Tattoos have long been emphasized as communicative mediums, but they are all the more special when they are used to reveal a person’s passions, values, connections with people—anything that contributes to their identity. This week, I met with sophomore music (business) major Kaci Lehman, whose tattoos represent one of the most important things in her life—music.
Can you describe your tattoos and what gave you the idea to get it?
I got my first tattoo at 17, and it incorporates everything I love. It is a swirly design of those five lines, known as a staff, in sheet music around a treble and bass clef. Inserted between two of these lines is Matthew 5:14— “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” It’s the Bible verse I used in my first sermon during my senior year of high school, and it was always one of my favorites.
My other tattoo is a quote from Victor Wooten, one of my favorite musicians: “Music comes from the musician, not the instrument.” This is such a simple and even mystical sounding phrase, but it is true, and it makes all the significance when the musician is the source of the music.
What do you want your music to communicate?
I want it to communicate what I feel in the moment. Music is a reflective thing of who you are. Music can be both pretty and ugly, depending on your mood, but it must be honest.
I want my tattoos to be a visual aid in communicating who I am and what I love. They tell pretty straightforward stories for people who don’t know me.
What advice do you have for people who want to get tattoos to describe themselves? What should they think about?
Do what you feel is right. Self-expression with a tattoo is a personal and customized method. At the end of the day, it should be something that makes you happy. For some people, the design can be obvious and straightforward, for others it can be more obscure and private.