February 2014 Archives

David Lind

David Lind Chicago tattoo

David Lind Chicago tattoo

I met up with David Lind in Lincoln Square a while ago. Long enough ago, in fact, that you could stand outside without a shirt comfortably. We had a great conversation, discussing tattoos, of course, but also talking about art, careers, other cities we love. And then I got behind on the interview transcriptions for this site a little (a lot) and then… disaster. The audio file of David’s interview was corrupt and was completely inaudible. So I reached out to David by email and asked him to re-create our entire conversation from memory. He did better, producing these concise and delightful answers to my questions.

CFT: Are you a life-long Chicago resident?

David: I was born and raised in the NW burbs, but have always had a connection to Chicago through my uncle’s family and my grandparents. Both my uncle and gpa were Chicago Police Officers, and I spent a lot of time at their houses for family gatherings. Along with that, I also made sure to visit Chicago as much as I could growing up (concerts, sporting events, touristy things, etc). I finally made the move to Chicago in 2004 when I moved downtown for schooling at Columbia College, and I have never looked back.

CFT: What is it about the city that made you want to get this tattoo?

David: I just have a pure love and fascination with Chicago, and the city’s flag is so simple in design, but so meaningful in description with the city’s rich history. My heart is within Chicago, so why not make it permanently tattoo it across my heart?! I have even expanded my love with Chicago by starting a clothing and design company based around Chicago called Biddywax Clothing and Design. I use images of historical figures and symbols of Chicago and combine them into an art form not seen around. It’s a raw, edgy way of representing Chicago. Kinda the way Chicago is meant to be.

CFT: Your particular tattoo has a lot of of components — what’s else is going on there?

David: For the most part my chest piece is an abstract mirror image of my family. Without my family I am no one, so I like to present them to the public through art. There’s a cardinal for my mother, an anchor for my Gpa, GNR logo representing my love for the band and symbolizing my 2 brothers, father and I protecting the rose which is my mother, a purple rose for my Gma, and of course the Chicago flag done in a similar style from one of my favorite paintings done by Hokusai called “The Great Wave”. In other words, a lot is going on in chest tattoo.

CFT: I remember we talked about your mother (you have a tattoo of her on your forearm, right?)

David: I have a portrait of my mother when she was 18 on my left forearm. My family and I unfortunately lost her back in 2010 due to cancer, so I decided to permanently wear ‘my heart on my sleeve’. She was the glue to our family. I am fortunate of how much attention this one tattoo of her gets daily. It makes me proud to be able to tell people, such as yourself, about her. It’s truly my favorite tattoo, and then my Chicago flag tattoo.

CFT: And where did you get the tattoo, from who?

David: I got my tattoo done by Phil Cisco at Maximum Tattoo. I plan on going back to him to get a huge Chicago Blackhawks tattoo on my left arm. I’ll let you know when that is done…

Thanks again for everything! I hope to be in talks sooner then later. Also, I wanted to inform you about an art community I am part of every 2nd Wednesday at Galway Bay in Lakeview from 10p-2a called The Infusion Project. It’s a collaboration of artists from DJs, live paintings, henna tattoos, tarot card readers, and myself. Come on by sometime. Our next show is March 12th.

David Lind Chicago tattoo
David says about his back piece: “I want to give a shout out to my friend and tattoo artist who works on my back, Drew De La Fuente. He’s a very talented artist out of Texas and owner of 13th Ave Ink in San Antonio.”

David Lind Chicago tattoo

Jordan M

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan sent in some photos of his epic Chicago-themed sleeve and when I sent him a few followup questions he replied with this great essay:

Jordan: Chicago is my favorite place in the entire world. No other city offers the total package like Chicago does. We have the most stunning architecture, an incredible restaurant scene, nationally recognized craft beer makers, unbeatable music venues and festivals, the world’s best comedy, a tremendous sports and recreation scene, incomparable artwork, an ocean-sized lake with sunny beaches, world-class higher education, convenient public transportation (that is, until Ventra came along), and best of all, the people are as kind as they are beautiful! I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Chicago. I truly feel bad for people who miss out on the opportunity to live here.

I am not originally from Chicago. I was born and raised near Lincoln, Nebraska (Go Big Red!) and have lived here for seven years. I visited Chicago with my family for the first time roughly around junior high. I remember being captivated by the size and beauty of Chicago’s skyline and telling myself that it was just a matter of time before I would be living there myself. That was really the extent of my experience with Chicago before actually moving here in 2007 after college. Since moving here, I have lived in Evanston, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview (twice) and hope to move to Bucktown, Wicker Park, or the West Loop this summer. I plan to live in Chicago for the rest of my life without question.

I got my tattoo at Deluxe Tattoo at 1459 W Irving Park Road in Lakeview. Miles Maniaci was my artist and I’m very happy with the work he did. The tattoo required four visits to the shop plus a quick touch-up session after I was fully healed to see if anything needed to be darkened. It is my first tattoo but not my last. I spent several months sketching my ideas over and over before setting up an appointment and running my ideas by Miles. Miles was very easy to work with and being the professional artist that he is, he was able to take my sketches to an entirely different level. He made sure that the placement of the various elements made sense and that there was a nice balance of color throughout the entire piece.

My tattoo is basically a collage of all of my favorite things about the city of Chicago. It includes a portion of the city’s famous skyline (anchored by Willis Tower, the CNA Center, and The John Hancock Center), the vertical Chicago Theatre sign, the Art Institute lion statue, the Chicago Marathon, the Flag of Chicago (which serves as the marathon finish line), the Andersonville water tower, and the Lollapalooza logo. The underside of my arm includes the Kuma’s Corner logo and a glimpse of a passing “L” train.

I already touched on my love for the Chicago skyline above. I chose the Chicago Theatre sign for its flash and color and because it’s a recognizable symbol of the city’s entertainment history. The Art Institute lion (in addition to being my favorite part of my tattoo) is just so majestic and the Institute itself so breathtaking that I couldn’t not include it. I decided to include the Chicago Marathon scene after watching my mom run the race (and qualify for Boston) in 2011. Including the Flag of Chicago was a no-brainer but it was Miles’ idea to incorporate it into the marathon finish line. The Andersonville Water Tower is important to me because not only because Andersonville is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city (great food, festivals, and people), it’s also the Swedish capital of Chicago and I have strong Swedish roots in my blood. The Lollapalooza logo was included for obvious reasons - it’s the greatest weekend of the year in Chicago! The single most fun I’ve ever had in Chicago was on August 7, 2011 when I saw my favorite band, Foo Fighters, play “My Hero” through a tsunami in front of about 50,000 people. I was practically front and center for a performance that will never be topped in my lifetime. People that were there know what I am talking about. YouTube it. Kuma’s Corner is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Chicago and the heavy metal burger bar’s logo, for the purpose of my tattoo, serves as a symbol of Chicago’s mouthwatering food scene. I’m a die-hard foodie and want to visit every restaurant in the city before I croak. Kuma’s is so outstanding that it’s one of the few places in the city that has earned my repeat business (and by repeat, I mean 20+) despite the insane amount of competition. Finally, my Chicago tattoo wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include some kind of nod to the “L”. Ventra headaches aside, the “L” is a fantastic way to quickly explore the various neighborhoods of the city without blowing all your beer money. People that complain about the “L” should really spend some time in other major U.S. cities to see just how good we have it. This city is a piece of cake to navigate on the “L” and it’s one of the city’s most iconic images.

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Jordan M Chicago tattoo

Cassie Brucci

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Cassie Brucci Chicago skyline tattoo

Cassie was spotted by CFT’s Erica Reid at one of Chicago’s many theatres, where they were both doing theater-y things and she (Cassie) was nice enough to sit down with us (Erica and Fuzzy) at New Wave Coffee in Logan Square to talk about her tattoo.

CFT: Tell me about your Chicago flag tattoo… sorry, that’s habit, about your Chicago skyline tattoo.

Cassie: So, I moved to Chicago in September of 2011 and I came here on sort of a whim. I decided to go to Columbia. I came here to visit family and I decided to go visit the school while I was here and I fell in love and was like “this is where I need to be”, so I transferred into Columbia and switched my major. Ever since I’ve been in Chicago I have really felt like I’ve grown so much as a person and there are so many opportunities that were presented to me here that wouldn’t have been presented to me at home and it’s such a huge part of who I am now. I mean, I wouldn’t be the same person that I was if I had just stayed at home and continued doing what I was doing there. So, I had the idea to get the skyline since it means so much to me, but get an EKG outline of it so it looks like a little heartbeat because I felt like when I came here was when I really started to “live”. Like I felt really scared to be who I was back home and wasn’t really true to myself but then when I got here, it really opened up my horizon and opened up just me in general to being proud of who I am and what I’m doing. So that’s the story.

CFT: Where did you come from?

Cassie: I came from Scottsdale, Arizona. I was born in California and we lived there till I was three and I have lived in various cities in Arizona ever since. Mostly Paradise Valley in Scottsdale.

CFT: It’s interesting that you call Arizona home. Does that still feel like home to you and Chicago is something different than home?

Cassie: It’s really weird because I will interchange home for Chicago and Arizona. Like when I’m in Arizona, I can’t wait to go home and I’m referring to here. Then I’ll be here and I’ll tell people that I’m going home for Christmas. I don’t know, I guess they’re both homes to me. I have to give credit to Arizona because that’s where I was raised. A lot of things happened there that shaped me but this is just like another stepping stone in becoming who I am so it’s just like a second home.

CFT: You can have more than one home. I don’t mean to challenge your word use. I guess I just wanted to explore that a little bit because I have had so many homes.

Cassie: Yeah, this is definitely equal on the playing field of home, if not better to me as home.

CFT: I guess 2011 has only been like 3 years. You fell in love right away. There wasn’t a tipping point, you visited and then knew, “I have to be here”.

Cassie: I have always wanted to move away ever since I was 8 years old. My parents knew eventually, “she’s not going to be here forever” and then I finally was able to go to a place and really connect with it just right away. Because I had explored going to other schools but they weren’t cities I really loved; it was more for the sake of just getting out and I was like “uh, alright, let’s see” and then I came to Chicago and it was just like, instantly, “nope, this is it”. You just know when you have a gut feeling in you that something’s meant to be. That was it when I got here, like I had that.

CFT: What are the things that Chicago has let you do?

Cassie: I wanted to go into the entertainment field doing more behind the scenes work. I have been dancing since I was like 3 years old and I’ve always been very heavily involved in music and playing instruments and singing but I don’t feel that being a performer is where I’m meant to be for a career path. I like being behind the scenes, I like just being there and doing the work that no one sees, to be able to put on events that people then go and see and love and cherish for years to come. That gives me really deep satisfaction knowing I was there working to put this whole event on. When it comes down to it, you know, there are people working behind you don’t even see, they’re one of the reasons these events even happen.

I came to Columbia and saw the arts management program. That’s kind of a vague major; no one really has that anywhere else. So when I came there, I saw, this is a thing? I have to do it! Perfect! I’ve just had really awesome internship opportunities open themselves up to me. I worked at City Winery and I got to work with Schubas and I got to intern at a really awesome booking agency called Flower Booking. It’s just stuff that’s here and I wouldn’t have found at home that’s kind of helped me build up to where I’m at now. Now I’m helping a local producer here do his marketing and his PR and he’s pretty well known around the scenes. I know I wouldn’t have found this stuff staying at home at Scottsdale, Arizona.

And just on top of it, I mean, aside from being career focused, you guys know there’s so much to do here. The restaurant scene is kind of unmatched unless you’re talking about New York or something like that. There’s endless things to do in the summer. There’s always something going on with museums, festivals, whatever, you can never get bored here. You can always develop your knowledge and you can find your people. You can never get bored here and if you do, you’re not looking hard enough. You don’t even have to look very hard. It’s just nice to know that there are so many great resources for art and science and literature and music and food and anything you can think of is right at my fingertips in my own backyard. That was a huge appeal of the city to me.

CFT: Is that your first tattoo?

Cassie: It’s my first and only tattoo right now.

CFT: Where’d you get it done?

Cassie: I got it done at Deluxe Tattoo at Southport and Irving, probably a month after my graduation ceremony. It was like June of 2013 so I’ve had it like 6 months. It’s pretty fresh ink.

CFT: I don’t know if you’ve travelled since you got it done, but do people know what it is? Here, it’s pretty obvious.

Cassie: I’m trying to think because the only place I’ve really gone with the tattoo was probably back home and I think people know. They actually do, they go, “oh my god, Chicago skyline!” Some people go, “is it New York or Chicago?” but either way they have a general idea of what it is so yeah, there’s no real abstract guesses.

CFT: “Oh, I guess you really love Toronto!”

Cassie: Right, exactly. “Oh, you like lines with a lot of pointy ends on them.” Like, no guys, they have the right idea so they either nail it or you have to steer them a little bit. A few states too east, so I gotta get them back to the midwest.

CFT: Awesome! Thanks!

Cassie: Thank you guys!

Cassie Brucci Chicago skyline tattoo

Connor Skelly

Connor Skelly

Connor sent his own interview in by email:

I’ve been looking at your website for a while and love all the tattoos I’ve seen. I’ve been waiting to get my tattoo for a while so when I finally got it I had to send it to you.

The blue lines are self-explanatory. I’ve been writing, performing, and studying music all my life and that is eventually what I want to do with my life. The “162” was my grandfather’s police badge number, who was the Captain of the Chicago Police. And of course, with my family being completely Irish, the shamrocks were just the perfect thing to balance it out. I am actually the only one in my family not born in Chicago but now that I live here and have been coming here my whole life, I feel like a Chicagoan. This city has brought me so many great experiences and definitely many more to come.

Zach Stuka did the tattoo over at Deluxe Tattoo in Irving Park. Definitely recommend him.

Connor Skelly

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 to arrange an interview.

If you just want to send in a photo, we always love to know:

  • What is about Chicago that made you want to get your tattoo?
  • Where did you get it done?
  • May we use your full name on the site?
  • If possible, we'd love to see a photo of you and not just your tattoo. Check out some of the interviews on the site to see what we mean.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2014 is the previous archive.

March 2014 is the next archive.

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