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Geek Girls Ink’d- Space! And Other Such Things

This week’s Ink’d will be a little different. Instead of featuring several ladies and their tattoos, it will feature Sue-Ann Cooper, an amazing lady hailing from South Africa. Sue-Ann has several geeky themed tattoos and is in the process of creating an entire back piece. The format this week will be more similar to that of a Q&A so Sue Ann may explain the intricacies of her artwork.

GeekGirl World: Please tell us what fandoms your tattoos are from.

Sue-Ann Cooper: My back piece brings together a number of fandoms (although it’s not completed yet). Currently it’s Firefly, Doctor Who and Stargate SG-1. In time, it will include Star Trek (either Voyager or TNG), Star Wars, Babylon 5, Farscape, Robotech and Stargate Atlantis.

My legs are Discworld – my very first tattoo was The Grim Squeaker and the other is The Librarian, with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg due to make an appearance within the next two years.

GGW: What is the significance of these fandoms to you?

SC: For my back piece, it’s not so much a fandom as the ideas and feelings generated by the fandom. At the moment I have a Serenity, TARDIS and SG-1 Stargate on the top third of my back; the entire piece will eventually include Star Trek (probably Voyager or TNG), Star Wars, Farscape, Babylon 5, Robotech and Stargate Atlantis. The main reasoning behind this is that these fandoms represent making a family and relying on one’s crew. I love my family, but in all these series and movies, the protagonists end up becoming closer than blood-kin with virtual strangers. They love and respect each other and would do anything for each other. They ARE family, often in a world different to what’s familiar. I guess it’s a kind of yearning to be understood and accepted for my foibles; as much as my family and friends love me, how many people really “get” the people they love? Serenity, in particular, is important to me – so much so that I have a wrist piece, too. I see it more often than my back and it reminds me that no matter what, there are worlds out there waiting to be explored, and maybe in another universe, I’m part of that exploration.

Apart from making one’s own family, they’re also about adventure and exploration. The spaceships, that is. They’re about going to new worlds with a team of friends, meeting new people and exploring new terrain. Space is huge and wonderful and exciting, and these series and movies are the ones that make me happy and pull me out of depression. I prefer shows that have a message of hope, and that’s what these provide.

My Terry Pratchett tattoos are, again, about being different. I’m pretty average on the outside, nothing special. Inside, I’m a wannabe rebel, a witch, a superhero. Terry Pratchett has always been somewhat subversive, and I like his ability to distill the traditions of mankind into practicalities. Discworld is real and practical, dragons, trolls and magic notwithstanding.

My shoulder tattoos are for fun – I’ve always liked octopi and my krakenlet is just the cutest thing ever. It always makes me smile. My husband loves spiders, so I decided to have a “matching” tattoo on my other shoulder for him. Jumping spiders are the bee’s knees, even though I’m terrified of anything small and fast.

GGW: What was your decision-making process behind getting these tattoos?

SC: I wanted a tattoo for years, but could never decide on a design. I wanted a wolf, but a running wolf, and I couldn’t find a decent pic. For 12 years I thought and searched and planned. Then my boyfriend and I went to Durban for my 39th birthday, and the day after my birthday I woke up and decided that as I loved Terry Pratchett so much, I should get the Death of Rats. I didn’t want Death Himself. I had saved a pic by Hanie Mohd ages before and decided to get that done. Best decision ever.

My back piece was meant to be the start of my sleeve of bad-ass women, but when I went to the tattoo shop, the artist I wanted wasn’t available. My boyfriend said I seemed more enthusiastic about the idea of my spaceships, so that’s what I did instead. My sleeve will come soon enough.

My shoulder tattoos are just because, to represent my husband and I.

Who was/is your artist(s)?

My very first tattoo was by Abigail who was working for Electric Eye Tattoos in Umhlanga at the time. She really made me think about issues like size, placement, why I wanted it, and the like.

My back piece, my shoulder pieces and my Librarian tattoos are by Ryan ‘Busta’ Bolton of The Golden Tiki in Johannesburg. He specializes in a New Skool style that was absolutely not what I wanted, but the first tattoo he did for me was my Serenity, and I was blown away by his ability to do realism. He’s the most fun. We always have a good time when he’s tattooing me, and he is always understanding of my ability to withstand pain. Sometimes I can sit for hours, sometimes I can only sit for a few minutes. He never makes me feel inadequate. Unfortunately he’s travelling in the US at the moment, so I’ll have to wait until next year to continue my back piece.

My Serenity wrist piece was by Jinx of Fallen Heroes. She’s the gentlest artist ever. She’s just moved to Portugal so there are going to be some great tattoos coming out of that country soon!

GGW: How long have you been working on these?

SC: I got my first tattoo in September 2009 and have had one every few months ever since.

Has having this or any tattoo affected your life in a positive or negative way?

Absolutely positive. I always hated my back because my skin never looked like the beautiful backs in magazines. And I’ve always been much bigger than my friends, so I didn’t like to show off any parts of myself. Since having my back piece, I look for clothing to reveal it. I even decided to make my wedding corset a halter-neck just to showcase my ink. I’m also a lot more confident – not as much as I would like, but much more willing to talk about the weirder side of myself. It’s made me more open to be forthright about my geekiness, too. Our wedding was all about sci-fi, fantasy and cosplay, and it’s partially because getting my tattoos meant I decided to do what the hell I wanted and not what was expected of me, and my husband backed me every step of the way. Plus he has always said whatever I want to tattoo on myself is my decision and not his – he’ll give his input but he would never tell me what to do. That makes me happy.


 

Below you can view her tattoos as well as some shots from her wedding showcasing them and her love of spaaaaace!

If you are a tattoo artist who would like to be featured on GGW or if you just have an incredible tattoo that you’d like to show off, please email webmaster@geekgirlworld.com!

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Geek Girls Ink’d: Artist Spotlight: Heather Maranda

20150425_124002This week’s Geek Girl Ink’d is a super special edition of our Artist Spotlight.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Maranda from AMC’s Epic Ink while she was in town for Wizard World Comic Con. Not only did I get to snag a great interview, but I also snagged an amazing tattoo from her as well!

Many of you may know Heather best from Epic Ink, where she and several other artists specialize in the nerdy and geeky wonderment of the tattoo world.

Heather quickly jumped aboard the cast after she was approached by Chris 51 – an easy decision considering that many of the cast members were friends that she already had in the tattoo industry. But Heather soon formed some reservations about joining the cast after fully realizing that she would be on T.V. for the world to see.

Heather doesn’t care about what others think about her, but being a bigger girl she had to acknowledge she would be dealing with a lot of trolls out there. As such, it did take some time for her to decide that it would be worth it.

Heather classifies herself as a “nerd” more so than a “geek.” She isnt like the pop-culture nerds on the show, shes nerdy in the classical sense.

Heather always did really well in school and was in programs for the academically gifted. Although she is a nerd, she definitely is still into geeky things and fandoms, just not as hardcore as her fellow tattoo artists.

Anyone who has seen Epic Ink knows that Heather marches to the beat of her own drum not only in attitude, but in her outward appearance. She is often seen with incredibly bright, colorful hair in a crazy style with crazier clothes to match.

Heather compares her style to the flower in E.T.: when her hair fades and starts to grow out she feels just like that flower when it started to wilt and die. Her style is reflected in her dress and attitude (as I learned during my time spent with her). She radiates a certain brightness from within and this often shines through, especially with her language.

Heather is a huge fan of Star Wars and has been her whole life. She also enjoys everything from Studio Ghibli20150425_121852 to Miyazaki. Heather finds the whole 80’s and 90’s era of anime incredibly appealing due to its art and stories, and since she grew up with that style it will always hold a place in her heart.

Heather has always been into video games and makes time whenever she can to hop on her Playstation or Xbox (as she is an equal opportunity gamer in consoles) to play Skyrim or Minecraft. She admits to not being very great at first-person shooters, but does love Borderlands.

Heather is a proud mommy who has created little nerds as well,  and she finds that most people she meets that consider themselves geeky or nerdy are just passionate about something and will show that passion in a beautiful way.

Heather’s tattoo career has spanned 8 years and is still going strong.

She enjoys tattooing geeky things because it is easier for an artist to really put their all into something that they are interested in. There is a certain level of enthusiasm that goes into the tattoo on top of the professionalism that she puts forth with every tattoo that she does.

While Heather has always been interested in tattooing, her life got in the way of actually tattooing when she was younger as she needed to help support her family with a 9-5 job.

After a falling out with her then boss and ex-stepfather, she decided she had waited long enough and began teaching herself how to tattoo, practicing on her friends.

Looking back now, of course, there are indeed some tattoos that she did early on on her friends that she needs to go back and fix or cover up!

Heather has dealt bullying throughout her life and has developed a super thick skin because of it. Growing up she was teased a lot about various things and she quickly learned how to just let it roll off her back in order to not have her feelings hurt.

Heather recognizes that a lot of people may have low self-esteem because of bullying but wants them to know that it’s important to realize that you are worth something and that you  shouldn’t let some joker that has no real impact on your life make you feel any less than awesome. She believes that if more people just laughed and had a good time more often then there wouldn’t be any room for negativity.

Being a nerd makes her happy and that’s why she is so passionate about nerdy things. She consides the so-called jock who knows all the baseball stats as just a big of a nerd as a “poindexter”; they’re both passionate about things –  just different things.

For those who are currently struggling with being a girl whose into geeky things or tattoos or anything that is not the “social norm”, Heather feels it is important to know that wisdom comes with experience.

All of the kids in your school, middle-school, high school, etc. that you feel you need to impress by fitting in really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Heather has people in her high school yearbook that are highlighted as to whether she liked them or not, and if they were mean to her she can’t even remember why.

It took her a long time to realize those people were not important in her life and hopes that everyone can come to the same realization. She made sure to share this knowledge this with her own girls so that they know how important it is to be a good person and avoid worrying about anyone that is negative. The important people in your life are going to be those that help lift you up and not the ones who work to tear you down.

To book an appointment with Heather you can contact her here.  Be sure to check out her amazing work below!

If you are a tattoo artist who would like to be featured on GGW or if you just have an incredible tattoo that you’d like to show off, please email webmaster@geekgirlworld.com!

 

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Geek Girls Ink’d: Harold & HP, Superman, and Harley Quinn & Jack

harold & harryFirst up this time is Laura Ann Mach from LA. Laura has a great mash-up tattoo of Harold and the Purple Crayon and Harry Potter. Harold and the Purple Crayon was her favorite book when growing up and the Harry Potter series is her favorite as an adult so putting them together was a no-brainer. Laura did a wonderful job combining the innocence and imagination of both worlds into one tattoo and the idea of Harold using his purple crayon to draw a patronus was simple yet powerful. Armando, owner of True Identity Ink, had the pleasure of turning this concept into art about six months ago. Not a lot of people have heard of Harold and the Purple Crayon so it is fun for Laura to get people interested in the story through her tattoo and those who do know it and understand the mash-up think it’s brilliant, or cute. Cute is good, too.

We next come to Kristen Richards, who calls Las Vegas her hometownIMG_20150419_172456_rewind. Her tattoo was a long time coming as she was 30-years-old before she finally got it done. She thought long and hard about what she wanted her first tattoo to be and chose the DC comics Superman symbol. She has been a fan of Superman since she was a little kid and still loves him. Kristen believes in everything Superman stands for: being the best you can be, helping others, and using your own power for the betterment of mankind. Kristen believes in the decency of humanity that Superman represents and the ideal that everyone should aspire to be. She originally went into Pricz tattoo studio with the idea of getting a small symbol on her ankle but after a lengthy discussion with the artist they both agreed that a bigger, bolder, full color tattoo would be more fitting for what she wanted to represent. After all, there isn’t really anything dainty about Superman. It’s been about ten years since Kristen went into that tattoo shop for her first tattoo and she still loves it as much as she did the first day. The colors remain fresh and bright and she has gotten nothing but positive attention from her super tattoo. It helps that she works as a teacher and her students always love it when they see it. She always tells them she has it because her students are all super. This tattoo is an integral part of who Kristen is now, is a great conversation starter, and she wouldn’t change it for anything.

tabLastly, we have Tabatha Walker, born and raised in Las Vegas. Tabatha couldn’t choose just one of her tattoos as they both are equally meaningful to her. She first got a tattoo of Jack Skellington’s head on her wrist from Steadfast Tattoo as a Friday the 13th special. It was done on a whim, but she made sure it was still something very meaningful to her. Tabatha loves not only the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas but the concept and life that surround the movie, the creator, and everything that blossomed from it as well. Her other tattoo was done by Chad at True Identity Ink and is inspired by Harley Quinn. Tabatha has always been drawn to the character of Harley Quinn and admires her for how amazing and strong she is. She loves that she is not really a villain or a hero, but rather does what is necessary in her life for herself and what makes her happy. Tabatha spent years contemplating what she wanted to do for her diamonds tattoo and finally decided on this design. She has had some negative pushback from people who have said she would be prettier if she hadn’t messed up her skin, but those are very few and very far between. Tabatha finds her ink beautiful and has absolutely no regrets.

If you are interested in having your ink featured, contact us here.

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Geek Girls Ink’d: Artist Spotlight: Yvonne Wiltse

 

photo 2Our first featured artist is Yvonne Wiltse. Yvonne currently works out of Red Handed Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV, and doesn’t consider herself the stereotypical geek of days long past. She does, however, identify with the geeky world by making sure to pick up her pull box from her local comic book shop, and not missing a single Marvel movie midnight premiere while dressed to the nines in the best Avengers Minecraft shirt. Yvonne is not afraid to let her geek flag fly, and advertise her loves on her own skin and apparel. Her favorite fandoms began with Star Wars and Mario Bros., but have branched out into any comic she can get her hands on as well as video games, movies, TV series (Doctor Who, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly), and of course tattooing.

Yvonne has been an artist for over 6 years now, and finds it incredibly enjoyable and rewarding to tattoo in the geeky genre. The geek subculture has been such a huge influence on Yvonne’s life, and allows her to really bond with her customers when they are getting a tattoo of something she is a fan of as well. Yvonne believes a person’s tattoo artist should be fully invested in their client and the subject matter to give them the best experience possible. As a child, Yvonne’s parents were into Star Trek, and made sure she and her siblings were immersed in the sci-fi world as well. She received her first NES at age 6, and was able to master Super Mario by the end of that year, beating it in only 7 minutes. As Yvonne got older, her brother and sister were tattoo artists, and would joke with her about becoming one too. She was not into tattoos at that time, and was focusing on studying voice, musical theater, and opera in college; spending a lot of time performing in Las Vegas shows for a living. One day her sister allowed her to tattoo a tiny snowflake on her leg, and that was the spark that lit the fire in her passion for tattooing. This was both a magical and frustrating time for Yvonne, as she now had to completely change career paths, and start all over again. However, as many dreams go, they’re hardly easy, but incredibly rewarding.

Yvonne has never had to face any serious ridicule for her likes and interests, and if she ever were to, she would easily brush it off as those people are not worth it in the end. The majority of judgment Yvonne has to face if from the older generation who are not adjusted to, or accepting of a person, especially a woman, covered in tattoos. Within the subculture of geeks or tattoo enthusiasts, she never has to deal with any of that. For Yvonne, those subcultures contain the most generous, accepting, loving, and misrepresented people she has ever met. This is really the biggest reason she fell head over heels for her profession, and finds all anyone ever wants is for you to be genuine with them. When you aren’t honest with yourself or others about who you are, it is a waste of everyone’s time. Yvonne finds she is more powerful and respected when she can show her vulnerabilities.

For anyone, including young girls she would like to remind them that the world is a different place than it was even ten years ago, and if they want to do something, or be a part of something, just do it. The world will never change simply by people thinking it should, it changes when we engage in it. As she puts it, no one would sit on a pile of dirt their whole life and be frustrated that a garden never grows; you have to plant seeds, till the soil, sprinkle some water, etc., to make anything of that pile of dirt. “Change is always met with resistance… make it happen anyways.”

If you are interested in becoming a featured artist please email us here. To book an appointment with Yvonne reach her here. Check out a sampling of her work below.

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Geek Girls Ink’d: Doctor Who and Alice in Wonderland

Welcome to Geek Girls Ink’d! It’s no secret that I love tattoos, and I of course love geeky tattoos even more. I wanted to have somewhere to showcase some geeky tattoos I’ve found in my community, at conventions, just really anywhere I can find them. It is only more recently that women have been able to fully embrace tattoo culture, and I feel as though this needs to be displayed in all it’s splendor. Not only am I looking for women who proudly wear their fandoms on their sleeve so-to-speak, but also will be showcasing some of the female tattoo artists who consider themselves to be geeky as well.

katMy first ever showcase is of a lovely women named Kat Connors. She hails from Klamath Falls OR, by way of Eugene. While she has several fandom tattoos, including The Dark Tower, Tank Girl, and Alice in Wonderland, her favorite nerdy tattoo is Doctor Who related. She has the word NERDGASM in white ink on her left wrist, written in Gallifreyan. She decided on this design because she is a professional artist and her brand/identity is called Nerdgasms by Kat due to  the geeky/fandom nature of her art. Her love of Doctor Who “borders on pathological”, so the tattoo practically designed itself. She has always been a fan of white ink because it gives tattoos a more organic look. Kat got this awesome tattoo from 11th Hour Tattoo Studio on a Friday the 13th special about a year and a half ago. Because it is white ink, she never has to cover it for work, and most people don’t even really notice it. For those that do however, they are very complimentative and some ask if it is a brand. This is certainly not the end to her geeky tattoos, she has plans to get a similar one of the angel warding sigil from Supernatural on her other wrist.

Next up is Melanie Davis from Las Vegas, NV who is also very proudly sportingmel a Doctor Who tattoo. She has this beautiful watercolor Tardis with the word “Allons-y” on her ribcage. She chose this design because it means “Let’s go” and encourages her to get up and get out there to experience life rather than letting it pass her by. She knew she wanted the Allons-y script, but after seeing an image of a gorgeous watercolor Tardis she knew she had to have that added. To commemorate the “Day of the Doctor” on November 23, 2013 she went down to Broken Dagger Tattoo shop in full tenth doctor regalia and met with her artist, Lily. She went after watching the 10 am premiere of the episode ready to be inked! Since getting the tattoo she has she has been able to look to her tattoo for inspiration and has a great time geeking out when she gets to show it off to fellow Whovians.

 

 

stacyOur final geeky girl this time is Stacey Ballard from Thomasville, NC. She has a daisy with an Alice in Wonderland quote on her foot. The quote reads: “in a world of my own”. She got this to cover a bad scar from a surgery she had and wanted something really pretty to detract from it. She visited Damian at Diversity Tattoo to have this piece done about a year ago. She has been planning this tattoo since she was 15 and it is her first easily visible tattoo. She finds that most who see it absolutely love it.

I think all of these tattoos are amazing and as special as the ladies that proudly wear them. If you are interested in being featured, contact me via email here.

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