So we decided recently to ask our readers about their tattoos, and more precisely the stories behind them. Because anyone can rock up at the tattoo parlor and get their name done in Mandarin script, or stamp a tribal on their arm in a lame attempt to draw attention to their scrawny biceps.
These tattoos are different, they are meaningful in ways that are deeply touching. From loving memories of departed family members, to reminders of past struggles and the recovery from things like addiction and depression, this list compiled by votreART will inspire and move you, and perhaps make you reconsider that that rainbow pooping unicorn you were considering getting on your ankle.
Scroll down to check out the list below, and don’t forget to upvote your faves!
#1 After 7 Months, I Finally Got The Tattoo For My Parents, Dog, And Family Home
#2 My Dad Died On December 15, 2016. Today, I Got A Tattoo
#3 Tattoo To Support My Wife’s Fight With Depression
#4 No Title Needed
#5 My Mum Passed Away A Few Months Ago, Yesterday I Got My First Tattoo. She Used To Leave Us Little Post It Notes, I Got It Copied Out
#6 Dad Got Cochlear Implant Tattoo To Match His Daughter’s Real One
#7 Dad Tattoos His Son’s Cancer Scar On His Own Head To Boost Son’s Self-Confidence
#8 His Son Died Of Sids Last Year, And Got A Waveform Tattoo Of His Sons Laugh
#9 Dad Passed Away In 2009, Got A Note He Wrote In My 2nd Grade Yearbook As A Reminder
#10 Simple Chart My Grandpa Drew For Me To Show Where My Home Is On The Surface Of The Earth With Longitude And Latitude
#11 Tattoo Of The Book My Dad Was Reading When He Passed Away
Story behind the tattoo: My father passed away before I was born, so I never met him. But everyone who knew him has always told me that I am exactly like him. Then in my senior year of high school, out of a list of literally thousands of books, I randomly chose to read All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. When my mom saw that I was reading it, she got very excited and ran into her room. She brought out a copy of All the Pretty Horses from 1993, bookmarked to page 128. It was the book my father was reading before he passed away. So I got a tattoo to memorialize my father and the connection I have with him despite the fact that I never met him
#12 Just Got A New Tattoo! It’s A Poem My Dad Wrote To Me The Day I Was Born, He Died This Summer
#13 Shot Heroin For 12 Years. Today Is 4 Years Clean. I Get A Tally Every 23rd Of July
#14 Got My First Tattoo Today. The Big Brick Is To Represent My Big Brother Who Died One Day Shy Of His 40th Birthday This Year, In His Favorite Color, And The Little One (Hugging The Larger One) Represents Me, In My Favorite Color. We Always Built Lego Together
#15 Got My Dads Last Handprint Tattooed On My Back. My Dad Passed Away Last November And I Had The Funeral Home Take His Handprint For Me And I Got It Tattooed On My Back
#16 My Mom And Dad Had Cancer At The Same Time In The Same Hospital. He Wrote Her This Note When They Were Too Sick To Visit Each Other. This Is My First Ever Tattoo, In His Memory!
#17 My Second Tattoo Nearly Two Weeks After My First. A Semicolon For Suicide Awareness. It May Be Small, But It Has A Powerful Meaning.
“When I was seven my father committed suicide. Then I didn’t even know what it was. All I knew is I stopped seeing “daddy” all of the time. As I grew older, I heard more and more news topics, read more news articles, and heard more of my friends say “someone else just took their life.” I’ve become more concerned that people my age were taking their life because they were unhappy. Last year, someone whom I didn’t even know personally, but “knew of” through mutual friends took their own life for a temporary problem. After this incident, I came upon the semicolon project. The semicolon project was created for people going through struggles with self-harm, depression, and suicide who could have stopped moving forward, but didn’t. The semicolon is used as the symbol because in a sentence, it separates two ideas. A period can replace a semicolon, but do not choose to do so because they don’t want to end that idea. The semicolon project strives for “not stopping when you can keep moving on. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.”
#18 Something Silly For The “Extra Life” Heart Surgery Gave Me
#19 Heartbreaking Story Behind This Tattoo
“Today was one of those moments I will never forget. A new father came barreling into the shop, a huge ball of energy, basically shouting from excitement “I JUST HAD A BABY GIRL AND I NEED HER NAME TATTOOED ON MY WRIST!!!!” With me hearing this I said congratulations and asked when he had her and he sai “3:30am this morning!!!” He was exhausted yet full of energy. So I set up, and we small talked about all of his kids. He has 5 now. 4 daughters and one son, who accompanied him. We were talking about the baby and he said “she is very important to me” and I said yeah I’m sure she is and he came back with “I have lung cancer, it spread everywhere and there’s not much else they can do. I stopped chemo a month ago and I have 4 months to live. Rainy will carry on my life.” I got sort of choked up. The fact that I was tattooing someone who’s clock was literally ticking faster than anyone’s was just such a hard concept to wrap my head around. He was so positive and explained to me how he was living his life the best that he could. Every single day. He didn’t look sick. He had such an energetic smile and such a vibe like he had the world in his hands. Today was already humbling because I added onto a sleeve that is on my late best friend’s father. But this… this was the icing on the cake. A moment I truly will never forget. When he was leaving he gave me a really tight hug and genuinely thanked me, shook my hand, winked and said “see you soon”. Thank you rainy and your amazing father for reminding me to live everyday as if it was your last.”
#20 My Mother Passed Away Unexpectedly Two Nights Ago. She Told Me Once That If Were Ever To Get Another Tattoo It Would Have Been A Fairy. I Also Found A Document While Going Through Some Stuff Where She Wrote, “I Love You Very Much. -Mom.” I Miss Her And I Know She Would Have Loved It