Tattoos: Think Before You Ink!
Don't be like me
I got my first tattoos when I was just 14 years old. No. I didn't go to a professional. And No. I didn't sit down and think about what kind of tattoo I could get and not regret having 10 years later. I just sat there and let my 13 year old friend Kelly go wild with a sewing needle and ink. She gave me a total of 9 tattoos on both arms, both legs and my belly. So today I sit here with 2 smiley faces, a broken heart, a whole heart, my nickname, 2 red X's, a circle and I-heart-u permanently inked into my skin.
Aren't I so friggin cool?
My Homemade Tattoos
smiley face on arm
broken heart on arm
circle and X on arm
heart & smiley face on leg
red X on leg
I heart u! on my leg (written sideways)
my nickname (CJ) on my arm
this used to be a smiley face on my belly
Getting A Homemade Tattoo
This is basically how Kelly did my tattoos. Except she wasn't smart enough to put the needle into an eraser. Instead she just wrapped a bunch of thread near the point so the needle could only go in so far. She also wasn't smart enough to draw the design first.
Once again. Aren't I so friggin cool?
Would you ever get a homemade tattoo?
My Professional Tattoos
When I was 19 (and 5 months pregnant) I had a coupon for some free fake tattoos from a small tattoo parlor. When I went there to get them, she was out. Instead she offered me a free real tattoo. So I chose to get a rose with my sons initials (WJM) on my upper arm. I thought she did ok but my Dad said it looked like she wrote ZIGM instead of WJM. And, Wow! I didn't realize how faded it was until I took this picture!
The next tattoo I had done was this peace sign and rose on my belly. It used to be a smiley face (thank you Kelly). I went to a tattoo shop just to get a circle drawn around it and get it filled in with color, but the tattoo artist said he could do something better. We picked this design because it could cover the old tattoo. It's been 7 years and I think it's held the color very well.
By the way, I had this done just 3 weeks after I had a baby. Because my skin was still so pliable and stretchy, it ended up being a very painful tattoo.
Five years ago I went back to the lady that did my first tattoo. I asked her to tattoo some butterflies on my back (yes, a tramp stamp!). It took her 3 hours to do it. I don't know how I managed to get through it without crying. When she was on my back bone it felt like she was just slicing through me with a hot knife. But I got through it and when it healed, I loved it. So I went back to thank her and guess what? She didn't like it! She said the colors were wrong and asked if she could go over it again, free of charge. I swear that second time hurt more than the first. And, yes. This time I cried.
This is my latest tattoo. It's a Leukemia Awareness Ribbon. In July of 2012, my best friends 12 year old son lost his 2 year battle with Leukemia. He was such a special person, I wanted to do something to honor him. So when a local tattoo parlor held a cancer awareness event, I decided to get this tattoo. What made it extra special was knowing that all the money raised went to a local cancer patient who was struggling to pay the enormous hospital bills.
Would you ever get a professional tattoo?
Spiritual Tattoos Gone Wrong
Three years ago, Johnny and I held our spiritual wedding ceremony. Part of that ceremony included getting matching tattoos. We spent the day with the minister/tattoo artist and she helped us design a tattoo that showed who we were as a couple. I love our tattoo! But I would love them even more if they actually matched!
As you can see, my tattoo turned out ok. Not great, but ok. She messed up some of the lines (look at the left side on the left hand) and there was supposed to be a lot more color (there's no color in the lightning on the bottom). But at least with my tattoo, you can tell that it's two hands with music notes, fire and lightning.
Johnny's tattoo is completely messed up. Take a look at the "hand" on the right. Yeah. Do you see the light bulb? I shouldn't have to say anything else, but I will. Compare the lightning on both tattoos. The positioning of it on each tattoo is close but they don't match. Plus Johnny's lightning is completely colored in. Now look at the flame in the middle. On my tattoo, it almost reaches the hand on the right. On Johnny's tattoo, it just kind of stops in the middle.
We plan on having another ceremony later on so we can get the tattoos fixed.
Where did I go wrong with my tattoos?
- I let a 14 year old nut job use me as an art project.
- I used purple ink as the major color in my first professional tattoo. Purple tends to fade the fastest.
- I got a tattoo when I was pregnant. Never get a tattoo when you're pregnant!
- I tattooed my belly right after giving birth. I can't tell you how much that hurt!
- Hey! There ain't nothing wrong with a tramp stamp!!
- We found out after the ceremony that the minister/tattoo artist was on drugs while she did our tattoos. Stupid minister.
My Advice To You
I'm not going to tell anyone not to get a tattoo. I think tattoos are a great way of expressing yourself. I'm even planning on getting a few more. I just want to tell you to be smart about it. Really think about it. Stop and ask yourself:
- Why do you want a tattoo?
- What do you want your tattoo to say to people?
- Are you going to be happy with it 20 years from now?
- Is this tattoo going to affect your job?
- Are you going to be embarrassed to show it to your kids?
- Will your tattoo affect future personal relationships?
Really take your time with it because this is permanent.
Alternatives To Permanent Tattoos
If you think you want a tattoo but you're not 100% sure, you still have some options.
Or you could get a henna tattoo. The great thing about henna is that it lasts for a couple weeks. That should give you enough time to decide if you want to make it permanent.
If you're still searching for that perfect tattoo, try one of these books filled with tattoo designs.
Photos and text; Â© 2011-2013 Catherine Taylor. All Rights Reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
So, what are your thoughts on tattoos? Do you have any or are you planning to get one? Do you have a tip you'd like to offer?
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