After I got my first tattoo in memory of my amazing sisters, I knew I wanted to add elements for the rest of my family. As I planned my trip to Cyprus, I found a well-reviewed tattoo shop, Larnaka Ink, right around the corner from my hotel. I reached out to them to inquire about appointments and availability and met Elena. She was very quick to respond and patient in our rapport. It just so happened that they had an open slot while I was in Larnaka.
I spoke with her about the design and some of the meaning behind it. I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the destinations that my mother and I shared in our many journeys around this globe. The most obvious in the Fleur-de-lis. It is a symbol for the City of New Orleans, a city that my mother lived in and I love to visit. It is a stylized iris, my favorite flower. It is symbolic of the holy trinity. It refers to the state flower of Tennessee. It brings thoughts of French, a language my mother and I speak, somewhat. Overall it is a perfect base for my mother’s tattoo.
I started with the Fleur-de-lis base. I knew I wanted some elements indicating the artistic expressions my mother took such great care to instill in me as I grew up. My mother is an international artist who inspires many with even the simplest stroke of the paintbrush. With this thought, I decided to remove the middle stem of the Fleur-de-lis and add a paintbrush. Growing up, I saw and used many of my mother’s brushes. They are a very personal item to artists. I decided to use a wooden brush for my design.
Next, I decided this tattoo need a little splash of color. I added purple to the bristles on the brush to represent the iris pedals. The band that hold the three pieces together is made to look like aged copper. Cyprus was fundamental in the copper trade back in the day. This tied the design to the point of origin.
The final elements are the word “MOEDER” on the brush itself. I recently visited Holland, which is a country my mother lived in as a kid. This shows that the brush is hers. At the bottom of the brush, you will see in the woodgrain a cursive “acts 13.” This is the chapter that recalls the first mission trip of the newly founded Christian church by Paul and Barnabas to the island of Cyprus. The last part which is cool is that the light source comes from the son’s heart for the shading.
Overall, I am very happy with the design and outcome. Pavliana was an amazing choice for this. I wanted a woman’s touch to get the feel of the tattoo correct. Elena, your shop is great. I hope to return for more sometime.