Student tattoos: a different kind of art

Brooke Sheehy, administrative beat lead

The choice to have permanent tattoos has been a socially life-altering decision since their introduction to the United States in the late 19th century; by law, it is a decision that only adults 18+ can make. Unsurprisingly, with approximately 700 seniors at Edina High School reaching 18 years of age, a few students have made the decision to get a tattoo.

Senior Madelyn Shane has a tattoo of a lowercase “m” on her wrist. “I got my tattoo three-ish weeks after my 18th birthday. I went with my best friend and my mom because my mom was getting it with me,” Shane said.

Shane has always wanted a tattoo, so when her mother approached her with the idea of getting matching tattoos, she was all for it. “My mom has the same tattoo in the same spot [on her wrist]. My name is Maddie and her name is Megan, so we decided on something little that represents both of us,” Shane said.

Shane was fortunate to have her mom treat her to her tattoo, but beware that depending on the size and quality of the tattoo it may just drain your savings. “After tip, my tattoo was exactly $400 paid entirely out of my own pocket. Without having a real job it took me about a year to save all the money for it,” senior Isaac Horstman said.

Horstman’s tattoo is located at the top of his left bicep and is a picture of a crow flying to a tree in a monochrome watercolor style, based off an image he found online. He started his brainstorming process about two years ago. During the process, he was reminded of a friend from Ohio that he had lost to suicide in 2014. “I wanted something that would remind me of [my friend], but I also wanted a great piece of art so that anyone who doesn’t know me could enjoy it,” Horstman said.

“This with a conversion about how crows/ravens are harbingers of the afterlife and how they’re just generally interesting and intelligent lead me to start looking into crow themed tattoo designs with an extra little bit for my friend.”

Horstman set his tattoo design as his phone’s home screen background for a year to ensure that he would want this large of a tattoo on his arm. He was convinced after a year that he was prepared to meet with his tattoo artist for a consultation. On Dec. 2, Horstman, accompanied by girlfriend senior Dani Peterson, went through the process of stenciling and tattooing for a whole four hours.

Because of the tattoo’s significance, Horstman is confident that his feelings towards his choice will not fade with time. “My advice for students would be don’t get a fad tattoo, don’t rush into getting a tattoo either. Price should be the last thing that matters when getting a tattoo. The quality of the piece and artist should come above all else,” Horstman said. “Also, tip your artist well. Don’t worry about the pain, and be ready to want more [tattoos].”

Horstman is already planning to get his second in the next week or two, which, similar to Shane’s, will be a matching tattoo with his sibling.