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A Fine Body of Work

November 04, 2001|MICHAEL T. JARVIS

The 10th annual Inkslingers Ball filled the Hollywood Palladium for three days in September and raised $2,700 for the American Red Cross. The "unconventional convention" featured products and artists, awards and a wedding. We asked some of the nearly 6,000 attendees what needles them.

Gretchen Meier, 30, Alhambra, Construction Project Engineer

What tattoos do you have?

Medusa and snakes on my arms, and lotuses on my elbows.

Most negative reaction to your tattoos?

Comments like "Haven't you thought about your future?"

What tattoo would you never get?

A Tasmanian devil. My tattooist boyfriend [gripes] about doing Tasmanian devils.

Have you ever hidden your tattoos?

Yes. I had to meet with nuns for a $50-million renovation of a nunnery.

What about the no-tattoos rule in Leviticus?

The Bible has been translated so many times, who knows what's true?

How will you feel about this when you're 60?

Proud. I won't regret it.

Leopard Larry, 29, West Hollywood, Tattoo Artist

What tattoos do you have?

Leopard spots all over.

Most negative reaction to your tattoos?

Some lady called me a Dalmatian.

What tattoo would you never get?

A racist tattoo.

What about the no-tattoos rule in Leviticus?

I don't think much about it.

How are you going to feel about this when you're 60?

I'll be happy. I'll just have some wrinkly spots.

David Guthrie, 28, North Hollywood, Tattoo Artist at Graffiti Palace Tattoo, North Hollywood

What tattoos do you have?

Phoenix on top of head; ice cubes on the back of the head; fish on the side of the head; snake on the side of the head coming out of an egg; "jinx proof" cat on left arm.

What tattoo did you get today?

A girl with a feather duster cleaning up the mess in New York, with "9-11" for Sept. 11, 2001.

Most negative reaction to your tattoos?

Protective mothers pulling curious children away.

Has anything made you hide your tattoos?

I was managing a bookstore. I grew my hair out to hide it.

What about the no-tattoos rule in Leviticus?

That's the Old Testament. A lot of guys shave their sideburns. If you're a Christian, it doesn't matter.

How are you going to feel about this when you're 60?

I'll be a retired tattoo artist. It won't matter.

Siouxsie DeFacto, 27, Seattle, Clothing Designer

What tattoos do you have?

A sun on my chest; skulls with bat wings on both ankles; a steam engine train with a dagger and skulls on one arm; a firecracker and a Japanese dragon and tiger on the other arm.

Most negative reaction to your tattoos?

I've never had a negative experience.

What tattoo would you never get?

I wouldn't get a name or a swastika. People who get [names] usually break up right after they get them. Racists give tattoos a bad name.

Have you ever hidden your tattoos?

Yes. I was trying to win in court. I won.

What about the no-tattoos rule in Leviticus?

Anyone who lives their life according to the Bible should start thinking for themselves.

How will you feel about this when you're 60?

I'll be happy that I have tattoos.

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