By Shelly Simon

When one forms a partnership, it’s not necessarily a permanent agreement. When one forms a band, it’s not necessarily a bond that will last forever. When one does a custom stick and poke tattoo with their bandmate and best friend; it’s a commitment that is constant. A reminder that resonates in more ways than one. The ink that was projected from the point of that needle into the flesh of my fellow music-maker, female muse of a bandmate; is a memory I can cherish forever.

I am the drummer of a dynamic duo called Tiides – based in Brooklyn, NY – I’ve gotten the pleasure of playing drums with Christiana Chavez for a majority of 2017. She’s the songwriter, guitar player and heart melter of a musician who created Tiides in 2015. Performing primarily as a solo artist, she hit recognition at a Sofar Sounds show when a Brooklyn recording studio manager heard her music and wanted to record an EP with her. Feels, a late 2016 EP featuring a cellist and a (different) drummer hosts four songs that Chavez wanted to showcase to the world. A note from the artist below:

While I end this melodramatic chapter in my life, may you listen to this EP, and feel all the feels. Thank you, and enjoy. X”

I met Chavez on a winter’s night in NYC at a launch party for SUSIE (a feminist, intersectional, inclusive arts zine) where I was living my best life photographing the party goers, dance floor divas and groove getters. I saw the dance moves, the tattoo and the outfit of who would become a best friend, band mate and creative influencer in my life. It would only be natural that nine months later, as if our friendship was an impregnated being, we would birth an idea such as:

“Let’s get tattoos”.

The idea turned from getting a talented art school graduate to do it to us to us doing it on us.

I came back to NYC for a short week stint, following a free-spirit, soul-searching decision to go out West and pursue my passions. I met the owner of Stick and Poke Tattoo Kit at a music festival in the far away woods of northern California. Once they started talking, I was hooked. How cool is that I thought, a DIY tattoo kit, that was proven safe and practical. Bringing a few back with me to Brooklyn, I felt empowered with the opportunity to make some magic.

The sketches, with many takes and mistakes. It was important we drew up the right design! She decided to add “Be Nice,” as a reminder for people who meet and assume things at first glance. You never know what people are going through at any given time, so best to Be Nice.

Unlike music, where you can rehearse and practice, rewrite and rework, giving a tattoo is a permanent promise. Yet making a tattoo design is luckily the part you can rinse and repeat…

Listen to the sounds of Tiides while tattooing your bandmate and tell us how you feel.

All the feels.


Find Shelley Simon on her very fun instagram: @vagablogging