Welcome back to another installment in our new series – I’m A Mom With Tattoos. In case you have missed the last couple, don’t forget to check them out here.
This is the last Friday that we have to work on for a while right? Please say it is, I don’t know how many more of these 5 day weeks I can handle.
Today it’s not so much about having your cup of poison handy, it’s more about getting your eyes ready for all the colour and detail you are about to see in these tattoos. I can’t decide which one’s my favourite – those little hands are making my brood-o-metre start pumping, those water colour birds are the business (even more so the reason behind them) and can you even believe that the font for the text one is Cupcake’s very own! I may have to recruit her services in the future.
Your name and blog deets? Cupcakemummy (no you can’t have my real name… don’t need you stalking me cause I’m so awesome haha) blog details: cupcakemummy and fysh
Your age? Currently 25 but I’m getting older in April.
A Mom’s favourite thing to do is talk about their children – tell us about your family: My kid is amazing, he’s the most patient (well sort of) little soul who has a heart that loves unconditionally. He’s a hippy child who loves nature, goes hiking with me and cuddles his dog all the time. He’s also a weed/plant whisperer hahahaha. And the rest of my family… they deserve medals or saint hood. They have been so patient with me, particularly my years off my medication while I tried all other methods of dealing naturally with my mental health.
Your Occupation? Yeah that’s a tricky one. First off I’m a mom, being an only parent is a full time job all on it’s own. During the day though I’m what I like to refer to as an office b**** – I do all the admin, phone calls, orders, graphic designer and PA duties. In the evenings I catch up on illustrations for whoever orders something and occasionally I’m a photographer on weekends.
If you work, tell us a bit more about your working environment – are you regularly in contact with new “clients/public”? Telephonically yes. I’m the front desk so I also deal with all the walk-ins and so on. With the illustration and photography I also meet quite a few people but then again, I think when it comes to the more artistic sided jobs people tend to expect you to be a little eccentric 😉
Tell us a bit about your tattoo’s, what they are, why you have them, where they are located:
1. A tribal winged horse: I have a great love for horses and did riding and training for many years, I got it in Matric and the wings symbolise leaving my comfort zone and heading off to my new adventures. I don’t really regret it but I wish I’d designed it a little better. I don’t know. It just doesn’t look right.
2. A star about the size of my had spread out that was one lined intricately designed though it almost looked a bit like wire (now buried under number nine, please note: not covered, buried) originally I got it because I had 4 friends committed suicide in the space of 4 ½ months and the only person they had in common was me. 5 points, all connected with one line that started and ended at the top.
3. A cupcake on my right wrist – think it’s pretty obvious why I got this one haha.
4. 3 colourful stars on my foot, which I know are pretty plain and these days rather common but both my mom and sister also have them as mum had always wanted all three of us to get the same tattoo.
5. Rose behind my left ear. This is probably the only tattoo I actually regret. It came out far bigger than I’d planned for it to and to top it off it was for Fysh’s biological and absent father.
6. Fysh’s newborn handprints on my left calf. They aren’t outlined and done in shaded specifically so they fade a bit over the years and look like they were put there as if he had held on to my leg with dirty hands. When he’s 21 I am going to get his big hand print done sort of between them facing down my calf.
7. An ambigram down my side (just higher than my bra-strap and down to my panty-line). Only one I didn’t design myself, it reads “believe” one way and “dream” the other. I know of two people who have had it done now (my best friend had it done on his forearm the same day and time I had mine done – he was in Richards Bay and I was in Fish Hoek) and one of the kids I used to teach asked if he could have it done on the inside of his upper arm)
8. I have the script “know your worth” that I wrote out myself on the inner side of my left forearm over old scars that I have from my cutting days.
9. Promise tattooed in typewriter script on my pinkie finger because as a kid a pinkie promise is the strongest promise you can make next to cross your heart and hope to die. It’s one that has dire consequences if broken and I made a pinkie promise to always be there for my son. Unless he murders someone in public (though I might consider helping him hide the body if it was done not in public)
10. This is the one that buried the star. It’s the biggest I have and also maybe one of the most special ones as well. It’s a compass with a big rose inside it but the compass is 23 degrees off to the left as that is Cape Town’s variation (nautical terms), it also has co-ordinates that actually lead to the exact room that Fysh was born in and the quote “not all who wander are lost” because even though my life has never really had much of a direction I realised it doesn’t mean I’m lost. I’m simply a wanderer. There are 4 ink splatter birds that fly off the north marker (the whole thing is done in a watercolour style) that represents the four friends I lost to suicide being free and finding their way to happiness.
11. This one I got recently. It is two roses with a daisy and a sunflower near my elbow and a big water colour style raven just behind it. It’s pretty big and almost counts as a half sleeve. The roses tie in with the ones on my back, they also have a lot of meaning and symbolism, daisies are innocence and to me they represent strength as they only bloom in winter, the sunflower always turns and faces towards the light and that to me is like always searching for the positive and warmth instead of hiding in the dark. The raven is thought to mean death because they are scavengers that are often found pecking at dead animals and were always around the war sites were soldiers piled up.
But they’re actual strong birds who survive and are happy to be solo. This one also covers up old cutting scars.
Age of first tattoo? I was 17 going on 18 (mom signed for me).
Which tattoo is your favourite and why? Hard to say, I pretty much love all of them and they each have such a meaning to me that it would be hard to point out just one.
Do you plan on getting more? YES
How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? My dad doesn’t really care though his favourite is the compass rose and he nodded in approval while I sat designing it during my Yachtmaster Ocean lectures. My other dad has never actually had anything to say about them. Mum just laughs and says I’m her walking newspaper/canvas child but she loves me anyway. My sister has a few of her own and has asked me to design a cover up / fix of one of hers. My brother is 13 and has never actually had much of an opinion. Fysh keeps asking me when he can get one and has commented quite often that he really likes his momma’s birds. Friends, don’t really know. Get’s commented on when I get them and if they like them they will tell my they’re gorgeous or pretty and often ask me to design up a something for them or go with them when they get theirs, but I’ve never had one comment on them negatively.
What is the general reaction that “the Public” have towards your tattoos? Have you run into any negativity or adversity because of them? Not really no, I think that most people are smart enough to not voice their opinion if they don’t approve of them and I’ve never noticed any sniggers or stares, maybe there have been but I’ve been oblivious to them. Back in the day they were frowned upon but they’ve really become so much more common to see I think people are almost desensitized to them. I have had quite a few people comment on how much they love a certain design (particularly the handprints and compass) or giggled at the cupcake on my wrist. And of course the age old question that I think every inked person gets asked: did it hurt?
Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed? Think about it, plan it, google ideas and mull over it. Get someone (probably preferably your tattoo artist as this is what they do for a living and tend to know what they’re doing and how to put your design ideas into art) to design it for you instead of getting a cookie cutter googled picture. I did say google it but if you find one you like try and change it up a bit, just my opinion. Research your artists and find one you are comfortable with. I have had 5 different artists over the years, the first few were done by the same guy but he moved to Germany so I had to find a new one. Bounced around a few that I didn’t really vibe with but I have finally found one that I absolutely gel with and don’t mind spending hours getting inked by. No it’s not ‘cause he’s hot, it’s just no pretence being around him and the other artist so the conversations are always a good laugh. Oh and apparently yes, it does hurt. Only one that was painful to me was my foot and I vowed never to get the other one inked but I’ll probably get another done on the other foot anyway. My back has a sensitive spot on it and when they went over that particular spot it was a smidge painful but for the most part I have sat reading, drawing or sleeping during my ink. Others will tell you they cried, it’s all about your pain threshold.