Winged self-portrait tattoo a testament to morality, life decisions


Topper Tats showcases the most interesting tattoos students are sporting around the Hilltop. 

Tattoos tend to express what people are about, what they like, who they are and a revelation about their personality, among other things. Around the world, they can be seen as a form of art and self-expression. Furthermore, tattoos can represent the unspoken truths of a human being.

Jeff Miles, a junior at St. Edward’s University, wanted something that represented his individuality. The tattoo, done in early Jan. 2013, is located in the center of Miles’ upper back.

“My back was large enough, and my decisions are weighted on my shoulders,” Miles said.

The tattoo shows Miles sitting, wings expanded from his back and face buried in his folded arms that lay on top of his knees, which are brought to his chest. One wing is an angel wing and the other is a demon wing. The whole tattoo represents right and wrong decisions.

“At that point in time, I was going through good and bad things,” Miles said. Miles wanted something that represented his conscience.

The unique aspect of his tattoo, which further emphasizes his individuality, is that Miles drew this tattoo himself. Miles is an artist who has started his own business called One of a Kind Arts (1KA). “A company centered around giving the talented youth a way to make it in the real world,” says 1KA’s Facebook page.

Miles described his experience of getting his tattoo as excruciating and one of his most painful experiences. Miles had his tattoo done in just one session.

“It was like someone dug a fish hook in my skin and dragged it for three hours,” Miles said.

This is Miles’ only tattoo, but he is thinking about getting more. Furthermore, he will draw all his tattoos, except for maybe one.

“This key chain my mom got me from Africa is the only thing I wouldn’t draw…other than that, yeah,” Miles said.

Beyond the pain he experienced while he was getting his tattoo, Miles said that the tattoo itched constantly after. He had his tattoo bandaged up until about the two-week mark.

“My mom liked the fact it was my own drawing, but when I tried to show her, she didn’t want to see it. She understood what it’s about and what it was,” Miles said.

Fellow Hilltoppers can see more of Miles’ artistic abilities by liking 1KA’s Facebook page and following 1KA’s Instagram.