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Saturday, September 20, 2008

IWBYJR Tattoo!

Since I was 17 years old, I've been commemorating things with tattoos. I've got tattoos that honor my mom, my best friend, my favorite band and my cat. It only made sense that I should celebrate my first novel being published with ink, right?

So back in June, I began the process.... Well, actually technically I began the process when I was 17 because I added the IWBYJR tattoo to my first tattoo. There is a longer story about my first tattoo and why I decided to add the IWBYJR stuff to it here on my blog, but basically I went through some very tough times toward the end of high school and the main thing that helped get me through it was Riot Grrrl, a punk rock feminist movement. On my 17th birthday, I decided to get female symbols tattooed on my arm as my way of declared Grrrl Power! Several years later when I'd processed the things I'd been through even more and really considered myself a survivor, I added the title of my favorite Hole album, "Live Through This" to the tattoo along with a Hole logo I really like because Hole was one of the bands that really got me through my hard times. I put the words in Polish because my mother's side of the family is Polish, so again, a tribute of sorts to women. This is what the tattoo looked like then:
So this summary, I decided that IWBYJR was the book that I had ultimately lived through the rough times in my life to get to writing and it was a tribute to my female punk rock heros, so might as well add that to the tattoo. I knew I wanted the music to the song, "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" by Sleater-Kinney and my friend Jenny transcribed it for me. I also wanted the guitar picks from the cover of the book. I did the tattoo in three sittings.

First my tattoo artist added the music staff:
Then he added the notes and the shading and the guitar picks and colored in my Hole logo heart the color of the Live Through This CD. At first I didn't want the guitar picks outlined in back because they aren't on the book cover. But when it healed, the yellow guitar pick just looked like a bruise. So I went back a third time to get them outlined. Here is the final tattoo. I had my boyfriend take pics from both sides of my arm so you can see all the guitar picks. I also have music going around the back of my arm a little bit.

So, I'm done with this tattoo for now, but I do plan to continue my writing/music theme though and eventually get my "muse" (a fairy-like creature with a book in her lap and headphones on) added to my right forearm. My next tattoo will be something I'm getting with my best friend in a couple months.

What about you? Do you have any tattoos and what do they mean to you? Or if you were to get a tattoo what would it be?

7 comments:

Julie Lary said...

I have an Irish Claddagh tattooed on the back of my neck and my upper back with a banner underneath it that says "Daddy" in honor of my dad and his fight with terminal heart disease and because I'm "Daddy's Girl". He became terminal over 7 years ago and we've almost lost him so many times. He had a heart transplant last summer. I had the tattoo done very similar to his claddagh tattoo on his arm, in fact I took it from the outline of his tattoo, which is shaded but mine is just black line. It means the world to me because not only is it my first tattoo, but it is a living tribute to my dad and his struggle for life but to our relationship. xoxo, Julie

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Julie, That is a really beautiful story. I hope with his transplant that your dad is doing much better. What a meaningful tattoo!

eryn said...

Wow, what awesome clolors you choose. This is really great! I can't wait to see it in person so I can observe it further!! I forgot to tell you too, Alyse using her promo IWBYJR pick all the time when she plays bass, and Even used it when we plated our gigs!!

jenny o'connell said...

I don't think I could ever "commit" to something long enough to have it permanently on my body (except perhaps a 5 carat diamond on my finger, or some such thing). Still, I've often thought of what I'd pick. And where it would go. And then I imagine the pain. And I don't think of it anymore.

jenny o'connell said...

I don't think I could ever "commit" to something long enough to have it permanently on my body (except perhaps a 5 carat diamond on my finger, or some such thing). Still, I've often thought of what I'd pick. And where it would go. And then I imagine the pain. And I don't think of it anymore.

Jeri said...

That is one awesome tattoo, Steph!!

I've wanted one for years but hadn't come up with anything that I felt I wanted to commit to the rest of my life. And just the other day it hit me: a black cat, to honor the one I lost last December. Now I just have to figure out exactly what I want and where to put it.

heilige. said...

awesome tattoo!!!!