14. Item 42: Inspiring Tattoos

“Item 42: TWO PICTURES SIDE-BY-SIDE IN ONE IMAGE. I always feel a lot of guilt about the tattoo items in GISH. The first time I added one, I thought it was funny until I saw the tatts and then I felt a little bad.

Of course, it gives me a rush of power when I see them in person, and many of them are actually very cool… So I have an idea that allows me to keep feeling powerful, but takes away all of my guilt: Get a tattoo of the encouraging message you wish your higher self had written to get you through the tough times.

Because I know many of you already have inspiring tattoos, you must submit two images. The first is an image of you getting the tattoo when you are halfway done at the tattoo parlor, in the chair, holding a sign that reads, “GISH made me do it.” The second image is of the finished tattoo.

If you can, include your triumphant face. (Don’t include more than 2 images in your submission. Just one image with two photos side by side.)”

There should be a Commandment next year to make Misha Collins write brief item descriptions. For some context on what some of his previous tattoo items have been, he once made people get tattoos of themselves getting tattoos… and people actually did it.

This time, he was a little less cruel, and some teammates even fought over who got to do the item.

Dylan Caçador, from team BassackwardsLovesRoadapocalypse said: “Anyone who knows me knows this is huge. I have a fear of needles so intense, I can’t even look at them on TV without shaking or falling into a full-blown anxiety attack.”

He continues with, “But I’ve wanted tattoos for most of my life and this one specifically for the past two years. It took a lot of planning, a double dose of my as-needed anxiety medication, and a huge amount of love and support from my team.”

For anyone unfamiliar, Dylan’s tattoo is a reference to a tagline that’s been used for GISH for several years—We create, therefore we live. It’s always posted on official GISH accounts right as the clock runs out. The Hunt heavily emphasizes artistic expression and defying the status quo, making it the perfect expression to use.

Dylan went on to say, “Shortly after the hunt, the confidence I gained actually gave me the strength to finally go get a blood test I had been putting off for years, regardless of how detrimental it’s been to my health. I’m still very, very scared, but it seems just a little more manageable now that I’ve taken these huge steps forward.”

Dylan’s tattoo design was drawn and inked by Liz Chomka at The Art Den in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

This writer also got a tattoo done. Inspired by a recent diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and a late-night of rum and crying over The Spice Girls (TSG) not touring in the States, the idea of a ’90s tattoo was born.

The tattoo had to feature a Britney Spears and TSG mashup quote. The first half was taken from TSG lyric, “You gotta show what you feel, don’t hide.” The second half came from a Britney Spears interview where she said, “I just am.” The quote, of course, wraps around a ’90s choker design and the flower is from Britney’s first CD.

Britney Spears gets a reputation of being a typical unintelligent “Valley Girl” (despite being from Mississippi), but when people actually listen to what she says, she’s a remarkably wise and self-assured woman. ’90s Power Girls are huge proponents for being unapologetically who you are. In a world where mental health gets belittled and people get bullied for being who they are, it’s helpful to have a reminder that you don’t need to be anyone but who you are. Don’t hide. Just be.

The tattoo was designed by talented Built On Hope teammate and graphic designer, Sami Nielson. She spent hours in back-and-forth sessions of quickfire ideas. The bottom of the photo is the design and the top is the final product, tattooed and slightly altered by Mikel at Uncharted Tattoo.