Chanelle Richardson's Blackbirds

Show us your ink! MARKED asks locals of all ages, professions and backgrounds to roll up their sleeves, pant legs, and so much more to reveal their marks. Here are their stories:

Name: Chanelle Richardson
: 29 years old and I had my blackbird tattoos done this year.

My Arm Pieces: I have three red winged blackbirds on one inner forearm, and a fourth blackbird perched in a tree on the other. Together they tell a collective story of freedom and truth.

I chose four birds because I am a "four" in the enneagram, a model of personality types. Fours tend to be free spirits, and blackbirds signify this for me.

The tree represents unchanging solidarity -- a place to call home, which for me is truth. Truth is found in inner freedom.

I love looking down at my arms and seeing my story told in such a beautiful way. And a lot of people ask me why I got the tattoos oriented "upside down"...

My answer? So I could see and enjoy them. This was for me.

Next Tattoo?
I am plotting my next tattoo to be a keyhole over my heart. I wonder if anyone will ever find the key to unlock it ...

Know of a few creative marks? Send us your photos/suggestions.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton