Branch Tattoos

Lynn Gunn


Lynn Gvnn celebrated her 24th birthday on March 15, 2018 by getting a tattoo.  Her band PVRIS was on tour in San Antonio, TX so they met up with local artist Mason Chimato, who also gave drummer Justin Nace a tattoo of Roman numerals on his wrist.

Lynn opted for an intricate Eye of Providence design on her upper back. The all-seeing eye of God has a halo of emanating lines which represent rays of light.  This particular drawing of the symbol, with four shooting arrows and a leafed branch below the eye, is a replica of a woodcut print created by American engraver Alexander Anderson in the early 1800s.
watch a video of Lynn getting inked

Julia Michaels


Julia Michaels has a surrealist cartoon with the message “Free Hugs” on her right upper arm. It shows a sweater with hands but no head, grabbing onto branches that exist where the head should be. The original design, sans text, was drawn by artist Geffen Refaeli for her dailydoodlegram Instagram page where she creates unique illustrations inspired by the images in her feed.  In this case she combined a sweater from a fashion designer’s account with a photo of a branch from a plant magazine.  What it all means is subject to interpretation.

The “Free Hugs” text which Julia added to the piece gives a hint at how she personally views it. She told Source:

“All my tattoos deal with connections, intimacy, perception: things I deal with and want to learn more about.”

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SZA


In November 2015, SZA got this tattoo on her collarbone of a maple log and leaf as a tribute to the town of Maplewood, NJ where she grew up.  She told Complex:

I was born in St. Louis, but I’m from Maplewood, New Jersey. Maplewood is completely different than the rest of New Jersey. It’s very small. It’s quietly affluent but more lowkey. Lauryn Hill is from my town though. It was predominantly white, Jewish. I went to school with all white kids and my Girl Scout troop everyone was white. I was being the token black everyday.

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Marzia Bisognin


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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Jacqui Sandell

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho’s first tattoo was a large piece tattoo featuring snakes and flowers which starts in the center of her lower back and wraps around both sides of her hips. She had the tattoo done by famous tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy in 2005 at the age of 37.  Tattoos have been Margaret’s way of dealing with aging and learning to love her body, though her admiration for tattoos started when she was young.  It’s also a way for her to take ownership of her own skin.

“Having lived under such a regime for so many years, I am finally free, and for once in my life, actually able to do something with my body that I have always wanted to do, because I feel safe enough to. Nobody is going to judge me for wanting to wear a beautiful piece of art on my skin. I will not allow it. This is my body, and this is my body with tattoos,” she blogged.  “My life is all new, with this brand new body, and the chance to start over. It is a fantastic rebirth, and I am so glad to be here.”

Margaret admits that she is a bit scared of snakes, though she admires them. “Snakes are magnificent creatures, like nothing else on earth. I don’t know why I am afraid of them. Possibly because they are so different, mysterious and unknowable, unpredictable. But on my back, they will be my protectors, my guardians, my cheerleaders and my friends.”