Newest Review: ... 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 w... more
As much a part of who I am as my hair and my eyes..and tat's a fact.
Body Tattoos in general
Member Name: magenta23
Body Tattoos in general
Advantages: Personal, beautiful and an artform
Disadvantages: Be sure. Mistakes are there forever.
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.
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.
Summary: Becoming more acceptable all the time.