“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”
– Johnny Depp
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Some History Stuff!
(There are also plenty of links to check out)
Tattoos aren’t for everyone, and not everyone who has a tattoo has a good one. Sometimes mistakes are made, and some times there are regrets. Some people who have tattoos are bad people, but most of the time, they are not only successful, but they have loving families and friends, and are all around great people and a helpful part of society. A lot of people who have tattoos, cover them. I bet that nice guy at the grocery store had a tattoo on his back that you couldn’t see.
Tattoos have been around a lot longer than the tattoo gun. People have been doing this for thousands of years, in many different places. There are all different types of tattoos, and ways they are put on the body. That means it’s not a “teenager” thing. In fact, it’s not new at all.
Around 45 million people in the US alone have got tattoos. That’s a lot of people.
So, before you judge someone with tattoos, remember that they are people too, and they are probably just like you.
I hope you’ll keep that in mind as you read this!
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My Tattoo Story
Growing up, I was led to believe that tattoos and piercings were bad, and that the people who had them were “low lifes who couldn’t amount to anything.” Despite my family’s belief, I was constantly intrigued by some of the beautiful images I saw on people’s skin. Some of the people I met with tattoos were successful with families, and were just all around good people. As I got older, I kept meeting more people who had tattoos, both beautiful and not so beautiful. The more I saw, the more I wanted to get my own.
In 2010 my friend and I went to Aloha Monkey (I’ve gotten all but one tattoo there, and have since moved to The Holy Mackerel and Tough Love) and I got my first two tattoos in the same day (which got me hooked!!). A fox, dedicated to my favorite animal, and a matching dragonfly (with the body of a dragon) with my friend. I love both of these tattoos because they are a page in my life story. However, the mistake I made with these tattoos is how they were executed, and I didn’t put a lot of planning into them. I got “<3.x.infinity” with my fox (which is hard to explain, other than it’s an inside thing with one of my best friends). I should have gotten it on its own, and in a different place. The same goes for my matching tattoo with my friend, we got each other’s initials. I would still have gotten them, but they shouldn’t have been put where they were. These mistakes can be fixed though, and eventually they will be.
Since then, I have gotten nine more tattoos(mostly small ones though), all with a story, and all important in some way. They are literally from my head to my toe (from behind my ears, down to one that’s on my foot and toe)! Most of my tattoos are from chapters in my life. Some of them are as simple as a tiny Woodstock from snoopy, and Gir from Invader Zim holding his pig. I have these two simply because I want my childhood to remain close to me.
But then there is Spud, my fish tattoo (yes, I named him!). For six months I looked at the drawing of this tiny fish, and tried to find a special place for him on my body. This tattoo and its meaning has become my favorite. I got it because I was born on March 15th, making me a Pisces, and because I love and respect the water; oceans, lakes, rivers, all of it. My boyfriend also has a koi fish tattoo for the same reasons (his birthday is two days after mine, on St. Patty’s day!). Eventually I will have a sleeve of under water animals and plants covering my right arm.
Then there is Louie my little lamb tattoo; he’s chasing a tiny butterfly behind my ear! He is a part of one of the illustrations in one of the bibles that was at a youth group I went to called Launch. I chose him because in the picture, there were many sheep crowded around a Shepard, and then there was Louie, off doing his own thing. That reminded me of myself. I’m not religious, in any way, but I find religion to be interesting. So, to show that I am not a follower and I am my own person, I got Louie.
I grew up surrounded by the Native American culture, both because I’m a small part of it, and because my grandmother loves it, and passed that love to me. My right leg will eventually become a tribute to many of the Native American cultures and stories that are slowly drifting away from today’s world. That’s going to be a long project though.
Last but not least, I thought I should mention the tattoo on my left arm that reads “Forget Regret” which is a reminder to myself that I should never regret anything! I got this one because I had just gotten out of a rough patch that is still, two years later, nagging at me. My best friend at the time got it with me because we were both coming into a new chapter in life, and we needed to write down what we went through so we would have those memories forever. Our inspiration was a song called The Cheap Bouquet by Pierce The Veil.
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Most of my best friends have got tattoos, and love them just as much as I do. My absolute best friend Steph and I have gone to the shop together quite a few times, and it is something we share in our hearts, and our skin. On friday the 13th (which is a lucky day in the tat world!) we both got tattoos with the number 13 in them; I got a butterfly and she got a little robot! She doesn’t have a tattoo dedicated to her yet, but I’ve got one in mind and I can’t wait to get it.
Not only is she the most beautiful person inside and out, but she has some of the most beautiful tattoos. From the owl that she has on her shoulder, and the dandelion on the back of her neck that is blowing away in the wind (and down her arm), to the lips on her side, and the flower on her foot!
Her tattoos are exciting, creative, and entirely her own style. It’s one of the many reasons that she’s my best friend! (Which there will be a blog about soon, just working on the draft!) ;)
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Is it Art?
Yes, it is. I believe tattoo artists are on a whole different level than other types of artists. Not only do they need superior drawing skills, but they must have patience and they have to work on some of the hardest material ever; skin. Skin is hard to work with, and on top of that, it’s attached to a person. People can feel pain, paper can’t. I also admire them for this because people wiggle, talk, breath, and take breaks. When you’re drawing on paper, or painting canvas, you finish each line on your own time, and YOU decide when to take a break, and when to come back; you work at your own pace. With people, you have to work around them, and I sure don’t have that kind of patience.
Having met many tattoo artists, I can say that a lot of them are amazing people, and I’ve become friends with many of them. The ones I’ve met are carefree, loving, and open-minded, wonderful people!
This world needs a few more open-minded people,
and more of their art!
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Thanks for reading! ♥
I hope you enjoyed the length. :P