After sophomore Delaney McHale drew feathers in history class, their mom, Rockwood Valley counselor Jamie McGuire got them tattooed on her leg. The feathers dont have a large meaning to McHale but fit into McGuires passion for birds.
After sophomore Delaney McHale drew feathers in history class, their mom, Rockwood Valley counselor Jamie McGuire got them tattooed on her leg. The feathers don’t have a large meaning to McHale but fit into McGuire’s passion for birds.
Photo Courtesy Of Jamie McGuire
Sophomore’s childhood drawings turn into parent’s lifelong body art

On New Year’s Day, actress Melanie Lynskey shared a new tattoo she got on Instagram. The tattoo features a cat drawn by her 5-year-old daughter.

“It reminds me [that] even in the most challenging moments, there is true joy in my life and fills me with deep gratitude,” she said.

But famous people are not the only ones whose tattoos have significant meaning.

Sophomore Delaney McHale provided the art for their mom’s ink.

In their preschool class, they drew a picture of their childhood dog, Franklin. Along with that, they also drew their first self-portrait.

“The teacher sat me down and she told me ‘hey, draw a picture of yourself,’” McHale said.

When they were around 8 or 9 years old, those turned into something much more permanent.

Their mom, Rockwood Valley counselor Jamie McGuire, got both the self-portrait and dog turned into tattoos.

“There are some drawings that just speak to me for whatever reason, and I feel like I want to carry them with me at all times,” McGuire said.

Tattoos hold deeper meanings for McGuire, resembling different parts of her life. They let her permanently capture those moments, she said.

“I absolutely fell in love with it. They drew the picture of our poodle around the same time, and I had that tattooed next to the one of McHale shortly after he passed away a few years later,” McGuire said.

McHale also drew feathers in 8th Grade. Unlike the dog and self-portrait, there was no significant meaning behind them.

“I just drew them in class,” McHale said.

McGuire thought differently about this artwork. She has a big passion for birds and thought the artistic skill was worth preserving.

“McHale casually told me they drew [the feathers] during a history class like it was no big deal, [but] they had created this mini-masterpiece,” McGuire said. “That made me love the feathers even more.”

When it comes to getting more tattoos of McHale’s drawings in the future, McGuire isn’t actively looking for any but is always open to getting more.

“They show me doodles that are neat, so I’m sure I’ll end up with something else,” McGuire said.

Families influence staff members’ tattoos

Jennifer O’Brien, PIE Coordinator

Jennifer O’Brien has multiple tattoos that she got with her daughters, Paige and Blake.

One tattoo is of two hearts tattooed behind her ear, each drawn by one of her daughters.

“[Blake] was 18 [and] she really wanted them for her birthday,” O’Brien said.

Along with the hearts, O’Brien also shares another tattoo with a significant meaning.

After taking French in school, O’Brien also wanted to expose her children to the language.

“I always said ‘je t’aime’ to [my daughters] when they were babies and as they grew up,” O’Brien said.

Je t’aime, which means ‘I love you’, was a “code word” when Paige and Blake were going into school, since not many other kids knew what it meant, O’Brien said. It was also calmer for them to say.

Je t’aime aussi, meaning ‘I love you too’, got tattooed on O’Brien’s side, closest to her heart.
“I had [Paige and Blake each] write ‘je t’aime aussi’,” she said.

SMSgt Matt Zahradka, ROTC

In 2023, Matt Zahradka and his wife got matching tattoos. It relates to when they were in the military together.

The numbers on the tattoo each correspond to the fingers on his hand.

Each number represents an extended finger and ends up saying “I love you” in ASL.

“Your thumb, index finger and pinky finger extended is ‘I love you,’” Zahradka said. “The tattoo is in her handwriting and she has one in my handwriting.”

It was the last sign they would give each other when they left. Zahradka was in Afghanistan and his wife was in Iraq.

Spanish teacher’s sleeve tells family stories

World language teacher Ryan Butchart has a tattoo sleeve on his left arm. It was completed two years ago.

“Everything on the arm tells part of [my] life story,” he said.

Butchart’s dad’s ancestors came from Dundee, Scotland. To represent his family’s culture, Butchart had a Celtic Knot tattooed onto his forearm.

“I got the Celtic Knot to symbolize where [my dad] comes from,” Butchart said. “[The] Celtic Knot goes around my entire forearm to show unity with no loose ends,” he said.

Butchart has birds and vines tattooed on his forearm to symbolize his four family members’ connection.

“The vine just kind of tied it all together,” Butchart said.

The entire sleeve took six sessions for a total of 36 hours. He started researching tattoos when he was 16 and got his first tattoo when he was 18.

The total cost of the sleeve ended up being $3,000.

What Butchart likes about his sleeve is how everything ties together and highlights his life and upbringing.

“I can bring back memories of certain moments of my life that were big,” he said.

He also plans to get a tattoo of angel wings for his aunt, who passed away last summer.

“I definitely got addicted after the first one,” Butchart said.

Important people, life events serve as inspiration for permanent art
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