We’ll cut right to the chase – tattoos are cool as hell. We’ve got a lot of members in the hygge fam with some pretty cool ones, and we wanted to hear the stories behind them. Read on for the stories of 5 members and their tattoos.
“My newest one is my favorite – the illustration that’s crying. This is a part of a series that my friend and artist Sam Leighton-Dore is doing. He’s an illustrator in Sydney where I used to live. It’s fragile masculinity – it’s about how fucked up masculinity is and all the things that go with that, like being raised hearing that you’re not tough enough and stuff like that. That’s this guy, and I love him. Sam has done pretty much all of them. The one on my leg I have a picture of, I asked him to illustrate it for me. That’s my longest relationship, my dog Teghan. She’s 13, and she’s my babe. The other picture is an illustration of Sam, the illustrator, spitting beer in my face. This was forever ago. He’s my best friend. His stuff is amazing, and he just published a book with one of my tattoos in it. He’s got the matching tattoo, too. The illustrator, Sam, he crashed with me for a while and he came home with a huge tattoo before I had any tattoos, and I was like holy shit, that’s permanent, and he said “everything is temporary.” And it is. A tattoo, other people see it as permanent, but it’s only as permanent as we are. It’s not as intense to have them, and I think it’s a cool addition to the art of your life, and it does have a story. And I like the aesthetic because all of mine are just lines. I have plans for way more.”
“Growing up my mom always had gardens, and she had a lot of rose bushes. I got it as a reminder of her. She’s passed away since, but it’s nice to have something that reminds me of her. I plan on getting more eventually and make this a sleeve. The bar below the flower is because I wanted to have something that looks like it’s holding the flower up. The flower is my most recent one. I like it a lot, but I’m ready to get the rest of it done.” He told us for him to get a tattoo, it has to have some meaning for him. “Some of my friends have funny ones they’re cool, but I just don’t think that’s for me.”
“The design is called a Tabono. Three years ago this was part of the long journey of entrepreneurship as an individual and a couple. Basically, it’s some sort of Sanskrit symbol, it’s two crossed oars. It translates to courage and strength and perseverance. The whole idea, and what became our family motto, is no matter what’s going on, you just keep rowing. My wife actually got the same exact tattoo on her left hand. That’s why we got it, and it’s still day in and day out the same reminder to just keep rowing no matter what. We did a little digging and looking, obviously with things you’re not super familiar with to be sure it’s not something sketchy. I’m not a tattoo person, this is my first and only tattoo. It was a really cool thing, and it still is. There are days when you do not want to row, but don’t quit rowing.”
“My husband and I have a matching tattoo, mine is just a little more feminine. It has roman numerals of our wedding date, January 3, 2011, so we’ve been married almost 9 years. At the time, we just wanted to get something to celebrate our union. We eloped, we didn’t have like a wedding.” Even though she loves it and had bigger plans for the tattoo, she said she’s over that phase of her life and doesn’t plan to get any more right now. “It was going to be a full shoulder sleeve, but I never went back after the first session. I’m just kind of over it – I’m not the same person I was then. It was like a fad, so my fad is kind of over with. I don’t regret anything, I’m glad I got it and each tattoo I have shows a different part of my life and different things I value. All of them represent me. This one is my favorite because we both have it.”
“When I was 12 I knew I wanted tattoos. I never knew what I wanted, but I swear on my life when I was 12 years old I’d draw stick figures or whatever, and I’d always have a 3-quarter sleeve. Over the years I’ve just gotten multiple all over.” Joe’s incredible sleeve encompasses his first tattoo as well as his most recent, a quote that says ‘Listen to Understand’ on the underside of his bicep. One of his favorite tattoos, though, is the bird in the center of it all. This is a passion or love sleeve, the idea being that these are the things I care about that have meant something to me, and each one of my family members is represented somewhere in here. The bird is specifically for my sister. A lot of bird tattoos symbolize free spirit, which she definitely is. She’s actually gay, and I was one of the first people she came out to when I was maybe 10 or 11. It didn’t really mean anything to me because at the time I didn’t have a concept of what that meant. I think what I said to her is “cool, now we’re both into girls so we have something to talk about. I think because of my lack of overreaction to it, it just formed a bond that lives to today. One of the first controversial things she did was cut her hair into a mohawk. When I was getting her bird tattoo I felt like there was something missing, and I was talking to the tattoo artist about what we could do to make it better. I was like, she has a mohawk, could we give the bird a mohawk? and he was like that sounds awesome and stopped tattooing where he was and immediately added it and colored it yellow because she has blonde hair. She absolutely loves it. She has a bunch of tattoos also, and she’s told me this is her favorite tattoo even though it isn’t hers. It’s actually one of my favorites too, I think it’s one of the most well done one I have.”