Justin Bieber has a myriad of tattoos dedicated to all sorts of interests and folks (including one that looks a bit like Selena Gomez). But it's his latest piece of ink that just might have the most sentimental value for the 19-year-old pop star.
Earlier this week, Bieber stopped by Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City, knowing he wanted to pay homage to his mom, Pattie Mallette, who has been quite vocal in the past few weeks about her son's very public ups and downs. The latest tat of an eye, located in the crease of his elbow, is meant to symbolize the idea that "Mom's always watching," Bieber wrote Wednesday on Instagram.
Tattoo artist Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy told MTV News about the ink he designed for Bieber: "It felt like a good spot for it to sit for him. I didn't feel like it was bizarre at all, people often get an eye to symbolize many things. For him, it was just like his mother watching over, kind of like a protective thing. It's totally from mama. We were talking about how we both have tattoos for our mothers and how it's something you'll never regret."
During the "mellow" tattooing session, which was attended by Bieber and a small group of pals, the singer was very clear about his ink selection. "The first time I tattooed him, we were playing with a couple ideas," McCurdy explained. "This time, he knew exactly what he wanted. He knew exactly where it was going to go, and he just let me do the design."
The photo used to design the tat isn't of Mallette's actual eye — it's a piece of photography they both liked. "It was a model, photograph, the anatomy of an eye. Great photography translates to really good tattooing, so [we] just [used] his mom for inspiration," he said, adding, "He always wants to think of his mom. He's like the rest of us: We're all mama's boys."
Getting inked in the delicate crease of your arm is as "super painful" as you would imagine, McCurdy explained. "He did really well. We were chatting and distracting him. He took the pain great," he said. "I've tattooed him twice now, and both times, he did really well. I did the 'Believe,' so the one right under it, and [he said], 'I wanted to keep it right next to your artwork.'"
Considering that Bieber has so many tats of varying styles and designs, is there an endgame for the pop star? "He has a bit of a vision. He has so many different artists tattoo him, and we joked about this. Pretty soon, he's going to have to pick a guy to wrangle it all together and make it all work," he explained. "I like some of the things he's got so far."
Which of Justin Bieber's tattoos is your favorite? Share your pick in the comments below!