The Art that Defines Me
Instructor Brandi Henderson
04 January 2013
People look at me and see my arms sleeved in ink and they say to me, “how can someone so feminine and beautiful destroy herself like that.” I share the drawings and the meanings behind my artwork and I start to see a whole new respect develop for me. My Tattoos are painful; from the needle poking directly into my arm to the sorrowful memories that the artwork represents throughout my life. Tattoos for me are a form of therapy, expression and art on the places of my body that I can constantly stare at daily. I want the drawings to remind me of the tough experiences I have endured, survived and conquered. I have chose to put my artwork in places that others may see so people will ask me what they mean because I believe that I can help people heal or just get through whatever struggles they may be going through by sharing my stories. I express my life story in color on my left arm, explaining what portrays my childhood and how I think it will be the day I die. The characters, Jack and Sally, from the movie Nightmare before Christmas, are expressing their love for each other underneath the moonlight. This drawing represents what we are taught as children, which is; “You will fall in love and live happily ever after. The reason this means so much to me is because 6 years ago I was in an abusive relationship and it was really hard for me to leave because I wanted the fairytale to desperately come true for me. Above my Elbow is a drawing of a Band-Aid and a stitched patch healing the wounds on a cartooned heart to demonstrate heartbreak throughout life. I served 12 years in the Army with my best friend who passed away coming home from Iraq. He had this idea to create a patch that would represent our unit camaraderie right before his final deployment. The patch is a skull with an aviator helmet; two M-16 rifles crossed behind the skull with our section logo in...
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