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?
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 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.”