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The Daily Wildcat

74° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA Ink

    UA Ink

    Geoff Sines proclaimed in front of Old Main last week. Coming from the creative writing junior, who got his first tattoo at 16 in memory of a deceased friend, the sentiment is hard to believe.

    “”I hate healing it. I hate taking care of it.””

    Sines’ visible flesh is overflowing with ink. His right arm is a montage of railroad spikes, coffins and cartoon creatures. A zombie cowboy winks hello to a frog in a top hat that is smoking a pipe. A combat jet leaps from a cloud of burning flak, and a sinister cartoon croc finishes devouring an unlucky lady — her flopping white arm and a bulging diamond ring are all that remain. He lifts his shirt to reveal a wooly bull composed of wavy lines stampeding down his belly. He continues.

    “”I just like having them.””

    Sines’ penchant for permanent body art is shared by countless Tucson residents and UA students. Take a walk down Fourth Avenue and you’ll be blinded by fresh ink. Look for a parlor on Google maps and you’ll find yourself wading through the web pages of more than 90 nearby businesses. There’s little wonder how Tucson became such a tatted populous — the question is why.

    “”They just become so much a part of you that (the why) goes by the wayside,”” Sines said.

    Every tattoo has its own story, and its own reason for being. Some are born of deep-seated ideals, others just for a laugh. Some honor a beloved band or work of literature, others honor the dearly departed. Some strive to turn pink flesh into a polychromatic collage, and then again some are just a “”screw off”” to the parentals. This week, WildLife took to the streets on and around campus to listen to the stories behind the ink.

    “”My philosophy is that tattoo artists are the same as doctors or mechanics. Once you find a good one, you stick with them.””

    Matt Soto, customer of Jason Pedersen at 4Forty4 Tattoo

    “”One of my two tattoos is one that I got in memory of my brother. He had actually drawn the tattoo design, I don’t know, probably five years ago, and it was really cool. He always wanted it to be like a family tattoo that represented everyone in the family….so, when he passed away last December I knew exactly to do with the tattoo, and remember him.””

    Nicole Nehrbas, business sophomore

    Garrett Bright was visiting the UA as a part of the Campus Rail Jam Tour. Bright got his tattoo when he was 19. “”My dad was in the Air Force, so I’ve always grown up around aviation. And my dad’s my hero. I always wanted to be a pilot, but it didn’t work out, so I decided to put aviation on my back to remind me of my roots.””

    Garrett Bright, alumnus of the University of Utah


    “”This one came from a Latin phrase ‘audentes fortuna iuvat’ which means ‘fortune favors the brave.’ I got it because I believe that in life, if you don’t put anything forwards on the table, you’re not gonna get any rewards. Everything in life is worth it if you take a risk to get what you want, so I’m a very bold and outgoing person. That’s how everyone knows me. It also ties into the fact that I love guns, and I love fighting for what I believe in.”” Andrew Westrick added that he spent several years designing this tattoo himself. “”There were a lot of choices you have to make, so I wanted to make sure I got the tattoo that’s right for me — especially since it’s gonna be on your body forever.””

    Andrew Westrick, political science senior

    “”My brother passed away a year ago, and so I got this for him. It’s from a biblical quote: ‘eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,’ except that I only have the “”for tomorrow we die”” part. It’s very meaningful.””

    Samantha Maxwell, sophomore majoring in English

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