This page features pictures of my current tattoos, little stories behind them and a list of potential future tattoo ideas. Check back often as I will add new information as I get more tattoos.
As I have a primary artist and most of my tattoos were done by her, I’ve arranged my tattoos here by primary artist and other(s).
Tattoos by Jade Taylor:
Project Semicolon with Celtic Knot
Color: Eternal True Blue
Size: Approx. 3″ x 3″
Location: Inner right wrist
Date of application: initial 1/2/2016, touched up 3/18/2016, knot added 3/17/2018
Story: The tattoo that started it all. It is an outward sign of an inward struggle. To quote founder Amy Bleuel,”A semicolon is used when an author could have ended his/her sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” My story isn’t over yet.
I added the Celtic knot to it later to add visual interest as well to draw emphasis away from the conservative Christian roots of the movement – in a way Celtic knot is a religious symbol dating back to Pagan and Druid culture. In a way, it was making it my own and more symbolic of who I am.
Pisces Fish and Sign
Color: Multiple Eternal
Size: Approx. 4″W x 4.5″H
Location: Right shoulder
Date of application: black and gray 3/18/2016, color 4/15/2016; wave added 7/22/2017
Story: My first “real” tattoo in my opinion. Even though I put no stock into astrology at all, for whatever reason my personality matches the description of a Pisces almost perfectly. As I always thought the fish made for a cool symbol, I figured I’d officially brand myself a Pisces.
Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece
Color: Multiple Eternal
Size: Approx. 2″W x 2″H
Location: Left wrist
Date of application: 6/18/2016
Story: As an individual on the autism spectrum, one of my design ideas was something autism awareness themed. The parlor I did each of my first two tattoos at was doing these as a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. All proceeds (after cost of supplies) were donated to the charity. I absolutely could not say no to the cause. This was also the first tattoo I did without any numbing agent of any kind, but I’m kind of wishing I had – the wrist kinda sucks!
Memorial Peony and Insignia
Color: Multiple Fusion
Size: Approx. 6″W x 8″ H
Location: Outer left calf
Date of application: 10/8/2016
Story: This tattoo is pretty obviously a memorial tattoo, but what’s the story? This is a nod to my great-grandparents. They both lived with us until each of them died (him in 1991, her in 2002). My fond memories of both of them moved me to do a tattoo with symbols that were representative of them. My great-grandfather (Lynn Holland, for whom I am named) served in the US Army Cavalry, hence the insignia. My great-grandmother (Kimiko Shiho-Holland; her birth name in Japanese above the flower) was a Japanese immigrant who had a particular affection for her flower garden and especially peonies, hence the choice of a peony.
This is so far my longest tattoo session at right at 6 hours from first line to final coloring. The first few hours I was fine, but as the session wore on I started really hurting and by the end of hour 5 I had had enough and had to have some Vasocaine to get through it. As with exercise you have to respect your body’s limitations, even if that means being labeled a weakling, pussy or whatever other offensive, vulgar terms are often used for numbing products. I have a relatively low pain tolerance so it was a must for this one.
As a special note, this was the artist’s first time tattooing at a convention and my first ever convention so it makes it that much more special.
Tempus Fugit Pocket Watch
Color: Fusion Black with spots of red, caramel and yellow
Size: Approx. 6″H x 4″W
Location: Left shoulder/upper arm
Date of application: 3/18/2017 (30th birthday!)
Story: My 30th birthday tattoo! For my 30th birthday I wanted something time themed to commemorate another decade around the sun. As an amateur horologist (clock/watchmaker) I’ve always had an interest in timekeeping devices with a particular affinity for mechanical (wind up/weight driven) timepieces. Also I wanted to incorporate the Latin phrase “tempus fugit” which is found on some timepieces which translates to “time flies” in English. I also tend to like steampunk tattoos so I figured let’s take the two and put them together!
I didn’t have a super clear vision for this tattoo but the artist took the base line, pitched the idea to have it ripping out of my flesh and put some floating pieces behind it and throwing some streaks of color in there (I initially envisions just black and gray). After nearly two months of back-and-forth with the base sketch and getting it down, Jade delivered and created this unique, badass and creative steampunk influenced tattoo. It was the perfect commemoration of my 30th birthday for sure.
Change Ringing Bell & Bell Ringer
Color: Multiple Fusion
Size: Approx. 7″ x 8″
Location: Right Ribs
Date of application: B&G 10/28/2017, Color 11/22/2017
Story: Change ringing is an English style of ringing a set of bells usually tuned to a major scale (between 4 and 12 of them). Normally it is done on tower bells hung in stout frames with a wheel to allow the bell to be swung through a full 360 degree arc. Whereas the balance achieved with this system translates to minimal force needed to swing the bell, due to the time lapse between the rope being pulled and the bell sounding bells cannot be used to play normal tunes or melodies. Instead, change ringers ring pre-set patterns called “methods” – a pattern of permuting the bells so that a subset of permutations are rung starting with a descending scale and visiting unique permutations until the bells return to the descending scale.
I’ve been a change ringer since I was 16 years old, ringing off and on during that time. It’s truly a fun, unique and challenging hobby so I figured I’d get a tattoo symbolizing my love of it. As usual, I presented Jade with a rough idea and she took the ball, ran with it and produced something far beyond what I ever could have envisioned – almost like an evolution of bell ringing from its primitive roots (hence the old style rope in the silhouette) to its present-day full circle form. That’s why she’s an artist and I’m not.
Race Day Double-Header
Color: Multiple Fusion and Eternal
Size: Approx. 9″ x 4″
Location: Opposite outer forearms
Date of application: 9/15/2018 (both)
Story: Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge racing fan. What better way to commemorate my love of motorsports than to tattoo a couple of racecars on me? I chose my favorite drivers from my two most watched racing series: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series. Martin Truex Jr., who used to drive the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry (note: this number and team is no longer in use; he now drives the #19 JGR Camry so this is a vintage car now), and James Hinchcliffe who drives the #5 Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports Honda IndyCar. These were fun pieces for sure.
Quill/Scroll With Hourglass and Quote
Color: Multiple Fusion and Eternal
Size: Approx. 8″ x 5″
Location:Inner Left Forearm
Date of application: 2/2/2019
Story: This tattoo was largely artist’s choice. The concept for the tattoo came about by one of Jade’s drawings that I had thought she drew up to tattoo on someone but I didn’t see it pop up in her portfolio so I asked her about it. She hadn’t done it on anyone so I jumped on the idea. After some modification to fit the space and a color palate somewhat of my choosing, this piece took shape. Of course, the quote “In violent times you shouldn’t have to sell your soul” was completely my choosing and is a refernce to the signature song by my favorite band – “Shout” by Tears for Fears.
Tattoos by others:
Sgian Dubh with Saltire Flag
Color: Fusion Basic Black and Deep Blue Sea
Size: Approx. 7.5’W x 8″ H
Location: Outer right calf
Date of application: 6/24/2016
Artist: James Hix
Story: The dagger is called a “sgian dubh” – literally “black knife” in Scottish Gaelic. It is a utility knife worn under the kilt hose that has both eating and fighting purposes – not only was it a knife that could cut food it was also a first line of defense for fighting.
When in full regalia I do wear one just for show (that’s blunted) but even then you can’t carry weapons in certain places. For this reason, I figured I’d get a sgian dubh tattooed on my calf at some point but I just didn’t know it was going to be this soon! Alas, I thought to myself and thought why just do the dagger? Why not dress it up a bit? That’s where the Saltire flag came in.
Interestingly enough, this was my first time being tattooed on with coil machines. All of my previous tattoos had been done with rotary machines. It is a bit of a different feeling; not more or less painful IMO but it does feel somewhat different. It’s hard to describe really.
The 5/5 pain rating has more to do with the aftermath than the pain of the tattoo which I’d probably rate 3/5. I fucking HURT something fierce the next morning.
This one will also need a re-work soon – it looked great fresh but has blurred a bit and lost some definition since (including a fairly major blowout). Lesson learned: don’t get a tattoo in the back of a guy’s camper. Alas, pretty much anyone with a fair number of tattoos isn’t completely happy with at least one of them.
This list is neither exhaustive nor set in stone, but growing by the day.
*Smoke/drink still life scene (concept in progress)
*Change ringing blue line of some method (side piece?)
*Hexxus (Ferngully) portrait (full side or back piece – this is way down the line when I develop some intestinal fortitude).
*Bionic body part (again, this would test my patience and pain tolerance so this is well down the line).
*Bagpipe (chest piece perhaps?).