Once Upon a Tattoo-What Oncers' Body Art Means to Them By Amy Hood- @AmyLia403 & Ashley Benson-@MitigatedText
The practice of tattooing meaningful and beautiful art on one's body is an ancient one. As with modern tattoos, the permanent marking on the body is most often a symbol, a talisman, or a reminder of something that touched the heart so profoundly it had to be expressed. A tattoo is a commitment, a permanent symbol and we were curious to discover what inspired some of the Once Upon a Time fans to show their love in such a way. A few of us on the Once Upon a Fan staff have ONCE tattoos of our own, so as we share our stories and the meaning of our art here together, we have seen a common theme. It is not about actors, or ships. It is about love, hope, and an overwhelming gratitude for the show that happens to be the binding glue for this Once Upon a Family that so many of us have found. We will share our body art, then show you some amazing pieces that were sent to us.
Amy- This piece is mine and it is a work in progress. I searched through tons of local artists before I found one with a similar love of Disney and a beautiful style that matched what I wanted. I talked with her a great deal before deciding. By the time I made the decision, I knew she was the perfect person. Keylan Ballentine (@keylan101 on twitter) worked with me every step of the way with design ideas, placement, and colors. I needed something that I could build on. I didn't want just a tag that had the show's name, I needed something personal. Something that spoke to me about the most important things, the people I have met and the friends in this fan community who have become my Once Upon A Family. Of course there HAD to be an apple (Shout out to the #EvilRegals) and a clock that read 8:15. The book was very important to me too. Long after this show ends, this will be a reminder of the amazing people and magic souls who came into my life because of this show. To me, this represents a time capsule to a part of my life when I got to be blessed by knowing so many creative people. As time allows, this tattoo will eventually get a Mad Hatter's hat, Swan wings, a dagger, a spinning wheel, the rose & bell jar, Cheshire's tail, and the names of my children written in the book, as they have gone on this wonderful, crazy journey with me.
Ashley- I got this tattoo after the Third Season Finale, right as I was getting really heavy in to conventions. I wanted it since I went to Comic Con in 2013, which was my first major taste of being so involved in a fan community. But I wanted to be sure. Was this a thing I loved, a thing I wanted to carry with me forever? Was it dumb to get a tattoo of a TV show? Ultimately I realized that this tattoo, for me, is a tribute not only to the story of Once Upon A Time, but the irreplaceable experiences and friendships that have come my way thanks to this show. I truly love the frozen-in-time retro-y feel of Storybrooke and the postcard Neal received in "Broken" is one of my favorite props. To me, the most important element of Once Upon A Time is the town of Storybrooke. It represents the blending of the two worlds we've come to love, as well as the community and family that grew from all of these fairy tale adventures.
Now some amazing pieces shared with us from Oncers around the world....
This is such a creative way to hold on to a memory. Oncer @HookFoundMe had Colin actually draw this little boat, since he is everyone's favorite captain, and she then had it tattooed on her leg. She loves travel, and had wanted something for a long time that would show this. She found a clever way to combine two things she loves!
These matching tattoos belong to Oncers @ItsAimeeDee and @Awkfangirlurl who met and became life long friends because of the show and their love of Swan Queen. For these two, the tattoos were beautiful, and more about the friendships they had been able to make because of the show, and how they had both been touched by both. They got these tattoos together at a convention in Toronto.
This beautiful piece belongs to Oncer @Luddyisdaking. She grew up loving pirates and princesses. The story of Emma and Killian, for her, was kind of a personification of that love story, and she thought this lovely symbol over the water would be a perfect representation of how the story and the show has been a fairytale for her.
For Oncer @KCEvilRegalNJRep, Once began as an escape from a difficult home life and situation. She said, "It has provided her an ultimate escape from a harsh reality sometimes. It puts magic into a reality that needs it." She wanted to add several pieces to her body art that would always remind her of the magic and hope she had found in Once when things were hardest for her.
Undeniably, @Peter_Blake has made a work of art out of his arm. There are so many beautiful ONCE pieces that every time you look, you see something new! Peter said that after being diagnosed with an illness he said to himself that he was going to do something he loved, live life and not hold back any more. This has been a labor of love for him and he tells us that he may start the second arm soon!
These beautiful pieces show a common theme that we came across while researching this article: Lana Parrilla's feathers. Lana once said in an interview that she felt that seeing a feather let her know to take a breath, because she was exactly where she needed to be. This message resonated with many Oncers who felt a strong connection to that message. These lovely reminders to hold on, it gets better, belong to Oncers @caro_vienna, @cissou_A, @Queen_AmyXo1, @regalcommander, and @swedishfeather.
We are so grateful to all the Oncers who shared their art, their stories and their inspiration with us. Long after the show has ended, we will have this wonderful community from all over the world who were brought together by a message of hope, bravery and adventure.