I’m Melina, 27 years old. I took my first tattoo in Turkey when I was 17 so it has faded a bit already. We were having a vacation with my friend and we decided to take friendship tattoos. We went to a first shop we found and the tattoo artist drew this design for us, a lock and a key. We took the colours in reverse so now we kind of have keys for each others locks. I don’t regret it, but because my lock is missing its colour it has lost the original idea a bit.

My second tattoo is a text ”Because my heart said so” on my chest. At the time I was deep in the closet and this tattoo reminded me that I can be anything if my heart says so. Nowadays the meaning is wider and can be suited in almost every situation. At first I didn’t even tell anyone the meaning of this tattoo because of the closet situation. It was a reminder only for me.

On my shoulder there was a tattoo I had designed myself but we’ve started fixing and covering it now. The new style I have on my whole arm now was so nice I wanted to continue it on my shoulder too. At first I wanted something geometric, then it became a mandala with which we started to fill the whole arm. Earlier I had to have a meaning for every tattoo but not anymore.

The diamond tattoo is about a certain person and reminds me of them and my life then. I was sitting there getting a tattoo on my arm and thought that I could take a tattoo like that as well. So I noted the artist that we could do the diamond too. Even though that life situation is over I haven’t wanted to cover that up. It’s a part of my life and memories.

When I still thought that every tattoo has to have a meaning I took this tattoo about my mom and dad. I’ve also been meaning to take a tattoo about my brother but haven’t gotten into it yet. I would’ve wanted to get my parents’ EKGs but it turned out to be quite challenging to get them. So I ended up with this easier heart design. 

Everyone in my family has tattoos so it’s always been okay to them. Now my dad has started implying that would I have enough tattoos already but no, not yet. When the right side is full I’ll be done. I have all my tattoos on the right side of my body except for the text on my chest. But it was supposed to be there, on my heart. I have just decided that I’ll take everything on the right side, there is no any particular reason for it. 

The Phoenix bird I took when I wanted to fill my leg. I could tell a really beautiful story here but the truth is I just went to the shop and told that I want a large size tattoo on my leg to fill it. I noticed a pic of a Phoenix and told the artist I wanted that one and this big. He asked if I was sure about the size, but because my intention was only to get some free space off, it was perfect.

The text ”Joku taika sulla on” on my leg is Finnish and means that you have some magic in you. It’s about my best friend who was there for me when I got out of the closet. At that time our song was Stella’s ”Häävalssi”, it means ”A Wedding Waltz”. It may not be that suitable for two friends but it was our song. Last summer I decided I wanted to get this tattoo as a reminder that I have a friend like this in my life. There is also an anchor which reminds of them being there for me in the storms too and holding me still. Without them I may wouldn’t even be here. It’s a very emotional tattoo for me. And afterwards the friend took the same design so now it’s also a friendship tattoo for us. 

The text ”learn, grow, heal” I took last spring when I was having a hard time in my life and didn’t know what I really wanted. I made poor decisions and wanted a tattoo to remind me of that time. I got to those three words because they remind me well of that couple of months. They mean to me that when you make bad choices it’s better to learn about them.

We grow a bit after every mistake and I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I’ve done something wrong, I learn about it and then heal. It was meant that other people can see it too. I get asked about it a lot and every time I remember that time. I’ve been pretty open about it and because I’ve always kept things to myself and been bad at talking and sharing, I’ve tried to learn now. My coworker told that they got to know me better in five minutes than in last four years after I opened up to them. 

Right now I don’t have any particular tattoos coming next but I keep filling the right side of my body. 

P.S. Pinja is a drama queen