Tattoosday 008: What I Needed to Get this Far

"What I needed to get this far…" Jason Krok


This is a testament to my perseverance through anything that life can throw at me. Specifically, the current three years that I have been attending college at Lesley university. 

I always wanted to be a designer. I showed my parents through high school that this is what I wanted to do with my life. My passions all wrapped into one could be seen in my artwork. They were so proud of me. I was hopeful that they could see my potential as an artist. 

They gave me that chance to prove to myself and to them that I could make it. I was accepted into the best art school I could find, The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University(AIB). The first year, represented by one of the perfect arrows, was difficult. I struggled with drawing because I had never actually had any practice drawing with pencils and actual paper before. I was nervous but I ended up passing the class and making a lot of progress at the school. I had even my name on the dean’s list to prove it.  

I brought it back home to my parents. They were so proud of me. I could see they finally saw the potential in me to make it as an artist. I felt on top of the world. I could do anything…. 

The second year of school was around the corner. I was getting ready for another successful year at school when I found out the possibility of my progress at school could be halted or even terminated. My parents were struggling, we couldn’t afford the money needed to pay for the year. I tried to convince my parents to go through with it but it was ultimately up to them.  

At the last possible moment, they told me I couldn’t go back to AIB.  I felt crushed, defeated, and I had this underlying feeling that I had let my parents down. I understood the situation the best I could but I still felt crushed. This year was hard for me. Represented by the broken arrow, the year was full of doubt in my ability and my confidence sank. I would ask myself is it even worth it anymore. 

But over that year my doubt quickly became the fire that fueled me to work my way back to a better education and making my family proud. I took all of the classes I could, worked full time, and dedicated myself to my art. Represented by the middle arrow, that year became my rebound.  The year that I felt so down and out actually fueled me to get back up and continue to follow my dream as a designer. I came back that following year to AIB, now called LUCAD, with a better sense of what I needed to do to stay where I was before. 

This tattoo reminds me of what I had to go through to get to where I am now. The arrows themselves symbolize this perseverance. An arrow needs to be pulled back in order to move forward. And the quote “What I needed to get this far…”, lyrics from “Alberta” by Seaway, wraps the ideas behind my three years in school. 

“No matter what happens to you in life, stay strong. Take a deep breath, and think to yourself… This is what I needed to get this far."

About Tattoosday:

Tattoosday is way to demonstrate the storytelling quality of tattoos as well as the healing quality of tattoos.

If you would like to share the stories behind your ink, send us a picture of a tattoo or tattoos that have a significant story tied to your survival in life. Then write at least 400 words (you can write as many as you'd like) about the tattoo, it's meaning, and what it means to you today.

These stories will all run on Tuesdays!
One per week! So you have plenty of time to submit them to us!

The caveat with TATTOOSDAY is that we will not be making you a free piece of art, instead, your ink IS the art we will share with the story—which makes the most sense. BUT we will send you some stickers for sharing your story with us!

CLICK HERE to share your Tattoo story!