Recently I had the opportunity to create a design for my sister with zero room for mistakes.
What design could be this intensive? A tattoo.
Creating designs for clothes and tattoos are similar in the drafting stage. You can change and alter designs before committing to them. By committing, I mean before cutting the fabric or inking the tattoo.
However, unlike an outfit, you can’t start over with a tattoo.
Therefore, I had to create a design that brought meaning and was aesthetically pleasing to my sister.
Knowing that I battled with psoriasis for most of my life meant that we couldn’t get sisters tattoos. Therefore to honor to me, she tasked me with designing her tattoo.
Designing is obviously one of my biggest passions and love. That was why I was thrilled to design it. I wanted to create something that encompassed her entirely.
Even though my sister gave me the freedom to design whatever I wanted. She only had two stipulation. The first stipulation was to have no roses and cherry blossom. My sister wanted something original and creative. Second, she wanted something to represent her Hmong heritage.
Doing much research about flowers, I chose Magnolia and Wisteria flowers to be incorporated in my design.
Magnolias signified beauty and perseverance. I chose these flowers in my design, because of the way they connect with my sister. I wanted a flower that can demonstrate and reveal the characteristic of my sister.
She is beautiful. Her soul will always meets you with tenderness and love. While her heart has such strength and resilience to overcome any obstacles thrown in her path.
I also wanted to include Wisterias. Wisterias signified support, bliss, tenderness, and longevity. These characteristics also spoke to me about my sister. She is always supportive of those around her.
Not only that, she is always lending an ear, shoulder, and comforting them in their time of need. She is your ride to die chick, always down for anything.
When my sister said she wanted something Hmong, she meant something from our culture and heritage. Our Hmong heritage plays a huge role in our lives and identity.
For this reason, I added bold lines with Hmong heart motifs within the shape of a scalloped elephant’s foot to represent the love for our heritage.
Not only that, I had a Hmong trinket hanging at the bottom to represent all the beautiful silver accessories we wear with our traditional clothing.
Lastly, a crown that is best fitted for the queen that she is. I believe every woman deserves to wear a crown, because women are the strongest people I know. The strength that we have to overcome adversity never ceases to amaze me.
With all of this information combined together, here is the final design that I came up with for my sister.
Artists with the Same Vision
After I finished my design, my sister found a tattoo artist named Mercedes who could execute my design.
It was awesome to see her bring my design to life on my sister. Her attention to detail is great and her decision to fill in the magnolia in pink, gave the design life.
The final tattoo was gorgeous and I am so in love with it. When your design and vision is met with phenomenal execution, it is complete bliss.
Thank you so much Paxia for envisioning something so beautiful for me. Having a one of a kind tat is great, but it is more special when it resembles me in the best way possible. Most importantly, it’ll always have you in it as well. You’re such a big part of my life, I can never thank you enough for your love & guidance. Getting this piece is truly an honor.Emily Vang
Design with Intention
As a designer and artist, every decision, every stroke, every vision should be impactful with meaning. As a result, my designs should be able to bring all of their love together.
This design is a symbolic representation of my sister’s characteristics. Therefore it is very personal to me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I had creating it.
I would love to hear about what art/design pieces you’ve created that hold meaning to you. Comment them below!
Until next time, stay safe!