A Station 4 Barback Shows Off Her Killer Koi and Sword-Wielding Geisha Tattoos (Photos)
In Ink Spot, Amy Price stops strangers in Dallas to shoot, and learn about, their body art.
Kathleen Barker, a 24-year-old barback at Station 4 in Oak Lawn, deals with vomit, drunks and awkward Craigslist ads (more on that later.) She also has some pretty badass tattoos.
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On her right arm is a Japanese-themed sleeve in progress done by the Tattoo Clinic in her hometown of Maybank. You won't, however, find any Samurais or male warriors on Baker's arm. Everything is female-oriented, down to the sword-wielding killing-machine Geishas. Why the lack of a male influence? "It's probably because I'm gay."
One of the Geishas is positioned with her arms folded out, with two heads resting her hands. "Yeah, she's a badass bitch," Barker says. On the top of her arm is a brightly colored pink and red koi fish, surrounded by purple lilies. "I just like the story of the koi fish how it turns into a dragon." It represents good luck in her life.
The inside of Barker's arm is a vicious horned-creature grinning from ear to ear. The Hannya mask traditionally represents a jealous woman or female demon. Or for Barker, a woman's scorn. "I don't think I've ever met a woman who hasn't been scorned."
Her left arm is quite bare, and has one of the best "13" tattoos I've seen. "It's a pearl necklace and boobs; I figured why the hell not."
The inside of her wrist is half heart, half skull and crossbones, which Barker says she might have gotten too hastily. "I don't know I was young and thought it'd be cool at the time but now I think I want to cover it up."
Baker said for now she just wants to concentrate on getting her sleeve finished. Like many tattooed people, she is not a fan of being grabbed by interested parties. "I hate it; I prefer when people ask to my tattoos rather then grab me like they usually do."
Her artwork is apparently so desirable she's been the target of a "missed connections" post on Craigslist. "She described my tattoos and all the way up to what color flashlight I had at work. It kind of freaked me out." She said her Station 4 family brought it to her attention and teased her about it. "I was weirded out. I wore pants for a while."
Barker has since emailed Craiglist and had the admin take it down.