We were beyond excited to meet Mike. First, because he is officially our first participant for our brand new project Show Us Your Tats (SUYT) and then because we were so lucky to start this project with such an interesting piece. Indeed, Mike has his entire back covered, from neck to lower back.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Mike, Right now I’m currently an International MBA student at the Schulich School of Business. I also sit on the board of a not-for-profit organization, and part-time I’m also a valet driver
Let's Talk Tattoos
Right now I have 2 tattoos (hoping to get more!). The first one I have is on my chest piece which is a Polish eagle, which represents my background and my family. It was a great first piece because the whole anxiety of future regret was removed, since regardless of what I become in the future, I will always be Polish by blood. This first one was done by Nathan Draper (at the time he was at Pearl Harbor Gift Shop in Kensington).
My second tattoo is a combination of things that I saw during my trips to Vietnam and Bali. The vietnam portion (the dragons) came to be when I was touring the Temple of Literature, and saw this very intricate design on the door. Instantly I knew it was something that I would want, since education is a large part of who I believe that we should all strive to be constantly learning. The second portion is a Balinese Garduda, which really connected with me when I was at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali. At first it was the design that really hit me, but then the more I looked into it the more the idea of “fiercly attacking” started to stick.
In the end, I decided to combine the two on my back, so it’s a personal reminder that I should always be striving to improve myself, and that anything I choose to do to that end I do so with undaunting ferocity (when the going gets tough - keep going!). Of course, I can’t forget the very wonderful and talented Jenn Liles who did this piece!
What was the time and budget allocated for each piece?
The Polish eagle took 2 sessions, total maybe 5-6 hours. Approximately $300-$400
The backpiece took 10 months to complete. I asked Jenn if she knew how much it ended up costing in the end; all she said was that she lost count. Truth be told, so did I, and I think it’s for the better (I’m sure the total cost would have paid for a good portion of my tuition now). No regrets whatsoever - it never felt like I was overpaying for anything.
Is there something you wish you had known before getting tattooed?
The pain experienced is different for everyone.