Happy to play enabler with a helping of ink-spiration
I’ve always enjoyed tattoo talk for two reasons. The first is that it makes a fairly decent ice-breaker. Whether or not there’s a profound meaning behind somebody’s ink, the initial small talk almost always segues into something more personal. The second is that chatting about tattoos says a lot about the person who has them (divulging entire life stories need not be part of it). Are they spontaneous? (Insert compulsive drunken nights and other similar backstories here.) Sentimental, maybe? Free-spirited? Equally interesting to learn is how people well past the first-tattoo stage approach the notions of permanence, art and, of course, self-expression.
In listening to friends chat about matching tattoos they got with their siblings or the declaration of love for an ex-boyfriend now concealed by an intricate Queen of Hearts graphic, we mused: why not take this tattoo talk online? And while we’re at it, why not chat with those whose ink we’ve long admired from afar? Ahead, a getting-to-know-you via tattoos with just the people.
Entrepreneur and Influencer
My floral constellation tattoo is my [latest] and my favorite. This one is personal in terms of design [because] I drew it myself. It was random, actually; I drew it an hour before I had it done. The usual me––the indecisive, couldn’t-choose-between-two-or-three me––wanted something floral but also wanted to have something to do with my zodiac sign. So I decided to combine both! Then I double lined it for fun.
It means the Gemini, who believes that even the most beautiful flower withers. But this blurs out the fact that fading is the end; instead, it focuses on the process of blooming as the best part.
I was in Cebu and one night, my friend Marivic, who owns this cool bar called Trademark, set up a tattoo session. And poof! Next second, I had a tattoo. (This didn’t go as smooth as I made it sound though because I’m hella ticklish lol, so I did struggle through the giggling.)
Social Media Manager
I had the idea of getting [something] inspired by Sailor Moon but still wanted it to look like my other tattoos. So I decided on Usagi’s ribbon, making it really small––to the point that’s annoyingly cute. Initially, I was only going to get a pair of moon tattoos similar to Luna (the cat from Sailor Moon) but my tattoo artist said that I might as well get the ribbon since I was already there. I just like how it looks like and well I love Sailor Moon!
Martin Hocson, @martinhocson_
This is a tough one because I love all of my tattoos the same amount! If I had to choose one though, I think it’d be safe to say that my right arm sleeve is my favorite and most memorable one just because it was always a dream of mine to have an oriental sleeve done on me. It’s what got me into tattoos. The design idea is very traditional and is something I’ve loved since I first saw it when I was in grade school. It’s a Koi Fish swimming upstream then turns into a powerful dragon at the top.
It can mean different things for different people but for me, it’s the idea of a little fish powering through heavy currents to make it to [its end goal]. That fish, then, becomes one of the most powerful creatures at the finish line. And it reminds me that as long as you keep on pushing in this lifetime, you’ll come out of situations stronger than when you went in.
I remember planning this with my artist for a solid week or two just throwing different concepts on how we could go about this sleeve through Messenger. When it was finally time to get it, I remember just staring at my right arm on the way to the shop and going: “I won't be seeing you like this anymore.” Hahaha!
Wiji Lacsamana, @curiouswiji
I don’t really have a favorite tattoo on me yet––I love them all equally as I usually get tattoos to celebrate or commemorate a chapter in my life. Every time I see a tattoo on my body, I’m immediately reminded of that time in my life, what I’ve learned from that moment and what I’m embracing now because of that moment. (Let’s just talk about the latest tattoo I got because it’s one I haven’t [shared] much about.)
It’s an illustration from Moebius’ Crystal Saga. I feel like I am more spiritual now more than ever in my life and this image reminds me of dreams I’ve been having. In a (very, very) weird sense, this illustration looks very familiar to me. Regardless of that, it also serves as a reminder and an inspiration to me: that everything is energy and [I should be] mindful of how I should be in dealing with it.
I got it at Jonathan Sanchez’s [tattoo parlor] in Bicutan. He’s an old friend and he used to teach me a lot (and still does) when I was an apprentice of Dyun Depasupil. I’m always so thankful for people who graciously share their knowledge. It was a pretty chill day…the way most of my sessions with my [tattoo artist] friends are. He pretty much reserved that day in the studio for me. We were just talking about tattoos, spirituality, and music, basically (we had pizza and watched YouTube videos). It's always great when you can find a tattoo artist you can just relax with.
Now, we can’t really blame you if you’ve scrolled through thinking about getting a tattoo yourself. Why not comment down below with a design idea you have in mind?
Featured Images Wiji Lacsamana
Art Alexandra Lara