November 2012 Archives


I've started a Twitter account for this site: @chicagotats - like this site itself, it's going to be pretty low-traffic, just a little announcement whenever we have a new interview.

Doug Sichmeller

Doug Sichmeller - Chicago Stars tattoo

Doug Sichmeller was the second person to send me photos of his tattoos after seeing us mentioned on Gapers Block. Doug has a pair of nice Chicago Stars on each wrist.

CFT: Are you a life long Chicagoan? If not, where from and what brought you to the city?

Doug: I am not a lifetime Chicagoan. I was born in Kenosha, WI and grew up there. I spent four plus years in Milwaukee going to UWM and moved to Chicago to get my MA in Art History from UIC in 1998. My first place was a garden unit at Hoyne and LeMoyne in Wicker Park and rent was $315 per month! Good luck finding rent like that over there now! I have lived there, Humboldt Park, Edgewater and now the South Loop. So I guess 2013 will mark my fifteenth year in the city.

CFT: Who was your tattoo artist? Were these your first tattoos?

Doug: It was not my first tattoo. I got one on my upper arm when I turned 30. I received them at Taylor Street Tattoo in June of 2010 as a 35th birthday present from my lovely wife Katie. Though - ahem - I don’t quite recall who my tattoo artist was. I think we chose that place because it was the closest parlor to the South Loop at the time and we saw it in the documentary - “Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry.” Katie also managed to get one of the stars on her wrist! And then we celebrated at a dive bar in Little Italy. Fun times!

CFT: And most importantly, why the tattoo, especially in such a prominent place?

Doug: Chicago has always been an important place to me. I love this city and am the fourth generation of my family to call it home. Besides that I had always loved the simple, yet iconic, design of the flag. I decided at some point that I wanted a tattoo of it but couldn’t figure out where to get them. I had seen other people with them and wanted a bit of a twist on it. A couple of weeks before getting them I was blessed with the flash of genius to get a couple on each wrist - so that when I lined them up together they looked like the flag!

Doug Sichmeller - Chicago Stars tattoo closeup

Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson - Chicago Skyline and Star

Our little site was featured on Gapers Block today, which is delightful. Following that, a couple folks sent me photos of their Chicago tattoos. Yay! I'll still try and get out with my camera, but maybe I can just become a recluse and the world can come to me. We can dream, yes?

In any case, my first response was from Erica Johnson who shared this lovely skyline and star. Erica says:

Erica: I got a simple skyline and star tat a while ago and just wanted to share - I've lived all over but in Chicago the longest, and when I moved to Omaha a couple of years ago I got this as a reminder of "home". Now that I'm living back in Chicago it means even more to me.

CFT: Was this your first tattoo and where did you get it?

Erica: My tattoo artist was Mario Desa at Chicago Tattooing and Piercing Co. on Belmont.  This was my third tattoo, and I got it while visiting Chicago from Omaha in April of 2011.  It only made sense to get it here :)

Laurie Freivogel

Laurie Freivogel - Chicago Flag Tattoo

I was really happy when I saw that the DIY Trunk Show was going to be at the Broadway Armory, right in my neighborhood, both for the prospect of picking up some locally crafted Christmas presents, but also because I was pretty sure that it would be good CFT hunting grounds. I saw previous interviewee Cinnamon Cooper right away at her booth, but the rest of the craft fair proved too sweater-y to spot any of the Chicago tattoos I'm sure were lurking. At least, until 5 minutes before the close of the event when I stopped at the Kiku booth to snag a fused glass belt buckle for a present and saw Laurie Freivogel's forearm stars.

CFT: You just mentioned that you started with one, the big one.

Laurie: Because I had that one [points to a Fleur de Lis on her other arm] for Louisville and New Orleans, places we love, this [pointing back at the Chicago Star] is our home. So I'm like, yeah that matches, right? Yeah, great! and then, yeah...

CFT: Right. You gotta add the rest, the other three. Are you a native Chicagoan?

Laurie: Burbs. Northwest burbs.

CFT: Are you now in the city?

Laurie: We were in the city for a very long time. Went to school in Milwaukee, moved back to the city, couldn't find a house we could afford. So we moved to Oak Park. We're six blocks away.

CFT: Over the border. Looking at Chicago every day.

Laurie: All we have to do is turn our heads.

CFT: Where did you get the tattoos done?

Laurie: Tattoos by Serena. Serena Lander. I've known her for a dozen years and she's done 90% of my tattoos.

CFT: These were, obviously, not your first tattoos. Those are awesome, by the way.

Laurie: They're all add-ons at this point.

CFT: And how long have you had them?

Laurie: No idea. You know, I go see her every couple months; we trade. I just gave her a big batch of coasters. You know so it's like "How many hours do I have? Alright, let's, I don't know, I want a bird." So I have no idea.

Laurie Freivogel - Fleur de Lis tattoo

Laurie Freivogel


Hasani Illinois-Chicago Flag Tattoo

I took this site public just as the weather started to cool down for fall, and I figured I wasn’t going to just run across anyone’s tattoos in public until spring arrived, eleventy months away. But Caitlin and Hasani proved me wrong on that, both working in restaurants. Nookies Edgewater was pretty hopping, so I didn’t have an in-depth conversation with Hasani. I did get pictures of his sweet CTA Map tattoo (below) and his State-of-Illinois-crossed-by-the-Chicago-flag tattoo.

While I was getting my camera into movie mode to record the interview, Hasani told me that he was a life-long Chicago resident.

CFT: Why the tattoos?

Hasani: I mean, my parents are from Mexico, but they raised me here for a new future. So I fell in love with Chicago, I really did.

CFT: Where did you get them done?

Hasani: Family Tattoo on Belmont.

Hasani CTA Map Tattoo

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

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