A Sound Wave Tattoo for a Mother

My sound wave tattoo has dreamy beginnings, rooting back to my harmonic version of bedtime stories.

As a child, my mom always tucked me in for a good night’s sleep. I would snuggle under the covers and she would gently tickle my back, clearing my mind and easing my worries. When I was having an exceptionally hard day or trouble falling asleep, she would sing to me. The two songs that remain clear in my memory are, “Whatever Will Be, Will Be” (Que Sera, Sera) by Doris Day and most notably, “Let It Be” by The Beatles.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Upon reflecting on those nostalgic days and the meaningful lyrics, one particular line continued to tug at me, especially since my mom’s name is Mary.

“Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

Every time I replayed those words, the comfort and safety of my mom’s love came rushing back to me; an incredible feeling that I wanted to remember throughout my lifetime. Immersed in the SoundViz lens of continually seeking out new ways to visualize sound, I was immediately struck with the idea to get my first tattoo. It would be a sound wave tattoo of “Let It Be”, my ultimate expression of this sound transformed into art.

My mom
My brother and I with my Mom in 1989.

Choosing a tattoo artist

Once my idea was solidified, I knew I had to find the perfect tattoo artist to bring my vision to life. I met Briana Sargent of Buju Tattoo about 5 years ago when she was doing a bicycle tour from Seattle to San Diego and stayed with Tyler and me in San Francisco. She was with another Buju artist, Meg Knobel, who has done amazing tattoos on my brother. After her visit, I started following her work on Instagram (like all new age friendships progress), and to no surprise, was instantly hooked. Briana uses color in the most vibrant and palpable way, bringing a whole new life to watercolor and fine lines in her tattoo art.

Briana from Buju Tattoo
Briana Sargent from Buju Tattoo.

I knew she was the perfect artist to complement and recreate the colorful and modern style sound waves that we design at SoundViz. Although I was certain of my decision, and Briana as the artist, I would be lying if I said my appointment was free of nerves and butterflies. It was my first tattoo and I really didn’t know what to expect! With a bit of positive self talk and some liquid courage from my pre-tattoo cocktail, I handed Briana the PDF file of my “Let It Be” SoundViz creation. I chose the color combination “Vodka and Punch” which is one of the first color design options ever created for our site. I have always been drawn to this bright combination of primary colors (red, yellow, blue) because they are the essence and foundation of all other colors.

Getting inked for the first time

Briana then stenciled out the design on my arm and got to work. She used nine colors in total to create my tattoo; three shades each of red, yellow and blue. It’s harder to see from further away, but up close you can really feel the colorful design recreated. Pictures don’t really do it justice.

Sound Wave Tattoo of Let It Be
The SoundViz artwork I gave Briana and my final tattoo.

The meaning of “Let It Be” continually reverberates on my heart, reminding me to stay calm amidst stressful days and that everything happens for a reason. The sounds of this cherished bedtime ritual will now forever live with me as a constant reminder of my mom’s love, and the love I hope to share with my kids one day. Maybe this will be one of their favorite bedtime stories.

Sound Wave Tattoo
Soundwave tattoo
Chelsea is a co-founder of SoundViz where she lives in San Francisco with her fiancé Tyler and their cat Hugo. She is constantly inspired by the murals, colorful houses and weekly burritos in the Mission.

How to get a sound wave tattoo

For anyone interested in a sound wave tattoo, SoundViz makes it pretty easy. You have the option to upload your sound file to our site, customize the wave style and then choose a color. (I have found that many people select black, but if you’re a sucker for color like me, then choose from one of our many color combinations to get the exact look for your piece). Once you’re happy with the design, select the Digital Download option and bring in the file to your tattoo artist. The PDF is a vector file and can easily be resized by your artist to fit your body.

Have you gotten a sound wave tattoo from us? We’d love to hear about it! Please email hello@soundviz.com and we’d love to feature your story on our blog.