Beyoncé’s first tattoo was a mistake that she removed soon after. She still has scars on her left hip from the laser removal. The tattoo was rarely seen due to it’s location, but we know a lot about it from interviews with her tattoo artist and Queen Bey herself.
The removed tattoo was an angel in prayer on her left hip. She visited the studio of Mister Cartoon who has inked many of hip-hop’s biggest stars. She didn’t know what she wanted to get and after a long discussion they came up with the design together. The artist told the LA Times that Beyoncé was his hardest client to design for since he needed to create something fitting of a young diva who had never been inked before. Ultimately it seems like the size of the tattoo was too much for Beyoncé. She’s gotten more tattoos since, but they’ve been very small and very personal.
Beyoncé opened up about the tattoo — and it’s removal — in a 2010 interview with People magazine:
When I was 21, I actually did get a tattoo of an angel that I had painted. It was very, very beautiful. But the next day I woke up, and I was like, “Oh my God! What did I do?” So literally the next week, I started getting it removed. It’s gone now. I went through so many years of pain. I wish I’d taped it for young people to see.
She also sang about her family’s reaction to the tattoo on her song “Daddy” from her 2003 album Dangerously in Love:
I still remember I caught you crying cause of my tattoo
Could have said Beyoncé I told you so
Instead you said you’d get one too (Even my mama said y’all get one just like mine)
Skylar Gray has a large forest scene tattoo covering her whole back. The tattoo represents a period in her life where she lived in the woods in Oregon before re-inventing herself. This time was essential to her growth both as a person and as an artist.
“I moved into a cabin in the woods and I was broke and I was down on my luck and depressed. It was there that I proved to myself that I could survive anything. And when I came out of the woods I wrote ‘Love The Way You Lie’ and that changed my life forever. So that tattoo represents that whole dream to me.”
The imagery of tattoo includes storm clouds and lightning bolts to represent her struggles and cabin to represent her shelter in the storm. The more lighthearted part of the tattoo is a lumberjack clown which was inspired by her tattoo artist Mister Cartoon’s affinity for clowns.
“I wanted a lumberjack. Mister Cartoon has this signature thing that he does clowns. So I thought, why not just make it a lumberjack clown? Because that’s what I do, I mix weird stuff together. My album is like that, my fashion sense is like that,” she told Amp Radio.