This Art Handler's Tattoos Are Fading, But the Pride He Feels for Them Isn't
Photos by Mattie Stafford
In Ink Spot, we stop people in Dallas to shoot, and learn about, their body art. Know an interesting human canvas? Leave a tip in the comments.
Unlike many people with tattoos, photographer and art handler Jordan Inge has no plans to touch up his body art. Each represents a different time in his life, he says, and he likes the way tattoos stretch and fade, showing the passing of time.
His first tattoo, on his back, faded quickly because he got it at a time when he was surfing a lot and spending a lot of time in the sun. It says "UNITY" and is a tribute to Operation Ivy, a band that he listened to a lot at the time. The tattoo got him a lot of attention from "30 and 40 year old dudes" when he was a teenager and attending Warped Tour or other local punk rock shows. "That always felt pretty good as a little wanna-be punk rocker," he says.
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Another tattoo, a circle with one quarter filled in, is meant to fade. The filled-in quarter represents his age when he got the tattoo (25). His mother was 50 at the time and got a corresponding circle with one half filled in. Inge intends to add a hash mark to the circle every five years and maybe even fill in another quarter when he turns 50.
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A domino on his right wrist signifies a popular pastime among Inge's closest college friends, a tattoo they all have in different forms. When the group decided to get the tattoos, "everyone started calling out the dominos ... and just like in dominos I had nothing to choose from."
"Illigetimi non carborundum," a family saying, is forever around his upper right arm. It means: "Don't let the bastards wear you down."
An avid camper and hiker, each leg is marked with a logo from two major trails that Inge has conquered. His right leg proudly boasts his completion of the Appalachian Trail, which he hiked going southbound. The Appalachian Trail logo has been modified with a downward spiral to show the direction that Inge hiked. By chance, the tattoo artist that Inge went to for the Appalachian trail tattoo had also hiked the trail and had his own "AT tattoo." His left leg, with the Douglas fir tree, is from the Pacific Crest Trail in California.
His upper left arm features the same truck that Inge drove 300,000 miles for work as an art mover. "It was a cool time in my life", Inge says.
The tattoo is a reminder: "Hey, that was fun, but don't go be a truck driver again."
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