I have tattoos! You have tattoos! Let's talk about them! Welcome to a series I call: The T on TATS. Basically, I interview kewl people about their tattoos, the story behind them, if they regret any, and so much more! I'm really excited because today I asked the beautiful and insanely talented, Mikaela Heyboer, (who was also my old roomie from SCAD) some questions about her tattoos. She's incredibly gifted when it comes to painting, drawing, and anything relating to art and creativity, so you're DEF gonna want to read her tattoo T:
Q: How old were you when you got your first tattoo and what was it?
A: I was 19 when I got my first tattoo. The quote “There’s beauty in simplicity” always stood out to me and I knew for a while that I wanted that to be my first tattoo.
Q: How many do you have now?
A: I have six tattoos as of right now. I definitely plan on getting more, I’ll probably end up with a sleeve at some point.
Q: Do you design all of your tattoos?
A: I’ve designed two out of six of my tattoos. The first few tattoos that I got were mainly quotes and symbols, on the smaller side. Once I got comfortable enough designing illustrations that’s when I decided to have bigger pieces. It’s such a satisfying feeling to be able to say “I designed that.”
Q: What’s your favorite one and why?
A: Every time I get a new tattoo I become obsessed with it and just look at it all the time. I think that’s one of the best parts about my tattoos, I can always see them. I know many people try to find a hiding spot for their new ink, but I absolutely love showing them off. Right now my new favorite is my latest flower tattoo.
Q: Do you regret any?
A: Thankfully I don’t regret getting any of my tattoos. The first few that I got were definitely a little nerve-racking and I’ve had “oh shit” moments… only because I never told my parents when I got them and still don’t. I usually come home with a new tattoo every few months. Obviously, not many parents encourage their children to mark their bodies forever, but at this point mine are starting to get used to it.
Q: Most controversial one?
A: Recently my most controversial tattoo has been the flowers that I designed on my upper right arm, mostly because it’s a big piece and the intricate line work. I think people are shocked when they see it because not many young women have larger tattoos and also it’s a pretty big decision considering the size.
Q: Why do you like tattoos?
A: I love the concept of putting art on your body, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. When you look at someone’s tattoos it can really tell you a lot about that person and I think that’s really interesting. I’ve come across people who have full stories behind them, it’s a beautiful thing when you think about it. It’s just artwork when we look at it, but to that individual it’s so much more.
Q: If you could pick one tattoo that best represents you what would it be?
A: Out of all my tattoos I think the line illustration I designed of a face best represents me. Being a graphic designer, it’s really important to develop your own style and make it recognizable. This specific tattoo was the very first thing I designed that really got my style flowing. It really opened my mind to new ideas, I got plenty of positive feedback that made me go further. The tattoo itself has delicate line work but the meaning behind it is so bold.
Q: Why are all of your tattoos black?
A: I’ve thought about playing around with color, especially in my flower tattoo, but I think it’s important to appreciate the simple lines that go into the design. Maybe in a few years I’ll go back and put a little hint of color in.
Q: Is it important to go to the same artist?
A: I always go to the same guy here in Savannah, mainly because he’s great with intricate line work and that’s majority of my tattoos. I was fortunate enough to find a place that’s great with pricing, someone who won’t rip me off. My first tattoos I got done back in New Jersey were well done, but definetly over priced.
Q: I know when I was at SCAD tattoos were super normal, do you think you’d have them if you didn’t go to art school?
A: Going to an art school has really opened my creative side based on the people that I’m surrounded by. I feel like if I were to go to a state school or anywhere else for that matter my tattoos wouldn’t be the same. I probably wouldn’t have as many either.
Q: What would you say to someone who wants a tattoo?
A: A lot of people say “Make sure you get something that means something to you” I agree with this to a certain extent. For a first tattoo I definitely believe you should feel strongly about it, maybe stay on the smaller side to get a good feel for it. After you get one, you’ll most likely want another… that’s usually how it goes. But don’t be afraid to get something that you think is pretty, not every tattoo has to have a meaning behind it. For example, the most recent tattoo that I got a few weeks ago I was actually designing something for my sister and I. After a little while I just found myself designing flowers (there’s no meaning behind it at all), I loved it so much that I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would go for a run and all I would be thinking about was getting this tattoo. At that point there was no turning back… so it’s okay to just have a pretty tattoo on your body. Don’t beat yourself up trying to find meaning behind everything just to get ink on your body.
If you have tattoos and you want to share them, email me at email@example.com or DM on instagram @justmands!