As it’s being taught today: a tattoo is, literally, a piece of ink that you have stuck to your body. When you are a kid growing up in Samoa all you got to do is put a little paper clip under your arm and stick the paper clip to your body, and you’ve got your own little tattoo. And when you grow up you get it tattooed on, and you don’t even notice where it’s on your body, that’s the most awesome thing about it – that’s an illusion. It really is an illusion, so if you know what you’re looking at, you won’t have an illusory sense of where it is on your body. You know? It is an illusion of who you are, but the point is you are who you are and you are who you’ve always been with your skin. And if you don’t get something done, well you can always just ask for more skin to cover up it. It doesn’t matter who it is in your life, because when you look at someone you don’t get that little piece of skin that you see and think, “Oh shit, I’m gonna get that.” It’s not something that you can change. What you have to do is just take in and make your mind up and let it go through with no real change or impact. Just trust your instinct.
Is it harder when you’re growing up in Samoa or when you’re younger to get your own tattoos?
Oh yeah. It is harder because you’re trying to put yourself in a different environment – you’re trying to look up to different people and you don’t get that. People don’t look up to you, and they don’t think that you’re cool. In Samoa it’s a hard, weird culture because that’s how they are: you can’t go out and get anything done, you just need to go home and rest up. You have to really learn how to put yourself in the right environment and to be strong and not be a slave to the culture or culture that you are in. You have to trust your instinct, and then you can really enjoy your time. For me it’s great because it puts me in a different place to where I’m used to, like a school. I’m allowed to go on dates a little bit. It’s a lot better, and I have a way of being like, “What do I want to do? Let’s go.” What more can you ask for? So it’s like