Tattoos have a complicated and conflicting history. Up until the millennial generation embraced them as an artistic outlet for self-expression, it seemed like the majority of tattoos could be classified into one of two categories: gritty or girly. I'm talking about the difference between a "mom" tattoo surrounded by barbed wire and a feathered infinity symbol. Now, though, millennial and Gen Z tattoos don't have a simple classification. In fact, they might not have a classification at all. This ever-expanding anthology of ink makes me think that we're in the midst of a tattoo renaissance.
According to Brit + Co, one of the buzziest of all the emerging artists on the tattoo scene is Ashley Glynn, otherwise known by her Instagram handle, @wadulisiwoman. In her bio, she describes herself as a "multidimensional artist" and "lightworker." She's best known, however, as the sole proprietor and alternative wellness aficionado behind the "Soul Tattoo," which is Instagram's favorite new type of body ink. She may be based in the Bay Area, but her designs have reached far and wide thanks to social media.
"Soul Tattoo sessions are one-of-a-kind hand-poked ceremonial, healing, conscious tattoo experiences with each design and its medicine being divinely channeled as a mirror of deep reflection and activation for each client," Glynn writes on her website. Through the combination of alternative wellness philosophies and traditional tattooing techniques, she creates something that's personal and meaningful for each client.
"Soul Tattoo sessions were a direct message from spirit," Glynn told Brit + Co. "When I heard the name from my guides, I didn't know what a Soul Tattoo was, but I knew it was an offering I was meant to create. At the time I was an artist, floral designer, and gave clairvoyant readings around NYC, but literally the next day after receiving that download, I quit all my jobs and birthed Soul Tattoo sessions into creation."
Glynn is more than a tattoo artist. She's versed in wellness topics like herbalism, energy work, body work, and healing. As such, the process is different. You don't simply walk in, pick a design, and go under the needle. It's much more involved. After all, as I said before, each Soul Tattoo is personal and meaningful.
"A Soul Tattoo session consists of a guided meditation to ground into the body and present moment, some intention setting to focus in on what is asking to be healed or worked through, an aura and energy body reading where I scan the energy body to gather messages and images the spirit is sending related to the client's growth, healing, purpose, or whatever needs to surface at this time," Glynn explained.
After that, Glynn is able to decipher specific colors, images, symbols, plants and more. "The Soul Tattoo design is channeled in and can include plant medicine, sacred symbolism, animal totems, numerology, astrology, or whatever symbolic medicine needs to come through for the client. Once the design is set, we will further discuss the chakras, the body, and energy meridians to align the design on to the place on the body that is most aligned for the client's personal healing. … The final design is always a collaboration and discussion between myself and the client so they feel 100 percent aligned with the image, though 90 percent of the time it’s exactly what they want as soon as I show them what I am seeing," Glynn said.
Finally, after the design is decided upon, Glynn prepares for the stick-and-poke tattoo session with a "hands-on energy work to clear the aura, further ground, open, and align with the medicine coming through," she said. Apparently, the whole process can take three to four hours or more, depending on the size and intricacy of the image, of course. Since the going rate is $277 per hour, you could end up spending upward of $1000 for a single tattoo. Pricey? Definitely. However, Instagram trends don't lie.
Many of her customers express their satisfaction and gratitude through social media, putting their wholly original piece of ink on display for family and friends to see.
If you're an aspiring witch who's well-versed in crystals, herbs, and Reiki, and you're looking for a significant tattoo to combine wellness with art, this might be for you. Or maybe you simply desire a more meaningful tattoo experience. Either way, head to her Instagram or website to see more of her work.