Custom Tattoo Blog

Blue Lotus Truth

beckyBecky and her husband Rob came in to see me for Becky's first tattoo. She says, "Getting this (first) tattoo was a big step for me. When I was younger, I made the decision that I was never going to get a tattoo, ever. I wanted to preserve the natural beauty of my body and I thought a tattoo (obviously something that scars the body) would somehow take away the naturalness and perfection of the human body that I thought so highly of. After living in Portland for just a couple years (I come from a small town on the East Coast) I began to see how beautifully sacred tattoos are. I began reading about the history and ancient rituals of our ancestors and how they used tattoos as a way to document their lives and signify milestones of triumph, joy, honor, loyalty, adventure, pain, heartache and love. I see tattoos as a visual story of the soul, and since this was my very first tattoo, I wanted it to tell the story of my path. As a yoga instructor, I have always been drawn to the Sanskrit teachings of Satya (Truth). My own Truth always seemed to elude me and growing up in a Christian household I felt lost in many ways, unable to truly express my deepest desires and passions freely. The tattoo I chose for myself (a turquoise lotus flower with the fifth chakra Sanskrit word meaning "reflection" at my throat center and the Sanskrit word for Satya or "Truth" at the base - heart center - of the tattoo) is complimented and surrounded by the outward flow of henna art to signify freedom of self-expression. It's a symbol of transformation, healing and connection with the very essence of myself. On my 33rd birthday, the day I got my tattoo, I feel closer to my truth as I reflect on my past, present and future. This tattoo serves as a milestone and a reminder for me to always live the highest vibration of myself which is truth in sensitivity, connection, equality, and love. And I already have plans for my next tattoo." Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and outline photo.

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Tropical Flowers Cover Up

leannGetting a tattoo can be a great way to cover up a scar. LeAnn had some mastectomy scars on her chest and was wondering if she might be able to camouflage them with tattoos. She wasn't concerned so much with total coverage but the idea was to make the area "more colorful, more beautiful." I have a lot of experience tattooing over different types of scars and after looking at her scars and seeing how flat they were, I told her that she was a great candidate for receiving tattoos across her chest. And that the skin was in such great shape, we could really do anything she wanted, image wise. She decided on tropical flowers and butterflies. She says, "It's interesting to me that the significant events of our lives can be fully captured in one or two words-- daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother. I recently earned another label-- cancer survivor. Back in July 2011 I had a double mastectomy resulting from a diagnosis of stage one breast cancer. Opting for reconstruction, it took three surgeries before I was successful with my prosthetic implants. I affectionately call them my "foobs" (fake boobs.) Wanting to celebrate the new me and rejoice in the metamorphosis that had taken place during the long journey to cure and reconstruction, I selected butterflies as the image to signify the change and successful transition. I am really happy with the new me and the images that Victoria helped me create to celebrate my new beginnings!" Click on the Read more link to see the drawings and right side outline photos.

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Ravens, Roses and Skulls

christian2Christian is from the New Orleans area and grew up near the great polyglot city that has a laid back, multi-cultural attitude. His aunt is a tattoo artist; when he was younger he spent some time in her shop hanging out and she's the one who gave him his first tattoo. Also, ever since he'd been a kid he'd wanted to join the military and when he got older spent some time in the US Marines Corp. So his tattoos are about those cultures; I describe them as Traditional American, Old School, or Sailor Jerry style tats and ever since he came into my shop two years ago, we have been working on filling in his sleeves with that type of imagery. He says that this current piece is informed by his admiration of Edgar Allan Poe's writings and that he wanted "something dark with the contrast of bright red roses (life) against the skull (death). And ravens are just incredibly cool." Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and outline photos.

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Feathers for Grandma

amiraAn artist, Amira came into my shop with the design for her next tattoo all drawn out. It was very delicate and ethereal and eminently tattooable. All I had to do was add some text and a few gray lines to tattoo it. She says, "This tattoo is super symbolic to the memory of my Gramma [who died recently]. I felt that it was important to get it on her birthday because it's like a gift for the both of us. She and I have always had connection that goes far beyond into many past lives. She always gave me guidance throughout her life and now she can be a spirit guide in this life. She visits me often in dreams, and sometimes I even get a random glimpse of her scent. I put a lot of intention into the drawing; the two feathers represent her life and herĀ  passing into the spirit life. I chose a bluebird feather because they were her favorite. I learned in an animal totem book that feathers represent spiritual freedom and accomplishment of rising from the terrestrial world. Many faeries and spirits come to us in the form of birds and other winged creatures. Feathers are healing tools, and I feel that will be beneficial to both my Gramma and I. " Click on the Read more link to see her drawing, outline and final photos.

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Larkspur Life

francois2Francois likes to hike through Oregon's gorgeous mountain country and for his second tattoo, wanted something that would reflect its beauty and what it means to him. The design is a compilation of images that I took from select photos Francois shot on his treks, plus a view of Mt. Hood from Lost Lake (in the background.) Francois says, "After having suffered some important losses in my life, I found myself doing volunteer work and gravitated toward projects involved in the restoration of the Larkspur habitat. As I worked to save the Larkspur, the Larkspur breathed life into me. With the losses also came uncertainty about where home was. This tattoo acknowledges the role the Larkspur has played in my life, as well as my calling Oregon home." Click on the Read more link to see the drawing, outline and final photos.

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Tribal Style Arms

edwardLike a lot of people I tattoo, Edward has gotten various ink over the years, some of it as a result of a cover up attempt and others at different times in his life. Most of it is loosely tribal in style but not all of it matched very well and he was hoping to have it all pulled together somehow. I suggested that we use some of the forms that he already had in the old tattoos when adding in the new work, to connect everything all up. Also, we decided that he should have half sleeves created so that both arms matched better in coverage. As we fill in the new shapes, I will touch up the old tattoos to make all of the ink on his arms the same value (black, not gray.) Click on the Read more link to get a closer look at the results of our first sessions (outlines.)

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Musical Connection

jameshFor his first tattoo, James wanted something that reflected his life long love of music. He was thinking that it should be guitar based (he has five guitars) and feature Jimmy Hendrix's Voodoo Chile score but he wasn't sure how that would all go together. I also thought it would be cool to get the musical staff and possibly some clef symbols in, as well. We decided that it should be a half sleeve that would wrap around his arm and cross his shoulder to his upper back. He says, "Thanks to friend and co-worker Paul for sending me to Victoria. This image of a tat was swirling in my head for many months, but the courage didn't come until after an outdoor rock concert (ZZ Top) I had attended, presented a wondrous array of images, outwardly and proudly displayed. I told Paul about all this - and my apprehension. He scolded,"YA HAVE TO TALK TO VICTORIA!" (gulp) OK... My consultation with Victoria was pure relief. Her experience and comprehension caused my image to begin to solidify. Once I armed Victoria with pictures that described concept and aspect, her imagination influenced a final drawing that captured the detail of an iconic shape along with the imaginative twist on a piece of my favorite music. She was concerned about placement - something I couldn't imagine on my own, and I couldn't be happier." Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and the results of our first session (outline.) You can still see some of the purple stencil underneath it.

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Buddhist Back Piece Cover up

dianeAfter taking the Precepts, Diane was looking for a way to make her Buddhist vows more real, more concrete. She came to me with several ideas for how to accomplish this goal with tattoos; she was thinking of using images of the Buddha, Kuan Yin and lotuses to create the base of a back piece cover up. She wasn't sure how each image should look or how everything would go together but I told her that was no problem-- I could totally help her with that. We started with a traditional Thai Sak Yant tattoo (the Gao Yord, for protection) on the back of her neck and went from there, tattooing the Buddha and lotuses in first and then adding a Sak Yant Ganesha on her right ribs and Kuan Yin on her left ribs. We put Prajnaparamita with her mantra in script overhead, just below the central Buddha. Then we added cherry blossoms and tied it all together with swirling Tibetan clouds. Click on the Read more link to see a couple of the drawings and the before and after photos.

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African Heritage-- Lioness

lyndellLyndell and I have been working together on his tattoo ideas for several years now; he is concentrating on his heritage, which is mostly African and Native American. He has decided that he wants the imagery on his right side to be reflective of his African ancestry and the tattoos on his left side to be Native American. We did two coverup pieces, one on his back and the other on his right arm, that involve African imagery. We've also completed a cheetah on his right thigh and are now working on a lioness for his right calf. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and photos of our outlining and grayshading sessions.

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Hummingbird Home

nikkiNicole came in with an incomplete hummingbird tattoo floating on her left ribs; she was wanting to have it finished but also possibly add something to it so that the bird wasn't just hovering by itself somewhere. She was thinking maybe fushias would be good to add, as she thinks they're beautiful flowers. I suggested that we anchor the bird with a fushia plant growing up and out of her hip and make it look like the bird was getting ready to sip from a blossom-- giving it a place to be, a home. Adding gray shading and color will also create more dimensionality and make the hummingbird look more real, like it belongs there. Click on the Read more link to see the drawing and photos of the tattoo before we added the fushias and the results of our grayshading session.

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Appointments

Contact me for an appointment at 503 807-7863 or email me at victoria@floatinglotustattoo.com

833 SE Main #104
Portland OR 97214

HOURS: Tuesday--Sunday,
11:00-6:00
BY APPOINTMENT