Tattoo Tales: Expressing Art and Life’s Journey Through Ink


“Tattoo Tales” is a series in which The Butler Collegian speaks with a Butler community member about their tattoos and the stories behind them

Tatiana Pereda, a senior biochemistry and Spanish double major, has always been interested in art and how people can express themselves. While Pereda heavily debated whether tattoos suited her, she began her new and expressive hobby the summer after her first year. 

THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: Let’s start with a tattoo tour. Can you tell us what and where each tattoo is? 

TATIANA PEREDA: Of course. I’ll start with the one on my left forearm. It says “Everything Goes,” which was my first tattoo. I also have a feminist-style tattoo on my ankle, a sunflower with lavender that I got in Argentina — “you are my sunshine” — several Haikyuu tattoos, and a Princess Mononoke tattoo. 

TBC: Which tattoo did you get first? What does it mean to you? 

TP: I got my first tattoo the summer after my first year. It is the “Everything Goes” tattoo, a song by RM from BTS. I knew I wanted to get this as a tattoo when I first heard the song because the message of the music spoke to me. When I listen to it, I am reminded that I should always [enjoy] the moment. Yes, we all struggle and often want to give up when the going gets tough, but we should appreciate these moments and keep moving forward. This tattoo is on my forearm because I wanted something I could quickly look at to remind me [that] things will get better. 

Tattoo Tales Tatiana Pereda The Butler Collegian

Pereda enjoys tattoos that give her positive reminders, like this song by RM, which reminds her to keep going even when things get tough—photo by Natalie Goo

TBC: What do your tattoos mean to you? 

TP: My Haikyuu tattoos convey that we all struggle, but with hard work and dedication, we can all get where we want to be. Work hard, and it will pay off. On that note, my Princess Mononoke resembles love and beauty, even in life or death, conveying that you love someone and find beauty in things, even if life is not as beautiful. That spoke to me. 

My other tattoos have been a reminder for me that life moves on. Remain true to yourself. [That] is the message I get from my “we are the protagonists of the world.” [Another message is] being close to those you love and who love you. My mom and I got matching tattoos in one another’s handwriting that says, ‘You are my sunshine.’ I got it close to my heart because I am close to my mom. They are reminders that life can suck, but to remain true to yourself and work hard. Things will get better with time; it just takes patience and dedication. 

TBC: Which tattoo was most painful to get? 

TP: I am not sure there were any that [were too painful]. The Haikyuu and Princess Mononoke tattoos on my left arm were probably the most painful. There was a lot of shading, then going over it with white ink. At that point, it is like stabbing an open wound. Most of them were pretty bearable, but the heavy shading and white ink were my most painful experience while getting a tattoo. 


Pereda’s Haikyuu tattoos display her love for manga and the messages they deliver—photo by Natalie Goo

TBC: Do you have any advice for people who want a tattoo but are unsure what to get or are nervous that people will not support them? 

TP: First of all, not knowing what to get is okay. I know people who got little tattoos as a spur-of-the-moment thing. They had no idea what to get, but they chose whatever spoke to them. I think that is key when deciding to get a tattoo. Pick something that speaks to you, your interests, and your goals. 

Regarding someone not being supportive, if someone is going to judge you for something you love, they do not deserve your love. It does hurt at first when someone [does not approve] of your choices, but at the end of the day, it is your body. People always talk about how you are going to regret a tattoo. I [see] getting a tattoo as a representation of a moment in time. It can show growth because you can look back at it and say, “Wow, I have grown so much since this tattoo.” It is a moment in your life where you can place where you were and your feelings. Be proud and stay true to yourself!

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