This claddagh tattoo needed to include many custom elements at the request of a fireman eager to show his loyalty to his profession, his ethnic background, and his family. We started with a subtle Maltese cross as a shield in the background, the traditional symbol of firemen. Then we added the shamrock and Irish ring of the claddagh, to include the traditional symbols for luck, love, and loyalty. Then inside the shield we put his wife's name, and on the sides the names of their children, thus bringing together all the family in one tribute. Then we put it on his ribs, a challenging spot.
Today I tattooed a woman who is a survivor of a brain hemangioma and a subsequent stroke that has caused her great challenges. It took her 5 years to come back for more tattoos, years of constant struggle. The new tattoo now graces her shoulder, beautifying the arm that is still healing, and giving her a shawl of flowers. I am so inspired by her persistence in fighting to regain mobility and strength, and proud to be able to make her feel more beautiful.
Many people start their tattoo career with something small on the upper arm, and later their enthusiasm for tattoos grows and so does their ambition. This man came with the colored knot on his arm already, asking that I create something new to enlarge and enhance it and that they fit together as a whole. This pattern is meant to encircle and enhance any other central element.
The illuminated manuscripts are filled with fanciful animals, bending and twisting to form letters and shapes to surround the sacred texts. These two cranes are entwined to represent a loving marriage.