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Stoned Monkey Erases the Hate – Anchorage Press

Posted in Tattoo Nightmares on Aug 17, 2017

A bad decision shouldnt haunt someone for the rest of their life.

That is the message Gabe Brause, an Anchorage tattoo artist, is spreading locally as he brings the Erase the Hate Facebook campaign from the East Coast to Alaska in an effort to help tattoo owners alter the ink they may now regret.

People deserve to leave the past in the past when they are ready to start a new chapter of their life, Brause said as he worked on transforming the letters PASS on Sydney Hinkleys calf a couple weeks ago. For Sydney, she is getting married and she should not have to deal with a mistake from her past on that special day.

Hinkley, age 26, smiled as she watched Brause meticulously create the outline of what would be an apple blossom on her leg where letters of hate and intolerance once dominated her skin.

At age 20, Hinkley was in a relationship with a Nazi sympathizer.

She regrets the relationship, she said.

One morning after having had too much to drink and most likely passing out, she woke up to find two letters on her leg: SS

Her former boyfriend had a tattoo gun and had put the marks on her leg while she slept.

I was horrified, she recalls. I freaked out.

But what could she do? The two letters were there. She was young and in love. She demanded the former boyfriend add the letters P and A so that her leg would have a more appropriate term on display.

Despite that addition, Hinkley was not comfortable wearing shorts or a skirt that fell above her knee.

She didnt want to explain the reason for the word, PASS appearing on her leg.

I was an idiot when I met him, she said. It was a brief relationship, but then I ended up with this nightmare on my leg.

The second part of being young and in love didnt last long.

She moved around Washington State until coming to Alaska to continue her career in the hospitality industry cooking at downtown Anchorage hotels.

She met the love of her life Andrew Leonard. The couple is getting married in October. Life was great; well, except for the tattoo on her leg.

Leonard is of Alaska Native descent. Hinkley said he did not criticize her past, but she remained embarrassed regarding the racism associated with the tattoo. She hopes the couple has children and she did not want to go to the Alaska Native Medical Center or to a PTA meeting with a racist mark on her leg.

Plus, she really, really wanted to wear a pretty dress with its hemline skimming her knees on her wedding day.

Thanks to Brause and a random drawing for a tattoo cover-up sponsored by Brauses company, Stoned Monkey, Hinkleys leg-bearing wedding dreams are becoming reality. Her 1950s-style pin-up dress in cream with dark burgundy accents will flutter just above the colorful tattoo Brause created on her leg.

She laughed at how pale her legs are because they have not seen sunlight in more than a half decade. But as she sat in the tattoo chair at Black Flag Tattoo in downtown Anchorage, she talked about the pink and purple colors she selected from a photo of the Seattle skyline that would be the background of her tattoo once Brause finished it.

The cover-up tattoo he designed is extensive. It features apple blossoms to represent Hinkleys time in Wenatchee, Wash. the states apple orchard capital. To honor the evergreen trees of the Cascade Mountains, Brause included pinecones. The states variety of deciduous trees is represented by leaves. Green ferns are dotted around the tattoo.

Hinkleys favorite part of the design created by Brause is the presence of DB Cooper — one of the states infamous criminals making his jump from a Boeing 727 after having secured $200,000 in ransom money after hijacking a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle. The design sports Cooper wearing a parachute as his legend indicates. Authorities believe he jumped from the Boeing 727 somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada after instructing the planes pilot to set a course for Mexico City. A trail of money follows Cooper on Hinkleys tattoo just as authorities believe may have occurred when Hinkley jumped. Various amounts of the bills federal authorities secured for the ransom have been found in the Columbia River Gorge.

I just love that story, HInkley said. It is a big part of Washington folklore and I love how many potential different endings it could have.

A bit similar to the lives we as humans lead, Brause mused as he smeared away excess ink from the lines he made on Hinkleys leg.

As a tattoo artist, he enjoys the challenge of doing cover-up work.

It is one thing to create something new on your own, but to go back over someone elses work to correct and make something better from it takes skill, he said. But as an artist, there is nothing more gratifying than to create something beautiful that can take away the stigma attached to a really horrible tattoo. People ought to be able to move past their past and become something different.

Editors Note: Amy Armstrong is a co-owner of http://www.alaskafamilyfun.com.

See more here:
Stoned Monkey Erases the Hate – Anchorage Press

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