Today, I watched my boyfriend get his sixth tattoo and it’s pretty hard to believe he is already on number six. I can remember his first ink to skin experience because it was only a few short weeks before we started dating, from that point on you could say he caught “Tattoo Fever”.
As a teenager, I didn’t have any desire to get a tattoo or for that fact, be in a relationship with someone who had them. And I’m not going to lie, I always questioned people with tattoos. Why would anyone want a permanent marker on their body? Not to mention I heard it hurt like hell. And I may have questioned their decision, but I didn’t put them in a category because they had a little ink on their skin.
I come from a small town and attended a small high school. My parents by no means were strict but they were definitely on the conservative side. The only “bad ass” thing I could do, was get my ear cartilage pierced and even my dad wasn’t totally on board with that.
Then I turned eighteen and headed to school. Yes, I rejoiced in sweet freedom as most young adults do, my parents didn’t have any reign over me anymore. But rebellion and freedom is not the reason why I decided to get my tattoo, which is what a lot of people think.
It was my first semester freshman year and of course me choosing an Augustinian College, I had to take a Christianity course. Long story short, I surprisingly enjoyed the class so much it inspired my first tattoo, then you could say I caught “Tattoo Fever”.
Oh, my dad was not a happy camper. My mom on the other hand was disappointed but accepted the fact, that it’s my body and I should be able to choose what goes on it. My dad eventually came around but I can’t blame the guy, I am his little girl and he was raised in a vastly different generation.
The world today is just different. It was different thirty years ago and it will be different thirty years from now. Some were born during war, the depression, huge hair days and advanced technological days. With each societal change, it’s inevitable that, the perception of one’s life is utterly different, because our world is different.
Now, It’s highly common to see someone of my generation with at least one tattoo. I have many friends that have a few and I even have a couple and I think it speaks volumes to the type of people we are and aspire to be. We are more than drawings on skin, we are more than colors beneath the surface, like a paint brush to a canvas our bodies are our canvas. We are walking art, each tattoo revealing a glimpse into someone’s personal life.
I would never ask anyone who is against tattoos to change their mind, that’s not fair. My own parents are still not on board with the tattoo boom. All I am asking is to accept that society has now made it acceptable. My tattoos are my story, not yours. They in no way affect your life but mine. There is nothing wrong with leaving your canvas blank but there is also nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve or both sleeves 🙂
I had a lot of time to reflect on my tattoo decisions because I was sitting in a chair for four and half hours, watching art happen before my eyes. I always envy how my boyfriend sits during sessions, he is a rock and I mean he barely moves. Then it came to me, to conduct a mini interview with him and ask about his tattoo journey because what a perfect setting do this in than a tattoo shop. And with that, this is Mark’s Inked Stated of Mind.
When did you get your first tattoo?
18th Birthday. I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was 16 and was counting down each day until it finally happened.
What is your first tattoo?
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. It’s my favorite painting of all time. The structural design and color choices are beautiful, who wouldn’t want that on their body?
What’s your favorite part about getting inked?
Not only do I love the rush of getting a new tattoo but I also love meeting new artists. The time and effort they put into a piece really reflects how much they love what they do. Their energy transpires through their art work and I am grateful to be a part of that.
Where are your tattoos located?
Pretty much on every limb, I have two on my left arm, one on my calf, one on my ankle, one that runs down my rib and my chest. Hard to believe but they are all fairly covered, for now.
What’s your favorite piece and why?
To be honest, I don’t have a favorite one yet. Each tattoo is different in its own way. I have some that hold deep meaning and others that are just fun to have. I don’t believe you need a “reason” to get tattooed. But the tattoo I am looking forward to most is my best friend’s portrait, that will for sure be my favorite.
What influenced you to get tattoos?
Well like I said, I had wanted a tattoo for a couple of years before I was legally able to. Getting one justified the right to my own body and nobody could tell me what to do with it.
Do you think people are more open or critical to tattoos?
It depends on who you are talking to but we’ve come a long way in regards to the tattoo industry and I can’t wait to see what the future for tattoos will be.
Is it actually addicting as they say?
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting their first tattoo?
If able to, print the picture or design of your tattoo and hang it on the wall, where it’s easily seen every day. It seems silly but keep it there for six months to a year. If you don’t get sick of it then go for it. If you do get sick of it, don’t get it, because you will be looking at it for the rest of your life.
Do you have any regrets?
If you could say anything to the “Anti-Tattoo Person” what would it be?
Don’t be so quick to judge. That tattoo could’ve been the very thing that saved someone’s life, you just never know. You should ask them about it, that’s one of the reasons it’s out in the open, we want to spark people’s curiosity, we are proud.
“I’d rather die for what I believe than live a life without meaning”