After my time abroad, I knew I wanted to get something bold for my nephew. I started looking for good tattoo shops in Austin, and kept coming back to All Saints Tattoo on Sixth Street. I decided to go with Hannah after looking at her portfolio. I gave her a call and talked through the idea.
Having browsed her collection, I was very impressed with her body of work. I wanted to leave as much creative flexibility as possible for her. The big points that I wanted were as follows:
- Stylized, symmetrical owl (Witt’s name and my middle name both mean Wise, so an owl was a natural choice)
- Geometric repetitive patterns
- The colour blue (for my grandfather who went to Rice)
- The colour red (for my time at Memphis University School)
- A key and ribbon (this version of the owl represents wisdom)
- The number three
For the rest of the design, I wanted her to show off her skills. Wow, she delivered on all levels. I showed up to the studio for my appointment and she had a beautiful sketch all ready for me.
Owls have a lot of meaning for me personally. They are one of my spirit animals. I feel guided by owls throughout my life. My high school mascot was an owl. Everywhere I traveled, I collected owl statues and images. They are quite magnificent creatures.
I had gone back and forth about whether I should get it on my shoulder blade as previously planned or in the ditch of my arm. To quote my friend Sheldon, “welcome to the dark side.” I chose to go with the elbow ditch on my left arm. This means I can only hide it with a long sleeve shirt. With a design this large, it was bound to be quite painful. It is a common question to ask “what do you think about while it is going on?” For me, all of my tattoos have been very personal and centered around family. Normally through the pain, I think about how much that person means to me. I think about all the times I have had with them. I think about why I am getting it done in the first place. For this tattoo, it is for my nephew Witt. He was my first nephew, and so naturally it is fun to do guy things with him. He is very smart and asks good questions. I always find myself talking through cool things with him. The owl makes perfect sense.
I am beyond happy with the outcome. Hannah is an impressive artist. If you are looking to get a beautiful work of art on you, I recommend her, strongly.