The Gustavian Weekly

Gustavus Ink | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lindsay Lelivelt Features Editor | September 25, 2009 | Features

valerieTATIf you haven’t noticed, THE WEEKLY isn’t the only thing covered in ink on campus these days. More and more students are getting tattoos as they become less and less of a stigma.

As television shows like “Miami” and “LA Ink” rise in popularity, so has the type of body modification known as the tattoo.

The word tattoo is said to be derived from the Tahitian word ‘tatau’, which means to mark or brand something.

Since ancient times, people have been adorning their bodies with patterns and designs in permanent ink.

The very first and most primitive of tattoos involved wounding oneself and packing in dirt and soot into the cut in order to discolor the skin permanently.

Fortunately, the world has come a long way since then.

Invented by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891, the electronic tattoo machine inserts colored ink beneath the surface of the skin by way of needles that are poweredelectronically. This machine revolutionized the art of tattoos.

While earlier tattoos were more tribal or firmly rooted in religion, the tattoos of today have a wider variety of style and meaning.
Tattoos are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. No longer a taboo, it seems as though the body art is being embraced more than ever before.

Many students on campus have tattoos. Ranging from small to large, deeply meaningful to comedic, the tattoos on campus are as unique as the people who sport them.

Not only are their meanings unique, but also their locations. Many students choose to show off their tattoos, getting them in places that are easily visible. Others prefer to keep them more private and choose locations which can easily be covered up or hidden.
No matter what the tattoo, there is a story behind it.

The stories

“[My tattoo] is the coordinates of where I am from on a map. Being adopted, I thought it would be a unique way to express it. It was my second tattoo and I got it done at Tank’s Tattoos.” – Andy Sharp, Junior Physical Health Education Major

“To me, [my tattoo] reminds me of my family’s lake cabin in Northern Wisconsin which I have visited since I’ve been a baby. Plus, I really like the artwork, I just think it’s simple and beautiful. I got it done at Skin and Bones Tattoo in Sioux Falls, SD. I also have two other tattoos.” – Dan Enright, Sophomore

“I got my tattoo done at Geister Tattoo. I got it because I appreciate art and I really like birds. It is Picasso’s dove of peace.” – Jen Fox, Sophomore Political Science Major

“I have five tattoos total, but my angel tattoo is my newest. I got it done at Lacey’s Finest in Olympia, WA. It is based off a photo I took while studying abroad in Sweden, at a small church on the island of Gotland. I love the colors and the fact that I have an angel with me wherever I go.” – Valerie McCluckey, Junior History and Scandinavian Studies Major

“My tattoo is a symbol of strength and recovery. The words are “God grant me serenity”, which is a reference to my favorite prayer. It was done by a private artist in Fairbault, MN.” – Liz Cannaday, Sophomore

“I got my tattoo done at Cactus Tattoo in Mankato. I always wanted to get a tattoo, especially one that I designed. It is a Celtic knot, which is often used for meditation and can symbolize balance and harmony. I like that it can mean what you want it to.” – Jon Kasprisin, Sophomore ACS Chemistry Major

“My tattoo represents a mother’s love, because it was my high school graduation present from my mom. It says ‘unconditional, instinctive and forever’, which is a quote about a mother’s love. The pocket watch represents time, which is eternal, and the time on the [watch] is 10:45, which is the time I was born. I got it done at Canvas Tattoo in Eagan.” – Kyle Rosas, Sophomore Political Science Major

“The [tattoo] is on my foot. It’s the first one I got. My mom helped me draw it up and the overall meaning of the design can be so many things. Mostly it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I want to be.” – Morgen Hagedorn, Senior Soiciology/ Anthropology Major

“I got my tattoo at A1 Tattoo and Piercing. My tattoo is the cross of suffering, which has four points. Each point represents a stake that was placed in Jesus’ hands and the one in his feet. The last point represents the blunt spear Jesus was stabbed with to tell if he was still living or not. The word in the middle means ‘believe’ in Latin. I got this because it signifies my belief in Jesus and how he died on the cross for the salvation of the human race.” – Brandon Jonker, Junior Health Fitness Major

“ I got my tattoo at Cactus Tattoo in Mankato. It is the name of my brother who passed away from cancer.” – Jericho Westendorf, Junior Classics Major

“I got my tattoo done at Cactus Tattoo in Mankato. It is my second tattoo and located on my right ankle. It is a depiction of my Italian family crest. My dad is full Italian, and the left hand in the tattoo literally means “Mancini” which is my last name in Italian. The lion represents strength and pride in our family and the stars represent the deceased loved ones who watch over our town in northern Italy, Vallemare.” – Christina Manguine, Junior International Management Major

“My tattoo is my favorite call from my high school rowing team – ‘Wind it’. I got it done at Beetlistic Tattoo.” – Kate Ibberson, Junior Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies Major

“My tattoo is a combination of four letters. These letters are the initials of my family members. I drew the tattoo myself, and got it done at Permanent Addictions in Sioux Falls, SD.” -Ally Billion, Junior Communication Studies Major

“I got my tattoo to represent my faith. I see it as a way for my faith to stick with me. It doesn’t mean the same thing to me now as it did when I got it. I don’t regret getting it, but if I were to do it again, I might change it a bit. My tattoo was done at Mind Altering Tattoos in Lacrosse, WI.” – Nicole Meyer, Junior Communication Studies Major

1 Comment

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  1. Noel Christian says:

    Thanks Lindsey for the article and for keeping tattoos in the news. If you ever do another feature and need additional resources take a look at 101 tattoo facts or go to Angel Heart Tattoo for more resources. Thanks again. Noel