TATTOO'D

by Harmony Boyer

What “trivial” things make you nervous?

For me:

  • Karaoke as a first date

  • That I will incorrectly give someone I don’t know the wrong directions and they will forever remember me for it.

  • That the bartender doesn’t actually know the difference between soda water and tonic.

  • Eating bright/unnaturally bold colored frosting (Like, hear me out…I don’t have issues with “baby duck” yellow, but Cookie Monster blue…not okay)

  • That the manicurist will think that I’m aggressively holding her hand while she’s filing my nails

  • That I will find the love of my life and then find out that he’s the type of guy that either doesn’t like tacos or claps when a plane lands.

  • Anything involving needles.  

I bet you didn’t have an “Ink”ling that I was a bit of a late adaptor.  I guess you could say that I’ve taken my sweet time to figure myself out.  A lover of music and art, my mother put me in piano and voice lessons at an early age – so, while I can’t draw to save my life, I can knock the keys and hold a tune.  Could you imagine if I couldn’t? With a name like Harmony? Oh, the irony.

While I am an aesthetic fan and art lover, I unfortunately never quite turned the corner of being a proficient artist.  So, as a byproduct, I’ve always been enchanted by the process, talent and idea of tattoos. So much so that I was recently reminded by a Facebook memory that I (allegedly) only dated heavily tattooed men in my early 20’s.  *To be honest, I haven’t quite completely outgrown that. *

Life moves fast. That’s why I like tattoos.

Because they’re permanent.

Because so few other things are.  

Just shy of turning 30, I finally gained the momentary bravery to make my first tattoo appointment and…tell my mother.  I didn’t have to, but I’ve always had an extremely close relationship with her and couldn’t stand the devastation that would come from a “surprise reveal”.  What initially started as “not over my dead body”, morphed into genuine curiosity and involvement. Honestly, I just think she was relieved that I didn’t want to get “ROT IN HELL, ANN TAYLOR”, in Old English typeface. 

My first is still one of my ultimate favorite pieces from a Russian Prison Tattoo series.  Yes, Russian Prison tattoos… My mother is ½ Japanese and ½ Russian, so I always had a fascination with old school Russian Prison tattoos/artwork.  The history behind all the different subtle meanings, placement, etc. is fascinating. But what I loved most was the sentiment of this Russian tattoo translation:

“You alone have touched my heart, come back and stay forever, it’s hard to leave me.”  

They say that you never forget your “first” – and I agree.  For me, tattoos became a bit like Tacos and Margaritas – bear with me for this somewhat horrible analogy.  Basically, once you get/have one, you rarely just stop there. PLEASE. Show me someone that only has ONE taco and ONE margarita, and I’ll show you a monster.

So of course, based on my above logic, my first tattoo endeavor was quickly followed by the addition of a beautiful Hannes Hummel graphic design piece, (the artist even sent the original print to me!), then a gemstone diagram from the Hungarian Journal of Elements found a home on the back of my right arm, “Heart Hands” or as I like to say: “Burrito Hands” became my friendship tattoo with my best friend and my first Picasso lady became my first tattoo experience with a boyfriend. So many firsts and so many of my visual loves, now permanently on my body.  I had started to become a “collector” and I loved it. Gone were the days when I was afraid of needles…I guess? (Not true, I have yet to get my ears pierced)

Flash forward to a few years later, I found myself in a NYC tattoo shop trying to subtly crack jokes, while getting one of my favorite Frédéric Forest line drawings done; only to have my session interrupted by Katt Williams…dressed in an oversized bright PURPLE suit, early for his appointment.  I can’t make my life up, sometimes. Next, on a toasty day in Oakland another Picasso piece found its way onto my shoulder; this time a portrait of my personal favorite muse of his: Françoise Gilot. And, while we’re on the subject of French loves; in December, I took advantage of my trip to Paris and was able to squeeze into Bonjour Tattoo Club and get a long-awaited piece from Jean Andre.  Starting my impromptu trip with the perfect permanent memento of one of my favorite things (Aperitifs), in one of my favorite destinations.

I guess ultimately maybe some people get tattooed to remember, maybe some people get tattooed to forget and maybe some people just enjoy the impulsive nature of it all.

For me, they are a bit of an emotional scratch and sniff — a note to my future self.  You can change your life, you can cut your hair, you can move away, you can gain new friends, lose your current friends or switch your job — but a reminder of who you were at this exact moment will remain on your skin for good. To my future self, I leave them as a map for when I need to find my way back.

Next tattoo?  A Croissant. A funny reminder to not be “flaky” and always add more butter. To everything.

It’s not “Always Tired”, under my eyes or the Japanese translation of “baby barbeque grill”, but it’ll do.  

APPENDIX:

* Two 🐈 ’s in hats- Russian Prison Tattoo - Done @ Cathedral Tattoo, Salt Lake City - Mina Aoki

* Hannes Hummel Design - Done @ Yellow Rose Tattoo, Salt Lake City - Jon Chatelain

* Gemstone Diagram - Done @ Cathedral Tattoo, Salt Lake City - Michael Bergfalk

* “Heart Hands” - Done @ Cathedral Tattoo, Salt Lake City - Mina Aoki

* Picasso Lady Dove - Done @ Cathedral Tattoo, Salt Lake City- Adam Gibson

* Fidgit flash piece - Done @ 2 Spirit Tattoo, San Francisco- FidJit

* Frederic Forest - Lady, contemplating - Done @ Fun City Tattoo, NYC - Big Steve

* Picasso Portrait Sketch - Done @ Apex Tattoo, Oakland - Owen Miller

* Aperitif Heart - Done @ Bonjour Tattoo Club, Paris - Jean Andre/Terly Tattoo

Harmony is a long-time lover of all things beauty, music and cocktails. When she’s not enjoying a good laugh or a cheeky drink with some friends, she is a content-creator & buyer in the beauty industry. Follow her journey @somefamouschick