MODA Blog

Tattoos of UChicago: Part 1

Tattoos of UChicago: Part 1

Tattoos of UChicago will be chronicling all the cool ink of the students at the University of Chicago!

This series was inspired by all the interesting tattoos I have seen on campus, and wanting to know the stories behind them. Follow me as I discover all the unique ink that our fellow students are proud to show off. 

image via

image via

First up is second year, Karley Rojas, a tattoo enthusiast, burgeoning tattoo artist (with sixteen tattoos!), and founder of ROJO tattoos.

content warning: death

If you've ever seen Karley, chances are you've seen the array of gorgeous tattoos that she has, all over her body. Some of the tattoos she has are even ones that she has given herself- she has been tattooing since last July.  

Image via Karley's ROJO Tattoos Facebook

Image via Karley's ROJO Tattoos Facebook

Tattoos come with their own personal stories, significance and meaning. I asked Karley about the significance of a few of her favorite tattoos:

"My favorite tattoo is most definitely ‘pucky.’ on my wrist. ‘Pucky’ was my mother’s name for me, she never called me Karley. When she was dying, we separately came up with the idea of getting the same tattoo. We called up every tattoo artist in the region, but they were all booked for a solid 3 months. One very fantastic individual at Brilliance Tattoo in Massachusetts booked us in the same week. We had to expedite the process because we didn’t know my mother’s prognosis time-wise. We got ‘Pucky’ together in August, a mutual first tattoo, and she died in November of that year. As an artist, I tattoo as a medium that has a statement in permanence, on the only physical object that is with us from birth to death. I have the privilege in this art of placing the soul on skin. I work heavily in nature as an influence, with a style that calls on the spectrum much closer to realism than abstraction. Two upcoming series I will be releasing will include a marine series, as well as a botanical series."

Karley's personal collection of ink as well as her designs illustrate her unique style - she is definitely an emerging artist to watch out for!

Here are a selection of her own tattoos plus the tattoos she designs and gives:

Be sure to check out her designs at ROJO tattoos on Instagram at @rojo_rojas_ or find her on Facebook on her page for ROJO tattoos.

Join us next week for more of the Tattoos of UChicago!

Feature image via; all other images via Karley Rojas.

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