It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s change things up and discuss a new topic…tattoos! Yes, I have several of them and definitely an admirer of the art form for many years now. The stereotypes that surround the whole culture are endless and seriously tiresome in this day and age. The one comment that repulses every tattooed individual is “what are they going to look like when you’re old?” Well, what are you going to look like when you’re old? Enough said!
My dabbling in tattoos started at the young age of 16. Legally you were required to be 18 or have parental consent but being a typical teenager, I knew the place to go that never bothered to check ID. What did I get? No surprise with my age at the time, it was two Chinese symbols on my right shoulder which mean Love & Spirit. The artist was barely done and I was planning on getting another. Number two was at 17, a butterfly with tribal on my lower back…not my pride and joy to say the least. One day years later, I saw a girl on the Jenny Jones show with the same piece on her arm and cringed instantly. From that point forward, my perception changed drastically…no more “Flash” art tattoos.
Onto my 3rd at 18, my pride & joy…the evil frog on my left foot. He was the most painful of them all as the top of your foot has the most nerve endings causing you to not be able to control your reflexes. My friend had to hold onto my leg the entire time and the artist shared that he had been kicked, puked on, and much worse but I was a trooper! This is the reason many artists refuse to tattoo feet with inexperienced clients, do you blame them? This is my only black & grey piece and he looks as good as the day it was done. I always joke that he is part of my French heritage as we are often called frogs.
After a 3-4 year hiatus, it was time to feed my addiction for more ink. I went into the shop planning on getting a small black tribal flower on my right ankle but left with a beautiful delicate vine with flowers. Unfortunately the artist did a terrible job and the entire piece cracked as it healed. I had to return for her to fix the whole tattoo and she even went off her on lines which really irked me to no end. Thankfully the mistake is minimal and no one notices. Sadly this tattoo has been compromised recently with a severe burn from laser hair removal, leaving two large holes in the design. Hopefully it will heal (it’s been 7 months now) so it can eventually be fixed.
A year later, it was time for my 5th and largest tattoo. I did some research and found a great artist to complete the vision perfectly. The cherry blossoms start on my right shoulder, surrounding my Chinese symbols while cascading down my side. It took 2:45 in total, my pain threshold broke at 2:15 which meant the last 30 min were brutal…torture almost! The artist was given free reign on the shading in red and orange, something he definitely knocked my socks off with the final product. Note to all, your ribs are another very sensitive area and not for the faint of heart.
With my growing collection of ink, I wanted to ensure any new pieces held personal meaning and not just a “tattoo”, definitely something I learned the hard way. My 6th tattoo was the moment I decided to wear my heart on my sleeve, a symbol of all the hardships endured growing up and most importantly, concurring them. One word that sums up years of turmoil, desperation and finding the “Strength” to overcome it all. The design was a collaboration with a close friend, done by the same artist who created the cherry blossoms.
It has been a few years now since my last tattoo but that does not mean I’m done, far from it! On the contrary, I’ve been planning this next piece all that time and actually looking forward to turning the big 3-0 in October as this is my birthday gift from my fiancee. It is a dream come true having Hannah Aitchison (known by most on LAInk) tattoo me, knowing she currently has a two year wait-list for any new clients. We’re flying to Chicago for a few days and making a trip of it. I will make sure to share all the details and photos afterwards.
I welcome everyone to post their tattoo photos on the Pin Up Persuasion Facebook fanpage and share their stories or inspirations.