Bloom where you’re planted.

Words to live by for country music singer and songwriter, and model, Melissa Mickelson.

She moved to Nashville just a few months ago to continue her already successful career, because where better than the Music City?

Music drives me. If you really put your heart into something, like when you’re recording a song, you can put a lot of emotion into it, which can be amazing but hard at the same time. Songwriting is a great way to put down your feelings somewhere that’s secure.

For Melissa, everything she writes has meaning. And the same goes for her growing collection of tattoos.

They’re all meaningful, especially the first one I got. It’s of my kids’ initials. I knew for my whole life that no one else’s name would ever go on my body except theirs.

She had them placed upside down on her left wrist so they face her.

When I put my left arm across my chest, their initials are directly over my heart. A lot of people give me grief because it’s upside down to them, but it’s not to me and that’s what’s important.

She got the tattoo on her birthday and, ever since then, has been addicted.

The minute that one healed, I was ready for the next one. I’m on number five now and they keep getting bigger!

But despite having the itch for more ink, she’s taken the time to make sure each new addition tells a story.

There isn’t a specific kind of art or tattoo style I’m attracted to, it’s more the story behind each piece that pulls me. I love tattoos that are unique and tell a story—what do you know, I’m a songwriter!

She also has a keen eye for florals, especially the desert rose she just had done on her upper arm by Hart & Huntington tattoo artist Cody Maestas.

A desert rose blooms in any condition: rain, shine, drought, monsoon, doesn’t matter. It’s symbolic of my life, a reminder that it doesn’t matter what your situation is, you have the opportunity to bloom.

It was the first tattoo she got by herself.

I didn’t have anyone to hold my hand, so it was even more symbolic.

And when she first looked at the finished piece, she was overwhelmed.

I was like ‘woah!’ You see it on paper and stencil but seeing the whole thing on my body for the first time was really special. It was beautiful, seeing it from the angle Cody put it, and the little dots he used for shading are so amazing. People remark on it all the time.

It’s safe to say the whole experience was a positive one for Melissa.

The Hart & Huntington Nashville shop is amazing. I was super impressed. It’s so clean, professional and calming, which I didn’t expect. Most tattoo shops can be really overwhelming and wild, but not H&H. The people are so sweet, especially Cody. He’s awesome! He made me so comfortable and made great use of the time.

Melissa’s desert rose tattoo took a grand total of three hours to complete.

I felt like I was sitting and talking with a friend the whole time.

To anyone getting their first piece of ink, she’d recommend going to H&H, finding the artist whose work most resembles what you want…and bringing snacks.

I’d tell anyone getting their first tattoo to make sure you eat before and bring some candy with you. You don’t want to be lightheaded, and a little sugar will help perk you up.

It’s probably no surprise that she’s going to continue growing her flower motif all the way down to the end of her arm.

I want to make a full sleeve of it!

And you can bet her fans can’t wait to see it blossom along with her next album.

Check out Melissa Mickelson’s latest work and Instagram account.


The above photo and cover photo by Holly Stocks of Magic Moments Photography