Tattoos and the meaning of lives

By Salena Sharma

Too many tattoos are seen as a mistake, a permanent scar on your body that you will never be able to hide. But the clients and artists at Way Cool Tattoos know even the simplest tattoos hold a deep significance to those receiving them.

Recently, one female customer was in the middle of getting a tattoo on her left thigh that included a photo of a female warrior and a lion head on top. Why such a picture?

“The female warrior represents me, the struggles I’ve faced and how I have fought my way out of them. The lion on top represents my twin brother who has passed away. It’s supposed to show my brother always watching over me,” she said.

The artist behind this warrior and lion design, Ronnie MacDonald has been in the industry for the past eight years. When asking how someone could break into the business, he mentions taking part in an apprenticeship to further your knowledge on the job as he did.

“I learned a lot about tattooing that I hadn’t known before, for instance, not everything is tattooable. But I’ve also learned a lot as I went along working in the real world, there are some things I’ve never drawn before and after doing it once it stays with me and I can use that skill again whenever I need it.” “The best thing about what I do is the freedom of expression,” MacDonald explained. “There’s no uniform, you can wear whatever you want and you get to express your personality through your tattoo’s and other designs”. But like every job, tattooing also has its downfalls that many aren’t aware of going in. “I usually have to work weird hours because people want to get their tattoo’s done after work so instead of working normal work hours, I work after everyone is done.”

Odd moments?  There’s been a few.

“I once had a lady come in for a tattoo with her boyfriend Tommy’s name and then she was back two weeks later to get his name covered up,” MacDonald described.

Asked if he had a favourite tattoo among the many that were on him, MacDonald’s reply isn’t about the wild and weird. It’s also about something meaningful. He concluded, “I would have to say my favourite is this tattoo I got of my parents on my arm.”

Photo: Way Cool Tattoos owner Ronnie MacDonald.


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