Tat-Tuesdays: ACL festivalgoers share stories behind ink

Danielle Lopez

Editor’s note: Tat-Tuesday is a weekly series that features students around campus and their tattoos. This week's Tat-Tuesday features festivalgoers from the ACL Music Festival. 

Photos by Thalia Juarez | Daily Texan Staff

Karl Easley

On Dallas-based occupational therapist Karl Easley’s right ankle, there is a “very spiritual” tattoo of Felix the Cat. He got the tattoo — which was originally a different version of Felix — when he was in a drug rehabilitation center. 

“What happened was a guy said ‘Can I have your Walkman?’ and he took my Sony Walkman and turned it into a tattoo gun,” Easley said. “We used cigarette ashes like we were in a prison or something, and then he drew a head of Felix the Cat. It looked like shit.”

Sober for 10 years now, Easley said he got the new version of the tattoo about a year ago. He said during his 12-step programs, his counselors advised him to use his spirituality to help him through recovery.

“I wouldn’t give into the spiritual shit,” Easley said. “So I put a bag of tricks at my feet, and Felix was my dude.”

Sarah Witt

In honor of UT alumna Sarah Witt’s love for “Pirates of the Caribbean,” she decided to get a series of nautical-themed tattoos. On her left arm, she has a compass of two roses, an anchor with the number 13 and a quote that reads “Now bring me that horizon.” 

“I love Pirates of the Caribbean and nautical stuff,” Witt said.

She said if she ever met Johnny Depp, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself.

“Oh, my god,” Witt said. “I’d be so excited and nervous. I don’t know what I would say.” 

Derek Smith

Austinite Derek Smith, who trains police dogs at Pacesetter K9 LLC, got a tattoo of the archangel Michael on his left arm about nine months ago.

“I got it right after I got home from deployment,” Smith said. “I got confirmed Catholic when I was deployed in Africa, and Saint Michael was my patron saint.”