Photos: Our Readers' Tattoos

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Stacy Conradt asked for photos of your tattoos, and boy did you deliver! Andréa Fernandes sorted through your submissions and has assembled this gallery. To be friendly to those of you with slow Internet connections (like her), she paginated the post so all the photos aren't on one page. Which one's your favorite?

Spencer W: "I wanted this tattoo the moment I saw a news snippet about moustache tattoos being all the rage in Rhode Island... Although it's certainly not original (or probably not that outrageous), it's more than paid for itself in laughs."

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Avery W: A Calvin in homage to Dad, who also has a Calvin; a phoenix to symbolize "rebirth" after a period of extreme grief and loss; and a quote from A Midsummer Night's Dream that relates to Avery's having "wandered everywhere."

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Mark N: "The summer camp I work at surrounds... Lake Temalo. Being some of the people that help run the camp, my friend and I were labeled Temalo Pirates. Thus the tattoo, paying respect to the camp we grew up and at which we work."

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Emily: "I'm a chef, and the laurel means victory and triumph."

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Whitney L: "A small tribute to the artist Ralph Steadman."

invisible-mandy.jpgMandy Z: I have the words KNIT and PURL tattooed on my knuckles, because I am a hardcore knitter and I want the world to know it.

I also love toys and comic books, and I wear these loves on my sleeve -- quite literally. I have the most fabulous, and lovingly-detailed tattoo on my arm of Uncle Gabby and Mr. Crow -- from Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey comic.

And none of this wonderful ink would be possible if not for the outstanding talent of Tyler, from Skeleton Crew Tattoo, in Columbus, IN.

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Tami M: "I designed this cross and chose to put it on my back to show that my 'faith was behind me' - guiding and pushing me."

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Marc L: "It is a pixelated clover... My 5 month old daughter is named Clover, and it is a throwback to old video games..."

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Walter G: "It is a 'Cheeseburger In Paradise'!!!!! A tribute to Jimmy Buffett... I also have a parrot on my leg. On my head would have hurt."

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Kat: "This is my phoenix tattoo. I got it to represent the fact that I got through an abusive relationship, survived and was 'reborn' (so to speak)."

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Richard Y: "...a Sun Stone, to symbolize the Mexican side of my heritage, and it is located on my right thigh."

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Jenna: "My last name is Cotton and I figured that it would be cool to get the cotton logo... A few months after I got it my brother got one too. I like to think that we're the only two people on the planet that have a cotton logo tattooed on us."

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Emily B: "It's a treble/bass clef put together to form a heart, with a staff of music stemming from it. There are also thirteen stars going along with the staff of music."

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Jen: "It's a butterfly, which I hope is obvious, because I designed it myself!"

stella.jpgStella: "For at least 50 years, my grandfather would draw these on every kid who came through his house- grandchildren (all 26 of us,) great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, random little kids who came around, anybody really. When I decided at age 22 that I needed a tattoo, I could only think of one thing that I would want on my body for the rest of my life. Grandpa usually drew them on stomachs or arms, but I got mine on my lower back because it seemed classier and less painful. This was before the term 'tramp stamp' became popular. I even got Grandpa to draw the candy box on the piece of paper I took to the the tattoo place to get it just like he drew it. The tattoo has been a big hit with the family, though nobody else has gotten one."

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Haily W: "The tattoo is a copy of a photography of my grandmother when she was 18... For the 8 last years she has suffered from a severe depression, so the tattoo helps me remember her from before her illness."

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Joel: "This is a picture of the tattoo I had done of my dog Magic. She is an American Staffordshire."

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Tom B: "Mr. Clemens is on my arm, because he's our country's greatest writer, and an inspiration to me. And also because he looks good with a stogie."

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Nikki J: "I had been fluctuating between a lotus and a spider mum, so Paul [Smith at Gully Cat Tattoo in Austin, TX] created a hybrid of the two for me. It's actually a cover up. The rock is hiding a really old chinese symbol for the year of the snake."

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Sarah P: "Here's my tattoo, that my mom still doesn't know about thanks to my trusty watch! It's pretty self-explanatory."

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Felipe T: "I got this big heart with some other hearts and a anchor back in 2006. I was moving from my hometown and I needed to put some stable symbol in me. The anchor was chosen and I love this. I called it something like 'it was so easy to wear my heart on my sleeve'."

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Jeff: "Hope you like my tribal Hammerhead Shark!"

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Colin: "It's an abstract of a red lotus which stands for compassion and love. After I wronged one of my friends I decided to get this to be a constant reminder to be a better person and that my friends deserve the best of me."

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Elizabeth: "When I read V for Vendetta it really struck a chord with me-- everything about the book spoke to me, and it is now one of my all time favorite books. A month or so before the movie came out, I decided to get the "V" anarchy-like symbol from the book permanently etched on my skin... Right before we got down to business, a reporter from our local public radio station, KWMU came in... He asked if e could interview me for the story as well, and I agreed. The story ended up getting picked up by NPR's Morning Edition."

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Cora: "This is my pride and joy, my Harry-Potter tattoo. I drew it myself, and had it inked at Sparky's in Newark, Ohio. It isn't my only HP-tattoo, I also have the Hollows symbol behind my left ear!"

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Jim: "In case it's not obvious "“ the design is a stylized infinity symbol that's made out of two interlocked "J"s - I'm Jim, and my girlfriend's Jamie. Awwww."

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Lori C: "My husband also has the same one on his back. We both have an Irish heritage and had wanted to get tattoos with Irish knotwork. The claddagh - which is best known as an Irish symbol for friendship, love, and loyalty - was a tattoo we could both agree on and one that very much summarized our relationship."

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Jon: (1) "An ambigram with the German word for "now", 'jetzt', on the middle of my chest. I got it before I left for Germany to get my MA." (2) "A hamsa with swirly lines."

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April 28, 2009 - 11:00am
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