You could say that Jay Armstrong was a latecomer to the Lexington Tattoo Project, though, being part-owner of Charmed Life Tattoo, he knew about it long before the tattooing began. When Jay joined the tattooing marathon in the first weeks of January, we invited him to get a word from Bianca’s poem. Jay chose quickly–“eye”–but he had a request: would we allow his daughter, Ada, to write the letters of his tattoo?
We had already collaborated with Ada. She had given Lexington Tattoo Project tattoos–words and circles drawn in blue marker–to willing subjects at a Tadoo event back in January. So you might say we already knew her work. Plus, we really liked the idea of Jay’s daughter designing his tattoo. So we said yes. Little did we know that Jay would have Ada also give him his tattoo. To be more precise, she started it and Robert finished it. Ada’s dad guided her hand most of the time.
Because palms can be tricky to tattoo, requiring more pressure and a few applications in order for the ink to stay in, Robert’s first “eye” did not last. He replaced it with a different kind of “eye,” which the two of us did not design either. Like Robert, Jay was an exceptional participant in the Lexington Tattoo Project.