Recently in Interviews Category

Lynette Silva

Lynette Chicago star tattoo

Lynette writes in with our first snowglobe!

I was sitting in my office, feeling homesick. Your website gave me a little Chicago fix that I needed desperately!

When I knew I would have to leave, I wanted to make sure I would always have Chicago with me in some way. So I got this white tattoo of one of the stars from the flag. Specifically, the star representing the great fire.

Josh Rosenberg

Josh Rosenberg tattoo

Josh wrote in to share:

I was born and raised in the area and Chicago has always had a very special place in my heart. Clearly my tattoo is not an exact picture of the skyline, but is more of a representation of all the places that hold happy memories to me. When I was a kid, my mom and I never had much, but she would always take me to Navy Pier. We would ride the ferris wheel, and ride the boats where I always saw the skyline. My uncle used to live in Lake Point Tower, where I would watch the fireworks over the city during the summer nights. The Sears (never Willis!) tower and Hancock building always gave me the goosebumps when I drove back home from the airport whenever I visited home. I’m currently in the Army and find myself deployed overseas quite often. Whenever I get up in the morning and look in the mirror, I always have a sense of home. The tattoo was done a couple months ago at Tatu Tattoo in Wicker Park by Eric Janovsky.

Josh Rosenberg

Zach Schneider

Zach Schneider tattoo

Zach wrote in:

I moved to Chicago in 2002 and I now feel that I can call Chicago home. I also ride in the streets of Chicago year around.

Zach’s tattoo is by Gordon Lipari, at the time at Metamorph.

Zach Schneider

Zack Belter

Zack Belter Chicago tattoo

Zack has a big bold forearm tattoo:

I was born and raised here in Chicago, so it’s almost like it’s running through my veins/heart, hence the skyline in the heartbeat monitor. Im lucky enough to have a family friend that’s extremely talented when it comes to tattoos, his name is Kenny Buck. Also born and raised here :)

Zack Belter

Yuri Borjas

Yuri Borjas Chicago Flag Tattoo

Sometimes I have to draw out people about what it is that they love about our city. Not Yuri—she hit me out of the gate with this great essay about our city:

Here is a picture of my Chicago Flag Tattoo!

Born and raised. Anyone who was born a Chicagoan knows, we have tough blood. We don’t break. My name is Yuri, I’m a 22 year old female.

You have great neighbors that stick together. You see all the local kids getting together to play kick ball in the middle of the one way street, or in the alley playing basketball ball with a net made of a milk crate.

Where the corn man comes around and all the kids taking change out of their sock.

When you’re a little older you get your bikes and race around the area cause your parents finally let you off the block. Having to be inside once the street lights came on.

Finally, you’re of drinking age. Going to all the big festivals downtown. Taste of Chicago, Blues Fest, Beer Fest, all the festival parades. Including celebrating our Chicago team winning!

Meeting up with family to go the zoo.

Going to the North Ave Beach, and meeting tons of people your age, playing football in the water, volleyball on the sand.

Bike riding down the Lake Shore Drive strip.

Crossing the street during rush hour.

Sitting in terrible traffic, cause everyone in Chicago thinks they are professional drivers. Which might be true. Hahaha

Eating Chicago stuffed pizza, or Chicago style hot dogs.

Maxing out at Jim’s Original, over by UIC.

The CTA, taking the Loop. The Orange line, meeting strange people. Knowing you’re getting closer to the city. Being able to see the sky line getting closer.

Taking the subway, and losing cell service, so you can’t help but stare at people or listen to their conversation.

Either you’re a CUBS fan or a Sox fan, you can’t be both…

And being a Bears fan, when they’re only good.

And of course we are all Hawks fans, even if you don’t like hockey, but we don’t talk about those fans…

Going to all the museums, relearning things you did when you were excited to go on a field trip back in middle school.

Going to local thrift stores and realizing, some of this stuff you want might be something you have already had and donated once.

Can’t forget about the “Willis Tower” which in my days, it was Sears Tower… but that’s none of my business. Hahahah

Oh, how could I forget… Chicago, the one place where get all four seasons in one day.

Shelley Desai

Shelley Desai Chicago flag tattoo

I should add a tag expat for the Chicagoans who get a Chicago flag tattoo to remember our city when they move away. That’s Shelley’s story, with a great Nelson Algren quote:

Moved to Portland, OR from our home town of Chicago. Needed to memorialize my love for our fair city! So I got this tattoo before leaving. The quote is from the Nelson Algren essay, Chicago: A City on the Make. The tattoo done by Robert at Native Soul Tattoo on 17th and Ashland.

Cesar Salazar

Cesar Salazar Chicago Flag Tattoo

Cesar is Chicago from the inside out! He says:

Well, I was born at Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital near Humboldt Park in 1983.

My little sister passed away from breast cancer in 2015. The Chicago flag makes me think of all the good times spent with her.

Antonio Zavala in Elgin was the artist. He designed a custom piece for me.

Greg Miller

Greg Miller Chicago Flag and Skyline Tattoo

Greg sent in his flag and skyline tattoo and explained his ex-pat tattoo:

Born and raised on Chicago’s south side. Moved after 31 years. Now living in Oklahoma for the last 7 years. But no matter where I live, Chicago will always be home. This is the start of what someday will be a half sleeve all about my beloved city.

The tattoo is by Archie at Poison Apple Tattoo in Ada, Oklahoma.


Joe Knife and Fork Chicago Flag Tattoo

The posts are only a day apart, but I actually saw Joe working the counter at Honey Butter Fried Chicken months after I interviewed Nicki and John. Our interview was very short because hungry folks were lining up behind me to order their lunch.

Joe: I’m not a chef, and I’ve been a line cook at a bunch of places. My inspiration for this tattoo is basically: I’m a big guy, I like to stay hungry, and I love Chicago. I’ve been around and I grew up with restaurants, it’s been part of my life my whole life, and just working in restaurants just really made me appreciate the back and front of the house.

CFT: Oh, so that’s the back and the front. Making it and eating it?

Joe: Yeah.

CFT: Awesome.

Joe: Yeah, awesome.


Nicki and John

John Chicago Flag Tattoo

Nicki Chicago Flag Tattoo

I saw John’s unique Chicago flag tattoo across the patio at Honey Butter Fried Chicken and when I went over to talk to him, it turned out that his dinner companion Nicki also had a Chicago flag tattoo on her side. She wasn’t wearing clothes that let her show it off that day, but she was nice enough to send me a photo. Nicki’s tattoo was done by Marty BCardy from ILL State Ink. John designed his own tattoo, and Amanda from Top Notch Tattoo in Elgin inked it for him.

CFT: What are your Chicago tattoo stories? Are you both natives?

John: Well, I am, she’s kind of a long-term transplant.

Nicki: Yeah, yeah.

John: I grew up in the burbs, and have lived here for a few years and friends live here, family lives around here and, it’s kind of one of those things where you love it to death, with a lot of pride.

Nicki: This is my ten-year Chicago anniversary so I got that as a gift to myself. I love the seasons here, so I wanted something with the stars, and the seasons, and the skyline, so they managed to put it all together.

John: So I started sketching random crap for a tattoo for Nicki, and I ended up designing this one, and you know, I’m going to actually keep this one for myself.

Nicki: He stole my idea.


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 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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