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Malia's Balance Tattoo
Recently I told the story of how I got some Hawaiian rune designs tattooed on my left wrist. That same afternoon my friend Malia got a tattoo too, and here's the story behind that design.
As I was wanting to get tattooed and was in a place where I didn't have a personal recommendation for where to go, I asked someone local: my friend Malia! I knew she already had one tattoo of her own and I figured she might have a good idea of where to go, or not to go, to get tattoo when I was in Oahu. Not only did Malia know of several shops that were best for me to avoid (they only do designs off-the-wall which means those artists can't really draw) but she wanted to get some new ink too, and had heard of a local woman artist who might be good. So, we planned a tattoo afternoon together!
Malia and I talked about our tattoos a few days before we went and got them. She was debating a few design ideas. Her father passed away several years ago and she's thought of getting a tattoo in his memory. As we chatted about that design, it became clear that she's still thinking of their relationship and how best to symbolize that. However, her other tattoo idea is about where she is in her life right now and she had a very clear idea for that one. Juggling school and work and a new apartment/housemate situation, Malia wanted to get the word for "balance" in Sanskrit, a design she'd looked up on the internet and really liked.
Malia told me she had a day where she'd be off work at noon and we could go get tattooed that afternoon: perfect! I spent the night before and that morning working on the tracings of my designs and getting excited. When Malia finished work she came over and we had some lunch. Then we went to the web site to find her design, only to find the site was now gone, yikes! The lesson here is when you see a design you really like, print it out right then, just in case. Some hardcore searching was in order and we managed to find the word in Sanskrit script on another site. By making the text on the web page bigger, we actually got the design to the right size for tattooing on her shoulder.
We drove to Odyssey Tattoo in Wahiawa and met Alex, the woman who works in that shop. She made stencils for both our designs and then brought up into the back room to get inked. I went first. When Malia had the stencil put on her shoulder, I checked it to make sure it was right-side up and hadn't been flipped or reversed. About a half hour later, Malia had her "balance!"
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