There’s been a phenomena sweeping through our culture the past few years and, unlike clothing trends or hair colour, this one is a bit more of a commitment. Tattoos. And they are everywhere. With TV shows such as Miami Ink, LA Ink, My Tattoo Addiction and many others, tattoos have become romanticised and it’s actually becoming difficult to meet someone without a tattoo.
There’s a perfectly good explanation for this: they’re addictive and highly contagious. Once you get one, you can’t stop. You realise that the pain isn’t actually that bad and it’s totally worth it to see the art of the end product. So you start thinking of more and more things that you could get that would look amazing. Slowly the ideas start to get bigger and you’ve only got a certain amount of body space so before you know it, you’re covered. Also, once one person you’re friends with gets a tattoo, all the others will surely follow. Suddenly the “tattoo fever” has begun.
With something so permanent, a lot of people tend to get something that means a lot to them for their first one. Getting your first one is a big deal. I remember being so excited but so incredibly nervous. I was sat in the waiting area with shaking legs and sweaty palms. Adrenaline rushes through you as you worry about how badly it’s going to hurt and if you’re making the right decision because this sh*t is for life. Sure, there’s laser removal if you end up regretting one, but who wants to pay for multiple sittings of pain to get something removed when that money, time and pain can be going into getting another tattoo? Once I sat down and heard the tattoo gun start humming, I felt like I was in a dentist’s chair about to get a root canal. “Ready?” he asked me. “Sure,” was my unconvincing response. And the unbearable, hot, white, searing pain began. Jokes.
It was fine. It hurt, of course, as all tattoos do. But it’s an interesting kind of pain. The kind where you know needles are repeatedly drilling into your skin but you can’t take your eyes off of it because the tattoo artist is putting this awesome creation of art on your body. Once it’s over, I can guarantee you’ll already be thinking of your next one. Hell, you’ll probably have been thinking of your next one while that first one was still being done. I’m not kidding when I say they’re addicting.
I love going to get a tattoo. I love the rush and excitement I feel before I get one. I love the feeling of getting one done. I love the people in the shop. I love being able to go round and show everyone my new tattoo. The only annoying thing is the itchy stage when it’s healing and you can’t do anything about it unless you want to scratch off the ink.
If anyone ever asks me if I think they should get a tattoo done, I always jump up and down with excitement, “Yes! Yes! Yes! And I’ll go with you to watch!” I’m always quick to say yes but it’s obviously a big deal that you need to put some thought in to. There’s picking something that you can stand to look at for the rest of your life. If you’re getting it in a place that is constantly on display to the world, you might want to consider the repercussions career wise if that’s something that matters to you. You want to make sure you find a quality tattoo shop with quality tattoo artists that know what they’re doing. And afterwards, make sure you listen to the artist and take care of it properly or all that money you just spent and pain you just went through will be for naught. Even though they’re fun and something still looked at as a bit rebellious, they’re on you for life so you need to go about it the right way.
In the future I’m going to talk about finding those quality shops and artists, how employers and the older generation feel about our tattoos and I’ll also go around to interview some tattooists in the area to try and inform you as much as I can on the subject that our generation seems to be obsessed with.
This is the first instalment of a new blog by Dana called Think Ink – we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.