Who Did Your Ink?: Petra Allman's Iron Goddess of Mercy a tribute to lady friends and tea

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      Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.

      What's your name?  Petra Allmann.

      What do you do?  I am the director of business development at TEALEAVES, a Vancouver-founded and -based tea company.

      Who did your ink?  Former Vancouverite Adam Sky did my first three tattoos around 26 years ago. Then, the wonderful Marcus Pacheco of Primal Urge in San Francisco did my the lotus-flower on my left arm's half-sleeve, which is yet to be finished.

      My most recent and favourite tattoo is by the super talented and lovely ex-Vancouverite Cecelia Wingate. She works out of Seventh Son Tattoo in San Francisco. 

      Why did you choose that artist to do your tattoo?  We have some history. In our late teens/early 20s, Cecelia and I hung out in the same circles at the Arts Club Theatre (formerly on Seymour Street)—we'd go see punk bands like Curious George and Death Sentence.

      She later moved to San Francisco and honed her talents as a tattoo artist. I've always loved her style, fine lines, and floral work. 

      Last August, she messaged me that she'd be in town doing a guest-artist stint at Steveston Tattoo (110–12020 1st Avenue) in Richmond. I hadn't planned on getting another tattoo (my two kids have kind of taken over my income!), but I'd had three major life events happen in a row earlier that year so I wanted to honour that moment of time in my life.

      I love Cecelia's work. I had a piece in mind that I'd always wanted to get tattooed and I knew that Cecelia could create and tattoo it exactly how I would like it

      I also liked that a woman would be tattooing it—in honour of all my girlfriends who have always been there for me through thick and thin. With Cecelia coming to town, it all just came together spontaneously!

      Is there any meaning behind it?  The tattoo is of the Iron Goddess of Mercy or Ti Kuan Yin. It also happens to be my favourite oolong tea.

      I've always loved the folklore and soft, flowing imagery around this bodhisattva. Ti Kuan Yin seemed to encapsulate the feeling around all that I'd been experiencing last year. 

      Who's your favourite local tattoo artist?  I'm not that familiar with the local Vancouver scene anymore, but my friend Katherine has some beautiful work by Clint Danroth at Craftsman (15561 Marine Drive, White Rock). And I've also seen some great work out of Steveston Tattoo.

      What's next on your ink list?  I should really plan a trip to SF to see Marcus Pacheco to finish my left sleeve. Long overdue!

      Have some ink you'd like to share? Contact Janet McDonald at ink@straight.com.