Tat-Tuesday: Students share stories behind ink

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Editor’s note: Tat-Tuesday is a weekly series that features students around campus and their tattoos.

Annie Patton
When a tattoo apprentice approached journalism senior Annie Patton in a coffee shop and offered her a free tattoo, she jumped at the chance.

“I hadn’t even seen the tattoo design yet, but I [said yes] because I can’t afford tattoos,” Patton said. “So I went in and they showed me a design and I was like ‘Yes, mama like. Mama like.’”

Patton knew a little bit about the significance mandalas hold in Buddhist and Hindu societies before she got her tattoo but learned more about them after someone pointed out that it was strange she had a mandala permanently tattooed on her body. 

“Sometimes I fear that I’m being culturally appropriative,” Patton said. “I’m a Texan, and I don’t necessarily want it to be used just for aesthetic. The whole idea of a mandala is that it’s created to be destroyed and then you start a new one — it’s the cycle of life. But then she was like ‘It makes sense because you’re going to die.’ It’s going to be with me for my whole life cycle. I’m glad that she told me that. It was really comforting for me.”

Patton said in the chaos of life, the design keeps her in touch with the big picture. 

“It reminds me that even when I’m at a really low point, something will change eventually,” Patton said. “It’s just a nice reminder because sometimes I can’t tell myself that and really believe it.”

Avery Cummings
Radio-television-film freshman Avery Cummings decided to get a tattoo to keep her grounded. The quote in her tattoo, which she got from an ancient alchemist’s tablet, helps her remember that reality is perspective. 

“It’s a reminder that the world is as I see it,” Cummings said. “I came across it a few years ago in a book I read and it always stuck with me.”

Cummings also notes that tattoos help her express her individuality.

“I’ve always wanted a tattoo,” Cummings said. “I just always thought that they were very unique and beautiful. They are absolutely incredible-looking.”

Blue Madrigal 
When computer science senior Blue Madrigal first played “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” it sparked the desire to be a creator of her own virtual world. To celebrate her love for the game, Madrigal made her first tattoo the triforce symbol from Zelda.

“The first video game I ever got into was ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,’” Madrigal said. “It’s what made me make the decision to go into computer science programming because I decided I wanted to be a game developer.”

Tyler Moore
Psychology freshman Tyler Moore strives to keep heritage and family tradition alive through his ink.

“A lot of my tattoos don’t have a meaning, they’re just for aesthetic,” Moore said. “But this symbolizes that I’m from Texas, and I take pride in where I’m from.” 

When Moore wanted to start working on getting a sleeve, he wasn’t met with discouragement from his family, they encouraged him to get one. His father sports a full-length sleeve down to his wrists.

“When I was little, my dad would just take a sharpie to my arm, so even as a kid I knew I wanted tattoos,” Moore said.