth, and seventh tattoos are on my left arm. It was a spontaneous decision to put the gecko there, and the others are there to keep him company.
- My fourth tattoo is on the upper right side of my back that I can only see with a mirror, but I like knowing it’s there.
- My eighth tattoo is on my right arm because there wasn’t enough room on my left arm for it, so I had to branch out a little.
Q: What place did you get your tattoos at and who them?
A: I’ve gotten three tattoos at the Ink Castle in Bellmawr, NJ one at some random place in Watertown, NY, one at Sick Creations in West Deptford, NJ, two at some random place on South St, and one at some random place in Las Vegas. I do a lot of research before getting tattooed.
Q: How long did your tattoos take to complete and how painful were they?
A: I don’t remember how long any of my tattoos took. Not super long, none of them are very big. The tattoos on my arms and ankle didn’t hurt much at all. Maybe a 3. My back tattoo hurt quite a bit. Maybe a 7. The one on my stomach was the worst. Probably a 9. I would not recommend stomach tattoos. The price range of each one was maybe $50-$250?
Q: Do you plan on getting more and do you have any ideas of what they might be?
A: I’ll probably get another one with my daughter’s name eventually, and I’m going to get the Live Humbly one covered up and made into another tattoo. I don’t know what I’m going to do for my daughter yet but it will probably be on my left ankle. I don’t know how I’m going to cover up the tattoo on my right arm, I’ll have to talk with an artist about it. I want to come up with a funny way to do it.
Q: How do people react to your tattoo(s)?
A: Sometimes people that I meet in the winter are shocked to see me with exposed tattoos in the summer. I’m told a lot that I don’t seem like the type of person that would have tattoos, whatever that means…
Q: When did you get your tattoo and has your opinion changed on how you like it or not?
I got my first tattoo when I was 14, about a week before my 15th birthday. I still like that one a lot.
Q: What is your advice for other people who want or are thinking about getting tattoos?
Covering up arm tattoos in the summer sucks.
This week, I interviewed my 18-year-old cousin Kimberly Nicole of Delran, New Jersey about her first tattoo and what it means to her. She is the party supervisor at The Funplex and currently studies at Burlington County College. She had a first tattoo done April 22, 2010 on her eighteenth birthday, an age where some people think is too young be getting something done that will be there for the rest of her life.
Q: What is your tattoo of and what does it mean to you?
A: I drew my tattoo to symbolize my life up until my 18th birthday, and to show what I have become. The vein is in the shape of a heart and starts as nothing and turns to a beautiful flower and the leaves are the main people in my life. It may seem corny to some people, but that is what they symbolize. I got my tattoo on my side because it wouldn’t be seen very easily, and because I thought it was cute to have there.
Q: Where was the place you got your tattoo done at and how long did it take?
A: I had it done at Body Graphics in Cherry Hill, NJ and I think the guy’s name was Chris, but I’m not sure. My tattoo took a little over an hour, but it wasn’t too painful. Some of the shading was an irritating but not unbearable and I do not have a high tolerance for pain. It was pretty expensive, I believe it was over $200. It was my mom’s birthday present to me.
Q: Do you plan on getting any more tattoos, and if so what are your ideas for them?
A: Well I only have one so far, but I am considering another one maybe one day. I’m thinking something done on my foot, maybe a saying or another daisy in a different design. My dad was very upset when he found out about it, so maybe I’ll wait a little while before I get another one. He likes it now, though. A lot of people see it and know that I drew it, so they ask for sketches of their ideas. It’s pretty cool, actually.
Q: What is your advice for other people who want or are thinking about getting
A: Make sure you know what you want and have a good sketch. Think about it and don’t do it right away, give it time and see if you still want it a month after you draw up an idea. I loved my tattoo when I got it and still do. Every time I look at it I smile.
For the most part, I have discussed and shown pictures of tattoos that people wanted to get and still loved to look at even after years of having them. That is not always the case with other people’s tattoos.
Neah Wilburn is a senior RTF major at Rowan University with a total of four tattoos. She received her fourth tattoo on her right hand in March of this year, and only eight months after it was done she already wishes she could change that tattoo if it were possible. I met up with her on Monday to discuss this particular tattoo, and why it is controversial to her and to other people who see her tattoo.
Q: What is your most recent tattoo of and why did you get it?
A: My tattoo is in cursive writing of the word, “Misunderstood.” I got that tattoo for many reasons. The first reason is my best cousin and I have the same tattoo, she’s like my partner in crime. Second, my cousin, who I also call my twin, has a small thunderbolt on his forehead representing the word, “Misunderstood.” The third reason is because I honestly feel like no one understands how I feel or the way I think. Lastly, I also got it because it was only $15 to get it done.
Q: Where did you get your last tattoo at and who did it?
A: A family member’s friend did it in his bedroom because he wasn’t licensed to tattoo. I am not allowed to say his name because it is illegal for him to tattoo and it is also illegal to have a tattoo done outside of a shop or a tattoo convention.
Q: How did your family feel about your tattoo?
A: They wanted to kill me. My mother not only didn’t like it because of her beliefs about tattoos but also because it was visible. My one older cousin who I looked up too didn’t like it because it was so visible and couldn’t be covered easily without it being noticed. My father still tries to wipe it off everyday thinking it’s just pen ink and not permanent ink. Everyone thinks I was stupid to get this tattoo, which is why I got it in the first place: they don’t understand how I think.
Q: Do you regret your tattoo does it affect your life?
A: I do not like the format of my tattoo. The “e” and the “r” in the writing look like they are melded together, making it hard to read. People can barely read it and understand it, just like myself. This particular tattoo makes it more difficult for me to find a job. If I were to be offered a position, any job would want me to cover it with a band-aid or with make-up so no one will see. My employers would see my tattoo as unprofessional.
Q: Why is your tattoo controversial?
Bands come and go, but band tattoos last forever (for the most part). What makes a person love a band so much that they are willing to get a tattoo of a band name or a symbol of that band somewhere on his or her body?
I caught up with 23-year old Rowan student Ronald Vincent Pables this week and discussed his band tattoo with him. At 18 years old, Pables knew what he wanted his first tattoo to be that would stay in his skin for the rest of his life. After five years living with his permanent artwork, he still loves his tattoo and does not regret getting it all.
“I got my tattoo because it is of my all time favorite band Mushroomhead,” said Pables. “The symbol is called a Double X Face or an XX Face. I got it on my leg to concel it from future employers, but I originally wanted it on my arm. It is to symbolize my fanhood in a permanent fashion without it getting in the way of making a future for myself.”
When I was growing up, I wanted a tattoo of “GC” in Old English letters for the band Good Charlotte. That definately did not happen.
Usually taste in music changes, like mine did over time, but it seems that more often than not even though people are getting band tattoos at early ages, they know which band(s) they wanted tattooed into their bodies.
21-year old Steven Wallenburg knew what band tattoo he wanted done by Premiere Tattoo at an early age as well, and had a creative way of looking at it if he decided he was not a fan of the band anymore.
“On the inside of my arm is a tribal “S” that stands for Slipknot,” said Wallenburg. “I had it done because I have been listening to Slipknot for 10 years since the band debuted. And if I get older and I don’t like them anymore, then the “S” stands for Steven. A two for one deal.”
These band tattoos have two things in common: they can easily be hidden by clothing if needed or desired and they symbolize musical interests. I would call that a two for one deal.
The picture of Pables was borrowed from his facebook page.