June 26th, 2023
Lisa Marie and Tattoo Girl Wine
Lisa Marie personifies the Tattoo Girl Wine drinker—unique, bold and creative.
Photos by Chaotic Beauty Photography
For almost as long as civilization has been around, people have been marking themselves with tattoos and celebrating with a glass of wine. Tattoo Girl Wine was founded to honor these pillars of culture throughout the world. Much like how humble grapes can evolve into a rich and complex wine, our tattoos help us build our own identity. It was in this spirit that we teamed up with Tattoo Girl Wine to highlight the convergence of wine and ink by putting the spotlight on the lovely Lisa Marie.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are?
Hi! I’m Lisa Marie. I’m 31 and I’m from Virginia Beach, where my husband, Mitchell Baer, and I own GreyScale Tattoo Gallery. In addition to managing the tattoo studio, I’m a permanent makeup artist, glass artist, step-mom, Frenchie mom, lab mom and soon to be monkey mom. Our lives are far from ordinary!
When did you get your first tattoo? What was it? How did you feel after it was done? Does it still exist?
I was 15 at Kempsville High School when a few of my friends started to get tattooed, Tommy Vercetti being one of them. I liked the quality of their work so I made an appointment. My elders had many tattoos so I figured they could only be so mad, right? My first tattoo is my maiden name, “Petrone,” on my hip. I liked the artist so much I went back and got the Italian flag on my back and a breast cancer ribbon butterfly on my wrist. Of the three spots, the wrist hurt the most and my hip was the easiest. My biggest regret is the Italian flag on my back, the colors faded, the design was very boring too. I’m now dealing with it in my back piece. I plan to get tattoo removal in the areas that are still showing. Since my goal is to have a fully cohesive body suit from throat to toes, all of my previous tattoos are either covered or getting removed by the incredible Removery.
I love your story about how your mom found out about your first tattoo and your face tattoo. Can you tell us a little more about how those interactions went down?
MySpace was all the rage for us teenagers like Facebook is now for the whole world. I had my first tattoo, I felt confident and badass so I couldn’t resist telling all of my friends. I snapped a photo and put it up on MySpace. It didn’t take long for one of my mom’s friends to see it and send it to her. I was grounded for a while but I’ve always been rebellious and determined. It wasn’t long before I got my next few tattoos. I knew this was my life to live so I was going to live it. I have never had much of a relationship with any of my parents anyway. Getting tattooed has always been about the journey but I never thought I would be in the tattoo industry like I am today. I met my husband two years ago. I wasn’t looking for anything serious but we fell in love anyway. We’re like modern day (but harmless), Bonnie and Clyde.
What first interested you about tattoos?
I fell in love with tattoos because of the process and the individuality I felt having permanent artwork. At first, I was collecting tattoos as symbols of my life journey. Now, I am a tattoo collector of only my husband’s work.
Tell us about your body suit and what you have planned so far?
I had well over 20 tattoos before my husband started my back piece in 2021. In the concept he drew, my left arm was partially blacked out. I really liked it but I felt impartial. Eventually, we decided to black out my right arm to flow with the back piece. We could have extended the flower on the left side then blacked out my left arm but the majority of my tattoos were on my right side. I have only four tattoos on my left arm so I am working to remove those and we’ll be able to continue my body suit. Tattoo removal takes years so it was best to black out the arm with the majority of the existing artwork.
It takes a lot of dedication to commit to a project fully, can you tell us a little about how the process has gone, and what it’s like working with someone so close to you?
I never wanted my full body tattooed until I met Mitch. When I saw his work everything changed for me. I admired the longevity and timelessness of his artwork. While Mitch can complete a full back or limb in a matter of days, I don’t have the time to veg out on the couch for a week. Since he has no time limit for me I have asked for more intricate and time-consuming designs. Working so closely has allowed me to get tattooed in areas I wouldn’t dare think of otherwise.
Do you think you’ll ever be completely finished with your body suit? Or is this a lifelong project? You have blacked out one of your arms, is that covering up old work or purely an aesthetic choice?
My bodysuit is a priority, but it’s not a race to the finish line either. The goal is throat-to-toes before I am 40. The decision to black out my arm came naturally. At first, I was drawn to the aesthetic, then the desire to have a full cohesive body suit, then I did research on the meaning and it was incredibly relatable. In some cultures, blackout tattoos symbolize strength and power, representing a person’s resilience and ability to overcome challenges. In other cultures, blackout tattoos symbolize rebellion, representing a person’s nonconformity and refusal to follow society’s norms. There are even cultures who use blackout tattoos to symbolize the death of an immediate family member. I lost my Grandpa in 2020 who was my whole world. He was the closest and best father figure I experienced growing up. It’s been hard for me to process his death.
How has the process of being tattooed changed as you get older and more covered?
It is true that as you age tattoos hurt more. I recommend doing your research to hire an impeccable artist and getting tattooed when you’re between 25 and35.
What is one of your favorite tattoos and why?
My favorite tattoo is my back and butt piece, it’s just so sexy and fits my body perfectly.
What is your relationship with Tattoo Girl Wine? How did you first come across the brand?
I found Tattoo Girl Wine when I was competing in the Inked Magazine Covergirl Search of 2023. They were promoting a contest and I thought the promotion would be great for our small business! Plus, who doesn’t like free wine? Tattoo Girl Wine is a special wine though. Every bottle is beautifully decorated with a bold and fierce tattooed woman. Outside of the bottle is only a hint to what’s inside. The cabernet sauvignon is not too dry with a nice hint of cherry. The chardonnay is silky smooth with wonderful notes of citrus, so refreshing! As a heavily tattooed woman, I love to see us represented as beautiful and classy.
If you were on the label of a bottle of Tattoo Girl Wine, what type would it be? What flavor notes would it have if it were to represent your personality?
Effervescent, easy going and deceptively light on the nose, giving way to unexpected complexity and subtle depths of character and strength.
We need to know more about the capuchin monkey!
Yes! Abu Baer was born on May 18, 2023. In captivity capuchins can live 30 to 50 years. Owning a monkey is my husband’s life-long dream and I am all about making dreams come true. My step-son is 11 and I don’t want to have my own kids so it’ll be nice raising a newborn baby monkey to an adult monkey. Fully matured capuchins have the intelligence of a 6 year old. So yes, it’s a permanent child with its own language but I believe in us and there’s just something about this that feels so right. Follow along on Instagram!
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