Tatted: Finding beauty in ink when it doesn’t come out the way you want

This is Tatted, a podcast telling the stories behind people's ink.
Graphic by Kat Owens


Senior Charlee Kimmins said that even though all of her tattoos did not turn out the way she wanted, she has no regrets.

Kimmins has seven tattoos, her favorites being the continent of Africa laced with tribal patterns on her shoulder and a portrait of her former cat on her thigh.

The first tattoo Kimmins got was a matching Korean tattoo with her little sister. Kimmins joked, but was also serious, when she said she’s pretty sure it is cultural appropriation and she wants to get it removed.

As an African American with sensitive skin, Kimmins talked about the trials she has gone through with finding the right artists and shares her bad experiences.

Listen more to hear Kimmins talk about what she would have known when getting her first tattoo.

Kimmins sat in the tattoo chair for two hours to get this Afrocentric piece. The designs within the tattoo were inspired by a number of different African tribes. Kimmins said she wants to get DNA tested to find out more about her heritage. 
Photo by Kayla Drake
The first tattoo Kimmins got says "big sister" in Korean. At the time, Kimmins was leaving for college and her sister was sad because they had never been separated before. Therefore, since Kimmin's sister was into Korean, she got the language and her sister's birthday tattooed.
One of Kimmins favorite tattoos is a tribute to her cat that passed away this year. The tattoo is a replica of a photo that Kimmins took. Underneath it is another tribute to her sister, this time an encouragement to the mental health issues her sister was facing. "We're all mad here" shows that everyone is a little crazy, Kimmins said, and the colon is for suicide awareness.
Kimmin's brother went to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and recieved a bronze medal in wrestling. The entire family, except Kimmins, went to watch her brother compete, but she had to stay behind for work. Her family made a pact that they would all get the classic Olympic circles in honor of her brother's achievements, but only Kimmins and her brother were the ones that followed through.
Not all of Kimmins tattoos were good experiences and this one was the worst. It was supposed to be a testimony to remember the day she became a Christian, but the tattoo artist was inexperienced with working on African American skin. Kimmins said that it is a common misconception that because she has darker skin, artists have to press harder to let the ink settle. The tattoo took four months to heal and ended up having scar tissue.
Kimmins most recent tattoo is smaller than a quarter and is placed behind her ear. It is an old school TV, in recognition to the industry that Kimmins wants to work in, that and she also watches a lot of Netflix.
Kimmins is a senior studying cinema arts and will graduate in 2019. Her dream is to be a script writer for TV productions.

Tatted comes out every Thursday and does not reflect the opinions of Lindenlink staff or Lindenwood University.

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About Kayla Drake 149 Articles
Kayla Drake is our editor-in-chief and works to make sure Lindenlink produces content that engages readers and pushes students. Most recently, Kayla was the Broadcast Intern for KMOV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis. There she found a passion for video and audio storytelling. Human interest stories are her focus because she believes we learn best by hearing personal testimonies of grief, passion, tribulation and activism. She is a proud St. Louisan and is passionate about discovering the local food scene. If you see her on campus say hi.