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!