This week’s ink story is dedicated to our hardworkingest intern, Lakiesha Herman. She has seven tattoos and counting, representing aspects of her personality, her family or her love and dedication to them.
Lakiesha’s first tattoo at 18 was the three English lions on the back of her neck, representing her British heritage – she was born in England. Even though it “hurt so much to get, it was worth it,” and for Lakiesha, it represents pride and integrity. The single star is for the 1966 World Cup win – she’s a huge soccer fan, and has been playing since the age of six.
This symbol is part of a larger design up and down the left side of her back. It reads “My family dwells in my heart,” in Arabic. Getting this tattoo was a different experience for Lakiesha, because it was the first one she received while other people were in the same room. “Usually my tattoo artist would clear everyone out, but this time there were people hanging out and waiting in the room to get their own tattoos,” she said. “I sucked up the pain.”
The five African dancers on Lakiesha’s inner arm represent each member of her family. The two black dancers on the left are her parents, the red and yellow dancers are her brothers, and the green represents her. The tattoo is in red, gold and green as a nod to Jamaica, where her father was born.
This tattoo on Lakiesha’s hip speaks volumes. In her own words: “Despite who or what you are, love is love.”
Finally, this tattoo was inspired by one of Lakiesha’s favorite singers, Rihanna. It represents the numbers of her birthdate in Roman numerals, and was specifically designed to show when she wears straps or dresses.
Lakiesha has two other tats as well: her grandmother’s nickname for her, and a quotation about inner strength on her right ribs, which represents overcoming obstacles. “No matter how far people push me,” she said, “the only obstacle is one inside me.”
She’d like more tattoos, including a quote from her grandma’s letter in her handwriting, a W+K-inspired totem pole, and a city tattoo that incorporates elements from every place she’s lived.
And her favorite part of tattooing? “You get to connect with people and see them in a very vulnerable moment,” she said. “It’s very special.”
The woman behind the ink: