Luke Callaghan (AUS), Tokyo


‘My day job doesn’t really allow me to have my tattoos uncovered. I don’t have a problem with that, but it gets a little harder in the summertime when the weather is hot and I’m still wearing long sleeves. My colleagues know about my body art and couldn’t care less, but I’m not sure if the kids’ parents know – and if they’d approve, for that matter. It’s important to find a balance between what you want to accomplish in life, and the freedom you have to do so. If I wasn’t a teacher, i’d probably have more tattoos, maybe even in more visible places, but it’s not realistic. If those tattoos would destroy my career, where would that lead me? Balance is everything.’


‘My interest in tattoos is an extension of my love for drawing and art. I like the aesthetically pleasing aspect of tattoos, but I also like those that have a deeper meaning. For example, one of my favorite pieces is the one that symbolizes my family. It consists of five lines, representing my sisters and myself, two lines for my parents, and last but not least: one for my dog. I made a little sketch of the idea I had and asked a friend to turn it into a brush-stroke drawing. Using a calligraphy brush, he came up with an amazing design that turned into an amazingly detailed tattoo, as if it were brushed directly onto my arm. It shows the love for my family and I wanted to eternalize that on my skin. My mom and sisters were quite moved after hearing the story. My mom, who normally hates tattoos, even gave me a nod of approval after I explained its meaning.’