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The journey with this tattoo began in 2006. I was fresh out of college and about to complete my first year of teaching. It was the first time that I really, truly felt like I was an adult. I decided to mark this major milestone with a really significant piece of art. I chose to do a portrait of Mother Earth surrounded by butterflies, a dragonfly, and a ladybug for several reasons. I wanted to pay homage to the important women in my life. I felt that, by choosing the ultimate mother, I could honor ALL the women who have helped me become a stable, successful, happy woman. Each insect also has a special meaning. Butterflies represent growth, change, and emergence. I was just emerging from childhood and beginning to spread my wings as an adult. The dragonfly represents self reflection and self awareness. I was beginning to see myself in a new way and embracing who I was becoming. The ladybug represents luck. I felt extremely lucky to have had so many positive role models and experiences. I also chose this particular tattoo for one other reason. My entire life, I have loved Disney movies. This image is actually modeled on a famous picture from the movie Fantasia 2000. At the very end of the movie, there is a sequence titled "The Firebird Suite." Mother Earth is the star of that sequence. She awakens after a long winters rest to revitalize a land that has been in hibernation all winter. As she begins to spread her beauty throughout her land, a volcano erupts, engulfing the land, and Mother Earth, in flames. After the fire dies, Mother Earth reemerges from the ashes to reawaken the land to a new, even more glorious spring than before. I identified with her journey so deeply that I knew she needed to be the subject of this very significant piece at this very important time in my life. I was very fortunate to find Biagio. His work is absolutely amazing. He took my idea and turned it into a truly magical piece of art. I will be forever grateful to him for realizing my vision for this tattoo. Thanks so much for taking time to view my tattoo and read my story!

Photos of My Tattoo