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      01.07.2011 15:05
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      I love tattoos, but they can be taken too far!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos.' ~Author Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~What is a Tattoo?~~ Tattoos are a type of body modification whereby a needle is used to mark the skin with ink. Tattoos have been around for centuries and have been used for several different reaons over the years, including identity, medical, and cosmetic uses. Tattoos have had many negative associations in the past, mainly when they have been used to mark prisiners and gangs. These days tattoos are nearly always used as a fashion statement, and many people get them just because they think they look nice, or to mark a special date, person, occasion, or just something they like. ~~How the Procedure is Performed~~ The most popular way of tattooing these days is by using an electric tattoo machine which uses a needle or several needles to insert pigment into the skin's dermis. The skin's dermis is the layer of dermal tissue underlying the eperdermis. The needle(s) used to insert the pigment goes in at out of the skin at a fast speed, usually between 80 and 150 times per minute. ~~Popular Tattoos~~ There are been many trends in what type of tattoo people get. For example, a lot of people go for writing. This could be in Chinese, Arabic, English, or any other language. Many people have one or two Chinese symbols which supposedly mean a certain phrase or word. I say supposedly because I've heard about many people being told they were getting a Chinese symbol meaning something when in fact it means something else. Recently I was with a friend who has what she thought was the word 'youth' tattooed on her hip in Chinese. A Chinese person spotted this tattoo and told her it in fact meant 'if.' People who go for English writing often get someone's name, a phrase or quote that they like, or maybe a line from their favourite book or film. Tribal tattoos are many peoples choice of ink. A few years ago many girls I knew were getting a tribal design along the bottom of their back, and many guys were getting them on their forearm. Another popular tattoo trend is a 'Sleeve Tattoo.' For anyone who doesn't know what this is, it is a tattoo, or a collection of small tattoos, that cover all or most of a person's arm. This is more popular amongst men, but some women do get it done too. Other popular tattoos include hearts, stars, flowers, fairies, butterflies, astrological signs, and musical signs and notes. ~~Tattoos in the Media~~ There are sometimes stories in the papers and on the news about tattoos, normally ones that have gone wrong or are controversial in some way. A couple of years ago, a girl was in the news after going to a tattoo artist for 3 small stars near her eye and then ending with 56 stars which were all over her face! She claimed she had fallen asleep and the tattoo artist had decided to do them, but I don't believe that as I really don't know how anyone could sleep through a tattoo! Other stories I remember include one about a man getting a huge picture of his wife tattoed on his back only to find out she was cheating on him, a lady who got her son's ashes mixed with ink and then tattooed onto her, and a man who won a Mini, by having the work 'mini' tattooed onto his penis. ~~Celebrity Culture~~ Many celebrities have tattoos, and for some of them this seems to form a part of their identity. Celebrities such as David Beckham, Pink, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Vin Diesel, and Courtney Love have many tattoos. Celebrities with tattoos can sometimes influence people to get them, as some people inevitabely want to copy their idols. I think this is fine, but sometimes it's a shame when celebrities have a very visible tattoo which someone then copies. It's okay for the celebrity, they're rich, they don't need to go for job interviews and things, whereas when a fan copies them, it could lead to them being unable to get a job. For example I know someone who copied a celebrities hand tattoo, and she has been turned down for jobs because of it. ~~Temporary Tattoos~~ Temporary tattoos are a non permanent way to experiment with tattoos. There are many ways to do this, including tattoo transfers, airbrushed tattoos, henna, and painted on ones. Temporary tattoos are only applied to the outer layer of the skin, meaning that they will gradually fade and completely disappear after a short amount of time. They're popular with children, and I do think they're a good idea if you want to see what a certain tattoo will look like. Overall a cheaper, pain free, non permanent way to get a tattoo! ~~My Tattoos~~ I personally have three tattoos. The first one is a small flower on my back which I got done when I was 16 years old. I don't dislike it but it's very boring. I think that I got it done because I was underage and thought it would be a clever and impressive thing to do. I'm actually going to have it covered up soon with something else that I will love, rather than having one that I think is just OK. I just have to decide what this something will be. My second tattoo is a star on my right ankle which I got when I was 17. Although this isn't a very exciting tattoo, I like the simplicity of it and the fact that I can have it added to and made more exciting if I get bored of it. My third tattoo is my brother's name on the inside of my left ankle. I got this one last year when I was about 20. Sadly one of my little brothers passed away when we were children, so I decided a couple of years ago to have his name, 'William Edward', as a tattoo. This is definitely my favourite one. The next tattoo I'm getting is a Shakespeare quote; 'Say as you think and speak it from your souls.' Most of my friends think this sounds a bit naff but it's a quote I've always liked. I'm a fan of Shakespeare's plays, and this is a quote I find applicable to myself as I always say as I think! ~~Pain Factor~~ I really don't understand people who say tattoos don't hurt. Is it just me or how can a needle repetitively piercing your skin not hurt? I nearly cried when I had mine done, it's hard to remember properly but it was like an awful, irritating, sore pain. It doesn't put me off though, as for me it's worth it, and I'm sure a lot of people must agree otherwise they wouldn't go back for me. As you can't remember what pain feels like it's definitely easy to forget about that bit until it's actually happening again! ~~My Overall Opinion of Tattoos~~ Personally I'm a huge fan of tattoos, as long as they look tasteful, and suit the person who has them. I like to see a man with a full sleeve of tattoos on their arm, as long as it suits them! I personally would never, ever get a tattoo in a place that can't be easily hidden. I care too much about my career to put it as risk just for the sake of some ink on my skin. For me is has to be back, legs, ankles, and other places that are normally hidden by clothes. I would never get any on my hands, arms, or neck. I also don't like horribly faded and old tattoos. When this happens to me I think I will get them touched up to make them look new again. Another thing about tattoos is that obviously they're permanent, apart from the possibility of expensive and painful laser removal. I have seen tattoos that have been 'removed' by laser though and sometimes you can still see markings on the skin, so tattoos need to be thoroughly thought about before they're committed to. I wish I hadn't rushed into my first one so quickly! I'm lucky that it's very small and not too dark so I'm able to have it covered up. I also think it's a shame when people abuse tattoos by getting offensive ones, such as racist or homophobic ones. Overall my opinion of tattoos is probably just that everyone is able to decide to do with their own body, so each to their own really. Everyone likes different things; some people think tattoos are disgusting; some people are covered in them. My dad used to get really annoyed with me about my tattoos but he's calmed down now as I think he's realised that you really can't tell someone else to do with their own body (actually he's probably secretly still angry.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'Your body is a temple, but how long can you live in the same house before you redecorate?' ~Author Unknown. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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        16.05.2011 10:30
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        think before you ink!

        Tattoo - "A tattoo is a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment for artistic, ritualistic or other reasons. Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding" (Wikipedia:'11) I thought i would write a review on tattooing as it is something that is apparent in my life at the moment and is also something that seems to spark controversy and varied opinion. If you are someone who has already got a tattoo, you may relate to some of what i am saying. If you do not have a tattoo, you may also relate to what i am saying, and if you are thinking of getting a tattoo, then hopefully this piece will give you some insight into the topic and some of the pros and cons to be aware of. Now, firstly i should start by saying that i am no expert in tattooing and only have my own pieces that i have had done to draw on for experience. What i would like to talk to you about is how tattoos are undertaken, some of the views you may find regarding this 'artform', my own experiecne of tattoing and opinion. So, WHAT DOES TATTOOING INVOLVE? Well, tattoing has been around dating from the fourth to fifth millennium BC,and have 'served as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts''. Traditionally, tattoos have have been undertaken using different techniques, from cutting designs into the skin and rubbing the resulting wound with ink, ashes or other agents, Ouch! and unbelievably some cultures continue this practice. In Japan, tattoos are "hand-poked," that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, hand-made and hand held tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel. This method is known as tebori'. - Information has been taken from Wikipedia: 2011. Luckily In the western society, tattoo machines do the job very quickly and efficiently, but if you have never seen them, they are very industrial looking pieces of equipment, something you would see out of Terminator (i thought the first time i had had one done). They are metal in make-up and use elctro-magnetic coils to deliver between 1-8 (maybe more) needles into the skin at any one time to give you your tattoo. Colours/ pigments are used, as the needles are dipped into these prior to tattooing your skin - and there, you have your tattoo. There is of course more to it, but i will explain the process i went through when talking about my experience. I should also state that you have to be 18 in England to be tattoed and should not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. STIGMA Tattoos for as long as i can remember have very mixed reactions. I remember as a child, crossing the road when a heavily tattooed and pierced gentleman was walking towards me, and walking to the next bus stop as i did not want to sit alone next to someone looking so 'scary'. As an adult i am quite horrified at my perception of tattooing as a child, always with a negative connotation. I believe that in some areas of the world though, that certain tattoos can symbolise causing violence or death to someone and it is a mark of this. I wonder if television years ago has a part to play in my fear at that time about people with tattoos? Using tattooed actors to play the baddies?? In addition, years ago, you would very rarely see a woman with a tattoo, only men, and the typical ships on forearms and bulldogs on the upper arms were popular. My grandfather had a barely legible ship on his forearm and if he were still alive today would be 90! And even now, on an elderly person tattoos do not look overly attractive?! Is this though, because the skin is older and lost elascicity, or the perhaps that tattooing and its equipment has improved so much in recent years. There was a time when you would fear not getting a job because of a tattoo, and i work in healthcare, and have a tattoo on my wrist. I covered it up with a bangle at interview, for fear of it causing an issue, but does it mean that because i have chosen to have a small flower on my wrist that it hinders my ability to do my job, or mean that i can have no common sense?! My covering up of my tattoo was something that made me feel better at the time though, yet my employers see it every day and no comment is passed, yet it was my perception of what others would think that made me want to hide it away - something to think about.... I could talk about the stigma of tattoos and peoples perceptions all day, there are so many comments and opinions thrown into the pot. 'What if you dont like it - it is there for life', or 'what is it going to look like when you are 70?' - Well these can be seen as valid points, which is why i would urge anyone wanting a tattoo to THINK VERY CAREFULLY, WHAT YOU WANT, WHERE YOU WANT IT, AND REMEMBER IT IS A PERMANENT FIXTURE! - Well until tattoo removal becomes more accessible. MY EXPERIENCE I really love Dragonflies and wanted a tattoo to reflect this. Between my shoulderblades was the place that i had chosen and chose an expensive, but reputable tattoo parlour to have my tattoo. It may not always pay to go to the cheapest place you can find. Tattoos can vary greatly in price and i paid £50 for my tattoo which is roughly 10-15cm in diameter and coloured turquoise. I remember walking into the room and seeing a heavily tattooed woman (who was absolutely lovely by the way, funny, reassuuring, and competant, which is always a bonus). She was setting up the inks and i laid on my front exposing my back. One of the most vivid memories was the smell. Very clinical and clean, TCP like. Although there were sketches on the wall of projects from my artist, the walls were white and a hint of music in the background made for a relaxing atmosphere. Once she had explained to me what was going to happen, there seemed to be a pause while she prepared the gun, and then came the noise. If you have never heard a tattoo gun on the go, it is a very obvious noise and once heard you will recognise it forever more. Start stop, start stop was what came for the next 30 minutes or so. Dipping into the ink, and then tattooing the body, those 3-5 seconds when she was applying the colour to her needles of the gun were seconds of relief was welcomed by me to be fair. Anyone who says tattoos are painless are either lying or have an extremely high pain threshold. Having 8 or so needles puncturing the skin at speed cannot be painless, nonetheless though, it was bearable. I remember someone telling my its like a scratching. I liken it to the the feeling of when you were a kid and someone pinged an elastic band at you. The feeling that gave your skin, i think is very similar to having a tattoo, although this is clearly continuous! - ouch! So my skin was prepared and cleaned, and the stencil of the tattoo placed on my skin, and the tattooing began. Once finished, the TCP like ointment that was sprayed onto my skin was the most refreshing feeling, as by this time, your skin feels very hot and may bleed a little. Onced finished, a cream was applied and a dressing to cover. I was told to remove it after 2 hours, and wash the area gently. Then, twice a day until healed, gently wash and cream the area - i was advised bepanthan, but the aftercare of your tattoo may vary from artist to artist. My tattoo healed very quickly and i love it! So much in fact that i went back a month later and had a further 2 dragonflies added and am now in the process of designing something to add that trails down the whole of my back. I currently have 4 tattoos, ankle, upper back, arm and wrist and plan to have more. All of my tattoos though can be covered and that was one stipulation that i had in the back of my mind, that i wanted to be able to cover them if i wanted. After all, at 65-70 will i love my dragonflies so much then?? Family often ask me how i will feel when i am older, but to be fair, i really think that in the last 5 years or so, tattooing has become so much more acceptable and popular, and where now i may see someone in their 80's with a tattoo and think eerrgghh, there will be so many more of us with tattoos in this generation and will seem more normal to see one on an older body. I consider tattooing as an artform, and have a fascination with sleeves (when an entire limb is tattooed). I personally wouldnt have it done because of my profession, but think that they look beautiful if done well. In fact my huband us having one designed at present. Tattoos can be something so precious to you too. All of mine have sentimental value and have been designed rather than picked off a wall. Not that there is a problem with this, but i do like individuality. CONCLUSION To conclude, i am a fan of the tattoo, but i would urge those wanting one to get one for the right reasons. There can be health risks involved if it is not undertaken professionally and it is on your person for life. They are a beautiful addition to your body i feel, but you have to love it yourself. 4/5 for me, a star off, only becasue it is an art that can be exploited and undertaken without proper thought. Thank you for reading. I hope you have enjoyed it, and thankyou to Wikipedia for the interesting information. Hannah x

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          18.12.2010 01:02
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          A unique way of expressing oneself - even if it is a opinionated topic! :)

          Yesterday morning (16th dec 2010) I got two tattoos! I was obviously nervous about getting them done but as I am 18 I can get them, and they body is a canvas its just up to you what you put on it. Only a couple of my friends and family have them, so when I told them what I was getting done they were not too impressed to say the least! My friend got hers done on her hands last week and said that the pain was bearable, which made me less nervous...But it still really hurts. *The shop* I went to 'The studio' in Manchester and they were so nice, they made me feel more relaxed and assured me that I would be ok with the pain. The studio was really clean and the tattooist was so nice, and she explained everything to me before she started. If you are unsure about the procedure or the aftercare google it or ask them at the studio first. *The procedure* She drew up what I wanted from the ideas that I had on my piece of paper when I went in and what she came up with was so gorgeous and it is always good to talk with the tattooist before you get it done, as some designs may look better in other places etc. I got three stars in a horizonal line on my left wrist - juts the outline - and I also got ''La Bella Vita" on my right wrist, which translates as "The beautiful life" in italian. They are both in black and I have put the one of the writing as my display picture so that you can see what it looks like, not that you are probably interested but I love them! I can't stop myself from showing people. She applied the transfer, which can be wiped off if it is not in the place that I liked it, then she did a small line just so I knew what the pain would be like, and for me on my wrists it was like a very sharp stinging burning pain - which is not nice at all, but for me it was bearable and it took her about 30 minutes to finish it, which does not seem a long time but it does when you are getting it done! The only worry about the pain that I had was that I did not want to 1.scream 2.Throw up or 3.Cry and I didn't do any woo! After a while the pain does become a bit better and it does get a bit numb (even though she didn't put any numbing cream/spray on). Afterwards she wrapped both my wrists up in clingfilm and tape and I did look so weird walking around Manchester shopping with dried blood, tape and clingfilm on my wrists but it was worth it! I left the cling film on for just over two hours like she said and then I washed it gently with cotton pads and warm water, then she recommended Simple moisturiser, which I already use on my face, to moisturise my skin. The tattoos after more than a day are looking great and they are not painful in the slightest, I am very happy with them and they should start to scab over in a few day but you are just supposed to let them come off naturally. *Opinions of tattoos* About four hours after I had them done and I had the cling film off I went to my aunties house (as my cousins from australia have come over) and they were surprisingly ok with them. I think my cousin from Australia said "oh my god I can not believe you have got that done" but I think after the shock she thought they were alright! There are a lot of conflicting opinions of tattoos, tattooing and the people who get them done, but I think the stereotypical view of someone who has a tattoo has changed over the years, from only criminals getting them, to musicians, to models and celebrities. My mum and dad are not too impressed but my sister on the other hand is very jealous! I personally love tattoos when they are done correctly and are not tacky or done badly, as they are a way of expressing yourself in a unique way. They can be used for many purposes as a memory of someone or something, as a reminder in life or to mark an important event in your life, and not many form of art can do that apart from tattooing. Conclusion Good points of tattooing in my opinion *A unique, creative and individual way of expressing your self *A way of creating your own masterpiece that no one else on the planet has *A wonderful, creative and skillful art Bad points *The pain! but it is worth it when it is finished! Thank you for reading my opinion and experience, if you have any questions just message me :)

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            25.09.2010 16:19
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            What is a tattoo? Wikipedia states "A tattoo is a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment for decorative reasons." On people, a tattoo is a type of body art, and on animals a tattoo is used for marking and indentification. I had to look it up on the internet where the term tattoo came from and this is what I found: " The term tattoo (or from Samoa 'Tatau' is first referred to by Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Cook's ship the Endeavour in 1769 where he mentions it in his journal. To paraphrase he states 'I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition' " So, a tattoo is a design drawn onto the skin with permanent ink - they are with you literally forever so it is a massive decision to be made when thinking about getting a tattoo done. A tattoo is basically a puncture wound that is made deep in your skin and filled with ink, and it is made by penetrating your skin with a needle (tattoo gun) and then injecting the ink. A tattoo gun (or machine) is a handheld electric instrument that uses a tube and needle system and a foot pedal is used to power the machine and this moves the needle in and out - usually about 3mm into your skin. ***You must be 18 in order to get a tattoo, although some places will do a tattoo without even asking for ID which I think is shocking, and in my opinion the good, reputable places will make sure they do! *** So, does having a tattoo hurt?? Well yes and no. I guess it depends on the area you are having the tattoo placed, where there is more fat there is less pain, so on your upper arms would be less painful than having one on your wrist for example. It can sting quite a bit when having a tattoo done, but I mainly felt uncomfortable. The time taken to do a tattoo can vary so much, from a small one taking around 20-30 mins or so, to a large one taking around 4 hours or even more (and for sleeves they can take quite a few long sittings!) The healing time after having a tattoo isn't all that long, again it depends on the style of tattoo you have had. There is an aftercare procedure set in place where the tattoo artist will supply you with some ointment (maybe not all do that and they may tell you to use vaseline or something like that) and that must be put on a couple of times a day. The tattoo will be covered with clingfilm and they suggest you leave that on for around 12 hours and you musn't bath or shower for 48 hours (unless you keep it well covered). When you wash the area that has been tattoo'd, make sure not to scrub or rub dry with a towel, just pat dry! After a couple of days with the ointment, the tattoo will start to scab over and this must not be picked no matter how much the temptation gets you - this drives me crazy!! My Tattoo's ~~~~~~~~~ I had my first tattoo done when I was 17 (hence me saying about the good places making sure they get ID). My friend and I went to the tattoo parlour near our college and I had it in mind I wanted a Little Miss Naughty tattoo but unfortunately they couldn't do it small enough as they said it would look like a purple splodge! As I had finally plucked up the courage to go and get one (I am a bit of a wimp) I decided that I wasn't going to walk back out without getting one so after a quick look through their catalogues I decided to go for a kitten tattoo on my right shoulder. I adored my cat so thought that was a nice little thing to have. How I wish I hadn't had it done - looking at it now people mistake it for a teddy bear (I really don't see how!!) and it is quite poorly done and I am hoping to have it covered at some point! My second tattoo came about 2 years later when I decided I wanted a heart on my ankle. This is a nice small tattoo that is rarely shown! I do really like it though and am planning to have something added to it but i'm not sure what yet. My third tattoo came just after my Grandad died. I wanted something doing that would remind me of him, but no matter how much I thought about it, nothing seemed right. When my brother was having his tattoo I was flicking through one of the catalogues and saw a lovely flower design and I just knew that was the one! I had this done on my right wrist (ouch!) I had my fourth tattoo a couple of months after I had my daughter, I knew straight away I wanted her name tattooing somewhere on me, and I decided to go for a scroll containing her name with a few small hearts surrounding it. This is the tattoo I get most comments on - but its a lot darker than I had wanted it to be! This one is on my right wrist, and it didn't hurt as much as the other one but the small hearts on my wrist bone were very painful. My final tattoo (so far....) is a star design that my fantastic brother did for me, he knew I wanted some form of star and he came up with the most perfect design. I had this done on the back of my neck and can honestly say I had never felt pain like it before that point - and yes I had had my baby then!! So there are my tattoos - I am hoping to add to them soon as I would love an Elmo tattoo (yes very random but I love Elmo and I am hoping they can cover my first tattoo with that). The prices of my tattoos range from £20 up to £45 which I don't think is bad at all considering they look so good - well I think so anyway! It is so important to make sure you go to a professional parlour, and make sure they have the relevant qualifications - these are usually framed on the walls. Cleanliness is paramount in a tattoo parlour, and you should make sure that before they start tattooing you that what they are using had been sterlised!! I am so particular about where I would have mine done, I found a fantastic one and apart from my first he has done them all on me and my brother and I wouldn't consider having one done elsewhere. My cousin had one done at a local parlour and it was just awful, like a child had done it. I love tattoos and I think they can look just amazing, however they aren't for everyone but all mine are quite discreet and I am so happy with them. But, as I said, think so very carefully before going ahead and having one done, they are permanent although they can be removed by laser but this is extremely expensive and I heard quite painful too. As I just love tattoo's I have to give them a full five out of five Dooyoo stars! Thank you for reading my review, it was much longer than intended...sorry :)

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              24.08.2010 21:30
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              Make sure you are 100% sure before taking the leap to the other side

              Now according to my tattooist there are 2 kinds of people us, who have tattoos and them who don't lol that's it it's that simple. So what is a tattoo......... A tattoo is a permanent marking to your skin which is done by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of your skin using a needle. People have tattoo's for all kind's of reason's special occasions such as the birth of a child, for decorative reasons because they like them, for cultural reasons or for cosmetic reasons now a days it is possible to have your eyebrows and lip liner tattooed on just to save time in a morning lol. Tattoos can be all black which is the kind I favour or in colour. It's personal choice everyone like's different things it's a fact of life. My experience....... I had my first tattoo when I was 18 and my reason because a friend who was older than me had one and I thought it was cool. Luckily for me the place where I went 'Mad Dogs Tattoos' were really good the tattoo artist asked me where I wanted it which was on the top my right leg on the bone they gave me some great advice talked me through what I looking for which was a tribal tattoo and showed me where was best to have it and what was best to have. This tattoo is the only one that I have never regretted! I thought about it though not for long and was given the right advice. My second tattoo is the one I regret the most its a Chinese symbol above my belly button which I had done whilst under the influence of alcohol in Ayia Napa I was still buzzing after my first tattoo and was showing off to be honest. All I can remember from the experience is that I was asking for a glass of water and the tattooist kept saying no swimming to me. Not one of my proudest moments and I have had blood tests since to make sure I didn't get anything from the having this tattoo done luckily for me I am fine but you do hear horror stories of things going wrong when people are tattooed abroad I would not recommend it! Tattoo 3 was one I thought about I knew what I wanted but couldn't find what I wanted so I drew it myself and then took it to a tattoo shop in Newquay and had it done again I was 18 and had become addicted to the pain. I had this tattoo done on the bottom of my back it was not very big kind of two swirls together. I liked it at the time years later I hated it horrid thing would look at other peoples and think how good do they look. Tattoo 4 I had done when I was 19 its a sun that sits between my shoulder blades which again I thought I wanted a friend drew it for me I thought at the time it would was great and they had a tattoo done at the same time so in a way this one at least had sentimental value. However as the years past I also grew to hate it too and it didn't even look very straight on my back. So those were my 4 tattoo as a teenager thinking it was cool to be different so what happened as I got older knowing I had these tattoos on my body I could not stand. Well I had 2 options 1 laser removal or 2 cover up or extension, my choice was extension.... Tattoo 5 the cover up begins this time I was 26 knew what I wanted definitely this time I found an amazing tattoo artist who my boyfriend used first, sent him as a guinea pig lol I had to be sure that no more bodge job artists were going to get their needles into me. Anyway tattoo 5 involved covering up my tattoo on the bottom of my back. The tattoo artist I used was amazing he drew free hand onto me and he is very talented the tattoo now covers the whole of the bottom of my back but it is just how I want it the lines are neat and the colour is properly filled in. Tattoo 6 was an extension to the sun tattoo the same artist who covered up tattoo 5 fixed me again he added a moon and little stars to the top of my back and fixed the sun so it looks more professional. So what about the pain? Ok here is the truth TATTOOS HURT!!! lol bet your surprised aren't you! What I will say though is I would rather take the pain of a tattoo any day over the pain of piercings! I have had my belly button pierced top and bottom, my tongue pierced and my tragus (that's the gristle bit in your ear) and the pain I had after having them is way worse than the pain of tattooing as soon as the needle stops the pain stops. Also the outline hurts way more than the shading. I will also say I think the tattoos hurt more when I was older however I had to conceal my pain as my boyfriend had his first one when he was the guinea pig lol and I was telling him it wouldn't hurt and it wasn't that bad! Oops when I had mine done I was in shock especially the outline of my tattoo on the hip part of my back that was the worst part by far! The person who recommended this artist to myself and my boyfriend did actually say the artist is heavy with his needle though so it may have been the reason why it hurt more than I remembered. As for my horrid Chinese symbol I am waiting til I have had children before I get that sorted out I don't want to have one to get it stretched in pregnancy that's the advice I have been given. When I am ready I will return to the same person who fixed my others. My recommendations when going for tattoos DO - Make sure you REALLY want one have something that you know you can live with forever more. - Ask to have a look at the books of tattoos the artist you have chosen has done if they are any good they will have a portfolio of there work this way you can get a good idea of the quality of artist you are choosing. - Make sure the tattoo shop is equipped properly, that the needles used have come from sterile packaging and the tattooist washes their hands and wears gloves before beginning. - Remember that if the tattoo which is drawn on you or transferred onto you is not what you wanted or you change your mind, then you have a right to say no at anytime. - Do speak to friends who have tattoos see where they had there's done and if they would recommend them. - Wait until your older if you can I wish I had. DON'T - Get one done because your friends are. - Get one done abroad. - Get one done when you are drunk!!! Well I think that's about enough of my waffling on about my tattoos I do hope it has been useful and please, please, please make sure you think about it before becoming 'one of us'. I also write on other sites under the same name

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                08.05.2010 19:39
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                I can't wait for my third!

                I have two tattoos (I'm 20, nearly 21). I got my first when I was 18 after a lot of consideration. I got my second about 6 months later. Tattoos are a very personal thing and they are also permanent. Of course they can be removed but it is costly and more painful. Please remember all of this is either my opinion or information I have researched. If you want a tattoo please do your research as well. When getting a tattoo it is very important to decide on a design you want. This can be one of the most difficult parts. I generally advise against getting tattoos just because your favourite celebrity has it, a partners name or a band name. There are exceptions but remember feelings/ perceptions change. At the end of the day it is a personal choice but it is good to think it through thoroughly. Also I would advise waiting until you are of legal age. It is amazing how much you grow and mature in the ages running up to your 18th (though this changes between each person). After deciding on your tattoo you now need to find an artist, though you don't have to do this right after you can wait a while and think about the design. Actually I would recommend waiting a few months at least. You are going to have the rest of your life to enjoy this tattoo there is no need to rush into it even if you are itching to get it. This an important step and unless you are sure of the quality of the artist you are going to it is best to do a bit of investigation. Please remember that you should expect to pay a bit for your tattoo. A cheap tattoo isn't necessarily a good tattoo and a good tattoo isn't necessarily cheap. If you look around and find one shop considerably cheaper than another then I would question why they are so much cheaper. People are often drawn to the cheaper studios but if you want a good quality tattoo I would advise going to an artist that you can trust. I should add that just because an artist charges a ridiculous amount for a tattoo it doesn't mean that they are a good artist. Many tattoo studios have websites these days so you can check them out online. This can be a good first port of call. You may be able to see the artwork of the artists in the shop. Look for clear, straight lines and bright colours that fit in the tattoo. Also you may gather some information on the artists (for example how much experience they have and what type of tattoos they like to do: colour, black and white, chinese etc.). You should also see what kind of price you can expect, this can depend on where you live, where I live most places I have checked have had a minimum of £60 but you should expect higher if you live in a larger city. You should also check what their sterilisation process is. Most studios will use an autoclave. They should not re-use needles though even if they have been sterilised. They may also provide their aftercare advice. On top of looking at websites it is a good idea to ask people for recommendations though to take into consideration who you are asking and how serious they are about tattoos. A place that gets constant good reviews you can count on. If a place gets a bad review ask why and see if it is just because something wasn't what they expected or the price. This should give you a good idea of where to go. Next is your step to actually venture into a studio. This will give you an idea of the ambiance of the shop. If you feel uncomfortable or you get an instant bad feeling about the place, perhaps this place isn't for you. There is no need to be nervous. There will usually be someone at a front desk ready to answer your questions. You may decide to go right ahead and book your tattoo there and then or you may decide to wait. Whatever your decision remember that it is your decision and never let anyone make you feel like you have to go through with it. It is you that has to live with it not them. Once you have an appointment booked you should expect to pay a 10% deposit to secure it. It is important to eat before getting a tattoo. Don't drink the night before and it is advisable not to take painkillers before hand as they inhibit clot formation meaning you will bleed more during your tattoo. On arrival you will have to complete a form confirming you agree to the tattoo and declaring any health problems. This is normal and it is a good sign. Now, the question people always ask, does getting a tattoo hurt? Well the short answer is yes. You have a needle going into your skin up to a couple of hundred times a second. But the pain isn't usually as bad as people think and it depends on your pain threshold and where on the body you get it. The back is quite a painful place due to all the nerve endings whereas the wrist is next to painless (at least in my experience). Some have likened the pain to draging a needle over sunburn. Remember if it was really that painful so many people wouldn't have multple tattoos. You can handle it and once your endorphins kick in you will be loving it. It really is a wonderful experience that you will no doubt want to repeat. Once the tattoo is done you can expect the tattoo to get a wipe down and then bandaged up (usually with clingfilm). They will then give you aftercare advice (preferably on paper). You will then be expected to pay the remaining amount. Aftercare advice depends on the artist and I would always recommend sticking to what the artist suggested so I won't give aftercare advice. Just remember not to pick the scabs or scratch it once it becomes itchy during the healing process. Remember to use cream sparingly; you don't want the scabs to be too dry or too moist that they fall off. It really is a great experience. I love the whole process of getting a tattoo and even just the noise of the tattoo machine makes me crave another. I am getting no.3 (hopefully) in September. I have the design drawn up and on my noticeboard so I can look at it regularly and get used to it. I really can't wait to get another.

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                  23.04.2010 18:41
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                  Put the thought and research in and it's well worth doing

                  I got my first tattoo when i was 16; although it was technically illegal for me to do so in the UK, the tattooist didn't ask for ID and by the time i was 18 i had five tattoos. I'm now 26 and i have 13 in total, all on my arms. I think in general tattoos can look amazing and i love some of the ones i have. I also dislike a couple of them and want (need) to get them redone. With this in mind i thought i'd write a checklist of things to consider before getting you first, or even your next, tattoo: TATTOOIST This may seem incredibly obvious to some people, but you'd be surprised how many people overlook this crucial element of getting a tattoo. Like i did when i was 16, a lot of people will just go to the only (or closest) tattooist in their town or city. Your choice of tattooist is very important in how your tattoo will turn out and how happy you'll be with it in the long run. Here is a quick list of things to look out for: How clean is the tattooists' studio? It should be clean and professional looking, as should the tattooist themselves. Do you know anyone who's been to the tattooist? Can you hear some previous client feedback or view some previous work? Can you see certifications for health and cleanliness? All tattoists should have accreditations on their wall, have a check and see what they are. How skilled is the tattooist? Again it's useful if you can see real life previous work, it the tattoo blotchy or patchy? You're ideally looking for a tattooist that is a skilled artist, this way you're more likely to end up with a good looking tattoo. Shop around, there may only be one tattooist in your area but this is something you'll have for the rest of your life, check towns and cities close to you, look online and do some research and see if there's a better tattooist that's just a car or train ride away. Also don't just go for the cheapest option, yes some tattooists may be expensive, but it's likely to be that way for a reason. You generally get what you pay for. DESIGN Again, it seems obvious but you should put a lot of thought into what you're going to get tattooed - don't EVER get a tattoo on a whim or spur of the moment. Consider your design carefully, remember this will be with you for the rest of your life. You could just pick a design off the tattooists wall or out of their books, but bear in mind that other people will do that too, so you're likely to end up with the same tattoo as scores of other people. You're far better off picking something that either you can design, get designed for you or just something that means something to you, rather than a generic design. Also, you should be very careful getting people's names tattooed on your body - yes you may be in love now but the last thing you want is to end up with an ex's name tattooed on your body! Similarly, you should be careful with foreign symbols - there's nothing wrong with getting something in chinese, japanese, arabic, etc. in principal, just MAKE SURE you 100% confident you know what it means. You don't want to end up with 'Egg Fried Rice' when you thought you were getting 'Family, Honour, Loyalty'. COLOUR You should put a lot of thought into whether or not you want colour in your tattoo, how much and exactly which colours you are going to choose. Again, research is key here. Some colours will fade far more noticeably over time than others, and large patches of colour are also likely to suffer from fading. Talk to the tattooist and try to strike a balance between something that looks good now and something that will still look good in 10 or 20 years. PLACEMENT Just as the design of your tattoo can say a lot about you, so can the placement of it. Think long and hard about what you want to do with your life and how your tattoo might affect this. Lots of people get tattoos on their necks, which in itself doesn't mean anything, but you have to bear in mind people's perceptions in general of you will be immediate, therefore you need to think about what a tattoo on your neck will say about you, as it's extremely difficult to cover up. Think about job interviews and other situations where you may want to appear professional - it might be worth getting your tattoos in a place that you can choose to cover up or show dependent on the situation (the upper arms for example). It's also worth noting that tattoos are extremely addictive, once you have one it's very easy to get hooked into getting more. Just be warned! Getting a tattoo is a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly, put a lot of thought and research in before you make your decision and you're far more likely to end up with something you're still happy with in 20 years time.

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                    15.01.2010 12:31
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                    i love ink!

                    I have a bit of a weak spot for tattoos, I love to see them on the right people. A lot of people say that a tattoo should have a meaning and whilst i most definately agree with this comment it is not something i have always taken in to account when chosing my designs. Tattoos to me are like a canvas painting by an artist. Our bodies are the canvas, all i have to do is make sure i find the right artist to decorate it. Although none of my current tattoos have a particlar meaning, they are all something i chose out myself through taste. I got my first tattoo almost 7 years ago, and i still like the look of it today. That for me is the most important thing. That i can still enjoy the art in years to come. I can spend months looking through online tattoo designs, taking ideas from others,books ect. i will do little sketches and things to get my idea set in mind. My first tattoo i got done when i was 17. So i was underaged at the time, but i felt ready, It's something i had always thought about, and my parents were aware and although didn't really approve allowed me to make my own decision. I remember watching a programme on the tv and seeing a tribal tattoo on this womans stomach,as soon as i saw it i knew that i wanted something like that. I went along to the tattoo studio, It didn't take me long to find the design i wanted. It was about 1" in size, but i wanted bigger. I Knew i wanted it on the base of my back, so the artist enlarged the design with a photocopier, placed the image against my back so i could decide before going any further whether it was in the right place and the right size. He needed around half an hour to draw up the final design, so i went off to purchase some numbing cream from boots. Being my first and not knowing what to expect i bought the cream to put my mind at ease. It took around 30 mins - 45 mins to kick in, But once the tattoo got underway it just felt like someone was scratching my back. The numbing wore off towards the end of the tattoo but the pain was still managable. The end result was a black vertical tribal design about 3" long on the base of my back since then all my tattoos have been done with out any prep, i prefer the sensation of the needle than the numbness, why go thorugh a tattoo not to feel the pain, thats a huge part of getting it done, otherwise id just use temps, or stick ons 2nd tattoo - A tribal sun on the top of my back. Looks great, not too high and in the right place so that it can bee seen most of the time when wearing vest,dresses 3rd tattoo - I really had a craving for the foot tattoo. I took the swirl idea from a print in my boyfriends xbox magazine believe it or not, i just changed the bits i needed to improve and added my own flowers too it. The tattoo is black, covers the whole of the top of my foot,and on to the ankle bone, and i have pink,purple,red flowers too 4th tattoo - i wanted inside the top of my ear doing, and could'nt decide between a star outline or a taurus symbol. But went for the star, and absolutely love it, When people notice it (not that often if my hair is down) i always get comments, it's not the most common of places to get a tattoo, but that was what i found more appealing. Supprisingly it didn't hurt one bit, when people ask i describe it as someone drawing in my ear with a biro pen, but thats how it was!, perhaps my tattoo artist was just very good. So far i have four but know i want a few more yet before i stop, can i stop? i think so although after a couple of years that itch to get another ink starts drilling away at the back of your mind. And i do think it can become an addiction. The feeling of adreniline when getting a tattoo is fantastic, In the future when i start my own family, an grow through life i will have more reason to feature more personal tattoos, but i will also continue to add things that make me happy, just be it something i have as a hobby,or just like the look of. I have been planning a big waist/hip tattoo for over a year now and have still not come up with something i am totally satisfied with but in the meantime i would like the words Amor est vitae essentia - love is the essence of life in latin on the inside of my forearm.

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                      23.08.2009 14:27
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                      Shop around for a tattoo, go somewhere clean, and it will be worth the pain

                      The concept of tattooing receives a very mixed reaction from society. Whilst tattoos are more accepted now than they were years ago (for example, 50 years ago when only sailors and prisoners/criminals had tattoos). Tattoos still have an element of rebellion within them, helped by the fact that rock stars and typical 'bad boy' film stars have them. I got my first tattoo when I was 17, so it was technically illegal, but the place I went was commonly known to not ask for ID, and I had my heart set on getting one. I know it was silly looking back, going to a place who'll tattoo anyone, but at the time I was desperate to get one. My mum would've been dead against it, so I went behind her back and got the tattoo done. I know plenty of people who have done this, enforcing the element of 'rebellion' even more! My first tattoo was a scorpion on my hip, just above my pubic bone. It's faded a little bit now, but it's still my favorite tattoo. I'm quite into the zodiac, and Scorpio is my star sign, so it will always mean something to me. I was very nervous my first time. But I'd had advice from a few people, so before I went I made sure I'd eaten a proper meal, drank some Coke so I sugar in my blood, other my blood sugar level could run low because of the adrenaline and I could faint, and made sure I took a bottle of water in with me. I also didn't drink the night before or take any painkillers that day because that makes your blood really thin and makes it difficult to tattoo. I went into the tattoo studio and went through almost straighaway. I know people generally say 'turn up early' for things like really, but waiting around for a tattoo is horrible, you end up feeling really sick and nervous! The best thing to do is book the tattoo appointment for fairly early in the morning and arrive so you get there dead on time. Hopefully then you can go in straighaway and not have any hanging around. Tattoo studios can be fairly intimidating if you haven't got many tattoos, but there's no need to worry yourself about looking silly. Hopefully you'll have a nice tattooist who'll put you at ease. Once I was seated in the chair, the tattooist prepared the gun, needles (watch when he/she does this to make sure they come from a sealed packet rather than just lying around!!) and other equipment. I showed him where I wanted it, and then he took a razor and shaved the area (this is common. Even if you get a tattoo where there might be no hair, such as your back, neck, belly, etc, they'll still shave to make sure there's nothing that can obstruct a needle). He put my design through a machine to make it become a stencil and then he placed it on my skin. I took a look in the mirror, and realised I wanted it over to the left a bit more, so I told him, he washed it off and re-placed it back on. This is a really important part of getting your tattoo - NEVER feel scared of saying you don't like the position, angle or size of your tattoo. Whilst you may feel like a pain in the a*s for ten minutes, this tattoo is going to be on your body for life. So it's GOT to be right. One of the places I went into, the guy kept putting it on wrong, so he had to re-do this procedure four times. I could tell he was getting a bit impatient but I didn't care, I needed it right, and if he wasn't prepared to do it I would've walked out and gone elsewhere. Once I was happy, I sat down in the chair, and he began. If its your first tattoo, its always a good thing to tell this to your tattooist, then he'll go a bit more gently and stop to make sure you're okay every now and again. The tattoo gun did hurt. It's a weird feeling of pain though, as even on a small tattoo, they'll be some places where it really hurts, and some places where it'll feel like a tickle. The pain isn't unbearable though, and because of the adrenaline running through you at the thought of getting an awesome tattoo on your skin, you won't be thinking too much about the pain. One tattoo studio I went into had a TV running so I watched TV whilst getting tattooed, and it helped me take my mind off it. For my first tattoo I took my iPod in with me and listened to that. It definitely helped as I couldn't hear the sound of the gun buzzing away. I took sips of water throughout my tattoo to calm my nerves and to make sure I didn't start feeling faint. When the tattoo was done, I was allowed to look at it in the mirror, and then the tattooist covered it with kitchen roll stuck to my skin with masking tape. I was told to leave it on for two hours to prevent infection. All studios are different in ways they do this. Some cover it with clingfilm instead of kitchen roll. Some cover it with a bandage. Some don't cover it at all. I'm not sure if there is a right or wrong way to go about this, but so far I've experienced cling film, kitchen roll and completely bare, and I did feel very uncomfortable having NOTHING covering it, as I was really worried it would get something in it. The prices of tattoos completely vary depending on where you go, but in general, they are all expensive, some places use different types of ink though which is why one place might be cheaper than another. A tattoo is for life, something that will be on your body forever, so price shouldn't at all be an issue when you get tattooed. The complexity of a tattoo will greatly affect the price. I'm not a tattooist, therefore would not be able to price a tattoo, but I'll tell you how much each of mine cost and it might help you out as a rough guide: My first tattoo, a scorpion. Two inches tall, one inch wide. Completely black, quite a few little lines. Small but fairly complex. Cost me £30. My second tattoo, the writing "Forgive Me" with a tiny rose head underneath. The Forgive Me is about three inches long, one inch high, in italic font. It's quite thin text, which meant it was tricky as the tattooist had to make sure the lines were dead straight. The rose bud is about 1/2inch x 1/2 inch. The font is all in black, but the rose is red and black. The font alone would've cost me £30, but because that is their lowest price (even for a tiny little tattoo, as it pays for the price of the needles, etc), but the tattooist said if I got something else underneath it wouldn't cost much more. So I asked for the rose, and in total it was £35. My third tattoo was done by a friend, so it was for free. Same for my fourth tattoo, which was a tribal rose design on my leg. Unfortunately, it faded really quickly and I was disappointed, so I went along to a not-very-well-known tattoo study in town and asked them to re-do it. The design is about 4/5 inches tall, two inches wide. It's made up of a black rose in the centre with black leaves around it. I was charged £50 just to go over it! I was quite shocked at that price but was quite desperate to sort it out so paid it. The guy didn't even do that good of a job so now I'm looking for someone else to go over it too, but I'd get one of my regular tattoo artists to do it rather than a strange tattoo studio. The last of my tattoos is a 2inch x 2inch butterfly on my back. It's quite gothic and swirly, all black. Cost me £45. Every place I've gone has gone about tattooing in a different way, so I think the best way to choose a tattoo parlour is word of mouth, and make sure you look at previous tattoos they've done. I've been to three different tattooists, and even had a friend do one for me in my lounge! They've all felt different as each tattooist has a different way and different techniques. If you're thinking about getting a tattoo make sure you go somewhere that looks clean and hygienic, and most imporantly uses brand new needles!

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                        02.08.2009 19:56
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                        Becoming more acceptable all the time.

                        I have been reading some other dooyoo members thoughts on tattoos and having had my third one done recently thought I'd contribute my thoughts. Deciding on my first tattoo.... I first wanted a tattoo probably at around 16, but never sure what or where. I knew I wanted it all black, I think the brightly coloured ones can turn out a bit tacky. I also knew I wanted to design it and it to be personal to me. Much the same as if I turned up to a party in the same dress as someone else, why would I want a tattoo as someone else. I like to wear unique clothes as much as possible, so I see no need to pick a design for a tattoo from a book that thousands of other people are going to see. I am a bit of an artist (when I have the time) and at college, when I was studying art I used to keep a sketchbook or drawings and ideas that pop into my head that I may want to use at a later date. One of these was a black silhouette of my pet cockatiel. The more I thought about a tattoo, the more I kept going back to this sketch. I tried fiddling with it and making it more elaborate but it seemed just right as it was. It ticked all the boxes, was very personal to me, was simplistic and unique. Still I was not sure, this thing is going to be with me forever, right? Strange as it sounds but it was a bar man at a ropey little club I used to go to when I was 18 that gave me the best piece of advice I've heard, well when it comes to tattoos at least. He was heavy covered it tattoos, and rather more confident than usual with a few vodka and red bulls in me (my taste in drink has got better since then) I was asking him what they all were and meant. I told him about the idea I had for mine and he said to find a picture you like and put it on your wall and live with it for six months, if after that you still like it as much, then get it done. If not, don't. So that's what I did. When I was 19 I got my first tattoo done, and I don't regret it one bit. She's passed away since then, which I was devastated about, as I'd had her nearly all my life. Now, she's with me always. Probably sounds really corny form the outside, but it doesn't matter. Tattoos shouldn't be for the person looking at you, they should be for what you want to carry around with you. And my second... I kept the theme going with animals for my second tattoo, I'd known for a while I'd wanted a tortoise or a turtle for my second tattoo. Finding the right picture wasn't easy though. Unfortunately, tattoo number two chucked the rules out of the window and was a bit of a hasty decision. I went along with a friend to get his first tattoo done. If you like tattoos and have little or no willpower, DON'T DO THIS! It was inevitable, in a tattooists, time to kill whilst a friend has his done, peruse the books, see one I like, bit of money in my pocket, oh they have a slot free right after...thats convenient... Yes it is a turtle and I did change it slightly from the design in the book, so still no one is going to have the same but they might have similar. I liked it at first, then after a few days of looking at it I realised that I hadn't studied it enough before I had it done. Please don't laugh dooyooers...can't believe I'm sharing this with you! It was a tribal design with a swirly pattern on he shell. After a while I noticed that this pattern if you look hard resembles a swastika! After that I hated it. Surely if I'd been looking at that every day for six months I would have noticed. That rule is so true. I did some research and a little comfort came when I discovered it was in fact a mirror image of the way the nazis used the symbol and in fact before it was used by them, it was symbol used largely in Hindu and Buddist culture, considered as a lucky charm. It has not been very lucky to me though, and some eagle eyed people have spotted it and given me some funny looks. However, most don't and just comment that it's a pretty turtle. I think it's just because I've noticed makes me conscious of it. In any case, it's quite a small tattoo and if someone has been staring at my arm long enough, I feel I have the right to be giving them the funny look!! I've played with ideas of changing it, but everything I've tried on paper, only makes it look worse. The truth is a swastika, despite many unfortunate connotations is in fact a very pretty symbol in it's design. The fact that it's mixed in with other things I don't think it notices too much and bizarrely, now I've lived with the tattoo so long, it's part of me and I don't want to change it. And the third.... I had decided on no more, but gave in and now have my third. As you can imagine this was all the more considered that the previous one. I had decided on a gecko, as I have two adorable ones of my own, and keeping with an animal theme. I scoured the internet for ideas for a long time. I had a rough sketch I'd done of what I wanted but it wasn't quite right. When I found a design I liked there was no hesitiation. That's it! I thought. Problem with it was the size and the complexity but the pose was perfect. I took it into the tattooists and showed it to her, where I wanted it and what size. She then scaled down and simplified the design for me. Again, creating something unique! This was my biggest, but I have no regrets, it was well considered, is personal as even if I do say so myself, pretty impressive. I get lots of wows when people see this. No more...?? Now, I feel I don't want any more. The last one was big-ish about 8 inches long, and I don't think I'd want one bigger. I like tattoos but personally don't want to be covered. If I wear a long sleeved top no one need know I have any at all and I like being able to choose when I show them. This is useful for work, many jobs don't allow them showing (though this annoys me, looks do not effect how well one can do their work) and older members of my family who firstly don't like tattoos and secondly don't know I have them. They're not for everyone, but please don't judge... I know tattoos are not for everyone and a lot of people do not like them. This is fine by me, everyone has their own tastes. What bothers me is the stereotypes placed on heavily tattooed people - that they are scary or a bit rough. I think that's as bad as assuming a blonde is dumb or a fat person is lazy. It's insulting. The other comment I get a lot is that they look ok on younger people but what are they going to look like when I'm old and wrinkly. Well all I can say to that is disgust usually comes with something that is out of the ordinary. If so may young people have tattoos now then they are all going to get old together aren't they? In 50 years time it's not going to be so unusual to see tattoos on a granny is it, and therefore will be more accepted. I agree that tattoos look better on young skin however, this is why I have mine in places that can be covered. I don't intend to wear strappy tops when I'm 80, so I don't think it will be much of an issue! Make art not war... I was recently passing a tattooists, and stopped to look at the work in the window and noticed some letters posted there. I local resident had written to the shop telling the owner of the outrage of such a shop being set up in her village, saying that it was seedy looking and ruined the image of the town, or words to that effect. In my opinion, it was one of the nicest tattooists I've seen, it was clean and well kept. The tattooist has posted a reply defending himself saying what he does he considers an art form and he understands it's not for everybody but he is proud of his shop. Underneath, was another notice, with a later date at the top asking people to stop putting hate mail through the door as it's not a nice thing to come into in the morning. I felt so sorry for him. I cannot believe people can be so against some thing so harmless. Taste is one thing but to stand war on something just because you don't like it is crazy. I hope his business is a success. Advice for those thinking about a getting a tattoo... *Think about it long and hard. Make sure you are 100% in love with that image before you get in put on your body forever. *Think about where it is going to go. Do you want to be able to cover it up? Generally neck and hands are a bad idea, in my opinion. *Get a personal recommendation for the tattooist. I've been to two different places to get mine and both were recommendations from friends, not just word of mouth either. I'd seen their tattoos and saw that they were done well. *Talk to a tattoo artist if you are not sure. A lot of tattooists have an in house artist who can help you create your perfect tattoo or change an image to your specifications. *If you can't afford it, wait. If you've spend months deciding on an image you want and then cannot afford it, save up until you can. Last minute compromises may end in regrets. *Don't get a name. It's up to you of course, but ever heard of tempting fate? *Be prepared for a little bit of pain. I won't lie, it does hurt. It's like a constant scratching, comparable to the amount of pain you ensure when you pull a hair out. It's bearable, however and you tend to numb to it a bit after the initial few minutes. Try to think about something else, or listen to music or the radio. Mind over matter works. *Look after it. After care is important, don't pick the scab and keep it well moisturised. It will heal itself, don't rush it. *Last but not least, be proud or your artwork, after all you're a walking canvas.

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                          16.07.2009 11:45
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                          find a good studio and work with the tattooist and everything will be fine

                          Tattooing is bigger than ever at the moment, but here I am not going to go into if it's a good thing or not, you either like tattoos or you don't, being in the tattoo business I am simply going to offer an opinion of modern tattooing. The first thing to realise is that all those old blue blobs you see on people's arms are a world away from what tattooing is these days. Find a good tattooist and the world really is your oyster. Let me explain what has changed since the good (or bad) old days of back street studios and under age tattoos. The most obvious change is social acceptance, while this may not seem like much it has changed the industry in a massive way. The majority of people being tattooed these days are average people, mothers, business men and even grand parents are regular fixtures in tattoo studios now. This means the studio itself has changed. No longer is it hidden down a back street with decor out of a gothic movie and skulls plastered all over the wall. These studios were hidden away and often out of public sight, which while not alone a bad thing, often resulted in studios being able to get away with things they shouldn't be doing. Most modern studios are nice welcoming places, that can look like anything from a nice waiting room in a doctors to a modern, well decorated cafe. you should feel as confident going in and having a look around as you in your local clothes shop. Technology is something else that has improved everything, from new sterilisation techniques, inks that last a life time without spreading and blurring and disposable (single use) needles. All of this offers the customer piece of mind that everything is sterile, clean and is going to turn out like it should. Due to new ink technology it's possible to have life like portraits, full Technicolor traditional work or even glow in the dark or colour changing tattoos. The one thing that hasn't changed however is the customer, and this is often the thing that causes problems. Please when going for a tattoo think about what you want, if you follow fashion then just like the clothes you bought last year, your tattoo will go out of fashion. Most tattooist now love what they do and would rather refuse to do a design that earn a little cash tattooing something that doesn't look good, take the tattooist advice (it's free) and they do know what they're talking about. Enjoy

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                            03.06.2009 08:59
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                            Tattoos.

                            Let me start by saying I have a lot of tattoo's. When I say a lot I mean a lot, though until 3 months ago, I had not had a tattoo for over 25 years....more of that later. When I was younger, from 11 (my first home made tattoo) until I was 21, tattooing was something me and my mates did; We were East End lads, most of us joined the army together and most of us got tattoos on a regular basis, herein lies the first problem: We did not really care what we got, we did not plan them, we went to quite unsavoury characters for our tattoos, and we did not listen to the doommongers who told us we would regret it....I certainly did regret it. In my late 20's I had the tattoos removed form my hands by plastic surgery, skin grafts from my leg, performed, believe it or not, on the NHS in Whitechapel hospital by none other than, Dr Hackett, his real name. It was extremely painful and I do not want to go through it again if I can help it. Fast forward to the last couple of years. I have been acutely aware of the crap all over my arms, not exactly body art, more bad graffitti, I had taken to not wearing short sleeves anymore through my embarrassment at the assortment of faded blue, stupid tattoos; mum with a dagger, a swallow, a pair of cross cannons, a love heart with a name....so, about three months ago, at nearly 47, I decided I was either going to have extensive surgery to my arms (too expensive and would leave too many scars) or I was going to find a reputable tattooist and have what is know in the jargon as two 'sleeves', basically my arms completely covered up, with good and colourful artwork. This is my first tip, plan and research. So I went to see a few tattooists, found a guy who seemed good, who had also done an art degree, so was pretty clued up on art as well as tattooing. He is also quite young and uses technology to it's best advantage....he took photo's of my arms, loaded them onto a computer art package and showed me what could be done. All of which meant a minimum of 40 hours work (at £50 per hour). So, every week for the last 3 months I have had work done on alternate arms and now, the bottom of my arms are almost finished. Not to everyones taste, I have two 'sleeves', however that is infinitely better than what was there before. I had forgotton how much it hurts, though I have been impressed by the difference in colours used, and other technological advances such as how fine the lines can be now. When the bottom of my arms are finished they will be (left arm) a complete dragon, coming through clouds of flame and smoke, winding around the whole arm and (right arm) a Japanese water scene of different blues with crysanthemums and cherry blossoms floating on the water, with on the inner arm a 'wraith' from an ICP album cover. Then I go to work on the tops of my arms. On the left will be a Polynesian sun god, and on the right a Polynesian night scene. This is my second tip.....decide in advance the look you want. In truth I do not want any more tattoos at all, however i hated my youthful daftness in terms of tattoos, so this is the lesser of two evils, and actually, they look pretty cool. There is a wonderful array of colours and designs to choose from now and body art, as oppose to simply 'tattooing' can be striking and beautiful, as well as making a statement, so whilst it is not my responsibility or want to tell people not to have tattoos (I never listened) I would always advise: 1. Visit more than one tattooist, talk to them, look at their work. 2. Decide the 'look' you want, it stays with you an awful long time. 3. Don't 'skimp', if you cannot afford what you want, do not settle for 2nd best, you will regret it. 4. Do not go below wrists or above neck, you will regret it. 5. Remember, regardless of what people tell you, it hurts! 6. They can look fantastic, they can also look naff, think about it, long and hard. 7. Plan. 8. Plan. 9. Plan. 10. Most important of all, plan. The guy i se has an 'idiots' file on his computer which consists of picture of people that have had stupid tattoos that he knows they will regret. he has even advised people when I have been there not to have a certain one done...don't be in a file like that.....you want people to say 'wow' not 'Oh my god'. My tatt's are on my Facebook page.....once I have finished my arms, I have one or two on my legs that need covering, another piece for my chest...I have one on the inside of my lip already and opne somewhere else that I will leave to your imagination, all could do with a refresh. Good luck. Postscript: Nar2 suggested I tell you a bit about the pain of tattoos, good point. These days they do hurt less than they used to, but pain is personal and relative. On muscly, fleshy parts of the body, like top outside of arms the pain is bearable but it is pain, make no mistake...a needle going in your skin hundredes of times a minute, for sometimes hours at a time hurts...you will bleed a little and be left with some bruising sometimes. Where it hurst most is where the skin is more tender, such as inside of elbows (exruciating), backs of kness (awful), or directly where there is little skin and flesh over bones, such as ankle joint. Outlining hurts more than filling in (colour)...cover ups hurt most as they go deeper.

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                              01.06.2009 11:56
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                              Tattoos, becoming more socially acceptable now! Give it lots of thought before its done!

                              Tattoos - you really love them or hate them. I love them, well some of them! My parents, hate them. I have always wanted a tattoo but had no real reason to get one, plus I was underage. I was doing my Alevels and found a huge interest in Hinduism and studied it quite thoroughly for 2 years. I absolutely love the religion. I, myself, am not religious. But the premise of Hinduism fascinates me. There is a symbol which to me depicts peace, freedom, faith, family and love. This is the 'Om' symbol. I decided that I wanted this symbol to be my first tattoo. I then had to decide where I wanted it. I thought about this really carefully, I want to be a teacher after university so I have to have it done in the right place and for it to be tasteful. I chose to have it on the inside of my left ankle, so it is easily coverable if it needed to be - but in the summer its lovely to wear a skirt and flipflops and let the whole world see it! I wasn't really planning on anymore tattoos as there wasn't anything that I REALLY wanted. It wasn't until my dad was diagnosed with cancer, that I decided I wanted one to be an image of the struggles we have been through as a family. My dad was diagnosed with Hodgekins Lympoma at the age of just turned 40. It was another huge blow for my family. With three younger brothers I just knew this was going to be a huge struggle for the family. I was thinking about getting something to symbolise this, but really couldnt decide. It wasnt until the whole family pulled together and we were such a strong unit - THEN I decided. I was having the lymphoma flower tattoo. Its a lovely little purple flower, unique to that type of cancer. I carefully traced the flower and designed some swirls around it. That was to be my next tattoo. These are the only two I have. I don't plan to have anymore unless I have another major turning point in my life, when I am sure I will reassess it then! My parents actually love my lymphoma tattoo, and think its really pretty. My dad, I think, was secretly really proud of me when I got it done. I hadn't seen him for a month and a half, and when I did see him the first thing he said was "lets have a look then!". With tattoos if they are done tastefully and by a good tattooist, then I don't see a problem with them. What I don't really like is when you see people absolutely covered in them. But then again, it is up to them. I just think "god they must have had a stressful life with all those tats!" as I just assume that people have them when big things happen like I have done! The key things you need to think about before having a tattoo, is to go to a reputable tattoo shop, make sure its clean and they are using clean needles etc etc. Make SURE its the design you want, after you have it there really is no going back. See the artist's previous work, you can tell then what yours might look like. And finally be prepared for the pain! It does hurt a little!!

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                                07.02.2009 15:38

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                                Its up to you!

                                Body tattoos are like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. Me, well im sort of in between. The sight of a well placed, detailed, colourful and meaningful tattoo on a persons body is a work of art, a message to other people about who they are and what they're interests are. However, when i see someone completely covered in tattoos, if sort of puts me off. Ive always wanted tattoos, in about 4 different places on my body, but never got them due to work etc. You see parents telling their children never to get them because youll stop liking it in about 3 hours, and this is probably correct. When your young you dont think about what it symbolises, or whether you REALLY want it, you just do, end of. Whereas if you have a design in mind that really means something to you and you know youll love it forever, then i say there not too bad. I have only one at the moment, a small one, as a sort of tester to see if i could bare the pain, which i did, just. Body tattoos are a brilliant way to show off who you are and your beliefs, but its people who take it too far that provide the negative stereotypes.

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                                10.01.2009 21:00
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                                Choose wisely

                                Ive always wanted a tattoo but im too much of a chicken to go ahead with it. I think certain people and certain designs can look realy cool, other though can look quite cheap and tacky, i do think there is a fine line with tattoo's. Im too scared of the pain, people tell me it doesnt hurt but i find that hard to beleive, and i always think, yeah a butterfly may look nice on my foot now but is it realy going to look as nice on my wrinkly 80 year old foot. LOL. I think its easier for guys to pull of tatoos rather than women. I do find tattoos on guys very attractive, my fella has 3 and i love em. it just adds to the manlyness i think. Girls on the other hand i think need to be very carefull with the colours and designs.

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