I Love My Tattoos
For as long as I can remember, I've always had a fascination with tattoos. I always knew I wanted them, and I knew I was going to get them. I didn't get my first one until I was 19, though... and I've now got 15, with plenty more planned for the future.
Tattoos aren't for everybody, but I think they are becoming more and more accepted in society as the popularity of getting inked grows. To me, tattoos aren't just there to look pretty. Each one that I have means something to me, or marks a point in my life. I'd never get a tattoo just because it looked cool.
In this lens I'm going to share some of my tattoos with you and give a little information on each of them. I'll keep it updated as more are added!
All photos credited to myself.
This was the first tattoo I ever got when I was 19 years old. I wanted it as close to the 10th anniversary of my grandad's death, since "You'll Never Walk Alone" was his funeral song. It's also the anthem of the football (soccer) club he supported, which I now support in his memory.
I didn't know any better at the time, with it being my first tattoo, but now I know that I was VERY overcharged for it. It still remains my most expensive, and probably the most poorly done tattoo that I have. There's also an apostrophe missing...
Eddie Guerrero Tribute
This tattoo is a tribute to one of my heroes growing up. I used to be a huge wrestling fan, and Eddie Guerrero is someone that I have always looked up to, because of the way he turned his life around and the struggles that he survived. "VIVA LA RAZA" is the catchphrase he was known for. Even though I'm not as into wrestling as I used to be anymore, it's not a tattoo I will ever regret, because the man made such a huge impact on my life. This is definitely one of the most painful tattoos I've had!
This was a spur of the moment tattoo that I decided I wanted to represent my favorite band - Avenged Sevenfold. The band name is abbreviated to A7X, and they were formed in 1999 (which is 6661 upside down, get it?)
Again, this isn't one of my best. I woke up that day and decided I wanted a tattoo THAT DAY. I went to an artist I didn't know and it wasn't really well done- the 7 wasn't crossed and one 6 was thicker than the rest. This picture is after it had been touched up by a different artist, to make it a little more acceptable.
This was my 21st birthday present to myself. It's another Avenged Sevenfold related tattoo - their logo, the Deathbat. My artist wanted to put a little twist on it since literally thousands of people have the Deathbat tattooed so he did it without a jaw. I love it. It's a cute little thing!
This is another wrestling-related tattoo. I used to attend shows put on by a UK company regularly, and one of my favorite wrestlers was Sterling James Keenan. He wasn't very well known outside of small circuits at the time, but I got to know him a little bit and hang out, and he soon became my number one.
He's from Pittsburgh and his logo was two crossed baseball bats with "ICHC", which stood for Iron City Hardcore. My tattoo artist decided to liven it up a bit, make it more 3D looking and add the background.
Sterling James Keenan is now competing in a WWE developmental territory under the name Corey Graves. It's great to see where he is now!
The Rev Tribute
On December 28th, 2009, the drummer of Avenged Sevenfold passed away unexpectedly. I got this tribute tattoo 3 days later. His name was Jimmy Sullivan, but his stage name, or nick name, was The Rev. The words that surround it are lyrics to one of the band's songs.
Originally I got the wrong birthday tattooed! Everywhere I looked... wikipedia, news reports etc, said that his birthday was February 10th, so that's what I got tattooed. A few weeks later, his parents released a statement and I found out his birthday was actually the 9th! I think my artist did a fantastic job of changing the 10 to an 09! I'm lucky!
I got this tattoo on my first trip to America. Along with a bunch of friends on my 23rd birthday, we all got matching tattoos. We'd traveled from all over to meet up and go to a couple of Avenged Sevenfold shows, so we all got this Avenged Sevenfold inspired tattoo. T.W.R stands for The Wild Ride... Which is the name of one of their songs, but also summed up our group as well.
This is another tattoo dedicated to The Rev. He had FICTION tattooed just like this, but down his chest and stomach. His reasoning was that if he was to tell his life story to people, they wouldn't believe him. He said his life was like fiction. That's something I can relate to, because I've had so many amazing experiences in my life that a lot of people probably wouldn't believe.
Will they ever be accepted?
Do you think tattoos will ever be fully accepted by society?
I got this tattoo a year to the day my Grandma passed away. I was very close to her, and the words "you are always near" are taken from a poem that was on the cards that were handed out at her funeral. The ribbon behind it represents the cancer that took her life. She suffered from Mesothelioma, which is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos.
My artist did a wonderful job with this one, and it turned out even better than I'd imagined when I went in with the idea. My family are not huge fans of tattoos, but they love this one.
I got this tattoo on one of my friends' birthdays. I'm lucky enough to be friends with a relatively famous musician who has given me a lot of wonderful experiences that I'd have never even dreamed of. This was my thank you to him for his birthday last year. The words are lyrics to one of the songs from his solo album that was released in 2005.
You'll have to tilt your head to one side and then the other to really see this one. Much like "The Rev" tattoo from earlier, this is a tribute to one of my heroes. As his nickname was "The Rev", the guitarist coined the term "foREVer", which has been used throughout the Avenged Sevenfold fan base since.
Reading from one side, the tattoo says "Jimmy", which was his first name... and reading the other, it says "forever". Now, I needed a way for the "REV" to stand out, so my artist shaded it in purple and from the top down, instead of the bottom up like the rest of the letters. It's definitely one of my favorite tattoos and I've had so many positive comments on it from other fans!
Mike Portnoy Autograph
Mike Portnoy is one of my favorite drummers, and I was lucky enough to meet him last June. I didn't have anything for him to sign, so I asked him to sign my arm. He then asked if I was going to get it tattooed, and since he asked, I couldn't say no! I couldn't shower properly for 3 days because I had to keep the original autograph on my skin to have it tattooed over!
Another tattoo attributed to Avenged Sevenfold. One of the guitarist's has this tattooed, but smaller, and a bunch of my friends do, too. It's something we'd all agreed on getting eventually and were going to get all together on a trip to Philadelphia, but we didn't have the time or the money. I got it a few weeks after I returned home to the UK, a little bigger than everyone else did!
This is my most recent addition. It's the logo for guitarist of Guns N' Roses and Sixx:A.M. - Dj ASHBA. He's such a huge inspiration to me and I'm so glad that I got him to see it on Facebook and approve of it! This was done a couple of months ago, and I already know what I'm getting next...