And then there is sociology professor Ken Spring, whose detailed ink covering his right arm is a narrative of Spring’s life.
“I don’t think I could tell you an exact number of tattoos I have, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Most of them are all pieces intertwining together. But I could tell you how many hours I have on my body. All together I’ve had about 75 hours,” said Spring.
The sleeve begins on his wrist with a dragon representing the year in which he met a girl who twice broke his heart. Then travels up to lotus flowers blooming out from the darkness, a symbol of recovering from the heartbreak. A lantern lights the path toward clarity and peace. Three stars play off the Tennessee state flag, representing his move to Nashville. A cherry blossom tree represents the calm temporal nature of his life in those days. A sugar skull represents his catholic upbringing while also playing into his passion, learning about other cultures. Finally, four lit candles represent the lives of his deceased grandparents, emanating how important family is to him.
Spring got his sleeve done primarily by Thu, an artist at Electric Hand Tattoo in East Nashville.
All together, the cost for his sleeve totals to approximately $6,000.