Hilltop Views

Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

Elyssa+Koog+shows+off+one+of+her+many+tattoos.+She+uses+designs+she+finds+online+and+puts+her+own+twist+on+it.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

Elyssa Koog shows off one of her many tattoos. She uses designs she finds online and puts her own twist on it.

Elyssa Koog shows off one of her many tattoos. She uses designs she finds online and puts her own twist on it.

Kayce Stevens / Hilltop Views

Elyssa Koog shows off one of her many tattoos. She uses designs she finds online and puts her own twist on it.

Kayce Stevens / Hilltop Views

Kayce Stevens / Hilltop Views

Elyssa Koog shows off one of her many tattoos. She uses designs she finds online and puts her own twist on it.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Junior social work major Elyssa Koog wanted tattoos for a really long time.

“There used to be someone who had a lot of control over my life who told me I couldn’t get them,” Koog said. “That’s kind of what pushed me to do it.” Koog now has six tattoos.

Each of Koog’s tattoos have a meaning, but she doesn’t hold on to the meanings behind them super tightly, and that doesn’t discourage her from getting them.

“I think it’s realistic to assume things may or may not change in regard to the meaning or story behind my tattoos,” Koog said.

Right before Koog got her first tattoo, she was no longer in contact with the person who had told her she couldn’t get them. Since then, they are on better terms.

“That person now plays a very different role in my life,” Koog explained, “because that was a temporary situation, it’s not exactly what the tattoo means anymore.”

One of Koog’s tattoos is a scarab beetle with an emerald inside that she drew herself.

“I got my beetle tattoo when I was going through a goth phase,” Koog said. “Even though it’s not my style anymore, because it’s art on my body, I think it’s still beautiful and I love it even though it’s not exactly what I would get now.”

Koog doesn’t believe tattoos have to have a super deep meaning. Instead, she views tattoos as a way to display art.

“I think tattoos are like the highest form of art appreciation. You love the art so much that you’re putting it on your body,” she said.

One night, Koog saw a drawing that an artist from San Antonio posted on Instagram and loved it so much that she decided she needed it on her body. She contacted the artist and ended up driving to San Antonio that night to get the art piece tattooed on her.

Koog has let the artist decide where most of her pieces should go because she recognizes that they have a conception of what will flow with your body best. As a result, she’s been able to see for herself how her tattoos are a part of her rather than separate from herself.

All of Koog’s tattoos were either her own design or a pre-drawn design that the artist retired after it was tattooed on her. She’s passionate about her tattoos because she knows they are personally and uniquely specific to her by not being on anyone else’s body.

“Unless it’s a very common design, the tattoo is something that either the artist or client or both wanted individually, and a lot of them are very personal,” Koog said. “If someone else were to get them tattooed on themselves, that’s like somebody stealing art.”

Tattoo theft is a fear of Koog’s. Her advice to others who see a tattoo they like is to take it to an artist and say they want something similar, but not the exact thing.

“It gives you something personal and your own at that point,” Koog said.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Four SEU students accepted into prestigious, competitive Oxford publishing program

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Modern poet explores themes of natural world, romance in latest book

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Developing genre spotlights complex issues of the young adult experience

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Campus climate activists host enviroment-themed poetry slam

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    SEU theatre performs award-winning musical exploring taboo teen topics

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Vinyl collectors flock to Austin record stores to celebrate annual tradition

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Temple teacher discusses how records influenced his hardcore band

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    App discourages excessive phone use through growth of virtual forest

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Annual kite festival fills Zilker Park with color, brings community together

  • Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her

    Life And Arts

    Food fair offers vibrant celebration, representation for Latinx students

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Tattoos go deeper than skin: student feels ink is part of her