As state shapes — and therefore, state-shaped merchandise — go, Arkansas got pretty lucky. Bless Michigan’s little heart, it looks a bit like a potholder gone wrong; not exactly T-shirt material. And you’d not likely know a Wyoming-shaped cookie cutter from a Colorado-shaped one. Because of Arkansas’s stately shape, it’s easy to wear your Natural State pride on your sleeve. Here, we highlight a few Arkansans who do that quite literally. 

Jason Turner

“I travel a lot for my employment and I wanted something to represent where I’m from. I couldn’t think of a better way than an Arkansas tattoo with a diamond in it. Now I have my home state with me all the time, no matter where I am.”

Amber Pirnique

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“I was born in Arkansas and couldn’t wait to leave. Then I couldn’t wait to come home. … My roots are deep, and though the pull for adventure keeps me wanting to see more, I am grateful my pillow rests in the Natural State.”

Arlton Lowry

“The artist is Caleb Pritchett. I got it when he was tattooing at Electric Heart in Hillcrest. The Arkansas state tattoo is part of a graffiti half-sleeve coverup. I love graffiti and I love our state. It just made sense to incorporate the two.” 

Sage McCoy

“I got my Old Main tattoo a few months before I walked for my bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas. The clock on the clock tower is actually set to 5:16, since I got my degree in May of 2016!”

Traci Berry

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“It signifies my love for this state. It’s so beautiful and diverse. We are a diamond in the rough … people don’t understand how great Arkansas is until they come here. The compass signifies two things for me. Adventure and direction … finding my way, on adventures and in life.”

Matt Floyd

“I got [the rebus, which spells out R-can-saw] at 7th Street Tattoos when Bill Conner, my best friend of over 27 years, was in town — We always get matching tattoos.”

Bryan Moats

“I recall I’d been thinking of getting another tattoo around the time I’d cooked up this lightning bolt design for an unrelated Arkansas Times purpose. It did not get used for what I’d made it for, but shortly after, Lindsey Millar came to me asking if I knew anyone who wanted to get a tattoo that would also be the cover of the 2011 Best of Arkansas issue. I committed myself pretty much without delay.”

JP Langston

“I have a lot of pride in the Natural State, and I wanted to represent that by using the layout from the Arkansas state quarter. I like my tattoos to be original, and a lot of people have AR tattoos, but I’d never seen anyone use the quarter, so I wanted to take that and put it into the outline of the state shape for originality.”