Tattoo Story: Molly’s Jigsaw


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 series, we interviewed people from all over to find out.

In this edition, editor Molly tells the story of her own tattoo and explains why she has a single jigsaw piece tattooed on her left forearm.

  1. When and where did you get this tattoo?

I got this tattoo back in May at a place called Parlour Tattoo in Shoreditch (did you know I’m really cool and live in East London?). I picked this place very much on a whim, because after a quick google and look at their designs, the artists’ styles were really minimal and cute, and they sold themselves well to me.

2. Is this your first tattoo? How many tattoos do you have?

Yep! And it’s my only one as well. However, before getting it I doubted I would ever get one, and now after experiencing how easy it is and how much I like it I would definitely like one or two more, so watch this space. The one on my right rib in particular.

3.Why did you get this tattoo? What’s the story behind it?

The decision behind the aesthetic was quite simple. I’d always liked very minimalistic, line drawing tattoos, but had never settled on a design that I wanted. However, the second I had the idea of a jigsaw piece, I suddenly became set on it. I booked to get the tattoo with almost no consideration. It went from a whimsical thought to a needle in the arm very quickly. I definitely don’t regret the speed of the decision, because I think if I’d not just done it I never would have.

The reason why the jigsaw piece specifically is much more important, and why I suddenly leapt to get the tattoo after the idea. Jigsaw pieces are a well-known symbol for autism awareness, and autism as an issue is very close to me and my family. My younger brother has Asperger’s Syndrome, and I have two cousins with autism, so for almost my whole life autism has had an ongoing effect on my family, and on me. Autism can make life very challenging for someone who has it, but the tattoo isn’t ‘commemorative’ of that struggle. It’s about being proud of what’s been and can be achieved, embracing a different way of looking at the world and giving me more chances to share our boys’ stories.

My brother is now in his first year of university having got a great set of A-Levels, something that when he was diagnosed aged three none of us thought possible. My cousins are still very little, and it’s hard to say what the future will hold for them, but my aunt and uncle spend every day fighting to get the best that they can for them. Watching them grow up is a privilege. Everyone, from those with autism to those who help them, are inspirations to me. We are all better people for knowing them and for being from an autism family. It’s safe to say autism has made its mark on me. Having the tattoo just shows it on the outside.

This month’s trashfire fundraiser is for the National Autistic Society, who provide services to improve the lives of people with autism across the country. Why not give up one of those fancy coffees you know you shouldn’t really have, and donate to their work here.

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