Thursday, 5 December 2013

My First Tattoo - Experience

My tattoo is of a red heart with a yellow rose in the middle. I thought to myself: What is the most important thing to me, something so important that I couldn't imagine not passing on its importance on to my children, the thing that can solve all? It's LOVE. Aesthetically, I wanted something about the size of my palm (it's actually a bit bigger) and a lonely red heart didn't cut it... For its beauty, a rose was the best idea and for me and the yellow colour just makes me happy and positive. I wanted something feminine, beautiful and something that sparks joy

I always tell my daughter how much love she has in her heart, how important it is that she holds onto that and how it will allow her to make the best decisions always. This is a sort of visual representation of this lesson.


Preparation

I went to the best tattoo shop in my city, looked at the portfolios and felt confident they could make my design work. I made an appointment for consultation since what I wanted was a custom design. I told him my general idea when I took the appointment and at that point, I was thinking of getting either a heart with two flowers beside it or a heart with a flower inside it. 

I continued to think about it before the consultation and figured out that it would be a better design to have a flower inside the heart. When I arrived at the consultation, my tattoo artist had sketched a heart and flower and had come to the same conclusion I had about the design! He then told me it would be nice to have the flower a colour that would pop, and I already knew I wanted yellow - another sign that we were on the same page with this! From there, we discussed a couple details and made an appointment for the real deal - the ink! 

Getting tattooed

First step - looking at the final sketch
Second step - putting the stencil on; we got it the first try!
Third step - it's time to get stabbed by needles gazillions of times

More on that third step



He started with the outline and I hardly felt anything at all at first, especially on one side of the design. By the end of the outline, I was glad to be moving onto something else but it was plenty bearable. Phew! 

He then did a bit of black shading behind the flower and in the leaves, coloured in the leaves, did the burgondy red, then the brighter red. Then for the flower he did the orange shadows first, the yellow petals and then the turquoise highlights in the petals. 

The whole process was a bit more than 2h but the needle time was maybe 1h 45. It felt like less honestly and though I was very glad to be done at that point, I wasn't suffering so I'd say it was painful but not terribly painful - it was pretty easy to tolerate. 

I should mention that it kept bleeding during the process, my yellow was looking orange the whole time from the mix of blood, but it was like mini-drops seeping through the needle holes, it was never enough to form an actual full-sized drop. It was just enough to have me worried for a bit until the tattoo artist told me this is completely normal. 

Final Thoughts

It has only been a couple days so I have no post-tat care advice or any thoughts about living with this tattoo, but I can tell you what I learned along the way. 

1) Finding the tattoo artist: Get a tattoo artist you trust and has a good portfolio that excels in the style you want.  Don't make price your criteria for choosing an artist.

Finding out what you want: 

2) My tip is to start with *where* you'd want a tattoo. That might narrow down *what* you can get depending on the location you chose. 

3) Size. You don't want your tattoo to be a blob of something so if you want it to be small, keep in mind you cannot have much detail. If you want lots of detail, keep in mind you will need to get a bigger tattoo. 

4) There's nothing wrong with a tattoo that isn't personally or spiritually meaningful! Some people's first motivation is for the tattoo to have meaning, the second one being aesthetic. Some people's first motivation is adornment, with the second being meaning if at all. All of that is OK. You might want to figure out where you stand on it all. 

(I am personally a balance of both, I like the idea of very clear-cut words or dates or design that says explicitly what I want it to mean, like a "Mom" tattoo, children's names, a slogan I live by. But I also like a design like the one I got that subtly means something to me but is more about the look of it. Some people get elaborate designs where the number of petals on the flower means something, the colours used, the number of beads on the necklace, followed by cryptic initials that mean something only to the individual, etc... Well, that's not my style but I think it's great still!)

5) Decide what you want. When you're really sure, here's another tip which is the complete opposite of what others might say... If your friends and family's opinions are important to you, run your final idea by them. Your reaction to their reaction should either cement your idea or make you think it over a second time. If it's the latter, you'll know that if you decide on this design anyway you won't be disappointed in a bad reaction since you already know that they aren't fond of it. 

Don't get influenced by their reaction to early, "rough draft" versions of your ideas though because they'll be telling you their preferences at this point, but when they know you've chosen, they should be more careful with their reaction, which will be closer to what you'd get with a real tattoo. 

6) Dealing with pain: Relax your body and try not to tense up! Also I kept looking at stuff around me and focusing on noticing things, also talking, etc and time passed much faster. 

Do any of you have tattoos and if so, what of and how did you decide your design? Share anything, I'm super interested :) 



Thursday, 28 November 2013

It's happening!

I finally have an appointment to get tattooed. The consultation has happened and very very soon, the ink will be IN MY SKIN! :D

Here is the idea of my design. I just cropped a tattoo of a flower I saw online and drew around it. Let's just say it's a rough idea:

The flower should take up a bit more space that this in the heart and be facing forward not sideways, should be more vibrant than this and the tattoo artist suggested lavender accents (which is why I took this picture) but I'm not fully sold on the colour. There will be leaves probably but it will be more symmetrical than this. There will be different shades of red for the background going outward towards the heart.

I'm EXCITED! Wooh!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Written before my consultation appointment was made but not posted.

I want a tattoo more than ever but the indecisive side of my personality is keeping me from committing to a design. I'm kind of flip-flopping from one idea to another, not sure which should be my first tattoo and very unsure about placement.

Other than indecisiveness, this is the next leading cause of my virgin body.

My husband is against tattoos - hates them. It's a religious big deal for him so it's more than just not caring for them or not finding it attractive. As much as I want to respect him and not upset him, it's my body and my life. I respect his religious convictions and I don't stand in the way of them and I also do things a certain way out of respect for his religious beliefs when it's not something I have strong feelings about. For example, I don't wear tank tops out of the house and I don't generally drink any alcohol, and never with him. It's not a big deal for me. But having tattoos is something that is important to me and I came to the conclusion that it was my choice to make and that never considering it because of someone else's feelings about them, even if it's a close relation like my husband, would leave me feeling suffocated.

All of that to get to the point that I am trying to be subtle with my placement, choosing a place that my husband would not see much. Since he's my intimate partner, it's not the same as finding a place that is easily hidden from parents and workplace (like shoulder, back, thighs, tops of arms, hip, etc)... And my conclusion about placement is that the place he would pretty much never see or notice is my ankles or feet, or the back of my calf.

Tattoo appointment!

My consultation appointment is booked for an upcoming tattoo! She's pretty booked up so I'm meeting her on October 18th but this is a huge first step for me!

I'm not 100% set on my idea but I'm giving myelf until 2 weeks before the appointment to really make sure. I want a pink peony flower on the roundness of my shoulder (would be most visible from the front of me). I'm excited!! :D

When I decided that it was MY body to do with as I pleased and when I decided that I couldn't pick a spot for this tattoo that I wasn't even interested in, just to try to be more subtle because of my husband, I became more sure of it, more excited, more ME.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Is this a little bit Silly?

This is kind of silly, but it's fun. Here is a list of tattoos I can imagine myself having. Obviously tattooing is a gradual process and so many things influence what you want to get and what you end up getting, so this really is just for the fun of it - I don' think I will really end up with exactly these, but it'll be interesting to see which ideas stick and "make it".

It's also interesting as a planning tool to realize that some ideas might overlap and only one design can be tattooed on a particular body area and that it might clash with something else we plan to get nearby.


I see myself with:


- A portrait of my dog (deceased 5 years ago) on my left top, front thigh, in black and grey but with a coloured border/frame.

- Two peonies, one on each shoulder roundness, about the size of a small fist, pink.

- A phrase for my kids, or their names, with a small red love heart. On the inner top arm (would be readable if I'm doing a "flexing my bicep" pose)

- A bee with a love heart included in the design, not realistic, more symmetrical style (where?).

- Squares together to form a rectangle with some childhood game/TV memories like Mario Bros mushroom, Sailor Moon something, Aladdin something... Maybe on my right inner arm, same as my the phrase I described above but other arm.

- A mandala on my top middle back

- Mandala on my elbow area, or maybe mid-top lower arm

- Something incorporating Young Babe and Sweet Poe, nicknames for my kids.

- Heart locket with keys, right now the idea is on the back right calf

- Two triangles, one facing up, one facing down, at the back of my arm above the elbows, one on each arm (when my arms are rested and you're looking from the back, they are straight at you). The triangles would be empty I think, but would have something like flowers or swirls or clouds or bird silhouettes behind them so that they "pop".

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Societal Issues... Discrimination, Body Shaming and Slut Shaming

Some things have come up while I looked up tattoo ideas, read articles, watched video blogs, followed Facebook groups. I wanted to talk about some of those things here now.

First, the discrimination that people with visible tattoos can face...


When it comes to being heavily tattooed, I'm so happy that it has grown in acceptance because of the current popularity of tattoos. Most people do not wish to be heavily tattooed but now that so many people have at least one tattoo, and most people know and respect a person who has a tattoo, it's easier to see a heavily tattooed person the same way any other person. Discrimination still seems to be a huge problem in everyday treatment and employment prospects and I can't say how against this I am! I do NOT believe that tattoos fall into "dress code" category. They become a permanent part of a person. I agree to having boundaries of what an employer can refuse to accept, but I believe that in general, there should be rights protecting people with tattoos, including neck and hand tattoos, discreet facial tattoos, as long as the "content" is appropriate (hateful words, blood and gore, etc are not appropriate for any public job).

A tattooed person can work as well as a non-tattooed person and I believe that this is nothing else than fact. Doesn't everyone know of some regular-looking, super average person who just doesn't do the job very well? You have great workers and not-so-great workers and you'll find that they're hard to stereotype, even though we definitely do stereotype them. Let's make a conscious effort not to!

Next: Body shaming and slut shaming

Two other problems are body shaming and slut shaming. I put these together since they mostly affect women. This problem is MUCH MUCH larger than being related to tattoos, but I'll stick to the topic I intended for now.

Women with lower back tattoos, now known as the "tramp stamp"... I HATE THAT. You're no more a "tramp" because of the placement of a tattoo and no one should judge. I hear women referring to their lower back tattoos as tramp stamps and it's just sad to see that they feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and encourage this sexist crap. We don't have to sit there and take it, we are allowed to stand up and say that we got a lower back tattoo and we're not tramps because of it. I know most people say this phrase in a joking way, but it's not a joke. The more people say these things, the more ashamed we become. Now that lower back tattoos are referred to in this way most women stay away from lower back tattoos even if it's a perfectly good place for a tattoo. We don't want to be judge. And we shouldn't be.

Hopefully we can all grow a little and become more aware of these issues and our part of the problem, AND the solution.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Heart Locket and Key Tattoos

I'm considering getting a heart locket with 2 keys as a tattoo to represent my kids and my love for them. I would want a love heart tattoo no matter what - there's nothing more important in life than love! :) So for me this design is overall very appealing.

I want my first tattoo on my legs, preferably the back of the calf, maybe the side, or maybe my foot/feet. It's not my favourite place, but I want a place that will be easy to hide from my husband and hard to be "in his face" because he dislikes tattoos so much. Arms, my favourite place for tattoos, are out of the question for right now. I also think that I will be better at selecting what I want from a tattoo with time and I will be able to put that stuff on my arms later.

My ideas are a bit all over the place:

- Should the heart locket and keys be together as part of the same design, maybe kept together with a ribbon?
- Should the heart locket be on one leg and the keys on the other?
- Is the calf or foot really a good place to put this design?

Ideas for key personalisation:

- For my son's key, I like the idea of green and turquoise stars in the top of it, the same colour as his baby blankey.
- For my daughter's key, something extra feminine, maybe flowery. Maybe a heart. I tell her often that she needs to have love in her heart at all times and she really is such a loving person, it flows from her.

Here are some pictures I found online (please Google Image search it for more info, it's straight from Google searches) with what I think of them:


I think I like the flow of this, the placement of the keys as neat and "right", even if not symmetrical and perfect


I like the placement even though I won't get a tatto here yet. I think the key is not big enough. First, I want it to be noticeble, but also it's simply too small for the keyhole in the locket!


I love the little jewel up top, and the flowers around it, though I would prefer a better match for colours. The detailing is really nice inside and around the heart, I like it!


I like the pattern inside the locket, and I would want heart-like key shapes too. The initials are a nice touch, obviously these two keys represent someone, like what I want. I find it all too symmetrical though and it's too many knots for the ribbon. One on each initial and one each on the locket...


Monday, 10 June 2013

R.I.P Shannon Larratt



Some of you might not know who Shannon Larratt was. I didn't recognize the name until just recently but his work has had an affect on me. Shannon Larratt is the founder of BMEzine, a website that most people have at least visited. I sure did especially some years ago as a teenager. On BME I learned so much about body modifications and my love for body mods grew from this community. It was a balance of pictures, stories, information and a community "feel". I wouldn't consider myself a part of the community really, but I lurked and just through that I was able to open my view on body modification and self-expression.

Shannon Larratt died on March 15, 2013 of what seems like a suicide/self-inflicted euthanasia following a fight with a debilitating genetic disease... You can read his post-mortem post here:

http://www.zentastic.com/blog/2013/03/16/finita-la-commedia-3/

I wanted to bring attention to this part here:

But I do believe that there were fundamental shortcomings in the way both my condition and my pain was treated, and that the last few years could have been much more pleasant if the pain had been more aggressively managed. I believe this was in part because of the prejudice of multiple doctors due to my appearance causing them to stereotype me as drug seeking (and the simple reality is that it can be hard to tell, and we are so cruel as to prefer to “punish” the sick than to “reward” the mentally ill). I wish there was some way to make those doctors understand the cruelty they enacted.

It's heartbreaking to think that someone had to live in extreme pain, unable to get enough medication to alleviate their suffering, because of fear doctors have of giving a prescription to an addict. He also talks about "right to die" legislation:

It is my strong believe that if I had known that there was a “safe”, pain-free way for me to go at a time of my choosing, hopefully at home surrouded by love, it would have brought me not just enormous peace, but I believe would have given me strength to fight this even longer than I have.

I've always been 100% in favour of legalizing and having a good structure set up for people in situations of unbearable suffering who wish to end their lives. Why have them committ suicide when we have the power to help them "go" in a peaceful manner, it's inhumane as far as I'm concerned.

To conclude this post, my thoughts and prayers go to Shannon Larratt and his family and friends in what must still be a difficult time for them, and I thank him for what he has contributed.

Friday, 7 June 2013

What do I like?

What do I look for in a tattoo, aesthetically and for concept?

  • I like colour.
  • I like tattoos that look cool from up close, and ALSO look cool from further back even when you can't see every detail or even tell exactly what it is.
  • I like cute and feminine things.
  • I like meaningful tattoos.
  • I do not like long text.
  • I prefer not to tattoo names on my body, though I'd make an exception for my children. I chose the names afterall so I not only love them, but I find the names themselves beautiful!
  • I would not want to tattoo the image of a person on myself.
  • I like shapes and geometic patterns.
  • I like neat, crisp lines and shapes over more artsy representations.
  • I am more interested in arm and leg tattoos than back, shoulder, hip tattoos.
  • For a sleeve, I like the idea of smaller tattoos united with an interesting pattern more than a large scene-type tattoo.
  • The main themes that I am working with are: my kids, unity, balance, feminine energy, cuteness/makes-me-smile, my beloved dog

What I'm Learning Lately (x-posted)

x-posted from my other blog: http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.ca/2013/05/tattoos-again-what-im-learning.html


I like to learn from other people's experiences as much as possible and that's what I've been doing for many years when it comes to tattoos. I'm careful like that and tattoos are too permanent to jump into half-informed.

I've been learning a lot recently and wanted to share some tips and information I learned:

You need to check out this tumblr blog: http://critink.tumblr.com/




This blog shows you the difference between an awesome tattoo and one that is so-so. Read the "critiques" section and you will get a lot of tips about what makes a tattoo great vs. one that isn't. I was learning a bunch of this information overtime, but this site is like a compact guide to getting a great tat so I feel that it's important to metnion it.

Here are some things to keep in mind, I believe most points make an appearance on this site:

General:

1) Find the best artists that you can in the style you want. This will be on your body for a long long time, don't take it lightly. A great artist is a difference between a bad, good or amazing tattoo.



What to get:


1) Think about whether it's just a tatttoo trend or really something you want. You probably wouldn't want to have a tribal tattoo right now, but it was trendy at one point and everyone got them... Is your idea the next thing that will be the typical tattoo? Placement can also be a trend, like the lower back tattoo that has a bad reputation right now. I strongly disagree with the "tramp stamp" label on lower back tattoos for women but it's still something that women with these tattoos have to live with now.

2) Be culturally appropriate. Don't put all sorts of things you don't understand on your body.

Example 1: Kanji symbol or Arabic script. If you don't speak or read the language, WHY get this?! If you want something no one can understand except you, you might as well make up your own language and go for that. It'll have the same meaning without being tacky or potentially offensive. Well... it might be tacky.

Example 2: A person of another culture (a Native American woman, an Asian woman, etc?). It's kinda racist.

Example 3: Be careful with symbols that are not part of your culture. Do you fully understand them? Are they really part of who you are? Are you contributing to making this symbol lose its meaning? Are you "stealing" from a culture that is not your's, in particular a culture that has been historically oppressed?

3) Keep in mind that a drawing, painting, cartoon or other artwork will generally not look as good tattooed as it does in its own medium.

4) Script. Don't get Microsoft Word font. Make the script original and make it work with your body curves, etc. Let it be a work of art, not a piece of paper you printed in 2 seconds. And be careful with awkward spacing between the letters words and lines. Like having enough space for a whole other line of text between two lines of text. Or cutting the phrase at an awkward spot to put the other half on the next line...

Placement:

1) Keep in mind how visible it is. Wrist, ankles and foot tattoos are popular spots for first tattoos but very visible!

2) Do you think you'll want more tattoos later on? If yes, you need to think about this when planning your current tattoo. You might like a particular, single, tribal design but it might look like crap with something else you'd want in the future. You might want a black and grey half sleeve, but if you also like colour, think about how all this will look together. You don't want to look unbalanced and unplanned. This is you and how you will look like for a long time.

3) For a better overall look, make the tattoo "fit" the space it's in...

Example 1: Getting a really tiny tattoo smack dab in the middle of your foot is not as nice as one that fills the space better.

Example 2: A round tattoo on the shoulder area will look more attractive on the roundness of the shoulder than in the flatter crook towards the chest.

Example 3: Be mindful of possible future tattoos you might want to get in a spot before you put another tattoo there. A phrase on your bicep might be hard to incorporate in with other various tattoos you also want on your arm... And it risks always looking like an obvious first-tattoo in the area.

4) For script, keep in mind that people will try to read it if it's in a visible place (like your arm, forearm, back when you're wearing tank tops) and they might touch you and approach you. It'll probably get old quick so the recommendation is to not put a paragraph of script on your forearm (for example).

Welcome to my Tattoo Adventure

I've been interested in tattoos since I was 7. My friend's mom had a ring tattooed around her finger. This cute, feminine tattoo planted a seed and I knew then I'd get tattooed someday.

Fast forward to today... I'm 26 and I still have no tattoos.

I maintained my love for tattoos and body modifications as a child, teenager, young adult, until now but I haven't taken the plunge. There are experiences that you're more likely to regret not doing than to regret doing, but I don't think getting a bad tattoo is one of them! I'm a pretty indecisive person and generally cautious so I never managed to decide what I'd want permanently inked on my body.

More and more, I'm feeling ready. I feel like I know who I am and what I like and where I'm going in life. It's not a requirement for a tattoo or anything, but for a person like me it makes sense. I'm glad I waited because there are things I'm learning about tattoos that I didn't know before, there are things that the younger me would never have thought about that I now know.

That's where this blog comes in. This will document my journey towards getting my first tattoo and possibly others if I get there at a time when I still want to blog about it ;) I'll post design ideas I have, photos of tattoos that I saw and like, concept ideas, tips I learned and anything else tattoo-related that I feel like posting.

I have two other blogs for those of you who are interested found through my profile. First, my blog about my spiritual journey towards Islam which is currently stalled at "agnostic Muslim" and second my beauty blog where the newbie that I am discovers new makeup and skincare products and that kind of thing.