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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
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Elaina’s Ink: The Mermaid and the Tarantula

August 19th, 2009

Elaina has eighteen tattoos. And not to heap loads of praise on her, but her work is brilliant.

It was the mermaid on her inner right forearm that first grabbed my attention:


She told me that the drawing, who she sometimes calls “Claire,” was indicative of her state of mind at the time it was inked. Her boyfriend had just moved out and she was feeling reflective (thus the hand mirror).


Elaina later followed up with an email, further clarifying the tattoo:

“I realized today when you asked me the significance of my mermaid tattoo that I probably would have been better quoted saying the absolute truth. The underlying universal secret wish of all girls and women alike… I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid.”

But Elaina had more to share. Much to my delight, she lifted her skirt on her left side to reveal this wonderful tattoo:


The spider is modeled after her mother’s pet tarantula, Shelob, who is named for the giant spider in The Two Towers, book two of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I asked her what Mom thought of her ink and Elaina rolled her eyes and said that her mother recently wept when she told her she was planning her nineteenth tattoo. And, Elaina added, her mom is no stranger to ink. She told me that her mom was tattooed in the 1960’s by legendary tattooist Lyle Tuttle.

The mermaid was tattooed at Funcity Tattoo in Manhattan. The spider on Elaina’s thigh was done by Neal Aultman at Physical Graffiti, but he is currently working out of Addiction Ink in Manhattan.

Thanks to Elaina for sharing her amazing ink with us here on Tattoosday!

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