Inked Canvas: Psychology major gets tattoo in memory of older sister


Dylan HavilandGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Mackenzie Malone is a sophomore and psychology major, minoring in criminal justice.  Last year, she got a tattoo in memory of her older sister Kelsey.

Can you tell me about your tattoo?

“It is a tribute to my sister who passed away last year from brain cancer.  We had always talked about getting a tattoo together so it just made sense that my first tattoo would be in honor of her.

How old was your sister?

“She was older, we were six years apart.  She passed away when she was 24.”

inked canvas 2What is the style of the tattoo?

“It is a silhouette portrait of her when she was five and I had it drawn up so that it was a silhouette and I picked the style frame that I wanted.  Then, I incorporated the year she was born, the year she passed away and this word ‘saudade’.”

What does saudade mean?

“It’s a Portuguese word, it doesn’t have a literal translation in English, but people who have tried to translate it have said that the word means ‘the love that remains.’  But also it brings together the feelings of sadness for the loss and happiness for having experienced the feeling.”

Where did you get saudade from, is your family Portuguese?

“No we are actually not Portuguese and I just randomly found the word.  I believe online somehow, I just randomly came across it and at the time when I was reading it, it was exactly how I felt about her.  Just all of my feelings put into this one definition.  I felt that it was good to incorporate that.”

What made you use a silhouette style?

“There was so many ways I wanted to honor her and it was so hard picking a style since there’s so many things I want to do.  There’s this one picture in my mom’s room that’s been there our whole lives.  It was just a plain black and white silhouette of her and for some reason I just really liked that picture and I thought that it would be the best way to portray it.

How was the process with your artist?

“Actually a friend of mine drew up the design for me so when I gave it to the tattoo artist it was pretty much exactly how I wanted it.  He really didn’t have to make any changes.”

When did you get the tattoo?

“I got it last Christmas, so it is about a year old now.”

Since you got the tattoo has it helped you remember her more?

“It has, I like when people ask me about it because it gives me a positive light to talk about her and it just brings back a lot of good memories.  It’s a positive tribute for me.”

What do you think about tattoos as an art form?

“I think it’s a great way to express yourself, to memorialize a lot of things and people.  Although they might not see it and they might not know you got the tattoo it’s still a good way to remember them and show your respect after they are gone.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland

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