Stories in Ink

Afton Weaver

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Polynesian Design Tattoo: 

Photo by Afton Weaver


“The big tattoo is a piece by Keahi ‘Ahi’ Ikeda who works out of The House of Ink on Oahu. He’s actually the older brother of a close friend of mine, and I’d known since I was 12 that I wanted my first tattoo done by him (we all knew Ahi would become a tattoo artist). I gave him a personal spiel about some values and themes I consider important, and he freehanded a Polynesian design that was a mix of traditional and modern Hawaiian/Polynesian forms that aligned with those values and themes. The main themes of the tattoo are the mountains and ocean (because I love Hawaiian bodies of water), the shark and owl (my family’s spiritual guardians), and, much more abstractly, the idea of chosen family. Even though Ahi didn’t explain exactly what part of the tattoo represented which theme, it’s much more about how looking at the tattoo evokes all of these ideas for me. Tattoos are a permanent way for me to always stay mindful of where I come from, and what’s important to me.”


Sunset tattoo w/ quote:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“I feel like for other people it could be seen as a language of serenity and calmness. It brings tranquility. It reminds me to stay strong, and that even in the darkest moments, I can have dark thoughts but that I don’t have to act on them. I can just act on them another day, and by then they probably won’t even be there.”


Forever tattoo:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“The original tattoo design had the word beautiful, but I much preferred ‘forever’ because the meaning of the flower symbolizes the close tie I have with my family and my dog which are forever things. My body is a canvas and this is where I keep my memories so they don’t fade away.”


Forget-me-not tattoo:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“Forget-me-nots represent nature, adventure and exploration. There’s an element of remembrance and making your own mark on the world that won’t ever be forgotten.”


Rose tattoo:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“My brother getting his first tattoo turned into a whole family endeavor of all of us getting roses somewhere on our body that all spoke to us individually. So this tattoo is about my connection to my family in my own personal view of it through the image of a rose.”


“Work of Art” tattoo:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“I got it out of an irony of tattoos being seen as a work of art on the body. But I literally just got the text ‘work of art’ and the meanings change for me all the time. From being a way for me to view myself and view the world and view art, to just being a funny little blurb on my arm that I will have with me forever.”


Mourning Dove tattoo:

Photo by Afton Weaver

“The mourning dove reminds me of home. It speaks to me as a symbol of someplace where I’m safe and as a reminder of home wherever I go. No matter how far I go, I still have the dove with me as a travel companion.”


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