Tattoo Stories: Sam and the Lavender


With about one in five people having a tattoo these days, we at trashfire wanted to know what inspired people to get inked. Did all tattoos have deeper meaning or just looked sick? In this new series, we interviewed people from all over to find out.

This week, we spoke to Sam, 23, who is currently a PHD student at the University of Leeds specialising in early modern bodies, masculinity and ecologies and sports this dinky piece:

sam lavender

When did you get this tattoo?

1) I got this tattoo over the summer on my upper arm. It was the day after Cornwall Pride, and it was a stick and poke by Saskia’s friend Martha. [Stick and poke is a technique to make tattoos using a freestyle hand method rather than an electric gun]

Is this your first tattoo?

2) This is my first tattoo, and only one so far. I’d been thinking about it for a long time but the time finally seemed right to get one

Why this design?

3) Lavender has a cultural history associated with desire and queerness. And I wanted something to commemorate my own survival and power as a queer person, but not something aggressive. The style of botanical tattoos that Martha was doing just seemed to match up with these thoughts I’d been having over my desire to have this tattoo. I’ve always had a strong affinity with botany and feeling relaxed in gardens as well, spending a lot of my childhood being able to read away and fantasise, often in one of my childhood houses which had lavender bushes there. So it just felt like this is the one! Above all, I just really like the smell and look of lavender so it might not be that deep either.


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