HUMBOLDT — When Kathleen Schlosser saw an ad for Inked Magazine’s Cover Girl contest, she felt she fit the description: tattooed woman wanted.
The nursing home housekeeper and laundry attendant was only 18 years old when she got her first tattoo, starting a lifelong love affair with ink.
“I started small and then it was like ‘I want more.’”
Entering the contest was a split minute decision, she said, but one that paid off as she is in the running to be on the cover of Inked, along with women from around the world.
As a photographer, Schlosser has even turned some of her photos into tattoos. She’s at the point where if she finds something she likes, like a photo she took of a tree in Ontario, she wants to find a place to put it on her body. Your body is a canvas, she said.
“Everyone says tattoos have to have some deep meaning, to some point I agree, but otherwise if you like something, why not have it [on your body].”
Every tattoo, no matter why the person got it, has a story to tell, Schlosser said.
It’s hard to count how many dollars went into Schlosser’s works of art but she estimates that about a quarter of her body is covered with tattoos, including a full sleeve on her right Armand and a partial sleeve on her left. More than 70 hours of work has gone into making the works of art.
She is nowhere near done with her canvas. A recent chest tattoo was the most painful, she said, but that is not going to stop her from adding on to it.
“Pain is temporary, that’s the way I think about it.”
While there has been some regrets along the way; her leg tattoo she got early in her tattooing life seems a bit juvenile now, she said, but there is nothing on her body that can’t be covered up with another big and better tattoo.
Especially in her line of work working with the public and seniors, reactions to her canvas body have been mixed, especially in the summer when she is able to show off her tattoos.
The tabooness of tattoos have worn off, she said, and you’re more likely to find people with tattoos that without, so she finds a lot of kindred spirits who ask about her art than people who are repulsed by it.
First round of voting runs until Feb. 20 with other rounds coming up when Schlosser moves on. Voting can be done at https://cover.inkedmag.com/2020/kathleen-schlosser.