November 2012 Archives
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!
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.
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...
Laurie: Burbs. Northwest burbs.
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.
Laurie: All we have to do is turn our heads.
Laurie: Tattoos by Serena. Serena Lander. I've known her for a dozen years and she's done 90% of my tattoos.
Laurie: They're all add-ons at this point.
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.
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.