IU Ink

For all of us, IU is a permanent part of our story. But for these 10 alumni, IU left a special mark—literally—thanks to their tattoo artists. Keep reading for the who, what, when, where, and why behind their ink.


Kinsey Clark, BS’19

Clark’s tattoo of the Sample Gates is located on her ribs. Photos courtesy of Kinsey Clark.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
KC
: Since my brother and I were born and raised in Bloomington, Ind., we wanted matching tattoos that represented our hometown.

Who did your tattoo?
KC
: Jereme Galloway at Time and Tide [in Bloomington].


Marijo (Gibson) Bustos, BS’91, and Manny Bustos, BGS’94

Marijo’s IU trident was her first tattoo. Photos courtesy of Marijo Gibson Bustos.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
MGB
:  My husband and I met at IU. Our daughter attended and earned a degree from IU. I realized that I wanted IU with me permanently, and thus [I decided to get] a tattoo. [Manny and I] got them done by the same artist on the same day. It was the anniversary of the day we met.

Who did your tattoo? How long did it take?
MGB
: We got them at Liberty Tattoo in Antioch, Ill. It took 30 minutes each.


Valerie Hollowell, BS’97

Valerie’s tattoo of the IU trident is located on her ankle. She is pictured on the far left alongside the “IU Crew” during their trip to Las Vegas. Photos courtesy of Valerie Hollowell.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
VH
: Not only did I graduate from IU, but when I was a small child, after my mother passed away, my father Ronald Hollowell, MS’75, EdD’84, moved the two of us to Bloomington. He completed his master’s and a doctorate as a single father. Bloomington has always been a second home to me.

How did you decide what tattoo to get?
VH
: [The trident] is for my college experience and my father’s college experience at IU. The six [red] stripes represent the six of us who met at Forest B in 1993 and still remain close to this day. We call ourselves the “IU Crew.”

Who did your tattoo? How long did it take?
VH: The tattoo took about 45 minutes at Starlight Tattoo in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. I got it in Las Vegas with my IU Crew. Actually, they all chipped in to help me buy it. They said they each bought their stripe.


Angie (Guerrettaz) Jackson, BA’04

Angie’s tattoo of the IU Bloomington men’s basketball national championship banners is located on her ribs. Photos courtesy of Angie Jackson.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
AJ
: IU always felt like my Indiana home, and I thought the banners would look cool on my side. IU basketball has always been a huge part of my life. Even my grandma liked the tattoo!

Who did your tattoo? How long did it take?
AJ
: Chris Valencia did my tattoo at Mystic Owl Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. It took nine hours.


Jill (Cleverly) Kennison, BS’90

Jill had her IU tattoo touched up when her son got his first tattoo on Mother’s Day a few years back. Photos courtesy of Jill Cleverly Kennison.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
JCK
: I grew up in Indianapolis as a Hoosier fan my entire life, especially when it came to basketball and Bob Knight. I’d wanted [a tattoo] for several years but held off through all the boyfriends who didn’t approve of tattoos (more common back then). For my birthday in October 1994, my husband surprised me by taking me to a little no-name tattoo parlor on the east side of Indianapolis.

How did you decide what tattoo to get?
JCK
: I just loved my Hoosiers and my experience at IU, so the logo in a heart was an easy choice.


Amanda (Kramer) Young, BA’97

Amanda’s tattoo of the IU trident is located on her ribs. Photos courtesy of Amanda Kramer Young.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
AKY
: I got my tattoo because IU owns a piece of me forever. I’m proud to have graduated from IU, and I’m happy for people to know it. I love being on the beach in Florida and someone stops me to ask if I went to IU.

Who did your tattoo? How long did it take?
AKY
: The tattoo was originally done by Will McCormick at RockStar Tattoo in Washington, Ind., and it took about two hours. I later had it recolored to a better shade of red and outlined in white by Luna Dalle at Trap Ink in Bradenton, Fla., which also took two hours. It’s a good thing I love my school because I now have six tattoos and that’s the only one that hurt.


Brittany Messina, BS’17, MS’18

“The tattoo symbolizes ‘home’ to me,” Messina says. “No matter where I go, I always have a piece of IU with me.” Photos courtesy of Brittany Messina.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
BM
: I have a tattoo of Memorial Stadium’s coordinates on my bicep to commemorate my time as an Indiana University cheerleader.

Who did your tattoo?
BM:
Jason Profant at Time and Tide Tattoo in Bloomington.


Darian Oliva, BS’17

Preston Garrett at Hooded Crow Tattoo in Owensboro, Ky., is the artist behind Oliva’s tattoo. Photos courtesy of Darian Oliva

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
DO
: The second semester of my senior year, I was living in Colorado Springs, Colo., completing an internship for my degree program and reflecting on how much my time in Bloomington meant to me.

How did you decide what tattoo to get?
DO
: I knew I wanted coordinates. I went back and forth for a while about what location to get. I wanted [a tattoo] that represented my happiest memories. I chose the Sample Gates because it’s the exact location where my happy times with my friends met my academic and professional life.


Kristin Russell, BA’19

“I was in Cincinnati one weekend and missed home, so I decided to just walk in somewhere and get [my tattoo],” Russell says. Photos courtesy of Kristin Russell.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
KR
: I get tattoos for every “pivotal” moment in my life, and the time I spent at IU was very impactful.

How did you decide what tattoo to get?
KR
: My tattoos are all a little spontaneous, so this one wasn’t planned out. I have an outline of the Sample Gates because that’s the first place I saw when I came to campus, and I immediately felt at home.


Jason Williams, ’01

Jason’s tattoo of the IU trident enclosed in the state of Indiana is located on the outside of his left calf. Photos courtesy of Jason Williams.

What prompted you to get an IU tattoo?
JW
: I’ve lived in southern Indiana for almost my entire life, and I’ve always been a Hoosier fan.

Who did your tattoo? How long did it take?
JW
: I got this tattoo from Marcus at Evolution Tattoo in Bedford, Ind., and it took almost two hours.


Do you know someone with an IU-related tattoo? Email us at iueditor@iu.edu.

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Written By
Samantha Stutsman
Samantha Stutsman, BAJ'14, is a Bloomington, Ind., native and a content specialist at the IU Alumni Association.