I’m Still Here!

Hey readers! It’s been a fantastic semester and I have enjoyed becoming a blogger so much that I am going to continue with Your Style Stories. Below are links to my 5 favorite posts so far. Enjoy!

Stamps of Survival: Stories Of Overcoming Illnesses And The Tattoos They Inspired

Professors Have Style Stories Too: Rowan University Professor Stephanie Nichols

My Own Style Story “To Be”

A Little Sunshine On Her Skin

Ernie The Tattoo Artist Talks About His Take On Tattoos

 

Ernie The Tattoo Artist Talks About His Take on Tattoos

Ernie Lanzalotti is a 22-year-old tattoo artist from South Jersey. He got his first tattoo at the age of 16 and has been working as a tattoo artist at Dave’s Tattoo Shop in Philadelphia since he was 18-years-old.

Tattoo artist Ernie Lanzalotti

Ernie Lanzalotti showing off his tattooed torso.

When I first walked into the back room of the tattoo shop to meet with Lanzalotti, he was “pushing ink,” as he says, into the side of a thigh of a young woman. I was impressed when he looked up and greeted me in a very friendly tone and then went right back to what he was doing, not even missing a beat in the tattoo he was drawing. My first thought of Lanzalotti upon sitting down for the interview was “Wow, this guy has A LOT of tattoos.” In fact, Lanzalotti says he has been getting a new tattoo once to twice a month since he was 16, sometimes even more often than that! It was even easier for him to tell me where he wasn’t tattooed instead of where he was.

“The only parts of my body that aren’t tattooed are my thighs, my lower back, my neck and my face,” he says.

About half of the tattoos on Lanzalotti’s body he drew himself and had them applied by trusted fellow employees.

“Most of the tattoos on my body actually don’t have a sentimental story behind them. Being a tattoo artist, you get bored sometimes when there are no customers in the shop. A lot of the time, someone will draw up a sketch and say ‘ok, let’s put this on you’.”

Lanzalotti says he enjoys his work and has been perfecting his art for years.

“I really like the atmosphere,” he said. “And I like the people, listening to their tattoo ideas and the stories behind them. I also like pretty much being my own boss, making my own hours, nobody telling you exactly what you have to do. But there is still that want to push yourself and make your work better and become a better artist.”

Lanzalotti's tattoo of his dog, Rocco.

One of the most important tattoos he ever did was one for his mother and aunt when his grandmother passed away.

A tattoo on Lanzalotti's shoulder.

“They both got crosses with wings on them. That was the most meaningful tattoo I’ve ever done so far,” Lanzalotti said.

He told me the most difficult part about being a tattoo artist was first starting out as one and learning how to tattoo the right way and the best way. In order to improve his work, he practiced on himself quite often.

“I think every tattoo artist has tattooed themselves when they start, just to know what it’s like and how they handle it,” he told me. “You mess up on yourself a lot.”

Lanzalotti's latest work in progress.

Something I always wanted to know, since I don’t have any tattoos myself, is does getting a tattoo really hurt? Just in case I ever decided to take the plunge myself. I figured since Lanzalotti is a professional, he’ll tell me the truth.

“All tattoos hurt.”

Darn it!

“I know people say they don’t hurt, people say they don’t feel it. But they hurt. They’re not unbearable, but they don’t feel good.”

Well, thanks for making me even more nervous just thinking about it!

Check out what Ernie has to say about tattoos below.

Mandee’s Life With Make Up

Mandee Ashley is a Rowan University student who can make people look like anything she wants through the use of make up. She has turned something she enjoys doing into a future career. Check out my very first video post to find out about Mandee Ashley’s style story!

To Write Hope On Her Arm…

Chelsea Dobrucki is a 20-year-old Junior at Rowan University majoring in Radio/Television/Film Production. You may have seen Dobrucki’s face and tattoo Your Style Stories before, but I feel her story was one worth sharing and want to tell the tale behind Dobrucki’s tattoo.

Chelsea Dobrucki showing off her "Hope" tattoo

Dobrucki's "Hope" tattoo.

In her teens, Dobrucki was more of an introverted person than she is today. She was not a fan of body art and rejected the idea when her older sister, Amanda, got a tattoo. “I remember thinking ‘well, that’s stupid, why would you want to ruin your body like that?” Dobrucki recalls the first time she saw her sister’s tattoo.

However, as Dobrucki got older her attitude towards tattoos changed. She found that she liked the idea of them so much that on her twentieth birthday in September 2011, she got her very own.“I got it because I was always the kind of girl who was shy. I realized the confidence that I needed and I decided to get a tattoo to remind me of that confidence. I got the word ‘hope’ because it’s not only my middle name but a reminder to hope for the best and never lose hope and keep moving towards the future,” Dobrucki says.

What is really sentimental to Dobrucki is that the tatoo matches her sister’s. “ Amanda, her middle name is faith and she has that tattooed on her right wrist.” Says Dobrucki. “So when we put them together it says faith and hope.”

Dobrucki says she likes surprising people who knew her as a shy teenager in high school who see her tattoo for the first time. But “hope” means a lot more to her than just a way to say she’s not so shy anymore. “Whenever I’m having a bad day I look down at it and see the word hope and it makes me feel better,” she says. “This last year my mother was diagnosed with cancer in March and through her cancer battle, my tattoo reminded me to hope for her to get better and to stay positive.”

Dobrucki does not regret her tattoo one bit, and actually hopes that is does inspire others to have hope. After hearing her story first-hand, I am certain that is exactly what it will do.

A Little Sunshine On Her Skin

Happy Spring and happy Easter and Passover weekend everyone! The sun has been out quite a bit in New Jersey and the weather has been warmer so I felt this would be a great time to share another more personal and “sunny” style story (excuse the pun, I couldn’t help it). This one isn’t about me but about one of my best friends, Rachael Glanding, a 20-year-old from Mercer County, New Jersey.

Rachael Glanding (left), Me (right)

If I could associate one symbol with Glanding, it would be the sun. She loves sunshine and lived in Arizona for several years before she moved to New Jersey with her family. Glanding often complains about the lack of heat and sunshine in New Jersey and constently wishes a loud to go back and visit Arizona. She wears a necklace with a sun shaped pendant every day, and a ring on her finger also shaped like the sun but with a smiling face that I helped convince her to buy because I knew she would love it. Glanding talked about getting a tattoo of the sun on her body for a long time, until October 2011 when she permanently inked a little sunshine onto her upper back to always remind her that the sun is always shining behind the clouds.

Rachael Glanding's sun tattoo on her upper back.

Tattooed Memories

Rachel Alderman, a 21-year-old Senior English Major at Rowan University, has a simple tattoo with an important meaning behind it.

Rachel Alderman displaying her wrist tattoo.

Currently, Alderman has two tattoos that both hold ties to very special memories. Her first tattoo is on her right ankle and was inspired by her trip to France her Senior year of high school.

“It was one of the best vacations I had ever had in my entire life,” says Alderman. “When I came home from France, I wanted something to remind me of the time I spent there.”

After a long period of consideration, and some valued help from her French teacher, Alderman came up with a tattoo that she felt expressed her take on life perfectly while tying in with her memory of France. The tattoo she now has on her ankle that says “love is life, life is love” in French.

"Love is life, life is love"

The second tattoo that Alderman has is a simple outline of a heart on her left wrist. Alderman says this tattoo was more of an “impulse tattoo,” unlike her first one.

“My friend, Valeria, and I decided to just go get one. We really wanted to get something together to symbolize our friendship and we decided to just get little hearts,” says Alderman.

The tattoo on Alderman’s left  matches the one on her friend’s right wrist, something that reminds me of a pair of friendship necklaces.

“Every time I look at the tattoo, I’m reminded of her,” Alderman says. “I’m reminded of our friendship, the time we spent together, we went to high school together, we worked together. It’s way of keeping her close to me even though she’s not [physically] so close to me anymore.”

One of two friendship hearts between two friends.

Finally! Abbie’s Tattoos!

For those of you who read my very first blog post about a style story, you’ll recall it being about my roommate, Abbie, and her tattoos. Unfortunately, I did not add pictures at the time of posting that particular story. However, now that I am much more handy with my blog and learned to be more professional-like and get everything posted at once, that will never happen again. So, here are those long awaited pictures of Abbie’s amazing tattoos.

Me, Katie (left) & Abbie (right).

Me, Katie (left) & Abbie (right).

Quote from book "The Outsiders."

 

Cherry blossom branch with title of Circa Survive song "Close your eyes to see."

"In Fear And Faith"

Song lyrics from band Circa Survive.

 

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