I got my very first tattoo when I was 23. It was something I’d been thinking about for a little while, so I decided to treat myself to a tattoo for my birthday. I had a nerdy Shakespeare phase, so I decided to get the quote, “Be not afraid of greatness,” from my favorite play across my ribs. It’s a little cheesy perhaps, but it was a decision I certainly don’t regret. I also like that it’s hidden away, so most people don’t even realize I have it! It didn’t take long before I was thinking about getting a second tattoo. I threw lots of ideas around, before finally setting on something that I thought would be good. After a few years of having this idea in the back of my brain, I finally decided it was time!
Ever since I was young, stars held something of a fascination for me, and I was obsessed with finding the Big Dipper. Growing up in New York City meant I didn’t see stars very often, but I have very vivid memories of being the back of a car as we drove somewhere; I’d just stare out the window and search the night sky for my favorite constellation. Whenever I spotted the Big Dipper, I was always filled with this sense of wonder and amazement… almost like this beautiful constellation was watching over me. With that in mind, I decided that the Big Dipper would be the inspiration for my next tattoo!
Once I figured out what I wanted to get (and then spending 3 or 4 years hemming and hawing over whether I’d actually do it…) the next step was finding the perfect tattoo artist. With my first tattoo, I decided to go into a bunch of tattoo parlours in New York, tell them what I wanted and see what happened. I got a lot of people telling me what I should do instead, until I went somewhere on a friend’s recommendation, which worked out really well!
This time around though, I started searching for constellation and star tattoos on Instagram and Pinterest. Both were a really great resource for inspiration, and eventually I came across Emily‘s work.
I immediately fell in love with her work. She featured a lot of stars and lines, and her vibe seemed cool, so I set up a consultation. Emily was so welcoming and really listened to my ideas, showing me little doodles and bringing her own ideas.
It really felt like a collaborative effort, which is exactly what you want when something is going to be on your body for the rest of your life, right?!
We had our consultation and 2 weeks later, I found myself back at Parliament Tattoo, sitting with Emily and finalizing the design! Emily was incredible, and I can’t tell you how happy I am with my new tattoo!
Finally getting my new ink was also on my list of ‘30 Things to Do Before I’m 30‘ so I’m pleased to say I can tick that one off the list, along with a few others! Still, every time I catch a glimpse of my new ink in the mirror or while I’m getting dressed, it just makes me smile!
Photos by Shahira