This is my first tattoo, done by Stephen at The Golden Monkey, in Fredericksburg Virginia. It’s my regular place to go to get pierced, and Stephen is the new apprentice & needs to build up his portfolio before becoming full time, & I knew from a friend that his work was wonderful. I was basically prepared for a massive amount, but it really wasn’t that bad. My friend Laura went with me to get it & she had more fun laughing at my pained faces than anything else. It’s the claddagh symbol, it’s Irish, & it represents love, loyalty & friendship. Love is the heart, loyalty is the crown, & friendship is the hands. I’m Irish, & I’ve had a pair of claddagh earrings since I was a little girl, so it’s sort of what I’ve grown up abiding by.