She’s chatty, and therefore full of adventurous stories to tell. Starting with her first tattoo – which she got anxiously, hoping it would be over quick – to the latest tattoo she hopes to get soon, which will definitely be inspired by Japan. Her philosophy of life is rooted in spontaneous laughter and worrying less about life’s small, daily hassles. Ok, she’ll tell you the rest herself, the very likeable Linette.

The full interview was originally published on Tattoo Life November/December 2019 issue.
Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint
Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint

First, inevitable question: how did you discover the fascinating world of tattoo art?
I remember my dad having my name tattooed on his chest. Who would have known that many years later I would have tattoos of my own to show off? My first tattoo was a nautical star on my ankle which is now covered by a flower.

Who made that first tattoo?
It was done by a friend’s uncle; I was sitting in a hot room on the bed praying he would hurry! To me, I see my tattoos as forever art. I am a walking canvas, and feel very fortunate to have been tattooed by a variety of great artists.

Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint
Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint

Your right sleeve looks like a kind of tribute to the Japanese style. Am I right?
Yes, you’re absolutely right. My daughter is Japanese, and so I wanted to dedicate an entire arm to her. It started with just a Koi fish, and after that I started to add small bits and pieces to complete the whole sleeve.

Including a peony.
Yeah, I still have a peony that was barely started on my inner arm. It was a sensitive part of the body, so I told my artist (Chris Hebert, Ed) that we could finish that one another time. At this point it’s been over 5 years! Sorry Chris!

Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint
Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint

Your left sleeve is dedicated to floral tattoos. Are these aesthetic subjects or do they represent something else?
I chose flowers on my arms because I think they are so beautiful. This passion of mine is just one of the many reasons I have fifty house plants in my apartment. You see, I live in cold Massachusetts so I don’t get to see the flowers stay beautiful for very long. The flowers on my arm remind me of the warm spring days, and the cool summer nights.

And anyway, who wouldn’t want to have flowers on their body forever?

One of your more meaningful tattoos is a small, black and white heart, at the base of your neck. It’s a subject that’s both simple and pure at the same time. Would you like to tell us more about it?
That heart tattoo was a quick, spontaneous idea I got after finishing the rose tattoo on my hand. I’ve always loved neck tattoos, but was scared to go with a big and challenging subject.

Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint
Tattoo model Linette Otero photographed by Christian Saint

Are you planning to get tattooed again soon?
I keep trying to convince myself that I won’t get a tattoo within the next months. Will I comply with that? Maybe…

Who are your favorite tattooists?
I’ve worked with so many great artists that it’s practically impossible to choose just one. But I’d like to mention Chris Hebert from “The Naughty Vegan Tattoo Shop” in Honolulu, Andy Robinson from “Crown & Feather Tattoo Co.” in Philadelphia, Mike Decay from “Blackstone Tattoo Co.” in Rhode Island. And last but not last, Patrick MacDonald from “Lucky’s Tattoo & Piercing”, in Northampton, here in Massachusetts.

Follow Linette on Instagram: @linette.otero