Emily Evans ’13 got her only tattoo in the spring of 2010 at Slingin’ Ink Tattoos on 5th Ave. Evans’s topless mermaid measures about six inches long. “She’s bigger than I intended actually,” Evans said.
Getting the tattoo was about a two hour process, and the first hour wasn’t so bad when they were tracing out the lines.
“But in the second hour, they used more needles to do the shading, and that’s when the pain really kicks in and you start questioning why you decided to get it in the first place,” Evans said, “Still definitely worth it though.”
Despite the pain, she didn’t cry.
“I think it was because like 6 people came with me, so I was trying to act pretty tough,” she said.
She managed to grit her teeth through the pain and was helped out by a fellow Slingin’ Ink patron.
“I was rather distracted at the time because…at the same time I was getting [my tattoo], I was laying on my side looking at [the wall of mirrors], there was a woman getting a tattoo on her frontal pelvic area, and she was in her mid fifties and was semi-obese and just had her pants and underwear down around her ankles and was turning around like, ‘Yeah, this looks great!’ So I had that to watch for a while, and that helped take my mind off [the pain],” Evans said, “But also, the guy doing my tattoo was like, ‘You need to stop laughing because I will mess up the lines.’”
Evans’s tattoo sprouted out of a love of all things oceanic.
“Growing up in the Midwest, I was always fascinated with the ocean because the largest body of water I had ever seen was Lake Michigan. [The ocean] is a place that is shrouded in mythology…and I’ve always loved Greek mythology and the myths surrounding the sea,” Evans said, “But I wanted to keep her realistic because I don’t think mermaids really wear those little shells. I think Disney lied to us. Most mermaids prefer to go without tops.”
Evans isn’t done with ink yet: she’s hoping to get another water-themed tattoo by the end of the year.
—Compiled and photographed by Avery Rowlison