Growing up in the '90s was a privilege that most of us who did took for granted, that is, except for artist Shell Valentine. It was the time of Polly Pocket, of endless Rugrats marathons, of being treated to Burger King by your mom when dad was out of town, without anyone ever questioning the caloric intake of their child, or whether or not the choice to super size was a plague brought upon the unsuspecting world, or the innocent misjudgment of a child whose eyes were infinitely larger than their stomach. They were the days of Saturday morning Power Rangers episodes, of roller skating birthday parties, and sassy girls like Daria who taught us all that it was ok to be a misanthropic outcast. These are the days that we so often long for, the days that Shell Valentine so perfectly captures in her kawaii style tattoos.
Tattooing out of Dangerzone Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia, Valentine’s tattoos are a wonderfully nostalgic throwback to days passed. Using bold outlines and that certain '90s color palette that used to be only found on the front cover of a Lisa Frank notebook, Valentine creates beautiful renditions of some of our favorites. Angelica Pickles, the hot headed, would be antagonist of the Rugrats, who we prefer to think of as misunderstood, is pictured with her mini-me cat, Fluffy. Cher, the incredibly flawed, but well intentioned heroine of Clueless is perfectly portrayed with her signature scowl, complete with glossy lip. And while all of the spot on characterization of these creations is well and good, it would mean nothing if it weren’t for Valentine’s impeccable technique.
So while the '90s may have come and gone, as have the countless summer days spent memorizing the lines to “Take Me There” featuring Mya and Blackstreet, getting one of Valentine’s nostalgic throwbacks might just be the cure to your '90s childhood blues.