The 40 by 40 Project is written by Angie Teater, a New York-based interior designer & travel writer. The Project begins on Angie's 39th birthday (March 11, 2017) with only 365 days to accomplish everything on the list before turning big Four-Oh! 

Forty goals. One year. Endless possibilities.

#5: Get a Tattoo

#5: Get a Tattoo

Permanent. That's the thing that freaks people out. "It's PERMANENT!" But for me, that's the beauty of getting a tattoo - it's a permanent physical adornment, a piece of art that is forever a part of you. YOU, in essence, are now a piece of art. 

But not everyone sees it that way.

Not everyone admires tattoos. Not everyone sees them as art. Not everyone will think it's a beautiful addition to your body. Which is why, being a people-pleaser, it took me YEARS to finally commit to a visible piece of body art...and also why it was so important. 

There comes a point in life where you stop apologizing for who you are. Instead, you embrace it. Share it. Celebrate it. You stop hiding in the shadows of "normal" and, instead, proudly display your truth in whatever beautiful manifestation it may take. For me, it looks like a tattoo. 

I've always loved them. When I see men or women with full sleeves or huge designs, I marvel at their personal bravery before marveling at the artwork. To me, they are a walking art museum! To me, they are the epitome of confidence! I soooo admire people with tattoos. Could I ever have that much courage? 

The answer today is: YES!! 


I walked into East Side Ink for my appointment with the renowned tattoo artist Dan Bones. He's known for his "dot work" technique, much like pointillism in traditional art. The design was his interpretation of my concept. A compass, for my love of travel. Slightly Art Deco. Detailed but elegant. A pearl in the middle and at the top to remind me that wisdom is always True North. 

I settled in for the 2+ hour session. Did it hurt? Yes...but not torturously. In fact, after a bit, it became almost meditative. Dare I say, I enjoyed the experience! Who would have imagined? 

Because at this stage, when the template was applied, I was admittedly very nervous: 


But Dan's light-handed approach minimized any pain. His work is intricate. Pure art. Absolute adornment. 

Not everyone will "get it" or like it or agree with it. And that's ok. Because, as the years of my life progress, I realize it's not about pleasing other people. It's about pleasing myself. It's about embracing MY personal art. It's about celebrating who I am. 

And who I am is now a walking work of art. 



#25: Attend an Educational Lecture

#25: Attend an Educational Lecture

#18: Something I've Never Done / Basketball

#18: Something I've Never Done / Basketball