Marzia Bisognin Tattoos


Marzia got this tattoo on her right forearm in October 2016 at the same time as the lemon tree on her opposite arm.  It is two hands making shadow puppets which reminds her of memories of her childhood. She explained on her blog how making shadow puppets helps her sleep and makes her feel less alone:

The second one I got is hands forming a shadow puppet. This brings me back, all the way to my childhood, but is still relevant to this day.

I don’t know if this happens in all kindergartens, but in mine, after lunch, the teachers would put all the kids in a room and made them sleep.

I never ever managed to fall asleep, not once, whilst all the other kids would sleep normally.

You may already know that I didn’t really like going to kindergarten at all – I would cry every morning, I would get closed in the lunch room cause I didn’t finish eating food I didn’t like – and sleeping time also wasn’t a big favourite of mine.

What I eventually came up with was to make shadow puppets with my hands, and make them talk to me quietly, so I wouldn’t feel so lonely.

Still to this day, at times, I have troubles sleeping: generally I can make myself relaxed enough by thinking about a train passing by on a summer night (I used to live near one, and although it may seem like a very annoying and loud thing to find relaxing, I used to love it as a kid), but if that doesn’t work, I will go back to my shadow puppet hands.

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Marzia Bisognin got a tattoo of a lemon tree on the back of her upper left arm in honor of her father and the lemon tree in her childhood home which he cared for. This is one of two tattoos which she got from artist Katja Graaf in October 2016. On her blog, she explained:

The first one I got, today, is a lemon tree. My dad is my hero, he is just so kind and was always (and still is) an example for me. Considering that he grew up in a poor family, and didn’t have access to many things and didn’t complete his education, he is one of the smartest and strongest people I know.

He is very cultured, you can ask him anything and he will most likely know the answer to it. He never shows off. He managed to set up his business, becoming successful, providing for our family.

He is so good in many things, maybe that’s why I never felt the need to select one path for myself, because I could see him do all these different things: sure, he has a main job, but he has plenty of other passions, like archery, travelling, and gardening – to name a few.

He always took care of our garden, making it look like it came from a book. One of the trees I liked the most, out of all the plants he cares for, is the lemon tree. It looks so quirky to me, growing from a small pot, so big and beautiful.

Anytime I go back home to Italy, I see them (he has 3 now) and to remind me of my dad, and everything I look up to, I wanted the lemon tree to be tattooed on me.

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Marzia Bisognin got this cartoon-style portrait of author Banana Yoshimoto tattooed on her arm in July 2016. She commissioned illustrator Anke Weckmann to create the drawing and then had it tattooed by Katja Graaf at Velvet Tattoo in Brighton UK. She wanted the design to be an artistic interpretation rather than a literal portrait. On her YouTube channel she explained:

I asked an amazing illustrator and artist that I follow on Twitter to make a design for me…I don’t know if you can tell who it’s supposed to be because I told her to keep it not too exactly alike to the person that I’m tattooing. But I think she did a great job and I’m very excited about it.

Marzia deliberated a lot where to put this tattoo and hadn’t finalized her decision until the day that she got it. She chose her right arm so that she could have a different theme for each arm. Her left side has tattoos that describe her personality and her right side has her inspirations.

This arm [points to her left arm] — I didn’t want to add to it because all these tattoos are personal to me; they have a meaning related to the way I am. But instead, the tattoo I have back here [showing her right arm] is for my parents. They’re an inspiration for me. And since I’m getting Banana Yoshimoto, which is a huge inspiration to me as well, I thought maybe in the front here.

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Marzia got this tattoo on her left forearm in September 2015. The writing, which says “La casa sulla luna” in her native language Italian, means “The house on the moon” in English. It’s a phrase from the book We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which has helped Marzia to deal with her social anxiety. The house on the the moon is a metaphor for a feeling of safety. On her blog she explained:

But this topic brings me to the next tattoo: “La casa sulla luna”, which translated is “The house on the moon”.

This refers to my social anxiety: once again, you know I struggle with it, and it used to be really really bad. This sentence comes from one of my favourite books, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”, where the protagonist, after going through a tragedy, can never leave the house without feeling observed and judged by people.

If you have social anxiety you know that feeling very well: as soon as you leave your safe place, it feels like everybody is staring at you, and you just want to hide from the world.

In the story, the girl would imagine her safe place in her head (the house on the moon) while being outside, just so that thought could be somewhat comforting to her. And so I tried it myself, I would think about it as well while leaving the house, or when I was in uncomfortable situations, and it helped me greatly.

That’s why it’s on my body, it’s a constant reminder that I can do it, it’s all in my head, and if I think about positive things instead of letting my dark thoughts come to mind, everything will be fine.

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In July 2015, Marzia Bisognin got this tattoo on her upper left arm of a twig drawn in a minimalist style. She got this tattoo because people tell her that she is skinny like a twig. Now that she’s more comfortable in her own skin, she doesn’t see it as an insult because it’s just the way that she is. She wrote on her blog:

This [tattoo] is related to my body image. As I previously stated, growing up I felt awkward about my body, no matter how much I tried to eat I could not gain enough weight to look like the other girls. But now I cherish my body – although I constantly get comments on how skinny I am (even if I’m not THAT skinny anymore), on how I should eat a burger, on how I have no boobs and butt – I love it the way it is and I would change nothing about it. And so that fragile twig represents me, and it reminds me that everything has its own beauty.
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Marzia Bisognin got this “shy” tattoo on her left forearm in July 2015. It was part of a session in which she got three tattoos, but she describes this as the most meaningful one.

For her whole life she has struggled with meeting new people and opening up because of her shy personality. However she has gotten much better at it and she got this tattoo to commemorate all of her progress. In a blog post, she explained:

By writing shy on my arm I can always remember that although my entire life I have been incredibly shy, I’m okay with it, because it’s a trait of my personality and it isn’t in the way of me achieving things in life. I will always be shy, but I can deal with it better now, and I actually like how being this way allows me to develop other characteristics, like listening and observing. Just because I’m quiet it doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, or I’m not interested, or I don’t want to be a part of something  – I do, but in my own way.

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