I wanted something simple for my first tattoo, and settled on my astrological symbol in the middle of a tribal sun. While looking for artists, I became inspired to start planning out my next, oh, dozen or so tattoos and found myself scribbling constantly in my sketchbook. One day, I banged out four tribal looking symbols for the elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. I was so pleased with the results that I immediately 86’d the idea of getting anything else. And then, I found Dawn.
Dawn was a corporate graphic designer for ten or fifteen years before waking up one day and realizing she was unhappy. She quit her job, bought a motorcycle, and became a professional female bodybuilder and a tattoo artist. She told me all this to distract me while she inked up my chest, getting my attention most when she was going over the tender collar bone area. I was so inspired, I never forgot her story and repeat it to myself every time I worry about not knowing what I want to do with my life.
For a week afterwards, I wore button-down shirts so I could periodically rip them open and break into the Captain Planet theme song. Really, the symbols are just there as reminders of the love and awe I feel for the power of nature.
This was my very first tattoo. It’s a quote from the musical, “Wicked”. Its sung at a very pivotal point in the musical where the “wicked” witch defies all odds and flies, even when there are people trying to stop her. This quote reminds me that even though people may try to bring me down, I know I can defy their expectations and just be myself. If I don’t at least try, they win.
My best friend Mo stuck and poked me right before I moved for the Bay. Not only did it symbolize our friendship but it also symbolizes that no matter where I end up, that compass will always keep me from getting lost.
My grandfather was the first family member to pass away. I remember it was so hard for me to cope with his death that getting this tattoo in his memory was the only thing that helped ease my pain. I remembered my grandfather used to play with these Japanese playing cards. When he played, I remember as a child how that was the only time I really saw him smile and really enjoy himself. I took an image from one of these cards and did my own drawing interpretation of it.
When I started to identify as “Queer”, not just as a “Lesbian”, is when I got this tattoo. I couldn’t have been more proud of how much I opened my heart and my mind to infinite possibilities of sex, gender, identity, and love.
Live in San Francisco and have some ink you’d like to show off, or are a tattoo artist who just finished a really cool piece? Contact me about a shoot. I’m always looking for people with creative and interesting tats to work with.
Holiday decadence was only a starting point for this fashion show. The party, Noel Noir, was held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, with music, art, and the infamous ‘Project Nunway’ fashion show. Pairing local designers with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, this was one of the best, most over the top fashion experiences I’ve ever had the luck to photograph.
If you aren’t familiar with the work the Sisters do, here’s a blurb from their website –