Tattoos are deeply "rooted"

Kynslie Otte


Tattoos have become a growing epidemic in our generation. Many get tattoos to preserve memories, to express ideas or as an artistic medium. In my case, it’s all of the above. After writing this column during spring 2012, I discovered many students with elaborate and deeply personal tattoos telling not only personal stories, but depicting them with originality.

To reach out to all students and U-News readers, I’d like to share the story behind one of my most cherished tattoos to encourage readers to contact me with their own distinctive pieces to be featured in future U-News issues.

Currently, I have four tattoos: an asterisk on my left wrist, a memorial for my cousin on my right wrist, a sparrow at the base of my neck and a tree on my left bicep. Someday, I plan to be covered in tattoos, but the budget of a college student doesn’t leave much room for excessive spending.

The tree on my left bicep is my largest piece to date, and it was a gift from my girlfriend on my 22nd birthday. The design for the tree was inspired by a tattoo that Tegan Quin of the band Tegan and Sara has on her right forearm. Tegan and Sara has been one of my favorite bands for as long as I can remember, and their music has had a massive impact on my life.

Though the tattoo was influenced by Tegan and Sara, it is also my constant reminder to keep my mind and soul rooted deeply to the things which I most passionately believe. Much like a tree, I am constantly growing and changing, but I will always remain rooted to the moral code I have established.

The tattoo cost $150, and was done by my good friend Rick James at Outlaw Ink in St. Joseph, Mo. James has done all of my tattoos because he is an exceptionally talented artist. Since my tattoos will remain on my body for the rest of my life, I choose to take my “canvas” to an artist who loves his work as much as I love the outcome.

If you or someone you know has a tattoo of significance and would like to be featured in the “Tattoo of the Week” column, please contact me at [email protected].


[email protected]