Friday, April 3, 2009

Those Who Give Ink

Who are they? What are they like? If you listen to the most common labels, they are hardcore bikers or social deviants just as those who receive their work.

Contrary to popular belief, tattoo artists can be anyone; from a quite little girl to the loudest of boys. There is no physical, cultural or racial mold requirement to become an artist. However, within their practice, a good sense of business, skill, talent and ethics would be wise.

In any case, tattoo artists are people, average (so to speak) everyday people, who need to survive and thrive in their chosen career. This is a form of employment which encompasses a vast array of personalities; deal with it, if it didn’t there would be no such thing as creative individuality. You do know that the basis of great art (and who wants anything but) is imagination, vision and risk right? Whatever personal attributes he or she may have obviously contributes to their abilities so, why muck a good thing up?

Open your minds eye---real wide.

Those Who Get Ink

What type of a person am I because I have tattoos? What kind of people actually get tattoos anyway? Are we reckless, mean or crazy? Maybe we are social deviants; and maybe not.

I find it very interesting how there is a general label placed among those of us who have body art, of any kind. The reality is that there is no type, any color or gender rule either. Sure, we may be the kind of people who are more inclined to take risks, but that could be anybody if given the right circumstance.

Here’s a label for ya, NO, we are not all Bikers and what’s the deal with that anyway? I would love to be a biker, to own a bike (sport and/or cruiser) and go ride with the wind in my hair and feel free as a bird. What a rush and why are bikers considered to be so scary? Yes it is true that most bikers have tattoos, but not all do and while I am on the subject, they are not all thugs either!

Believe it or not we really are just about anyone you could imagine. We are your neighbor, co-worker and even your boss. And yes, we are the kind of people you want as your friend, we do have feelings, oh and morals too; really. That’s a shocker I know, breathe in a paper bag if you need too its okay no ones looking.

Free your mind.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tattoo Obstacles

To work in a line of business outside of the tattoo encompassing circle, may become complicated if you are tattooed.

Most employers have policies against the visual of body art and state so in their policy manuals.

Of course what can’t be seen can’t be used against you, so the only issue in this instance is that you must hide what you gained to see or have seen by others. It has long been a concern for those who tat, that we may not be accepted by all, and that’s okay. However, to say we can not work in a particular field or company, when we know we can because we are schooled and qualified, just because we have one is short sided, disappointing and a form of discrimination.

The great thing is that when you look around, you see that this old attitude is being confronted more and more everyday.

Some rules made to be broken, are better off that way.

Tattoo Opportunities

To work with tattoos one must have talent; talent in design, imagination and vision. The need for a college education is not a necessity, although it is beneficial in general; especially if you acquire a degree in business or marketing. Promotion of a portfolio of work, tattoo applications and potential opportunities is essential to grow the business. It’s a bragging right which should be acted upon. And although knowing how to draw, believe it or not, is not required, since most designs can be traced, the potential on going work opportunities without this ability will be limited.

Word of mouth and presentation are definitely great components for advancement, so being a very personable tattooist, whether one wants to or not, tends to attract a following.

A great tattoo artist can usually do it all.

Communication while being tatted is similar to a get together for updates on the goings on of life or gossip; at least it is for those who become regulars. There is always something to talk about, or a need for distraction, while sitting for any period of time obtaining a piece of art which causes aspects of minor yet at moments, irritating pain.

For newbie’s it’s just a nervous reaction!

Show you care.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I don’t think I can stress enough the topic of research before acquiring a tattoo. No one has all the answers and some have more than others so get a bit from here and there; just make sure you trust where the advice is coming from.

Misunderstanding concepts about tattooing have always existed and will continue to; just as in any line of work. Superstition and gossip is usually the cause for confusion and research on any possible misconceptions may help to alleviate this problem. Who knows, it may save you from making a big mistake and at the same time, you may find your worries were all for nothing. Better to be safe than sorry, always.

Some of the most common delusions involve health, equipment and designs. Go to a licensed establishment or artist with experience, and ask about their safety procedures in inking especially regarding their equipment. As far as designs go, anything is possible with a talented tattooist.

Themes, Designs and Styles

The symbolism and point of tattoos change depending on the culture in which they are given. The receipt of one may or may not have its own purpose as well. The understanding of a tattoos meaning may change significantly and knowing what you are receiving and why, should become a priority in order to avoid conflict or confusion.

There are multitudes of themes, designs and styles available or you could create your own. For most getting a tattoo is simply picking a design you like and getting it. The choosing of a tattoo artist is not always a major concern for some either, however, if you are serious in your venture of acquiring body ink, these choices will have an exact point to them and be of major importance.

Whether tattooing for fun or for purpose, the communication of your feeling of the piece of artwork you intend to adorn may be found through multiple avenues. Here are a few to consider:

Symbols and meanings
Man or Woman - Sentimentality
Child Identification
Outcasts, slaves, convicts and punishments
Decorations for bravery
Protection: talismans and amulets – magical
The Occult
Forensic aspects of tattoos

Monday, March 16, 2009

Religious Beliefs and Tattoos

Tattoo markings have an impact on every aspect of life; for some more so than others.

Individuals who ink for spiritual concerns may do so to show devotion or morality; it is a personal choice.

Religion is a touchy subject in this realm of ink, just as in any other. What ones beliefs may be, are not necessarily the same as another’s. People tend to take offense to what they are unfamiliar with or to what they do not believe in. The idea that we are all entitled to our own opinion and form of expression is subjective; always has been and may always be, as is our right to freedom of any sort.

Who draws the lines to right and wrong, and do we really care about these lines applied by others regarding those we place upon ourselves, literally? Should we? Does choosing to tattoo really need to provoke conflict or do humans just need to find a fight? Where's your spirit?

What we who ink dare to do, since we are able to, should be our choice anyhow.

Age old questions which are still aging...can't we all just get along?

Tattoos: Sexuality and Mentality

Tattooing in itself is often considered taboo; and in truth, the types of tattoos, design and placement, will help determine this factor if you are interested in knowing. As in all aspects of life, there may be more to something or some action taken than you know or for that matter, care to know so, doing some research would be wise.

For example, Tramp Stamps ever wonder who the hell thought of this label. Many women choose to get a tattoo on their lower back and are not what would be considered a tramp in its sexual context. Since, this label irks me so, I decided to look it up and as with most everything there are varying view in society and an altogether differing view in reality; a simplified version of the statement is that it objectifies an all too common chauvinistic and ignorant attitude.

Moving on, some tattoos are purposeful in their usage as sexual lures, marks of fertility or pledges of love. Others are acquired for sexual pleasure; genital piercing, both male and female, which has become what some may consider an extreme measure and yet it extremely popular; just ask around.

Stamp it up my fellow inkers, stamp with pride!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Response and Reality

Everyone feels differently about the idea of a tattoo in general, but how do you feel when you find there is so much more to it than meets the eye? What is your response to it and the person, who gets, has or wants one then?

Acquiring a tattoo is not necessarily a form of rebellion or retaliation of life itself as some choose to believe. This form of art is a medium of expression in which the options are many and expanding daily. For those of us who do tattoo, this reality brings joy in that the negative labels applied may be softened if not dissolved completely; that the positives of this form of artwork may be acknowledged, accepted and appreciated.

In life there will always be controversy in the discourse of this topic, because we as individuals are not all one in the same. However, the belief in the opportunity of change should not, no cannot be ignored.

Art and the love of it, lives strong.

Cosmetic Purposes

Every tattoo serves a purpose; most times it is a form of enjoyment and interest in art and design. The idea of the permanence in inking is welcome. Especially in the cases of individuals who desire a tattoo to cover up some area on their body which they may find unappealing, such as a birthmark or scar. However, some aspects of covering may be more of a cosmetic concern than others.
Breast Cancer and the physical wounds it may leave behind, is a prime example of a differentiating concern. While covering scars, either partially or completely may not at all times be possible, the option of a tattoo may in turn bring back to a woman the desire to look again into a mirror and smile again.

Tattoos are becoming more than art; they offer personal reassurance and signify hope. They provide women with an opportunity to rebuild self-esteem and love once again of their body. Through the beautification of their battle wounds, they may regain pride and strength in their survival and acceptance of life anew.

Alice Kuchar, my tattoo artist and friend, has been tattooing for over fourteen years and has gone out on her own to develop a small business of inking where she will also specialize in mastectomy cover ups. Her web page is in the works; the domain name is to be
Just something to keep in mind...

The love of self is essential.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cover up

Tattoos for removing the memory of…

Unlike laser treatments used to remove a mark, tattoos may be used to cover one up as I have mentioned in a prior post, So you have a tattoo, why did you get it?, sometimes that option works out better. This may not be the right avenue for everyone or every type of marking, but may be an avenue worth considering.

We all know that not all marks are a thing of beauty, but it may be said, that there is the possibility that they could be. With the right artist, artwork, and placement a tattoo may make an eyesore a thing of the past. Why live with something the makes you unhappy if you don’t want or have to? Remember, No Regrets.

Some forms of cosmetic surgery can become costly and not all tattoo cover ups need be. It is all within your reach, in choosing what design is right for your given situation.

Research every possible cover up opportunity!


Tattoos in memory of…

The times of tattoos being considered only taboo are fading. There may always be racist views of some sort with this form of art and otherwise, however, against all odds tattoos have come a long way.

For many, they have become a way to maintain an image, for life; a way to capture a thought or moment, like a photo, and wear it with pride. They provide a new outlet for capturing and displaying all forms of memories. The artwork possibilities are becoming endless. A great tattoo artist will be able to ink almost anything you would like, just about anywhere; all things considered.

For those who may choose to pay their respects, but would rather not have them displayed with permanence, a temporary route, which has a growing number of outlets as well, may be choosen.

Whatever the case may be, tattoos provide for many, an additional opportunity for maintaining a meaningful memory.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tattoos with a purpose

Tattoos are by no means only for the usual expectation of aesthetics. We know most times they have some personal reason and intention behind them, but they also may be a tag or label serving a specific purpose. Other aspects of tattoo usage are many, which on average are not thought of by most people, especially those who have formed opinions of them. We do know that in the past they had and most likely still today have unfortunate and demeaning purposes, such as a code or a symbol of disgrace.

Did you know that they may also be used as an alternative safety plan for security or health reasons? These types of tattoos have more than meaning, they provide necessary information to lets say, find a loved one, animal or human and possibly save a life.

While the purpose of inking may have multiple considerations good, bad, right or wrong, whatever the case may be the actual intention of these forms of tattoos is not without some meaning.

Every tattoo tells a story or serves a purpose. A mark of ink is everlasting, whether removed or not, its initial purpose leaves permanence in memory and in life.

Think about it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tattoo Effects

Many people who tattoo, choose to create a specific theme and others, well they don't. Whether it is an all over theme or just a random spot, who’s to know, it may just be an accident. I have found over the years, that while some people have themes that evolve, most others are intentional right from the start.

I happen to have an overall tattoo theme of nature and honestly, I didn’t begin with that intention in mind; it just happened that way. The design was of random creations I chose, which have progressively grown into a pattern. I had found myself acquiring similar types of patterns and after recognizing that, I realized it fit my life, so I just went with it.

My thematic design is one of my own abstract artistic ideas of a small garden. It consists of some of what you may find there on any given day, such as flowers and butterflies, etc., and also of what I imagine should belong in any garden; Fairies. Each of my tattoos is positioned in varying places over my body, not just in one spot; purposefully. I am by no means covered from head to toe, but do have some close to my head and toes!

What effect do your tattoos and themes have or create, and what affect do they have upon you and others who see them?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lines Drawn

Any body mark can cause one to think outside the box in which lines are limiting, only if you can’t see past them.

If you decide to acquire a tattoo, you have intent and a purpose in the end. Whether it be in the design itself or its placement, there is a choice. How about the affect these lines which you choose to put upon your body will have? Are they to be expected and is that acceptable?

Birthmarks, although being natural, many times cause a commotion of some sort, just as tattoos do. The attention people receive as a result of them may be of a positive or negative nature. They are an unrequested, both in appearance and placement, piece of what could be considered art. There is no choice in the matter.

Where do you draw the line of freedom of opportunity, choice and opinion? What about when you have no choice in drawing them, what then? The limits to what we can control should rightously be explored.

I say to each his own lines must be drawn.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

W!*# T%$ F&@%?

Sorry my fellow readers, but this one is a blast for the masses.

Don’t you ever just want to let loose on ignorance, but instead find yourself being way to kind?

What each individual does with their body should be their choice, right? So how come, we who have chosen to ink ourselves have to hear unprovoked backlash and snide remarks from people who don’t even take care of their own bodies? Here’s an example for you: cracked heels, all it takes is simple human hygiene people.

Got Lotion?

Who are these people anyway? Worry about yourselves because in the end, you are all you’ve got. Besides didn’t your mother tell you that, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?”

We who tattoo are basically happy people, so to those individuals, and you know who you are, if you can’t have a civil conversation with us then you should wait till you are a far enough distance away before speaking your filth. It’s just a confrontation waiting to happen, and usually we inked folk when provoked, can get mean.

Why judge what you don’t understand? Can you feel me on this people?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Are You Done Yet?

How many times have you heard that one? What about, "Is it true that once you get one you will keep getting more?" The amount of questions I have received over the about eighteen years since my first inking, is impossible to number. They are never ending, always expected and entertaining to this day depending on my mood, of course. Tattoos are definitely major conversation pieces and a good way to unintentionally start an issue with somebody who has a difference in opinion about the art in general!

The answer I have for everyone who asks the done yet question is and always will be, probably not. I can say that I normally tend to wait a bit in between getting each piece done, but then again, it’s a mood thing. Sometimes, it’s just gotta be done; there’s no exact explanation, it’s just an urge or need and it festers if it is ignored. Sounds crazy I suppose, but well, I’m okay with that.

I find that we who ink, seem to exist in are our own realm of society and I believe we all like it here. Care to join us?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tattoo With Pride

People, no regrets, there’s really no point to them. Tattoos should be for life, don’t get something you really don’t want to because you may decide a few years later that you should have waited till you were in your right mind first. Also, definitely don’t do something for someone else that changes who you are, if it is not what you truly want to do.

The rules of life were man made, make your own.

Figure it all out, what you want, who you are, where you are going with this choice and whether you can handle it before you take that step in getting inked. What you are left with should be admired by you especially, not regretted.

Tattoo removal will cost you in more ways than a hole in your wallet, it may leave you with pain and scars for life.

The voices will linger in your mind asking, “Why, what were you thinking?”

Repercussions folks, they can be unforgiving!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tattoo Stories

We all have stories to tell, don’t we? Of course we do, and I’d like to hear yours.

Every choice we make begins somewhere, and as I mentioned previously in So You Have a Tattoo, Why did you get it? I began my tattoo travels long ago on a whim. I knew I wanted one, but hadn't really researched the process, not to mention that I really didn't have the funds at the time, to get it done professionally. That was a mistake I learned from and corrected, when I was able to afford to, with pleasing results.

I was lucky, no damage done. I got a great cover up at a respected establishment, and have a beautiful, although hidden from plain sight, piece of body artwork; positive results received.

There are, however, those individuals who have not been so lucky and who must live out there lives with a tattoo gone bad story; a mistake made that may not necessarily have been their choosing. Then there are those who's story is one of, let's say, absence of knowledge in establishments or possibly lack of sense in a really bad tattoo choice.

It must be admitted that alot of those stories make for some interesting and memorable (for those of us not personally involved) conversation and laughs.

Ever heard the stories of a tattoo artist pissed off?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So You Have a Tattoo, Why did you get it?

How many times have you heard that type of question and noted the almost blank stare that usually accompanies it? The look is as if you have just morphed into some sort of ridiculously repulsive creature right in front of them.

I hear the question almost every time someone finds out that I have a tattoo. There is even more shock if I happen to mention I have more than one. To date I actually have a total of eighteen, though some are positioned to seem as if they are only one wrapped together. Most of them may be hidden depending on what I wear which, adds to the shock value.

When asked, do you get the vibe that there is a true factor of intrigue? Is it as if you just awakened a hidden curiosity they have about getting one of their own or that they have a profound dislike of the whole idea in general?

For those of us who have taken that great leap, explored and conquered the tattoo realm, we must smile either way.

If you've got it, flaunt it. Be proud.

I happened to get my first ‘real’ tattoo to cover a homemade bloched attempt by an ex of mine. What a disaster that was. All I can say is, thank you Troy, for helping me out with that one many moons ago.

What might your story be?