Why Do I Get Tattoos?: A Tattoo Masterpost

Well hello there!

I know that since I've started this blog that I've posted a little bit about my tattoos, but recently I've been receiving a lot of questions about them. I typically get a lot of "what do they mean" and "would you remove one", but I want to cover every question I've ever gotten, or will get in the future, in one post. Frankly, it'll be easier for me to say "go read this post I wrote," but I'm mainly doing this for anyone who doesn't understand why I get tattoos and also for those that receive the same questions/criticism. 

I have always loved art. I am completely and utterly in love with and fascinated by art. My first real look at how art can become a permanent part of someone came from the popular show Miami Ink. Ami James was, and still is, such an amazing artist that I never really saw tattoos as an act of rebellion or "thug-like" but as a way for someone to express themselves. Tattoos were never scary to me and they have never made me think negatively of a person. I guess this is kind of where my "obsession" came from because I was constantly watching Ami and his fellow artists on TV, as well as those around me getting tattoos.

I have 7 tattoos as of today. In chronological order they are as follows: 16.02.07 with a heart on my right wrist, a heart with 19.01.40 on my left wrist, 3 dandelion fluffs behind my right ear, a feather with "ne regrette rien" on my left set of ribs, an outline of an artsy elephant on the inside of my left ankle, an extremely detailed Hamsa hand on my right forearm, and the words "be kind" on the inside of my left arm under my elbow.






I often get asked how I decide what to permanently embed into my skin, and honestly I don't know the complete answer. Typically I create an idea of what I want the tattoo to represent as my first step. I then either draw my own design, or scour the internet for something that I fall in love with and hand it over to my tattoo artist. This entire process takes close to 4 months, or even longer. To some that might seem very quick, and to some that might seem very long, but it's how long I take to generate the idea of permanence. From there I make an appointment, I see what my tattoo artist draws up and then get it.

For the pain aspect, I've chosen some typically painful spots. When I first searched up all about tattoos before my first one, I had seen that wrists were very painful spots. As someone who doesn't really like pain, or needles for that matter, I was beyond scared. To me, tattoos don't hurt. There are some spots that hurt for a little bit, but the majority of the pain comes afterwards. Explaining the feeling of getting a tattoo is basically impossible because it is what it is... tattoo pain. There's a bit of sting, there's a bit of a scratch feeling, and there's a lot of vibrating. But it's completely worth all of that feeling when the ink finally settles into your skin.

I discussed how I became interested in tattoos but I didn't really discuss as to why I get tattoos. I ultimately decided that I wanted to make these inanimate thoughts or memories apart of me. I wanted them to not only be in my mind but to be showcased on my skin. Another reason I decided to put these things into my skin permanently is because they express the words I don't say. I've been quite shy my entire life, a little less now though, and my tattoos speak for me. Without me having to say a word, I'd like to think that my tattoos show I am a loving, artistic, kind, and delicate person.

Each tattoo that I have has meaning to me. Some of them may not still be as relevant to me as I started getting tattoos at 17, but at one point in my life they have all had a meaning. Although I have heard from countless elders with tattoos that I will regret my choices, they are not me. I cannot predict the future, nor can anyone else, but I don't ever see myself hating my tattoos. They are a part of me not only physically, but they make up who I am. They remind me every single day of the person I want to be.

Excuse me, mom, if you're reading, you're not going to like this next bit so I'd advise you to stop reading. For all others interested in what I'm planning for my tattoo future, please keep on reading.

I used to say when I got my first tattoo that I would only get one. 7 tattoos later, I'm planning to get at least a half sleeve. Yes, you read that correctly, a sleeve. I say at least because I'm not quite sure if I'd actually get a full sleeve. It takes a lot of time and dedication, as well as money, to get a full sleeve, so I'd like to start with half of one. I'm choosing to do this sleeve on my right arm, as I already have a larger piece on it. But before I go and get a bunch of pieces to fill my arm, I'm going to plan out the entire arm first. I think that is a lot smarter of me to do, personally, just because I know how I can be. I know this is unappealing to some, and a lot of people in my family reading this will think "this girl is absolutely nuts" but I don't really care what other people think.

As popular as tattoos are right now, they're still a very taboo topic. I decided to talk about my experience and such only because I have been asked about them quite a bit within the last few weeks. I'm okay with answering any questions people may have about my tattoos because they are conversation starters and because I know people are still quite confused about them. It's okay to not like tattoos, and it's okay to not want any, but just be mindful as to what you say when it comes to criticizing someone's permanent artwork. It may mean more than you think!

If you ever have any questions about my tattoos or tattoos in general, I will do my best to answer them if you leave them in the comments below!

-MacKenzie


CONVERSATION

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