“Now are you sure this is what you want?” Yes, some people may be spontaneous, adventurous, fun, wild, whatever they want to call it, but tattoos are a permanent and big decision. Kaitlyn DiClerico, a Junior at Rowan University, tells her story about her “spur of the moment” tattoo, how it affected her when it didn’t come out just the way she wanted and what she decided to do fix it.
Q: Where did you get your original tattoo?
A: I first got the tattoo spur of the moment, my dad has a really good friend that he’s known since he was 15, who comes to his house to give tattoos. The day he was coming over, my dad told me to come over last-minute. I watched everyone get their tattoos so I decided to just go for it.
Q: What was the quote you decided to get and why did you choose that?
A: “Love the life you live, Live the life you love.” I chose it because I thought it was a good quote to describe how you should live your life. You shouldn’t hide who you are and if you go through life hating it, you’re missing out. No matter what hardships you have, you should always embrace and love what you have.
Q: At what point in the process did you realize the tattoo wasn’t exactly what you wanted?
A: After I got it, I realized it was just too small. Before I got it I was worried that since the quote was longer, that if it wasn’t small enough it would wrap all the way around my leg. After he tattooed it, there wasn’t much time that I decided I really didn’t like how small it was. You couldn’t even really read it. It kind of made me feel self-conscious about it.
Q: What were your thoughts on what to do next? Did you ever plan on just leaving it be?
A: Well I just left it for a while, but I knew that I wanted it fixed. It grew on me that I was definitely going to get it covered. I just needed to find something that could cover the old tattoo, which was the hardest part.
Q: What were other people’s reactions? Was anyone totally honest with you?
A: A lot of people said they liked it. I would usually bring up how I didn’t like it or that it was too small. Usually when I would say the writing was too small they would be like, “Yeah, it is really small.” But then other people, like my boyfriend for instance, would tell me how he hated it. In his words, it looked like a scribbled line. This one time when he and I went to the beach, I was directing him with parking his car, the parking guy, who was six feet or so from me, asked me if it was Arabic or something. Which obviously made me feel some type of way.
Q: So, you said it was hard to pick what could cover the original tattoo. What was that process like? Was it more about just finding something that worked or did you actually want to pick something that meant something to you?
A: I was at first looking for things with meaning or things that I wanted. It got a lot harder than that, trying to find something that actually covered the old tattoo. For months I looked for ideas. It just so happened that the two things that would have worked perfect for the coverup were a butterfly, a bird, or flowers, which the first two options I already have tattoos of. The third option is my plan for my other side. Then I started looking at different feathers and thought it would work. The feather doesn’t exactly mean anything special, but it stands for freedom and flight. It just worked and I liked it.
Q: How did you hear about the artist you went to?
A: His name is Lee Cramer. I’ve seen pictures of his work on Facebook from friends that have gotten tattoos from him. My friend got a sleeve from him and I loved the way it came out. I also saw a very good portrait he did on another friend. I followed him on Instagram and looked at more of his work. I thought he would do a good job.
Q: Do you regret getting the first tattoo?
A: Yes and no. Yes, because I didn’t like it. No, because if I didn’t get the first one, I wouldn’t have the one I have now.
Q: So overall, how do you feel about the finished product?
A: I really like the way it came out. I gave Lee that picture and he put the twist in the ribbon to make it fit my old tattoo. I’m happy the old one is gone. I just need to go back for a few touch ups and then it will be perfect.