“It kind of feels like scratching a sunburn. Then if the needle is anywhere close to your bone, you can feel it vibrating. It’s definitely not a comfortable experience.”
This is the pain senior video production major Morgan Gaw experienced when she had two video cameras permanently inked onto her skin. The colorful ink on her chest, arms, and legs, carves out a description for her love of video production and horror films. She decided to get a chest piece tattoo of two PD 150 video cameras tangled in wires earlier this semester.
Gaw is just one of the students in Webster University’s School of Communications who tattoos themselves with images that display their love for the field they are studying.
Creating a Memory Bank in Ink
Gaw’s early love for viewing and making horror movies at a young age led her to studying video production at Webster University. She got her first tattoo of a film reel after graduating high school.
“I was so incredibly nervous the first time I got my tattoo. Every time the guy went to work on me I’d hold my breath.”
The other tattoos that Gaw has gotten throughout the years act as a memory bank for the scary movies she watched as a kid growing up in Bowling Green, Mo. Gaw would go with her older brothers to the small Mom-and-Pop video store near their home to rent scary movies on the weekends.
“They would let us rent rated R movies because they knew our parents. It wasn’t a big deal.”
“The Return of the Living Dead” was one of the movie covers Gaw would continue to stare at every time they visited the video store.
Now, she’s able to stare at it whenever she looks in the mirror after she had the movie cover inked on her skin.
Remembering What Your Teacher Told You … By Tattooing the Quote on Your Body
Morgan decided to get a chest piece tattoo earlier in the semester to express her creativity and show people her love for video.
The two PD 150’s on her chest are the kind of camera that she first started using as a freshman here at Webster University. The PD 150’s were the analog cameras she started out with throughout her first year at Gorlok Television.The wires that tangle around the detailed video cameras are also used in video production such as Firewire cables and USB cords.
“I got those just to remind me how I started at Webster and how I’ve grown from the PD 150 camera to the cameras I use now.”
The tattoo also includes a banner that outlines the bottom of the image. Gaw said Webster University photography teacher Tom Barkman was the one who inspired the quote that fills the banner.
“The banner says, ‘Where did I come from? Where am I going?’ I just thought it was interesting and kind of went with my life.”
This is just an example of how Webster University students have branded their memories and dedication to their field of study. audio production major, Charissa Martin, can also relate to tattooing the major you love on your body.
The Latin subtitle above means, “Hearing is a gift.” Those words are tattooed on audio production student Charissa Martin to honor her deaf grandfather and her love for audio recording.
“I’m really close to my grandfather. He’s deaf and it’s just made me very appreciative to be able to hear.”
Charissa shows off her half sleeve dedicated to audio.
Martin has thirteen tattoos. However, the half sleeve she has is completely dedicated to her love of music. Her tattoo design involves an old fashion microphone surrounded by roses, a guitar, piano keys, and music notes. The phrase “Donum Auditus” floats above the design in a tattooed banner.
“I’ve had an interest in tattoos as far back as I can remember. I mean, I grew up drawing on the walls and drawing on myself and I’d get in trouble for that as a little kid,” Martin said. “As I got older, I started seeing other people’s tattoos and they just seemed so pretty to me.”
Martin says that she gets tattoos that will be timeless to her in the future. The half sleeve dedicated to audio on her arm will be a timeless reminder of the grandfather who didn’t have the gift to hear and the passion she has for recording any and all types of audio.