Tat Chat: Liberation’s Wolf

Posted on: January 8th, 2013 at 11:22 am by

[Photo: Dina Regine]

[Photo: Dina Regine]

We have a new series to introduce. Please welcome “Tat Chat” to the dance floor, in which we ask people to divulge the stories behind their favorite tattoos. Drop us a line if you’d like to participate!

What’s your name and what do you do?
My name is Liberation. I’m an artist and I work in social media.

How many tattoos do you have?
Right now, 27.

Which is your favorite tattoo?
My favorite tattoo is the wolf on my neck. I had it done last year.

What’s the story behind it?
It’s inspired by the German proverb “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” When I was younger I was pretty fearless in my risk taking, like moving to New York City when I was 22. As I got older, a little voice started creeping into my head that said, “I can’t do that because…” and then create some rational excuse to not take risks. Anything good that’s ever happened to me happened because I took a risk and went outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t want to live a fear-based life and I don’t.

Where did you get the tattoo done?
White Rabbit Tattoo Studio on 10th Street in the East Village. I work with Rachel and I absolutely love her. She’s a talented artist with a unique style and I have a real collaborative process with her which is incredibly important to me. She gets all of my esoteric references to things that inspire me whether it’s a Lars Von Trier film, or a book of Russian prison tattoos, or the Dutch Masters, and she creates brilliant custom pieces for me. I also like the atmosphere in the shop; Jes and Mark are friendly and the music is chill. They don’t blare Bad Brains for hours at a time like some other shops I’ve been tattooed at.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception people have towards tattoos?
I’m not sure if it’s the biggest, but the misconception that irritates me the most is the theory people become “addicted” to tattoos. I got my first tattoo 22 years ago when I was 15. I gradually added new pieces over the years but it wasn’t until I hit my mid 30s that I really dove in. Last year alone I added 7 new pieces and I currently have 2 in the works. It’s not that I’ve suddenly become addicted, it’s that the older I get I’m more confident in my decision making. I know how to translate milestones in my life into visual concepts and fine-tune them into a tattoo. There’s a great quote I love by my friend Penny Arcade, “As you get older your own authenticity becomes a great comfort to you.” It’s so true.

What advice would you offer to someone thinking of getting their first tattoo?
I would suggest starting small. This way if you decide you don’t like it or your taste changes, you can rework it, add to it, or get a cover-up. You’ll have options. I suggest browsing tattoo sites like CheckOutMyInk.com for ideas, inspiration, tattoo placement, etc.

And don’t overthink it. People think they must have this major moment with a tattoo, that it has to mean something. Most of my tattoos have meaning but not all of them do. I have a tiny pork chop on my arm, it’s from a David Wojnarowicz painting and I got it for no other reason than it makes me laugh.

Photo courtesy of Dina Regine

Recent Stories

43essex
Residents of 43 Essex Street Still Without Cooking Gas; DOB Issues Separate Stop-work Orders

More drama over at 43 Essex Street, where the stripped store remains barren. Activity revived last week with more shuffling about the premises; it appeared that build-out was back on track. Not so fast, though. The city quickly stepped in and shut it all down. The Department of Buildings sent an inspector last week, which […]

The Essex Market in 1969, Photo: Susan Fensten, Robert M. Cunningham Collection
Shopping the Essex Street Market in 1969 [PHOTOS]

This month marks the 76th anniversary of the Essex Street Market. With three years left until the collection of warehouse buildings is cleared for the opulence of Essex Crossing, it’s important to remember the history being left behind. These one-story brick structures were built by order of Mayor LaGuardia in 1940, with the purpose of […]

102allen-facade
USA Shaolin Temple Moving to 102 Allen Street

Photographer Alex Cao departed the second-floor loft at 102 Allen Street not too long ago. The studio had been a mainstay for over a decade, with images of pop-art framed in each of the windows. It’s all gone now, replaced with brown paper. The replacement is from left field. Here comes the twenty-two-year-old USA Shaolin […]

chrystie-street-demolition-3
2 Chrystie Street Buildings Amdist Demolition for Separate 10-Story Luxury Condos

Two Chrystie Street warehouse buildings are on the way out. Demolition is underway at both in order to usher in a new era of ODA-designed luxury. First up is 165 Chrystie Street, a stout brick box that hasn’t functioned in years. A restaurant supply company previously operated in the base, but not since moving across […]

rivington-house
Pols Line up Behind Legislation Aimed at Preventing Another Rivington House

As the Rivington House scandal continues to snowball and affect Mayor de Blasio’s footing, local politicians are now lining up to prevent the next such boondoggle from happening. Councilwoman Margaret Chin, alongside Borough President Gale Brewer, introduced new legislation yesterday that would reform the city’s practices concerning deed restrictions. The process – namely, a deed […]