Tattoo Tuesday

Name or Alias: Belle Air Continental
Age: 36
Occupation: Electronic Production and Music Business adjunct instructor (I also possess a law degree)
Age of first tattoo: 16 (jail house on myself)
Favorite tattoo: This is a SUPER difficult question because I love them all. But I will go with my "scales of justice".(Pics are entitled Shin 1, 2 and 3 - attached)
Featured tattoo/location: Right shin

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Miss Kitty at Live Fast, Die Young Tattoo in Minneapolis, MN

1) Please tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning? Even before I started law school I knew that I was not the typical law student but it truly rang true once I got into the environment. This is even more true within the field. Although I am not currently practicing law, I love the law and would not trade my education for anything in world. Therefore, being a tattooed person in a different environment I felt I need to memorialize that in ink. Miss Kitty and I put our head together and came up with my version of the scales of justice, filled with things that are me. 

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where? 

  • I have several tattoos:
    • Right upper arm half sleeve - things to represent members of my family
    • Left upper arm half sleeve - 9 different cats or cat like creatures
    • Chest piece - sacred heart with skull and cross bones
    • Back - old/new school butterfly (60% of my back); mask right shoulder; dark figure wrapped in vines.
    • Upper right thigh - dark figure wrapped in flames
    • Wrists - cherries on both
    • Side of elbow - smiley face (the jail house at 16)
    • Above knees - decaying, zombie graveyard heart above left; happy valentine's heart above right
    • Outside of lower left leg - pulp art zombie covering woman's mouth
    • Right shin - featured tattoo
    • Right calf - pirate ship
3) Do you plan on getting more? Yes!

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? It took some members of my family along to time to understand that this is me. My Nana, father's mother, could not understand how Papa could have been in the Navy for 17 years and never get a tattoo but here I was with many. She eventually came to the conclusion that it was me and she didn't care.  My Mom did not like it at first but the day she came around was when I was published in a tattoo magazine, I think at the part she really saw it as art. She carried that magazine around in her purse to show people. My grandmother, mother's mother, died in 2008 never knowing how many tattoos I had. There were only a couple that she knew about. To help my mother avoid the nagging and complaining that my grandmother would inflict upon her if she knew of my tattoos I would cover up. I would wear long sleeves in the middle of summer in MS.
As far as negativity because of the tattoos I can't recall anything in particular. I think had more issues with my appearance when I shaved my head and work spikes and ripped fishnets in my youth. The worst I deal with now is dirty, confused looks. I can say one of the things that bothers me the most is when people feel they can touch you because of your tattoos. My reaction to that might get me more negative reactions lately.

5)What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos?
I love the reactions I get from kids. They are so honest especially if their parents don't hold them back. But I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing and interesting people just because they strike up a conversation with me about my tattoos. 

6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet? 
THINK ABOUT IT! People (kids) do not take enough time to think about what they are putting on their bodies. See my students at 19-21 with completed full sleeve already just drives me nuts - live your life for a while before you feel the need to put that much ink in your skin. Figure out who you are are.

7) What is your least favorite part of being tattooed? Do you have any stories/advice to people who are not tattooed?
Getting to about hour 6 in an 8 hour sessions sucks! LOL And that first moment you take off the bandage when it has to be cleaned for the first time. Yikes. The best advice I can give is this:
  • Find a good artist and pay for it. You get what you pay for!
  • Take exceptional care of your tattoos.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

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