Here they are all healed up and finished! I wanted to show you a couple photos of them completed and also share a little about why I got these particular tattoos.
I love tattoos. My father is covered in them and he got most of his work when I was already a teenager so I got to spend some time at tattoo shops, meet amazing tattoo artists, and he would even take my siblings and I to tattoo conventions as little family outings. Because of this I really respect beautiful tattoos and I knew that I didn't want to get just any tattoo when I have seen tattoos that could literally win awards.
There are a few things I am sure of when It comes to tattoos. I am sure that I don't want to be covered in tattoos, even though I think people who are can look amazing! I am sure that I want a tattoo that means something to me on more than one level and I am sure I want only amazing tattoo artists to put them on me. I don't only want them to be super talented but I want to actually like them. Call me silly but I think its important to have a good connection with the person permanently inking something onto your body.
I have had a few pieces planned for a long time but I have never met an artist that I really felt that comfortable with. Granted, I wasn't looking too hard because tattoos are expensive and I never made it a financial priority. When I decided that I needed to get the peonies before the end of the year I only had one person in mind. Phill Bartell from Rising Tide Tattoo emporium had done a lot of work on my brother and other friends of mine. He is this very gentle and warm guy and that made me feel good about making the appointment because I wasn't sure how I would react to the pain. It took a few months to get in there but it was completely worth the wait.
For the first peony I was sort of disaster. The pain level was shocking and I just could not deal. I think I was so nervous about what to expect that I just made the whole situation way worse than it was. The second time around went a lot better. The same pain level was there but the mind is an amazing thing and if you can figure out a way to relax it, everything is better.
So why did I submit myself to this? Well Dustin and I have lived in a few different homes together and more than not when Spring came peonies would pop up from the yard or in front of the house. I knew that I wanted to have peonies at our wedding last year and when I read that they symbolize a healthy and stable marriage I knew that I wanted to get two peony tattoos, one for him and one for him.
I have only ever thought I would get tattoos on a few spots and the feet were never a spot that I had in mind. But, when I started placing the peonies on my shoulder or under my upper arm (my two favorite spots) it wasn't feeling right. I started looking up images of feet tattoos and I was blown away! When I made the connection that it would be a really grounding spot to place the tattoos, it was decided! Of course this was before I knew that the feet are one of the most painful spots to get work done:)
I definitely wished that I didn't already tell Dustin that one of the peonies would be for him after the first session because I did not want to go back! But, of course I had to, otherwise it would always feel incomplete and my neurosis couldn't live with that.
So now when I look at my feet and see these pretty and simple black line peonies I am reminded that I married a sweet and beautiful man that I love and who loves me. It seems almost silly to need a reminder of this now, but you never know where life will lead you. One day I might really appreciate a reminder that I got these beautiful and permanent designs on my body to mark this life changing time when I decided to spend my life with one person.
I like to think of tattoos as little mementos from the time in your life when you got it and when people ask me how will I know I will still like them in 30 years my answer is always that everything I go through will bring me to where I am and as long as they are well done I think I will still like them.
How do you feel about tattoos? Do you love them, hate them, want them? I would love to hear the stories behind your tattoos.