IT IS SUCH AN HONOR to have Detroit based yoga teacher, Sitara Bird, on the blog today for the Sacred Skin Series!
Sitara’s beautiful spirit graces the pages of Instagram influencing thousands. Photos of her active yogi lifestyle and “high vibin’ eats” give us all some major soul candy to swoon on!
Her unique sense of style is magnetic— and her tattoos are such a gorgeous extension of that creative, soulful energy she imbibes.
AJ: What was your very first tattoo experience?
SB: My first tattoo experience was interesting to say the least. I was 16 years old and had convinced my folks into letting me get a tattoo tinkerbell on my low back. #trampstamp haha!
AJ: What inspired you to get more?
SB: Probably to make up for my terrible first choice! Jokes aside, I remember someone forewarning me of how addicting tattoos can be and they were absolutely right. Moving forward, I've been happy with my tattoo choices!
AJ: Many of your tattoos are memorable ones. What inspired your flower of life hand tattoo?
SB: Moving out of the corporate world to pursue my passion of teaching yoga full time is what inspired this specific piece. In my younger years, I remember being told "you will never find a job with visible tattoos on your body". This was a rebellious, "I broke free from the corporate world" inspired tattoo. Blooming into this journey of becoming a full time teacher. Constant evolution.
AJ:Another memorable tattoo of yours is the moon phases on your arm. What was the inspiration behind this piece?
SB: This is a piece my husband and I got together on the Buddha supermoon in 2012. Just prior to heading out to Symbiosis gathering which was held on sacred land in Nevada. Specifically, Pyramid Lake where we had to opportunity to witness the eclipse.
AJ: Have any of the tattoos you’ve gotten helped you overcome an obstacle in your life?
SB: Every piece has a specific meaning. Reflecting upon them helps me remember my journey and how far I've come. Especially in those humbling moments when I may question the path I'm on. They offer silent words of encouragement.
AJ: Do you have a favorite tattoo artist that you go to?
SB: Yes! His name is Sam Wolf and he works at Signature Tattoo in downtown Ferndale, MI. I love Sam and his work because he isn't heavy handed. By that, I mean, his line work won't bleed and thicken as your skin heals. Some of my pieces by him are nearly ten years old and they still look fresh!
AJ:We all know that tattoos can painful—some more than others! What was your most intense tattooing experience?
SB: My most intense tattoo experience oddly enough was not my ribs, which everyone warned me about. But rather it was the little bird I have on my left shoulder just above my armpit. Theres a pocket of nerve endings there that had me going! Thankfully, the bird is quite small and only took ten minutes to tattoo.
AJ: How do you view the pain of that experience? What helped you get through it?
SB: I have a high threshold for pain which definitely helps assuage the experience. But in moments where the sensation rises, I remind myself that this moment is fleeting.
AJ: Do you have any dreams of being tattooed again in the future?
SB: Yes! I have been dreaming of getting a piece my the artist @merakilabbe on my outer right thigh. Her art is so dreamy. I would be honored to flaunt her work.
AJ: Do you have a specific aftercare routine that you follow?
SB: Wash once a day with a fragrance free soap and keep that baby moisturized!
AJ: What advice would you give someone looking to have a more positive, healthy tattoo experience?
SB: Swallow your fear and dive right in! Don't let overthinking dissuade you.
Sitara, thank you for taking the time to share your stories behind your tattoos and for inspiring us all to be true to ourselves!
You can check Sitara out on Instagram @sitarabird where she shares even more of her inspiring lifestyle and beautiful stories!
Why It Matters What’s In Your Tattoo Ink
How Tattoos Impact Autoimmune Conditions (+ what you can do about it)
Tattoos + Regrets
I am so honored to have one of my very favorite clients, Cate Alexis, on the blog today!
I first saw Cate in 2014 for a Microblading session and then saw her annually for touch-ups. We have laughed and cried (tears of joy, of course!) and created some gorgeous brows together. Cate has been one of my most loyal clients, making the drive all the way from the Detroit, Michigan area.
She’s nothing short of amazing, so be sure to check her out cute fashion feed on Instagram at @catealexis as well as at @dottiecouturebtq !
Let’s kick this off with the burning question everyone wants to know: “Does Microblading hurt!?”
I am a total baby when it comes to pain! Alana was so sweet to me and made me feel so comfortable! But to answer the question I would say that the numbing process is the most painful which would about a 4 out of 10. I totally got use to it and didn’t feel anything after that!
What was the hardest/weirdest part of the process for you?
Maybe doing it when it wasn’t as popular as it is now! I got mine done in 2014 and my family and husband looked at me like I was crazy! I would say that after the process your eyebrows look like you sharpeed them but it wasn’t really weird just a little “bold” looking for a few days!
Did you experience anxiety before getting it done? What helped you relax?
Before my appointment I was super anxious but Alana is the sweetest soul. She really calmed me down and her experience really made all of my worries go away!
What was the best part of the process?
The very best part is two weeks after when you see your new amazing brows and love them! It is the best feeling!!!totally worth it!
What made you consider getting Microblading done in the first place?
Over-plucking like anyone who grew up late 90’s early 2000’s! Some areas just never grew back. After getting micro blading even in my sparse areas I noticed new hair growing there! WIN!
Would you recommend it to your friends?
I most definitely would!
Has Microblading enhanced your confidence or life in any particular way?
It made me love my brows again instead of being mad I had over plucked them my whole life!
What does your family think of them? Did anyone in your family freak out when you told them you were first going to get it done?
At first they thought I was crazy but when they saw the results they totally understood!
How many times have you got them done?
2 full times and 2 touch ups.
Would you do it again?
Yes I am totally overdue for another microblading session!
Cate, thank you again for sharing your Microblading experience! You can catch more of Cate’s amazing wardrobe on Instagram at @catealexis, as well as on @dottiecouturebtq !
I am honored to have Chloe Anselmo of Clementine Crossing on the blog today talking about ALL things tattoos, veganism, art, & plant based healing.
Chloe is an artist, an impactful influencer on social media, and has conquered (and is still healing some) major health obstacles including Lyme disease, RA, IBS, pituitary cyst, vertigo, POTS/ dysautonomia, asthma, manic depression, OCD, and anxiety.
Her passion for wellness spills over into the realm of art and tattoos, where a beauty of it’s own is being born.
“Look, tattoos are not healthy. But there’s always the lesser of two evils. If you want tattoos, there’s ways to make it work.”
Chloe, you live in NJ, what is the culture like there? Do you feel inspired by your surroundings?
I’m not quite inspired by NJ, per-say. It’s too congested for my liking. When it comes to inspiration, I’ve always gone inward / by my mood, events, and by other artists who’ve inspired me over the years. Though, I am thankful to be near the beach.
What has inspired you to first get tattooed?
I got my first tattoo on my 16th birthday. Honestly, my first tattoo is nothing special, just a star on my hip - haha! But as a teenager, I really wanted to be a tattoo artist/makeup artist/ designer. Kat Von D was my Muse - really aspired to be just like her in a lot of ways. I was always unique / the outcast growing up. She was a woman who I related to greatly as a teen.
Kat is so rad, such a true artist— like yourself. You have drawn up most of your own tattoos, right?
All of my tattoos I designed / hand-drew. Although I don’t have many, I have designed a bunch for myself over the years that I still have saved in my sketch books. Plus, I used to design tattoos for people, especially for people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.
Tell us about the your artistic process. How long does it take you to draw your tattoos? What goes through your mind while you are creating artwork that you’ll wear on your body forever?
It’s hard to explain my process, especially when it comes to myself. I have to be “in the moment.” I get more inspired by ideas rather than actual designs. So I tend to draw a lot of different ideas, and end up eventually pieces the fragments together. When I think of it in terms of permanence, I tend to go through my old designs and see what still resonates with me at the time I’m about to get tattooed. Although, I’ve always been a fan of fine line work, sacred geometry, flowers, and mandalas. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that. I also place my designs in a mirror and look at it daily before I get. If you get sick of seeing it in a mirror, you sure as hell won’t want it on your body forever.
Chloe you’ve been a plant based vegan for a while now. How many years? How has this impacted your art?
I wish I could say I am super creative, but the last few years have been so focused on healing and my mental health, that I haven’t had the head-space to really draw or create anything new, aside from my recent tattoos. I would love to get back into art again, once I get back in touch with my creative side. For now, I love using my coloring book.
How has going vegan impacted your tattoos and tattooing process?
It’s made me extra conscientious of what I’m putting in my body.
“ I also place my designs in a mirror and look at it daily before I get. If you get sick of seeing it in a mirror, you sure as hell won’t want it on your body forever.”
Tell us about your tattoo process. After drawing up your tattoo, how do you choose an artist to actually tattoo you? What matters most to you in this process?
I think for me, since I design my own tattoos, I look for an artist who reflects my own style, and is consistent in that style. And that goes for anyone: find an artist that reflects your style. There are some amazing artists out there that can do any style, but typically, I would still recommend someone who is within a radius you’re comfortable, accommodating to your ink/request, and to your liking.
There’s things to look for, too. For example, if you’re like me and you love line work, floral work, mandalas, etc… you want to look for a good line artist. Typically GOOD traditional tattoo artists will have clean line-work. You’ll be able to tell by really going through their previous tattoo gallery, too. If you’re looking to get more of a shaded tattoo, look for an artists that accommodates to that style.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to get tattooed and also be health conscious?
Look, tattoos are not healthy. But there’s always the lesser of two evils. If you want tattoos, theres ways to make it work.
Also know there is more healing required with shading due to the extra ink / shading needles.
In your opinion, how can tattoos be dangerous? How do you protect your body and stay strong while getting tattooed?
I think it’s important to go to a good quality artist, who you can trust and feel comfortable with. it’s worth the wait and the money. Also, go at a time where you’re not under tremendous stress or detoxing. Tattoo’s tax the adrenals, so you want to make sure you’re really in a stable place - mentally and physically - prior to getting one.
Focus on detoxifying foods that support adrenals, provide hydration, and eliminate metals: fruits - berries, melons, apples, citrus, mangos, dates - lemon water, green juices, cilantro, celery, parsley… CELLULAR hydration is key. this means eating and drinking hydrating foods, especially weeks prior and weeks to come. Balance it out with grounding foods and cooked veggies at night.
Focus on herbs prior and after getting tattooed, either in forms of teas, infusions, and/or tinctures. (Do some research, consult with a detox specialist, such as myself, and consult with your physician prior. You don’t want to just take a bunch of herbs at once, not knowing). Nervine and adaptogens are your best bet. Nervine examples would be St. John’s Wort, lavender, lemon balm, valerian, chamomile, etc… and adaptogens ashwaganda, astragalus, holy basil, reishi, etc. If you don’t have high blood pressure, taking licorice root for a few weeks can help improve adrenal function as well.
You don’t want to be in FULL detox mode while getting a tattoo. You’ll feel really shitty! Just focusing on hydration, eating well, some herbs to help your central nervous system and glands (nervines and adaptogens). Focus on more of a deeper detoxification in weeks to follow.
WARNING: I am not a doctor. This is just info!
Ink is important to you. Do you have a favorite ink?
I personally will only use black ink now, just for health purposes. Plus I personally love fine line work / black work. I find back ink to the safest. My two favorites are Eternal and SkinCandy. I know most artists also like using those brands as well, since it’s a good quality ink. I would contact the artist ahead of time and ask if what ink they use, and if it’s not vegan, if they can order ink for you. You may have to pay extra but usually the artist won’t mind, at least if they’re accommodating they won’t!
Do you have plans for getting tattooed in the future? Tell us about that.
Yes, I plan on finishing the sleeve I started. More of my art work of flowers, sacred, geometry, and mandalas. I most likely will never get another color tattoo, just for the chemical factor. Plus I’ve grown to really love simple, black, line-work.
What is one thing you’d like to see change in the tattoo industry?
Regulation of ink! There’s really little to no regulations as far as what is organic, what is good quality, or what is vegan.
Tell us about your most recent art project. What has inspired that?
I recently created an e-calendar of seasonal fruits, including fun facts & ways to eat them, to make it easier to find and eat fruit that is in season. It’s original art and illustrations + content, made by me. I put a lot of love and good vibes into it. The idea literally just popped into my head one day. I have a lot of people who come to me, asking what fruits they should be eating, or they fear eating fruit. I figured this was a great way to get people to ease their fruit fears and have fun exploring a new fruit each month!
I wanted this e-calendar to be a fun guide and monthly reminder. Or if you’re focusing more on detox, use these fruits as a guide for mono-meals and cleanse ideas! You can print, save to view monthly, or use as a screen saver each month!
Isn’t Chloe amazing, you guys? To peep more of her artwork visit https://www.clementinecrossing.com/e-calendars where you can purchase her latest release: Clementine’s Calendar
Catch up with her on Instagram & get inspired at @ClementineCrossing !
Thank you all for spending time with us today. I want to hear your tattoo stories and can’t wait to share more of these!
Now, it’s your turn— we all have a dream tattoo, what’s yours? Comment below!