Tattoos express and reveal different aspects of a person, but they don’t need to be incredibly complex to contain a serious and deep sentiment. Even the simplest of words can explain a profound story. This week, I sat down with senior psychology major Hayley Green to find out more about her tattoos and how she blends simplicity with her genuine spirit.
How many tattoos do you have and what are they?
I have four tattoos. I have one on my outer left forearm that says ‘vapor,’ I have a small semicolon on my left wrist, right below my left elbow is typewriter script that says ‘even so’ and then a large sparrow with small wildflowers on my right forearm.
Where did you get your tattoos?
My right arm, which is the sparrow, was done by a guy named Sam Warren in Lancaster City at Dreams Collide. For my left arm, all three were done by Steve at 717 Tattoo right on the Carlisle Pike.
Did you decide to bring anyone with you to your tattoo appointments, or did you decide to go on your own?
My first one, the ‘vapor’ tattoo, I took my best friend Sam with me. The other two small ones, I went by myself on a whim, just to do a walk-in. Then my right one, my friend Sam went with me, but he didn’t stay in the shop because it was six hours long.
Did you get any of your tattoos on the fly or did you have them all planned out?
Yes, the first one I had planned out mainly because I needed mom and dad’s approval. So I planned it out, I showed them what I wanted, where I wanted it and I just said, ‘Hey guys, can I get this?’ To which they said, ‘Hayley, you’re 21, why are you asking us this?’ So, message received. The small ones, I thought about them one day and got them the same day. My sparrow, I had the concept down, and I knew I wanted a sparrow because I like birds a lot. I did some research about people in Lancaster that would do the type of work that I really liked, which is a more detailed and realistic style. So when I found someone that I liked, it was a couple of months of going back and forth emailing. Just making sure he knew what I wanted, and then finally going for a consultation, and about a month later actually going in for the appointment.
Are you planning on getting any more tattoos?
I am, yes! I fell in love with Sam Warren’s work at Dreams Collide. So, before I graduate, since I’m a senior and I’ll be leaving this area probably in May, I want to take advantage of that shop one more time. I want to turn my right arm into a sleeve, so I’ll probably get a larger piece on my inner bicep on my right arm.
Is there anything you hope to get across to others with your tattoos?
I think being a woman with tattoos is a much different experience. Being a woman at a Christian college who does a lot of work in ministry, is another experience altogether. So I would just hope that people understand that my tattoos are not a form of rebellion, that it’s not something traumatic that happened in my life, as if, ‘Oh I’m going to take it out on my skin, and ink it up.’ It’s a way of expressing yourself, and it’s a really beautiful form of art that you get to carry with you. I think that’s something really unique about body art and body jewelry that I am a huge fan of and advocate for. If you have an idea for something and you find someone that can help you achieve that idea and work with you and your imagination, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to go for it.
What kind of advice would you offer to other people who might want to get a tattoo?
Research, do a lot of research. If you’re looking for a bigger piece, do research and don’t settle for anything. It is a permanent thing on your body, so you just want to make sure your tattoo artist is really clear on your idea and make sure they’re working and cooperating with you, and understanding that they are an artist and they have their own style, so have a little faith and trust in them as well.