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If you spot Julia Jackola across campus, you probably can’t help but catch a glimpse of her peacock tattoo decorated meticulously along the back of her thigh. On the side of her leg, lies a flower ink-work she designed herself.

Jackola is a sophomore Graphic Design major and Art minor who has  eight tattoos distributed  throughout her body. Jackola’s tattoo art is distinguishable by fellow art classmates as some come from her own designs.

When asked on her preference of personal art versus artwork by other tattoo artists, Jackola said, “It’s like a 50/50 thing. I really like my own artwork but I also like other people’s artwork. Just like I like admiring art.”

Along with four pieces styled after Jackola´s own artwork, a tattoo she uses as an example of her admiration of art is “Blue Nude”, a 1902 painting from Pablo Picasso’s blue series.

“The Picasso piece was rendered into a line drawing and I liked it because it represented a lot of the feelings that I’ve felt,” Jackcola said. “I also liked it because I love art and I’m art major, so naturally I just gravitate towards more artistic pieces.”

Jackola´s own artwork, however, was inked by her favorite tattoo artist Hector Gonzalez based here in Austin at Golden Goat Tattoo Company. Jackola shares that he was kind enough to ink her artwork, as some tattoo artists often refuse to denounce their own creativity to recreate a client’s request.

“Hector Gonzalez has done three of mine and he’s done an amazing job. He did my peacock, the flower and the Picasso piece,” said Jackola.

To find Gonzalez, Jackola mentioned she visited various shops to find a tattoo artist to fulfill the task.

“I went into shops and I looked through all the artists´ portfolios. I looked for the artist that matched the closest to my style,” said Jackola.

Like most, Jackola admits that her approach to tattoos has changed over the past year.

“I used to be really big on taking time on selecting tattoos, but I feel like being sporadic with tattoos is really important,” Jackola said. “They can represent times of your life. For example for me, even if I’m not struggling with anxiety later, my [serotonin tattoo] will be a good reminder of when I was.”

A serotonin molecule adorns Jackola´s wrist, another design ´a la Jackola.´

“This one I did myself. It’s a stick-and poke. I did it because in the summer I had a lot of anxiety and I just wanted to be back at school. It’s a serotonin molecule. I just wanted to remind myself to be happy,” said Jackola.

Originally designated for a  jail cell, stick-and-poke tattoos have  gained momentum in the body modification culture. However, according to health professionals concern is still shared with the stick and poke alternative.

Jackola believes tattoos are marks and healthy reminders of her own identity.

“They’re therapeutic. They’re a good way to express myself and remind myself of who I am,” said Jackola.  

Many of her pieces are mementos of familial relationships.

“The one on my leg is for my dad. He also has an iris tattoo. It’s similar to his, but mine has a different style. Me and my dad have struggled with our relationship so it´s a nice reminder that despite everything we’re still family,” Jackola said..

For this reason, Jackola displays her tattoos contentedly. Jackola acknowledges that much of her wardrobe is selected to exhibit her tattoos. She sports shorts in the winter claiming the cold is something she outgrew when she played soccer in the colder seasons many years ago.

“I think I’m a good beacon for the tattoo for the tattoo culture,” said Jackola.

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