Ink of the Week: UNCA student views her body as a canvas

As a form of expression, tattoos have been celebrated for millennia across the globe. Whether for religious, traditional or personal reasons, people have chosen to decorate their bodies with ink.

Logan Todd

Multimedia Staff

etodd@unca.edu 

Elizabeth Webb, freshman music technology student has an affinity for tattooing different artists’ work on her body and giving her own personal meaning to the pieces of art.

She has three tattoos currently: on her shoulder,arm and thigh respectively.

Elizabeth Webb calls this piece her “wanderlust” tattoo. Photo by Logan Todd

The tattoo on her right arm features a red fox being pulled up by a balloon, surrounded by stars into something akin to a galaxy. She refers to the tattoo as her “wanderlust” tattoo.

Webb said she chose a fox because they are her favorite animal.

“I like how cunning they are and a little mischievous too,” Webb said with a smile.

The galaxy portion of her tattoo ties into her personal philosophy of maintaining a sense of wonder and adventure for her surroundings.

Webb got this tattoo done last July in Nashville with Chipper Harbin, an artist who specializes in abstract, watercolor-like tattoos.

Webb gives artists free reign on the interpretation of her tattoo — with her approval of course — and then lets them execute their idea. Aside from the pain, Webb said she enjoyed the tattoo experience.

Her next tattoo was a pinup mermaid on her shoulder. The mermaid was created in American traditional style at her brother’s house by a tattoo artist who was staying with him at the time.

Webb fondly recalled summers at the beach with her family, deep sea fishing and walking on the sand. Those memories gave her the inspiration for the shoulder piece.

“It kind of became this sort of ongoing joke/low-key believing that I’m a mermaid,” Webb said with a laugh.

Webb got her mermaid tattoo as an homage to pleasant summer days passed. Photo by Logan Todd

Webb said her mom would always call her her little mermaid.

Webb’s third tattoo is a thigh piece, a bouquet of roses. In highschool Webb struggled with her body image and found solace in origami. She wrote things she struggled with on napkins then folded them into origami roses, making a bouquet, that activity helping her cope in hard times.

“They’re representations of myself. All my tattoos are artwork on my body, especially being an artist, I love that my body is now becoming this canvas that’s always changing and shifting,” Webb said.

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