COO COO FOR KIKUS
Chantal Bee started collecting ink, “because it was so wrong. I grew up in Temecula where everyone was pretty cookie cutter,” she says. “I had to drive out of town to find a tattoo shop and then got a star on my back. I got a star because they’re timeless which pretty much goes for the rest of my tattoos.”
Eventually Chantal’s husband to be, Lucky Bastard
, owner of Fine Tattoo Work in Orange, California, stepped up to add to her ink. “I got a fire snake on my left arm because I was born in the year of the snake and some chrysanthemums on my right arm,” she explained. “In Japanese, the flower is called a kiku. I got those because my mom’s dad, my grandfather, used to grow them in Korea. Lucky also did the Korean dragon-turtles on the inside of my arms, another symbol for timelessness,” she added.
The kiku blossom on the back of her shin was planted by Horiyoshi III during one of Chantal’s visits to Japan. For a wedding present, Lucky gave her the tattoos on the back of her forearms done by Sabado, plus another trip to Japan to unwrap her special gift. “The right arm has a girl’s severed head, but it’s very cute,” she says. “It also has an American rose and a dagger. My left arm has a severed cat’s head with a samurai sword and Japanese cherry blossoms, so basically it represents East and West.”
Lucky is currently working on three large colorful chrysanthemums on each of Chantal’s thighs, adding more flowers to her beautiful bouquet.