I have suddenly found myself with an addiction. A sweet, sweet nectar that I crave. It’s not alcohol (although it is great) or drugs (not my thing). No, I have fallen in love with being tattooed.
It’s amazing because I always wanted a tattoo when I was younger but I always created excuses for myself. What if I don’t like it? How much is it going to cost? These two questions kept me from doing something that I really wanted to do for years until one day I caved. I walked into a tattoo shop and got a small tattoo. The second that I got out of the chair, I knew I was hooked. I had tasted my inky heroin and I wanted more. A couple weeks later, I booked my next tattoo.
I’m going get this out early. I’m a bit of a poser. I only have two tattoos so I am far from an expert on the art. Regardless, we all have to start somewhere. I may have arrived a little late to the tattoo party but I’m here to stay now.
In writing this article, I opted to speak to several much more experienced aficionados of the art. I’ve added their thoughts to my own to create a more cogent point of view.
There is something so inherently powerful about getting a tattoo. For some, the tattoos they receive have meaning. It might be an important date, a name, or a vow. Something to be remembered, etched forever in their skin. For others, it can be an appreciation of the artistic form, the act of adding to themselves, to be a walking expression of the artist who so marked them.
Life is short. I see my body as temporary. One day, it will be ashes and I will be no more. The tattoos I have represent my attempts to make this earthly vessel my own, to personalize it for the limited time that I have here.
While I was getting my most recent tattoo, a demonic skull, when my artist (the talented Lee Robertson) humbled me when he thanked me for allowing him to tattoo me. I was already ecstatic with how my tattoo was turning out so his comment sent me aback. When I asked for clarification, he explained that he loves what he does and appreciates that people allow him to perform his art on them.
I thought about it and I realized that there is an implicit trust that the customer must have for the artist. The customer is trusting the artist to be safe, of course, but also to respect the customer’s body and perform their very best work with every single tattoo. It’s not like you can hope in the shower if you don’t like the tattoo you received.
I consider myself blessed to have had talented people tattoo me. For the rest of my life, I will carry a part of the talented artists who made me their canvas. Their art will live on in my flesh and it will go wherever I go. I love that.