The Girl with the Photoshop Tattoo

by Tom Hogarty

posted on 09-26-2012

We love hearing from Photoshop users, and one fan’s story in particular really stood out when she told us about her forearm-long tattoo. Megan Orsi, now known across the web as “the girl with the Photoshop tattoo,” is a Sr. Lead Web Designer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Megan discovered her passion for arts as a sixth grader, attended the Pittsburg High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and later graduated from college with a degree in Specialized Technology. She’s also a wife and mother to an 18-month-old son.

We recently got to learn more about this super fan to discuss her long history with Photoshop, her career and of course, her tattoo.

_When did you start using Photoshop?
_Megan:
I used Photoshop for the first time when it was still Photoshop 4. I’m pretty sure I was in middle school. So, if my math is correct, it’s been about 16 years or so since I first used Photoshop!

_What inspired you to begin using Photoshop?
_Megan:
I remember the exact moment I became REALLY into Photoshop. Don’t laugh, but I was REALLY into the X-Files, back in the day. Okay, truth be told, I’m still into the show. But, I remember, for whatever reason, jumping onto the internet and searching for X-Files stuff. It was probably 1999 at the time and the internet was still relatively new. I found an X-Files fan website that was so beautifully crafted and super-creative. It was common then, and even still now, to do fan-art for television shows. This artist had done lots of beautiful collages. I remember looking at them and her website and saying to myself “I’m going to sit at this computer, until I get THAT GOOD. I’m going to do it.” And I did! I opened Photoshop, something I had been using here-and-there since middle school, and just went at it. Trying to learn everything I could, I spent all of my free time – and I mean all of it – on the computer creating website after website and collage after collage!

_How do you use Photoshop today?
_Megan:
Today, I’m a web designer and front-end web developer. I design sites in Photoshop, then I’ll slice certain pieces, use the Save For Web option to get the optimized images, then get crackin’ on the HTML and CSS! Personally, with a young toddler at home, I don’t get a TON of free time for myself. When I do, I have created invitation suites for friends and family (using a combination of Photoshop and InDesign) and just recently, I’ve decided I’m going to get back into collaging.

_We love your toolbar tattoo, when did you get it?
_Megan:
I got the outline done about 5 weeks ago and the color/shading done about 2 weeks ago. So it’s still, very new!

_What inspired you to get it?
_Megan:
Honestly? I’ve always loved tattoos. I read an article a while ago about biggest regrets in life. The #1 regret was “Not having the courage to live they life THEY wanted to live – not the one someone else wanted them to live”. I started thinking about all the things I had really wanted to do and said, “WHY NOT?!” I’ve always felt like my creative person on the inside, didn’t match my outside and if I wanted something, why not do it! I have one other tattoo and I’m pretty adamant about my tattoos meaning something to me.

As cheesy as it sounds, Photoshop has played a HUGE roll in my life. Photoshop helped me to realize, at a rather young age, that this is what I wanted to do with my life – I want to create! This propelled me to get a college degree in Graphic Design and I’ve been a professional in my field for a little over 6 years now. My current title is Sr. Lead Web Designer, and without my addiction, er, love of Photoshop back in the late 1990s, I may not be where I am today. So, I know that [this answer is] long, but I got the tattoo because Photoshop has been a big part of my life. I’m really happy with where I am in my life and in my career and I felt like I had Photoshop to thank, in part, for that. Photoshop is my life’s work right now and I wanted to commemorate that with a bad a** tattoo. 😉 By the way, the tattoo is of the CS3 version – mostly just because I liked CS3!

_Did you design it?
_Megan:
I did! I really love the style of henna and mehndi tattoos. So I wanted to combine that, with the toolbar and a bit of filigree (which I also love) together into an awesome tattoo. I wanted it to be pretty, but also meaningful. So, I traced my arm to get the size just right, and drew it out. I got the rough draft done in one night. The next day, I redrew it as a final draft! Two days is an absolute RECORD for me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the fact that I didn’t lament over every detail must have meant I did something right! The tattoo artist had to simplify some of the lines, just a bit, but the design is mine, yes.

Thanks to Megan for taking the time to answer our questions!

Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud