Tattoo Tuesday

My name is Travis Stahl 
37 yrs old
Combat Medic/ E.R. Technician
I was 18 when I got my first tattoo
My Favorite tattoo(s) would be the tattoos on my ribs ( both sides )
My featured tattoo is on my rib cage from arm pit to hip bone

The artist that did the work is Jamie Cooley, he works at Synergy Tattoo in Knoxville, TN
the background behind the tattoo:  I saw an image that I thought would be a great base for a tattoo and I had an artist friend modify it to more of a military feel. We were deployed in Afghanistan when he drew it and I told him that the minute I hit boots back stateside I was going to have it tattooed onto my ribs. It's even more special to me because not only does it reflect what I do in the military but it was drawn up by one of the soldiers that I was responsible for keeping safe. He also put in my OIF and OEF tour dates in the arms of the medical cross which meant alot to me since I had treated severely wounded soldiers during deployments.

2: I have 14 tattoos in total, I have a joker on my left chest, a guardian angel on my right chest, I have the Grim Reaper on my left upper arm/shoulder ( first tat ) I have a native american in a headdress on my right upper arm/shoulder, I have a cartoon wolf on my right inner forearm, I have my oldest sons initials in chinese on my right inner wrist, I have initials on my left hand between my pointer finger and thumb, I have a wizard on my left shoulder blade, I have a tribal with scripting across the top of my shoulders and neck, I have a dragon in the middle of my back, I have the crucifix on the rock of ages on my left ribs, I have my combat medicine skull on my right ribs, I have my lowrider emblem on my left inner ankle, and I have buster bunny dressed as a gangster w tommy gun on my right calf.

3: Do I plan on getting more tattoos? Heck yes I do. I would love to get 3/4 or full sleeves done on at least one arm if not both

4: How did my family and friends feel about my ink? I think they kind of expected it. I was quite rebellious when I was 17-18 and most of them knew it was going to happen. I know that my parents didn't really approve but they knew that I was going to be me so they just accepted it. My friends have always liked my tattoos and even have helped in my quest for new ideas, I have had some people shun me at first impression based on that fact that I have tattoos but once they get to know me they forget about them or they become very interested in why I have them and want to learn more about it. I do have to wear long sleeves in the E.R. so as not to offend a patient that may not be comfortable with tattoos or the subject matter that is tattooed on me.

5: The most interesting experience I've ever had in regards to my tattoos is probably when the artist that did the work on my rock of ages/crucifix told me that I was tougher that most of the football players and "cage fighters" since I sat for 6 hours straight and wanted him to keep going till it was done.

6: The best advice I would give to anyone interested but that hasn't gotten a tattoo yet would be to make sure that you get something that has some personal meaning to you, whether it represents a time in your life, a specific event that happened, etc. don't get the first "cookie cutter design" you see on the wall of the shop or in the book cause you think it's cool at that moment and be you, don't follow the crowd and get a tattoo of what's in style at the moment!!! Also do your homework/research on what you really want tattooed on you the rest of your life and make sure you research the shop and artist that you are going to have do the work! you get the quality and cleanliness that you pay for. Dude's garage is probably never going to be a good place to get a tattoo....jus saying!

7: My least favorite part of being tattooed would have to be two different parts that are tied for my #1, I hate having to wait so long to have it finished, and having to wait to get the next one! As for stories or advice to those that don't have tattoos........well all I can say is don't judge a book by it's cover! You may not like tattoos and you may never get one but for those of us that have them they are an expression of who we are and that doesn't make us bad people. Some of us tattooed people may have saved a life of someone you know in some way, shape or form.

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