OTSEGO, Mich. — Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years - they've been found on bodies from Egypt to Samoa, ancient Greece and Rome. Fast forward to the early 1900s and tattoos were not socially accepted - decorative and personal tattoos were most associated with criminals, sailors or and performers. But times are changing -- body art is now accepted again, and tattoos are the subject of a local author's new children's book.
It was ink that inspired Abby Lyne to put pen to paper, to write her first children's book. One of the places you can find it, fittingly at 9/8 Tattoo Collective in her hometown of Otsego. Called my “My Aunt has Tattoos,” she pulled a lot of inspiration from her own life, and the lives of those she loves.
She says people get tattoos for so many reasons, “it’s a source of healing for people, a source of strength sometimes just for beautification and fun, sometimes it's cultural."
The main character, Jem, is an Army soldier, who has turned her body into a gorgeous canvas - to empower her and make her brave in battle. She's strong mentally and physically - a role model in many ways, particularly, Abby hopes, to her own four girls. She says, "My oldest daughter is tattooed she's my stepdaughter and she's got some amazing tattoos and I just want to continue to have female empowerment and you know the book kind of demonstrates that as well. Because my little ones need that in their lives too.” Her writing journey started three years ago, from planning to print, and for this librarian, she says having her work in hand is surreal. She says, “It's cool to see my book on the shelf and it's at the Kalamazoo public library and that's really cool as someone who tries to advocate literature and literacy that's pretty awesome"
And like her protagonist, Abby has three of her own tattoos. She says her most meaningful is on her foot and it's a daily reminder to be present over perfect. She says it’s a good reminder to us all, and she appreciates seeing it every day. She adds, "You know, tattoos are a way to tell our story. And everyone's got a story to tell. And some people walk around as a living canvas and it's always interesting to get to know people that way and you get to know their stories and you know, wonderful.”
in addition to finding "My Aunt has Tattoos" at the 9/8 Tattoo Parlor in Otsego, you can find it on Amazon. Learn more about Abby and her work on her website https://www.myaunthastattoos.com/ or on her Facebook Page
For more information about the 9/8 Tattoo Collective, check out their Facebook Page