Tat-Tuesday: Students share stories about ink

Thomas Boswell

Editor’s note: Tat-Tuesday is a weekly series that features students around campus and their tattoos.

Photos by Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff

Kaitlyn Monahan

Asian studies and linguistics honors junior Kaitlyn Monahan got her dachshund tattoo to commemorate the sudden passing of her dog, Rocky. The tattoo features a profile of a dachshund with a heart and a paw print filling the background.

“When I first lost him, it was really hard to do anything,” Monahan said. “I couldn’t even make the bed because he would always jump around on it while I was making it. We would always go on hikes together. He chased around an armadillo once because dachshunds are hunting dogs. I didn’t let him catch it though because I was afraid it was going to catch diseases.”

Esther Sanchez

A tattoo of Bilbo Baggins’ door from J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” marks journalism freshman Esther Sanchez’s back shoulder. She said she loves Tolkien’s books, but the tattoo’s significance goes beyond her love for literature.

“I got it because in the story, Bilbo goes on an adventure, and one of his quotes that I love is ‘There and back again,’” Sanchez said. “This is the beginning of my journey.”

Sanchez said she got the tattoo before high school graduation but didn’t let her parents know about it until three days before she moved to college.

“I wanted to start being my own individual, and since Bilbo became his own individual, I thought [this tattoo] would be the start,” Sanchez said. “His whole town frowned upon leaving the Shire, and I kind of left my little Shire.”

Rai Stalnaker

The puma that wraps around rhetoric and writing senior Rai Stalnaker’s ankle is actually her least favorite tattoo. She said she let the tattoo artist convince her that his design was better than the one she originally requested.

“What I wanted was a solid black puma on the top of my foot, which would be impossible to cover up,” Stalnaker said. “I had a major obsession with the Puma brand. I don’t wear any of it now.“

Stalnaker said she would advise her younger self not to get the tattoo, but she still has others she really loves.

“Get something that means more than just an affinity for a brand,” Stalnaker said. “I honestly would tell that Rai not to get any tattoos. Although my favorite tattoo I got came after that one — my ‘Harry Potter’ tattoo.”

Eddy Orbizu

Eddy Orbizu, who works on campus, has a koi fish design on his right shoulder. He said the koi fish swims around a dragon’s tail because he was born in the year of the dragon.

“I got my first tattoo when I was 14,” Eddy said. “When I got my first tattoo, my little sister told on me. I was trying to hide it from my parents. I was so gullible. My dad said ‘Hey, what’s that on your stomach?’ and I gave myself up.”