Tales from the Needle is a weekly series which will highlight people and their tattoos. Some people have a favorite tat, their most memorable ink. Some people put more emphasis on the needle from a tattoo gun penetrated their skin while others have one they wish they never put any ink on their body.
Every Friday, the blog will have a first-person story of a person and their tats of choice, using only images of their tats keeps the theme of this being a faceless site. The images seen here will merely aid in bringing nuance to the numerous layers that compose the person.
Volume VII - ishagainesphoto
My name is I’sha Gaines, and I currently have 13 tattoos. Some of them are smaller tattoos that come together to make a big piece, like an art piece, I suppose. My forearm, the front of my arm, my ankle and my left shoulder are where my primary tattoos are.
I got my first tattoo in *pauses* 2009, maybe, in South Padre. I wrote a poem when I was in junior high or high school about being loved and a girl hearing this voice from the heavens saying that she would be loved.
Fast-forward to when Maroon 5 came out with their very, very popular tune *singing* “and she will be loved,” yeah, so that’s the song. I got that phrase tattooed on my…where my tagline is. So on a shirt where a tag would be, that’s where I got that, and it was pandemonium. My mom went nuts, my dad went nuts, everyone went nuts like, “I’sha has a tattoo on her body?”
So I didn’t get my next one until two or three years later, I think for my 23rd birthday. It was on the inside of my wrist, and it says “I just am.” A lot of people would try to get me to define my personality type and how I am as a person, so I coined the phrase, “I just am.” I just am what I am; it’s hard for me to put into words the kind of person I am. It just is what it is.
It wasn’t until last year and the year before last when I started to get more expressive tattoos. I found a henna artist who also did organic tattooing, and I absolutely fell in love with her. She currently works at Da Kandy Shop in Arlington, Texas. Her name is Yaya, and for some reason, she was able to sum up what I was looking for as far as a tattoo and make it look pretty. I get compliments a lot that my tattoos look feminine and, you know, there are swirls and paisleys…it looks like henna, but it’s permanent. So anytime I would go through something from 2014 until now, I would get a tattoo that would summarize that pain or that joy or moving forward. When a realization or different things happened which had an impact on who I was as a person, I would start to add to my pieces. I’m definitely going to add more, probably add more color and more flowers.
It’s art; people can tell a lot about me through my tattoos and the explanation of them. Most of them are progressive; they signify moving forward, overcoming, and reminders that I am sacred and I belong to God. They remind me that I’m worthy of love and have different gifts and should use them for God’s glory in a positive way. My tattoos remind me of all of those things.