Hanna S.

I got my first tattoo in December 2013. I got two tattoos at the same appointment. My half-sleeve was tattooed six months later. My latest tattoo (the other half-sleeve) was tattooed in December 2018.

My first tattoos are combinations of Kalevala Jewelry with some twist of my own. The other tattoo is dedicated to my father, the other to my mother. All my tattoos are dedicated to my family members because I’m really family-oriented by nature. The ink on these tattoos has spread over time, but the skin constantly lives, and my intention is to fix these tattoos at the same time as I combine all my existing tattoos.

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I’ve been planning that all my tattoos would be combined by some flowers so that they would form a kind of armor on my skin. At the same time, they would mean that I’ll always be there to have my family’s back, ready to defend them if necessary.

My mother side tattoo is based on Kalevala Jewelry’s Helinä, which has a Vellamo-theme within. My mother is a gorgeous woman, a tough and soft person at the same time. On my father side tattoo, there’s Ahti-theme inside Helinä. Ahti seemed a natural choice because we often used to go fishing with my father when I was little, and I see Ahti as a calm, yet a stout character, just like my father. They say that Ahti is righteous and loves his own – and I can fully agree on this description on my father as well.

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My next tattoo is dedicated to my siblings. It was tattooed by Altti in Shaman Arts. I practically have three siblings: a biological sister, a biological brother and a “bonus sister” who has always been a part of our family. Our parents knew each other before we were even born. Our bonus sister’s mother passed away when our sister was little, and we have shared my biological mother ever since.

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It would sound odd to say that I have only two siblings because I see our bonus sister as important part of our family as my biological siblings. We’re all very close to each other. I got this tattoo after my brother had finished his military service and moved to Scotland to study, so all of us had left the nest, so to say. One of the swallows is a bit different from the others, which alludes to our bonus sister.

The Latin words mean “my sister, my brother”. I made sure that the text is grammatically correct by asking the language teacher of my old high school about the correct spelling. Luckily, he was kind enough to answer a random e-mail from a former student!

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I got my latest tattoo in December 2018. The most important things in my life are tattooed on my other forearm: my children. We’re not very religious, but nature is very important to us. Before we began to expect our daughter, my husband and I searched for nature-themed names and found the most beautiful name in the world: Ruska. My husband fell in love with the name so deeply that he couldn’t think of any other name, and I also found the name very pretty.

When Ruska was born, I remember one night when the midwife came to our room to help us as Ruska was treated with phototherapy. The lovely midwife asked about my tattoos and whether I was going to get a tattoo dedicated to my newborn baby as well. As soon as possible, I answered her!

After a little over a year, our wish came true again as my pregnancy test came back positive. My husband and I had been hoping that our children would have a small age gap, because my brother and I have an 18-month age gap between us, and I think it’s fair to say he’s one of my best friends.  A while ago, when I attended my husband’s gig, I even accidentally introduced myself as my brother’s little sister. My brother stood beside me and corrected my mistake, laughing.

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We have usually told the name of our baby to other people after the structural ultrasound scan if they’ve been able to determine the sex of the baby during the scan. Once again, my intuition proved to be correct, as we found out that I was carrying a boy. He was named Otava.

I had booked an appointment to Anssi Kohtalo in Tattoo Cartel, and first our plan was to tattoo something to honor my grandparents. But as I traveled back home from Sweden with my family, I got this another tattoo idea. I immediately sent Anssi a message and some reference photos, and he designed this gorgeous tattoo based on my ideas.

This tattoo includes a bear, an autumn leaf and the star pattern Otava (in English: Big Dipper / Plough) on one tip of the leaf. Otava is the brightest pattern of the constellation called Ursa Major. My cousin pointed out that this tattoo also seems to depict mother’s protection – she saw me as the mama-bear who protects her cubs. I think the idea works that way as well, and besides, it was a truly beautiful thought.

I’ve got a lot of compliments on this tattoo, and many people have asked who has tattooed this. Especially those friends who were tattooed many years ago have been interested in this since they have felt they haven’t yet found the right artist for them. The tattoo dedicated to my grandparents will wait until Spring 2019.

I’m going to get more tattoos in the future because tattoos always make me feel prettier. Some people get breast implants or botox injections, cut and dye their hair or pay close attention to what they wear. For me, tattoos have the same effect.

My husband and I have been together nearly 4,5 years. Our plan is to get same kind of tattoos, but nothing too obvious. Music is our passion, and we spent our first date laying on the couch and listening In Flames, his arm wrapped around me. So maybe something related to In Flames?

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