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The Hidden Meaning Behind Danielle Colby's Tattoos On American Pickers

For over 20 seasons, the A&E reality TV series "American Pickers" — a show about buying and selling antiques — was hosted by trio Frank Fritz, Mike Wolfe, and Danielle Colby. Midway through Season 21, however, Frank Fritz departed "American Pickers," due to what he has since revealed was an interpersonal feud between he and Wolfe.

Since the disagreement between the two men ultimately compelled Fritz to leave, the series will remain in Wolfe's hands moving forward. That said, Wolfe's continued presence hasn't necessarily absolved him of guilt in the eyes of some fans. Many thus looked to Colby for clarification on the issue, as the third host of the series with possibly the most insight into working relationship both men had with one another. Colby shared her perspective in a series of Instagram posts, saying little directly about the issue while seeming to both express her support for Fritz and her commitment to working with Wolfe.

While in this case Colby took the path of least resistance and opted for a diplomatic response, in other aspects of her life Colby is outward and assertive about her identity. For example, Colby works as a burlesque dancer when she's not running Antique Archaeology's front office for "American Pickers." Colby is also heavily tattooed, as anyone with even a passing interest in "American Pickers" is likely aware. Due of her abundance of tattoos, she's not on record explaining the significance of every single one of them, but nevertheless, Colby has provided some insight into what some of her favorite tattoos mean, as well as her philosophy about tattoos in general.

Colby finds inspiration in artists — whether they're professionals or her kids

In an interview with the tattoo-focused Freshly Inked Magazine, Danielle Colby revealed that she finds inspiration for her tattoos in her friends and family. Furthermore, she described wanting to feel some degree of closeness with an artist before hiring them for tattoo work. "Each piece is there for a very specific reason. I really enjoy it when an artist feels their inspiration and they follow their own bliss," Colby said. When I'm collecting tattoos," she continued, "I'm collecting somebody's art, having somebody else's beautiful work on my body, in line with the theme I'm looking for. So I guess my greatest inspiration is the artist I'm working with."

Colby told the now-defunct blog YuppiePunk that she enjoyed working with two artists in particular at the time of their interview. One of those is an artist named Chewie, who works out of a shop called Alex in Tattooland in Moline, Illinois. She inked a piece taking up much of Colby's left arm themed around entomology. The inspiration behind it, Colby explained, is simply that she loves bugs.

In 2012, meanwhile, Colby told Moline, Illinois-based news network WQAD that her favorite tattoos at the time were drawn by her children. Just as she explained that professional tattoo artists are often her biggest source of inspiration, the artistic impulses of her children similarly provided inherent significance to the tattoos that they drew.

In short, Colby's tattoos are generally themed around her friends, family, and personal interests, while also taking into account the specialties of the artists drawing them. This philosophy may not necessarily account for all of her tattoos, but each one she's explicitly detailed in an interview seems to follow this general ethos.