An Interview with The Girl with the Dragonfly Tattoo

What inspired you to get a tattoo?

I honestly wanted one. A lot of people in the animal rights movement have representational tattoos and I think they’re cool. I’ve been scared for such a long time about getting one because of the pain. But I finally got past that was able to step up to the table and get the ink-jection!

Did getting the tattoo hurt?

I hate needles. I was scared of getting the tattoo. I realized at some point that I could do it because I’ve handled pain pretty well before. For instance, the marathon I did in Chicago 2011. I’ve never felt so much pain in the balls of my feet before at the last 3 miles. My body has never been in that much pain after an event before. I figured if I could handle that pain then, I could handle this pain now.

The pain of the tattoo needles wasn’t nearly as bad as the feeling of my feet during the marathon and the achiness in my body after the marathon ended.

Was anyone there with you when you got the tattoo?

Yes, my husband went with me along with my good friend Rachael and her boyfriend Scott.

Why was getting a tattoo with vegan ink so important to you?

As a vegan, I wanted to have tattoos drawn with ink that represent my lifestyle. It would be hypocritical to get a tattoo with non-vegan ink and say I’m still a vegan. It’s like a vegan that walks around wearing a leather jacket. I’m trying to embrace veganism in all aspects of my life right now and I wanted to carry that over to the tattoo as well. Vegan ink was very important.

Where sources do non-vegan ink come from?

I took this answer from the following website:

“Tattoo ink is made up of pigments which are suspended in a carrier solution. The pigments provide the color of the tattoo, while the purpose of the carrier is to disinfect the pigment suspension, keep it evenly mixed and provide for ease of application. Most pigments are made of metal salts such as iron or copper. Others may be made from plant derivatives. Black pigment (also known as Bone Black), is made by burning animal bones down to charcoal. While the carrier solution is generally made up of: ethyl alcohol, purified water, witch hazel, listerine, propylene glycol and glycerin. Although glycerin may be derived from vegetables sources, it is typically obtained from animal fats.”

Do you have a picture of the dragonfly tattoo?

Yes just click here to see her! Her name is Bella meaning beautiful.

What’s the meaning behind the dragonfly tattoo?

Was it just something cool to get or was there meaning behind it?
I did some research and everything I read is summed up in this single paragraph as to why I chose the dragonfly below. I found this on someone else’s blog and re-blogged it. I thought it was a really interesting article. I feel that the changes I’ve gone through in the last 30 years have finally led to a new life for myself and the dragonfly, to me, represents the shedding of the skin and coming into a new, joyful life.

Here’s the paragraph from the post I re-blogged:

“The first year or more of their lives, they live in the water as nymphs. When they metamorphose into the flying creatures we recognize as dragonflies, they live only a few weeks. I like to compare this pattern to a person who has spent her whole life working her way to her truest path and then finally has the strength and means to express her purest nature. Even if for a short while, this person will flit and skim across the days of her life, inspiring those around her to live joyfully, as well.”

Will you be getting another tattoo? If so, then when will you go?

I have plans for 4 more tattoos. I’m getting a butterfly done. I have a consultation this evening with Mallory to see what she can do about designing a butterfly tattoo for me. I also want to get a hummingbird.

The other two tattoos I have plans for I have to earn so I don’t know when I will be getting them. They will be the M-dot ironman triathlon tattoos. One will be for the 70.3 distance and the other will be for the 140.6 distance. I’m hoping that the M-dot can look pretty and not so masculine. I will not get those tattoos until I’ve completed these two events. The half ironman I’m planning on doing this coming fall 2013. The full ironman will most likely be in 2014 or 2015.

Last question: Where did you get the tattoo done and would you recommend them? How’d you hear about them?

I got the tattoo done at Sacred Chao at 206 Elm Street, Valparaiso, Indiana. Call (219) 531-2020. Here’s a link to their website. I heard about them because from my friend Sarah H. I was looking for a tattoo parlour that was local and used vegan ink. I posted this information on Facebook to see if anyone knew of a place and my vegan friend Sarah H. recommended Sacred Chao.

I would highly recommend them. Mallory did my dragonfly tattoo and she did a fabulous job.

Sara Sawochka


2 thoughts on “An Interview with The Girl with the Dragonfly Tattoo

  1. I had no idea that Sacred Chao is where you actually went! That’s awesome! So glad you could get want you wanted at a locally owned business!

    • Thanks for suggesting them Sarah! I really like that place a lot and Mallory did a fantastic job! She said they started carrying vegan ink as more and more people asked for it! And I’m all about supporting local business.

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