Tattoos: My Living Picture Book about Dreams, Traveling and Death.

May 5, 2019

Having tattoos, tattoos USA, Monument Valley
Tattoos - memory, warning and encouragement

"You will never be able to get rid of it again!" The way they look at me. It's like I just slipped through wet cement. She can't do that. Something that will never go away again!

Admittedly, tattoos aren't for people who are unable make radical decisions. And they are also nothing for people who make stupid decisions too fast and then have Elvis' face stuck on their ass.

Tattoos are like lentil soup. You can like them or not.


I have always found them great and drew my first draft at the age of 14. It was an electric guitar in flames. In Germany you can only get a tattoo from the age of 18 (without permission of the parents). I waited until I was 19. Just because. I wanted to be sure. Then - after 5 years of reflection - I finally got the electric guitar in flames in autumn 2010. Which today - in spring 2019 - I still totally love. In the meantime, ten more motifs have been added. They're all telling a story about me. My life, my travels, my personality, my values. They are not only art and expression, but also memory, warning and encouragement - against fears, death, for dreams and as a book that is only finished when I am finished.

The Burning Guitar - How I Changed my LIfe

Burning Guitar Tattoo
Music and energy for a better life
When I was younger, I was the opposite of what I am today. I was super shy, destructive and the black sheep that was hopelessly caught in the barbed wire. Stranded on low tide. A dark lighthouse in the fog.
It always was music  that helped me above all things in those moments. To understand me. To find me. To hold myself back from really crooked thoughts. No matter if it was German Punk, Finnish Metal, American Rock'n'Roll or Britpop. The important thing was that there were guitars involved and that it was loud. When I drew my first tattoo design at the age of 14, the flames had the meaning of anger. Then later it symobolized energy. The energy to stand up and tackle your own life. To turn your fate around. To turn shite into cheesecake. With sprinkles.
I can still remember the moment when I was 1,000 miles from home and knew that my life would now either go completly downhill or that I would finally grab all my courage and walk off from the past. I walked off. There was no one who encouraged me or gave me advice. I just did it. I decided radically to become a different person from now on. Positive, energetic, open-minded, hearty. With my sheer will. Sounds crazy, but it worked. With setbacks and over a long time of course. Still. This guitar, my very first tattoo, symbolizes the phoenix from the ashes - in the form of music - and the energy you sometimes need to take responsibility for your life and find your true happiness.


The Keyhole: A Reminder of my Life's Dream

Keyhole tattoo, Route 66, USA, road trip, childhood dream
Have a look through the keyhole to my life's dream

Everyone who knows me a little bit better, knows that it had always been my life's dream to travel once across the entire USA for several months. Actually, since I was six years old.

Then I saw people throwing their dreams away, forgetting about them and burying them. Getting old. Regretting. Too late. So I decided to make my life's dream so irretrievable that I would never forget to make it come true. As a tattoo.

Of course, everyday life sets certain rules. Money, health, jobs, distances, time. So I decided to let my childhood dream look like you peek through a keyhole. As something that cannot constantly be present in everyday life, but that bubbles beneath the surface and sends out rays in a warning manner - that's the reason why the sun extends beyond the edge of the keyhole. I also added a road - of course not any road, but the Route 66 - which stands for the way into the big unknown.
"Have you ever been to the USA?" I'm asked a couple of times about the tattoo years before I even got on a plane.
"No, but you're looking at my to-do list right now," I answer seriously and get the yes-for-sure-glance.
Yes, for sure - I did it in 2017! Just like I always wanted to. Now the tattoo has changed from a reminder to live my dream to a reminder of one of the gretest things I ever did in my life. When I look at my arm now, I know: I just did it. I lived my dream.

The Airplane: Living with Fear

Fear of Flying, Tattoo, Airplane, historic tattoos
Face your fear (of flying)

Since then my entire right arm has fallen under the motto of "traveling". I'm honest: I'm sometimes a little manic and I don't like chaos with tattoos. I don't like meaningless stars, tribals, turds and things that don't fit together thematically. It's like when other people get upset about socks lying around.


So at some point the little propeller plane came along on my right arm.

I am terrified of flying. So what's that nonsense about? Why do you get a tattoo of something you are afraid of? Because! Because I live with that fear and have to overcome it every time I sit in such a hell machine to beam myself to the other end of the world. It's my face-the-fear tattoo. If you run away from your fears, you won't get anywhere! So look them in the face and fight them. They don't go away - just like the tattoo. So you can only give up or go for it. Again.
And yes, I am a little fan of historical machines and equipment. Even when I'm scared to death of them.

Quotes: You only Live once and You only Die once

Social Distortion Tattoo, Reach for the sky
Reach for the sky or it will be too late
Quotes. Are always an interesting thing. Somebody said them. They mean different things to different people. I dedicated the first quote-tattoo to my grandma, who suddenly died of a stroke in 2013 without me ever being able to say goodbye. Without me ever being able to tell her that she meant the world to me. It says: Reach for the sky 'cause tomorrow may never come and comes from the bluesrock punk-band Social Distortion. That sentence is so much more to me than a wise, empty saying. It's the fucking truth I got slammed right in my face. Since then there's been no discussion for me about whether it's true or not. It is also a reminder of one of my Heart People, a warning to myself and an inspiration to all who read it.
Shortly before my long trip to the USA I organized myself a second quotation. Gotta look this world in the eye, gotta live this life till you die. A song from the series "Sons of Anarchy" that I've never seen. I don't watch series, I don't stream anything, and I don't even have a TV.  I'm simply not interested in anything like that.
You could try to interpret this sentence nicely now, but the truth is that I didn't know if I would ever come back from my trip. Not because of spontaneous emigration, but because of spontaneous death. Nobody knows what happens on such a long solo trip. Anything else would be a lie. And I was willing to take that risk because I wanted to live my dream. In this tattoo wanted to preserve this courage, this madness and this spirit of adventure forever.


The Hourglass: Waste your Time but do it right!

Hourglass Tattoo, lonelyroadlover, Heart Mountain Tattoo, Wyoming, The Golden Forest
Time is transformed into experiences and memories
My latest tattoo. Just a few days old. Time. Time is a really big thing in my life. I guess you haven't noticed at all yet. The time we have for our dreams. For the people we love. For the big things and the small things that make life beautiful. For me time isn't something I measure in hours or years. I measure it in experiences. Adventures. Encounters. My time has no hands. No grains of sand. When I use it, it does not disappear but transforms itself into memories that fulfill me so much that I have even lost my fear of death. I'm not afraid of time passing anymore. As long as it is lived and doesn't just die and drip from the table into a trash can like a cup of cold coffee that was tipped over.
Apart from this meaning of my hourglass, it is a little homage to a real mountain near my boyfriend's hometown. A place where, of course, I love to spend a lot of time. A place that has become my second home.


The Truth about Tattoos

Tattooed woman, Tattoos, USA, music, the truth about tattoos
The story of my life - always with me
Finally I have to get something off my chest, because tattoos are sometimes discussed as hot as the existence of God. I say you can believe in it or you can leave it. Lentil soup.

Yes, tattoos are not removable, unless you try to torture them with a laser or have them covered by a - usually much larger - tattoo.
Yeah, this shite hurts. I mean it. The closer to the bone, the more pain you will feel. Sometimes like knife cuts. But shortly after that, it only feels like sore muscles for two or three days.
Yes, if you're stupid and visit a dirty basement hole instead of a proper studio, a tattoo can also get infected. But if you do not have all screws lose and can know how to use running water and salve, it simply heals.
No, a tattoo doesn't always cost a fixed sum X. It totally depends on the size and whether you want it in black and white or color.
Yeah, thinking about it for a while before you get it won't hurt. Secret tip: Having a tattoo to have a tattoo is not the best reason. I have always chosen motifs that will have a life-long meaning for me - no matter how much I will ever change.
No, I don't regret anything.


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