Now that ARI is poised to release her debut EP, the five-track "IDIOTGRL," we caught up with her to get a good look at her tattoos. So throw on her latest track, "Oh Well," and come with us on a tour of ARI's tattoo collection.
This is probably my favorite tattoo—I think it was the second tattoo I ever got. I used to (and still do) watch Spongebob religiously. My favorite episode was this one where Spongebob accidentally messes up each of his friends’ days. They all shout at him to, “Get outta here, IDIOT BOY.” He keeps going from friend to friend trying to hang out or be of use to them, but inadvertently gets in their way. After failing his last friend, he decides to leave town. He doesn’t want to be a burden to the people he cares about anymore.
I guess that episode really struck a chord with me because growing up, I constantly felt like Spongebob in that episode. Like there was nothing I could say or do that was right, that I always messed things up or that people didn’t want to be around me. This is also why I chose "IDIOTGRL" as the title of my first EP coming out in July. I wanted this EP to show the real me—slightly neurotic, unflattering and all. Each song speaks to a part of me, the candid truth about how I feel, and I honestly can’t wait to share it with everyone.
I’ll just come right out and say that this is a straight-up Harry Potter tattoo. Harry Potter is one of my many—and when I say obsessed, I’m not exaggerating. If not already apparent by the choice of tattoo and the context, I got this because I’m in Slytherin House. I always knew I’d be, but I took the official test to make sure. And yes, there is a legitimate test you can take on the Wizarding World website to find out what house you’re sorted into. J.K. Rowling made it herself, so you know you’re in the right place.
This was the first tattoo I got. My mom and sisters came with me to get it. I was under 18 at the time, so the fact that my mother was letting me get a tattoo at all was surprising. They all held my hand and asked me if it hurt, expecting to see my face wince or change—it didn’t. This tattoo has a bit of a story as well, but at its core it just means to keep going. This was at a time when I was especially struggling mental health-wise. This was a reminder that no matter what, my heart was still beating and if I just kept going, I would be OK. The heartbeat itself isn’t mine or a specific one; just one I used to draw on my wrist in sharpie. Funnily enough, the tattoo came out a little crooked, but I’m glad it did. I don’t think I wanted this one to be perfect.
This tattoo says “perspective” and is written that way because you have to physically change your perspective to read what it says. You’d be surprised at how many people ask me what language this tattoo is in! I got this as a reminder to not let people’s opinions of me get me down. People tend to have preconceived notions or make assumptions about me because of how I look and tend to not give me a chance. Unfortunately, this has made me hyperaware of other’s perspective of me and sometimes causes me to be detrimental to and hard on myself. This tattoo is a reminder to slow down, breathe and realize that I should be proud of myself. No one can make you feel any less, unless you let them.
Another geeky tattoo alert! "Avatar: The Last Airbender" was pretty much my favorite animated show growing up. I think I’ve re-watched each season at least 10 times. For those of you who don’t know, the main characters live in a world where there are people who can bend the elements, as in control the elements: fire, water, earth and air. The Avatar can control all four. When I thought about myself in the show hypothetically, I always wanted to be a water bender. But if I was being honest with myself, I knew that I would almost certainly be born a fire bender. That’s what this tattoo is, I even got him to add in my long ass black claws.
Crying Eye/Sad Ghost
Both of these are a little sad at first glance. The crying eye is to remind myself that it’s OK to cry sometimes when you feel like shit. I feel like a lot of people try and hide that emotion—I sure as hell know I do. As for the sad ghost, I actually got it because I just really liked the way it looked. But upon researching it, I realized that it’s a symbol for The Sad Ghost Club, which is a positive mental health awareness club. This is something that’s really important to me, so it’s kind of funny that the tattoo I got had a meaning that was dear to me without even realizing it.