I’m a Dirty Naughty Girl

While this is (thankfully) becoming less and less the case, there is still this perception that anyone with tattoos, or at least more than an ill thought-out butterfly on their ankle from some Spring Break in college, is somehow a deviant. To this day people are surprised when they find out I have any, let alone how many I have (8 at this point).

(BTW, where did you THINK I was going with the Post title???? You are a sick, sick person!)
First one ever – no way I’m getting out of my 20s without doing something “crazy”















I still get the question from time to time – “But are you still going to like something you picked in your 30s when you’re 80?”

First of all, if I get to 80 I’m pretty sure the last damned thing I’m going to be worried about is my tats. Second, personally I don’t just get random stuff, or stuff I “like.” Every single piece I have is tied to a meaning, so how can I ever get “sick of it”? It’s like – if you get a tattoo of a CareBear because when you were a kid you liked CareBears – –  there may eventually be some regret there. But if you get a CareBear because your Grandma called you CareBear – you will rock that CareBear every day until you die.


The Progression of a Tattoo

For me, the least amount of time I’ve ever spent planning a tattoo was about 6 months, and the longest was 10 years (the first one, obviously). A few of them pretty much ended up exactly how they started, but others started very differently. For example, I was originally going to get a bi-plane on my shoulder because despite being afraid of heights, I overcame that fear to fly in a bi-plane, which is something I always wanted to do. While I was still planning the design, I went snorkeling for the first time – something else I’d also been terrified of despite loving the ocean and sea life. I saw beautiful turtles on that first trip, and the turtle image resonated with me more than the plane. They both stood for the same thing – not letting fear keep me from amazing experiences, but Wah-Lah: Turtle.

So I’ve currently been planning my next one for about a year, and it has gone through MANY evolutions and I thought it might be interesting to share (or not, but “it’s my blog I can do what I want to!”)

Version One

I wanted something for my forearm, and the imagery of a bird in an elaborate bird cage resonated with me; seemed to speak to how I felt on the inside. My thought was for it to be B&W only.

Version Two

As I started to struggle more with my depression issues, I wanted to represent what I felt like on the inside AND the façade of the outside, so I added the door to the cage being open with one bird inside looking longingly up while a flock of bird fly in the “open air” above the cage. Still B&W only.

Version Three

After everything went to hell in a hand basket this spring,  the bird IN the cage became a bluebird while everything else was B&W.

Version Four

Shortly after that the bluebird became a stylized semicolon.

Version Five

Then in walked my reading of Turtles All the Way Down and my subsequent metaphorical interpretation of what it feels like to be in my brain. And now I am fixated on this idea of a Scarecrow in color, with a bluebird perched on his shoulder, perhaps with B&W crows in a gnarled old tree looming deep in the background…

So that’s where I’m at. It will probably be months and months, maybe even close to a year before I finally get anything. So who knows where the design will be by then – I might end up getting a hamster eating tiny foods for all I know.

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Tiffani Panek

Wife of more than 20 years, mom, wrangler of a houseful of furbabies, and certified crazy person... Writing has always been a passion. I'm also an avid reader of everything from sci-fi/fantasy to historical accounts of creepy medical history. My first book A Home For Baby Acorn can be found on Amazon and Blurb, and my first adult venture - Wait, What Were We Talking About - will be available (hopefully) in 2018.

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