July 2012 Archives

Cinnamon Cooper

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Cinnamon Cooper-Tattoo

We got to a show at the Hideout way too early and ran into Cinnamon Cooper who had made the same mistake about the show time that  we had. But it was a lucky break for CFT because I got to ask her about her forearm tattoo.

CFT: So your tattoo has a Chicago star. I assume that's a New Orleans fleur-de-lis, because that's the New Orleans water meter cover on a frying pan and I have your cast iron cooking cookbook, so this is a lot of assumptions here...

Nope, you're all right on.

CFT: Are you from New Orleans?

No, and I'm not from Chicago either. However, I moved to Chicago sixteen years ago, fell in love with the city and felt like I'd found home after moving around my entire life. And then we went to New Orleans for vacation and then I felt like I'd found where my soul belonged. So it's sort of this difference between where everything fits and where everything feels free. After I wrote the cookbook I'd been trying to come up with a way to combine New Orleans and Chicago and food all in one thing. And I couldn't figure out how to do it. And then after I wrote the cast iron cookbook and we were on vacation in New Orleans and I saw the water meter and I was like, yeah, I really like that symbol, too. And I came back and talked to a friend and she's like, "just put that on a skillet." Why didn't I think of that? So I found a tattoo artist here named Serena Landers and contacted her and said these are the images that I'm thinking about combining, here's like twenty fleur-de-lis, here are several different Chicagoish images that I'm interested in, and a skillet. And so she came up with it. It wasn't at all what I had in my mind, but as soon as I saw how she combined it, it just made more sense than what I had pictured.

CFT: How long have you had it?

I've had it not quite a year and a half. And I'm sort of trying to figure out what else to put around it. I also do a lot of sewing, crafting stuff.

CFT: So it is one that could sort of have an orbit of other images.

I've pictured it being the nucleus to my universe of tattoos.

Cinnamon Cooper

Caitlin Bergh

Caitlin Bergh Chicago flag tattoo

Erica and I saw Caitlin's wrist tattoo when she auditioned for a show we were casting. Just a few days later, Erica and Caitlin were both working on a comedy video and Erica took the opportunity to interview her. Caitlin is originally from New Jersey and has only lived in Chicago, most recently in Andersonville, for about four years.

So, it was about a year ago. I'd been here for three years, which isn't very long to get a tattoo of a city, but it's fine. So what happened was I was applying to grad school and I applied all over the country: California, New York, etc, and other places, too, not just there. And my mom and dad really wanted me to move back to New York. That's where I went to college, and I'm from New Jersey, all my family's there. But I felt like I had created something in Chicago that was really special, and that was my own and not connected to my family and all this stuff that I've been through in my life, so it was a fresh thing here. I was going home to visit New York, to visit a school, and I decided on the plane ride back to Chicago that I was going to stay here. So on the plane ride back I started drawing tattoos and just getting ideas. I wanted something with the flag, but I wanted it to be abstract, not a literal representation. And so I decided to do a slice of the flag. And I was just like drawing on my arm on the plane. And I was like, "yeah, this is perfect." You know, it's a two hour flight, I was like, "I'm going to do it." So I got off the plane and got onto the Blue Line, took it to my favorite tattoo place with all my bags and just got it right then.

CFT: Whoa.

It was pretty impulsive, but I think it was totally worth it. And also the tattoo artist was like, "I have to run to a concert, so I'm going to be really quick about it", which you should say No when that happens. But I figured it's so simple that he wouldn't fuck it up and he didn't. 

CFT: Who did it?

It's Tomato Tattoo. Usually I got to a guy named Erik, but he wasn't available on such short notice, so I don't know what the name was. But all of my tattoos are from there. 

Caitlin Bergh

Daniel Conrad

Daniel Conrad-Chicago flag tattoo

One of the great things about the Chicago flag is how easily the design can be adapted yet remain recognizable--put four red things between two blue stripey things and there's your flag. I ran into Daniel at a mutual friend's suburban barbeque and asked him about his bike-gears and bike-chains version of the flag that he had tattooed on his right calf:

Chicagoans are so enraptured by their city, it's great. Growing up in the city and eventually leaving for a semester for college I realized how much I loved the city, had to move back. So, eventually, I'd say about two-three years ago, I knew that it'd be the only city I would actually want to live in for the rest of my life. I was OK with that. I was actually really happy with that. Once I realized that, and at the time I was biking so much I wanted to incorporate the two and that's how this came about. And actually there are thirteen teeth on each cog, but that was because I like prime numbers, [laugh], so I altered it a little bit, but beyond that it was just to have a Chicago flag, and to have something that symbolized biking.

CFT: Are you a lifelong Chicagoan?

Lifelong. I grew up in the city, within the city bounds, mostly on the north to northwest side, along the Blue Line hallway. Originally Rogers Park, and then to Edgewater, down to Humbolt Park, Logan Square, eventually down to UIC when I went to UIC, and back to Logan Square. And so always been around there. 

CFT: Where did you get it done?

I got it at Revolution, which is around Western, just south of Fullerton.

Daniel Conrad

Fuzzy Gerdes

Fuzzy getting his Chicago Flag tattoo

Hi, my name is Fuzzy Gerdes and this is my new blog. Might as well start out with a little blood, eh?

When I was a kid, we moved around fairly often for my dad's job; I think we averaged about 4 years in any one place. I moved to Chicago in 1999 and when I hit eleven years here, it was the longest I'd ever lived in one place. I love the city, I love the clean design of our flag, I love tattoos, and I also felt like I had accomplished a series of things that, like the meanings behind the Chicago Flag's stars, merited my own checklist (meeting and marrying my wife, producing an improv show that made the year's "best of" lists, going from the proverbial "couch" to finishing the Chicago Triathlon in two years, being awesome). A Chicago Flag tattoo seemed like a no-brainer.

Mine is a band that goes all the way around my left forearm, with the stars equally spaced all around. I narrowed the blue bands from their proper proportions simply because I didn't feel like I wanted thick blue bands there. I went to Tine at Speakeasy Tattoo in Wicker Parker (owned, nicely enough, by Patrick Cornolo who did the first tattoo I ever got in Chicago).

About CFT

We love all sorts of Chicago-related tattoos and love interviewing the people who have them. If you've got one or know someone who does, please let us know at tats@chicagoflagtattoos.com.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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