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A Christmas tattoo: How far is too far when expressing your love?

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How far is too far when expressing your love of Christmas?

We heard of people starting their decorations in October, taking days off work to put their tinsel up or spending hundreds on giant Santas, but for caterer Jessica Moore, Christmas is a matter of life purpose.

In August, the 35 year old spent thousands of dollars on a full back tattoo with all the North Pole has to offer, celebrating the jolly season.

A big Christmas enthusiast, she said the idea came without much thinking.

“In 2011 I saved this tattoo picture on my phone, two pin-up girls, and for years and years I wanted this tattoo on my back.”

Last year I moved to Ashburton, in the South Island, and I met my artist for a consultation, Moore said.

The tattoo artist was Christchurch-based Ebony Mellowship.

Moore said when she presented her original idea, the feedback wasn’t exactly what she expected.

“Ebony was like ‘Jess, this tattoo is really old, it’s not going to look good.”

Moore said the conversation somehow turned into a topic about Christmas and the decision was made.

“I don’t really remember how we eventually got talking about Christmas, but Ebony told me she was a fan and we just vibed, because we both loved Christmas.”

So, she asked if I ever thought about a Christmas tattoo and I was like, “Oh my Gosh, yes, please!”

Moore said the decision of going ahead with her gigantic Christmas tattoo didn’t take much convincing.

“I went away, and I looked online, and I could not find any design, so I thought – do I really want this?”

“In the end I came back and said: ‘Go ahead, create something Christmasy’,” Moore remembered.

After some research and pondering, she decided to trust her artist’s creativity.

“I gave Ebony a list of things I wanted. My favourite movie is the The Polar Express, so the reindeer has the bell from The Polar Express on it. There are also cookies, because I make Christmas cookies at work and so on.”

Jessica Moore (right) pictured with her tattoo artist Ebony Mellowship (left).

Jessica Moore (right) pictured with her tattoo artist Ebony Mellowship (left).
Photo: Supplied

‘Four sessions, 28 hours of pain and a lot of money’

In August, Moore had the first of four sessions to complete the tattoo before the jolly season started.

“I had no idea what the design was going to look like, so I showed up on my first day and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is more than I ever imagined.”

The tattoo, filled with Christmas details and memories, took a total of 28 hours to be completed and cost over $5000.

I had a session every three weeks, because I was so impatient, Moore said.

“First session we did the outline, that was seven hours. Second session we did one half of the edge and on the third [session] we did the other half.

“In the last session we just did Father Christmas, because we knew Santa would make the whole thing come together.”

Moore, that has nine tattoos in total, said the pain did not discourage her.

“The first line-work did not hurt at all; I was so exhausted from my work that I fell asleep.”

When she started doing the colouring and going down my spine it definitely hurt, she said.

Jessica Moore spent thousands of dollars on a full back tattoo with all the North Pole has to offer.

Jessica Moore spent thousands of dollars on a full back tattoo with all the North Pole has to offer.
Photo: Supplied

Too much?

Through social media, Ebony Mellowship said she was happy with the result and feedback.

“I’m super proud of this one and it just makes me so damn happy to look at, Jess cried when I showed her the photo at the end, we knew Santa was just gonna bring the whole thing together so finishing with him just made it super special,” Mellowship posted.

But what did people think about it?

Jessica Moore says she has heard nothing but compliments.

“Ninety-nine percent of people were just like, ‘this is stunning’. I shared online and I had over seven and a half thousand likes.”

“When people dislike it, they normally just say ‘I don’t like tattoos, but I can appreciate the work’,” she said.

“To be able to do the colours and the detail and create that – it’s a piece of art and that’s what people need to appreciate.”

About regretting the life-long tattoo, Moore said she would always be proud of it.

Everything happens for a reason, and she said she would never regret it.

“You are put on this Earth for a purpose. Some people want to be a mechanic, some people want to be a doctor.

“I think my purpose it’s to do something with Christmas whether is bringing joy to people or through experiences and memories.

“I am obsessed with it,” Moore said.

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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