I don’t normally like to talk about tattoos. I think a lot of people think there needs to be this crazy deep meaning behind your tattoos. I mean, sometimes yeah I think they’re right. But I don’t think every single thing you put on  your body needs to be this like spiritual guide to finding yourself or whatever bullshit. Whenever my mother yells at me about my tattoos I tell her “My body is my canvas.” I’m not really joking when I say that, but it also just amuses me that she gets so mad about it. I really just think that my tattoos are a sort of timeline to my life and they just show who I was and who I am. Saying that, I’m glad I didn’t start getting tattoos at like 15 because I would have a huge ass giraffe on me or something. That’s not to say, I won’t ever have a giraffe (my favorite animal) tattooed on me one day, but hopefully it’ll be a little more classy or artistic than it would’ve been at 15 years old.

When I get a tattoo I definitely put a lot of thought and effort into it. When I decide what I want I sit with it for a few months or even a year before I get it done. Also I strategically look at tattoo artists and shops and figure out who I like and what I like about them. I mean sometimes things just happen and it feels right, so that happens. I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders so I just kind of let life happen and think about things before I do them.

My idea for my tattoos started a few years ago. I decided that I wanted to get every tattoo from a different city and artist. I know people normally find one artist and always keep going back to the same person, and I totally understand that. But, I think as an artist myself, I love the idea of having all these different people’s ideas and works of art on my body. I want to feel like my tattoos show my story and traveling is a big part of who I am. So I’m three tattoos deep, and I’ll tell you a little bit about each of them

St. Louis, MIssouri

It's 2015, I had just graduated college and my 2 best friends and I decided our graduation gift to each other was to go on a cross country road trip. From New York all the way out to Wyoming. We had this idea that we wanted to get matching tattoos and we had the idea of a triangle for a while. It just made sense for the 3 of us. We do fucking everything together. They’re twins so they were basically doing everything together their whole lives. Yeah, obviously they had other friends, but it was a different kind of friendship (or so they tell me, whatever, I don’t even like them that much.) So we head out on this road trip and of course we’re fucking broke because who isn’t when you just graduated college. Our goal is to find the cheapest tattoo shop possible (so one with the cheapest minimum price) and that was where we would get it. Who could really fuck up three lines? It ends up being St. Louis, Missouri. We went in, it took about 5 minutes each, and we got a few good light hearted jokes about getting 3 matching triangle tattoos. I think overall it was important for us to get a triangle cause we felt that the three of us balanced each other out, like each line of a triangle does. I ended up using a triangle to kind of define myself for my website and branding in Graphic Design and I always loved it because I don’t think I could ever be where I am in life without these two girls and I know they’re always supporting me in everything I do. Okay this is getting waaaaaaay too sentimental, so we’re going to stop here. BYE.

Instagram: @jlambert_tattoo

London, England

Have you ever been to London? If not, I highly fucking suggest it. Holy shit, it is seriously my favorite place in the world. After studying abroad there in 2014, I knew that I had to go back and I knew I wanted some kind of memory from London on my body. For a while I thought I wanted the skyline or something but you know, I like to keep my ideas with me for a while and that idea slowly faded. I listen to this band called Neck Deep, and they’re actually my favorite band. They have this lyric in one of their songs “'Cause I've been moving mountains that I once had to climb” and this lyric really stuck with me. I know everyone goes through things in their life and I’m not here to tell you about anything in my life, but I just think that I’ve gotten to the other side of a lot of battles and I’m definitely a stronger person over the years. So when I decided to go back and visit London with my best friends who I studied abroad with, I knew I wanted to get a tattoo. 3 of us scheduled tattoo appointments for the day after we arrived. Little did we know we would be so fucking hungover.  I threw up out of a car door on our Uber ride to the tattoo shop. Thank god they offer you tea everywhere you go in London. Davide was the nicest though and it was such a good experience. I had sent him one picture of mountains and just told him that I wanted the mountains to be in pointillism but I didn’t really care what mountains or anything like that. The tattoo took about 45 minutes and he told me that he based the mountain range off of one in Italy where he was from. Honestly, such a good tattoo shop and what a good experience. I still have the cup I drank my tea in sitting on my desk. As if a permanent tattoo on my arm isn’t enough to remind me of the day, right?

Instagram: @orochidavide

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tattoo #3. Good old Philadelphia, my new hometown. I moved to Philly in 2017, and I absolutely love it. My 25th birthday was coming up and I was starting to have a mental fucking breakdown. I know, I know, 25 isn’t even that old. I get it. But like just leave me alone, I had a quarter life crisis. I booked a flight to Europe, yes I went back to London, to try to help my quarter life crisis, but it didn’t scratch the itch. So I knew what I had to do, get a new tattoo. Sooooo, thats what I did. Obviously. Thank god when I moved here, in 2017, I found the tattoo shop and artist I wanted to go to. See what I’m saying about doing my research? I think I was literally here a month and decided on Central Tattoo Studio and Frank Rudy. I just had absolutely no idea what tattoo I wanted next so it was a waiting game. About a month or so before my birthday Frank, the tattoo artist, posted on his Instagram a few available projects. I absolutely fell in love with one of them. It’s funny how things like that work out, isn’t it? Like it was meant to be or something. So I emailed him to set up an appointment and it was history after that. 2 and a half hours later, and holy shit, it was a painful Wednesday night. But it was SOOOO worth it. I am seriously obsessed with my leg. Also, I must say this tattoo shop is so fucking gorgeous. Gallery at the bottom and tattoo shop on the top. As a Graphic Designer, I seriously thought I might be in heaven. If you’re in the Philly area, I would seriously suggest getting your next tattoo here.

Instagram: @franckrudyy