People of UNF: What’s with all the ink?

Lili Weinstein

Mihana Mitchell is junior majoring in public law major and minoring in philosophy. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Tell me a little about your neck tattoo.

“I feel like I’ve always known that I wanted a lot of tattoos, and this is really the first tattoo that I got that is symbolic. It is for my daughter — I got it about a year after she was born. Her name is Ocean, and I’ve always liked the symbiotic relationship between sea anemones and clownfish. They take care of each other, and it’s that relationship between mother and daughter that I was trying to symbolise.”

Josh Torres is a junior studying mass media journalism. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Why did you decide to get tattoos in the first place?

“A little bit of it is I grew up listening to rock and punk and stuff like that. Most of the big figures in that have lots of tattoos. And when I turned 18 I just saw it as ‘It’s my body,’ and I just kinda see it as a blank canvas, I guess. If I want to put something on it, whatever that may be, I’m free to. It’s a way for me to express myself.”

Are you scared of how you’ll be viewed in the workforce?

“It’s possible, but at the same time, the way I see it, if someone thinks just because I have tattoos means I can’t do good work then that’s all on them. People see me, I have a few, but I’m not covered in them, yet. But I also have a 4.0 grade point average, and I haven’t failed a class since I got to college, and I’ve had internships with ESPN and stuff like that. If they really want to look at my tattoos and think differently, then I think they’re missing out on, I think, one of their best workers.”

Do you have a favorite?

The one on the back of my leg is particularly important. It’s actually a symbol from the Native Americans — it’s the symbol for Mother Earth. It’s called the symbol of the Earth Walkers, and that’s basically what we are. And there are two concepts: Mother Earth and Father Sky. Neither can exist without the other. I do believe in protecting the Earth and sustaining it. I don’t have a Father Sky tattoo, yet.”

Emily Scott is a sophomore studying at the University of North Florida. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Why the castle?

“I grew up in Orlando, and every weekend Disney was a thing for my family. We did the cruises, the Disney vacation packages, that kind of thing. Disney really helped me get through some hard times — and Cinderella is my favorite — and the castle was super symbolic to me as a kid. So I figured, ‘Why not just make it a showcase tattoo on my body?’”

Emily Scott is a sophomore studying at the University of North Florida. Photo by Lili Weinstein
Emily Scott is a sophomore studying at the University of North Florida. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Why did you chose to have those two symbols tattooed?

“The cross is because I’m a Christian, and it means a lot to me personally. And the paw prints are because I love animals.”

Did you get them at the same time?

“No, actually, I got the cross first. It was my second tattoo. And I got the paw prints a year later. I love that they’re there forever, and I can look at them and remind me of everything everyday. It’s perfect.”

Brody Knutson is a junior studying communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism. Photo by Lili Weinstein

What made you want so many?

“It’s to express a lot of different things like literature, poetry, and there’s art. I just like the way they look. None of them have color for a Johnny Cash song, it’s symbolic. Black and no color.”

Are you worried about how you’ll be viewed in the workforce after college?

“No, because I’m trying to get into a creative field and by then I figure that there will be enough people in my age group so that won’t be a problem.

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