Home2019-2020Willamette students spill their ink

Willamette students spill their ink

Interviews and photos by Billy Ullmann and Sophie Smith

Mads Malone

They/them
Class of 2020

What is your tattoo of?

It is blank sheet music. I got it to represent teaching myself piano and getting through struggles. It sort of for me means that I’ve been through worse times and I got a skill out of it. When I was teaching myself piano a lot of my life was up in the air and piano was the thing that grounded me… It means that if I’m in a really dark place there’s also something to be learned and there’s always beauty to it. Also I use it as a notepad. 

How many other tattoos do you have?

None. But I want more. I want a sleeve on my other arm. 

Why do you like tattoos?

They’re a way of expressing something to the world that you can’t do via clothes or hair. Having a tattoo to old people means you’re a punk. It keeps the right people away from me. 

Bradley Arvola

Class of 2020

Why did you get your tattoo?

In Colorado, this is the basic tattoo to get. Colorado is known for its mountains.

When did you get it? 

Two and a half years ago. I was in Boulder with my mom and my sister who also got mountain tattoos.

How many other tattoos do you have?

Two

What do you wanna get next?

A nautilus. It’s an animal I relate to because it spends its whole life going backwards not seeing where it is going. I plan on getting in the crook of my arm.

Madelyn Jones

She/her
Class of 2020

When did you get this tattoo?

I got it during winter break of my sophomore year at Mule Tattoo in Tustin, CA.

Why?

My best friend and I were talking about tattoos and we both said we wanted bees and we decided to get bees together. We said that I should get a sword and she should get a crown.

How many others do you have?

4

What tattoo do you want to get next?

A Mister Rogers tattoo- either the trolley or the script of ‘won’t you be neighbor.’

Clifford Grace

They/them
Class of 2022

When did you get this tattoo?

Fall break of my first year.

Why?

I found a simplistic sketch of the design on the ground outside my dorm and I thought it was cool so I took a photo of it. A month later it was on my body. It’s actually from a peer’s final art project and I recently met the person it was modeled after.

How many other tattoos do you have?

7 with a lot more to come.

Why do you like tattoos?

It’s like telling a story. Everything has some significance and strengthens my sense of self.

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