This post was written for Tattooed Heroine Magazine – Thank you to Linzi Novotny for getting in touch and inspiring this. Click the link to find out more about Tattooed Heroine!
Tattoos, they are all the rage these days right?
But if I have learnt anything over the years it is that tattoos are a passion and not for fashion. It is a lifetime commitment and so you have to be very passionate about them to respect the permanence of them.
I have tattoos on me that make me cringe because I rushed to get them before thinking about the long term of it all. Before I even really understood the industry as it is today.
Yet I still smile when I see those tattoos because they mark my mistakes and therefore show how I have grown from them. Or just cover them up with something better!
As far as I am aware, I am the only member of my family, extended family included, who has a passion for Tattoos. Usually you see that people are influenced by their surroundings as they grow up.
Yet I quite unintentionally took a very different route than those I grew up next to. My decision to collect art on my body was never intended to shock or to show rebellion. I believe it is mostly because I am artistic myself and as a child I loved the thought of walking around with art on my body permanently, like a human canvas!
As a young women with quite a few large and visible tattoos I am approached fairly often by strangers to ask me about it. I find it is a great conversation starter, and I have met many like-minded individuals in the tattoo community, people you wouldn’t usually connect with, suddenly become a major part of your life just because of the pretty pictures you wear!
Of course I have come across some negativity and prejudice regarding my choice to wear ink. Those who feel that way I find are sadly misinformed about what tattoos can represent today. I can assure you that I am not a part of a criminal gang, have no intent on being unemployed nor do I hate my body and want to mutilate it. To the contrary, I want to decorate it with vibrant colour and beautiful stories, as a way for me to celebrate being alive!
We are built to make judgements on others these days based on what we immediately see, just look at the gossip and fashion magazines out there! They have shaped a lot of us to think that there is a right / wrong way to look. So I cannot blame others for making assumptions when they see me, I just try harder to prove that their first impression was wrong by being forgiving, accepting and kind in return to that judgement.
We shouldn’t character assassinate each other based on how we look.
You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
I love my tattoos, and most of all I adore the tattoo industry / community. When I stand amongst the tattooed nation, I look out and think that I am actually quite bare skinned in comparison! And those on the outside look in at me and think “Wow she is covered in tattoos!”
I respect that for some it is difficult to imagine committing to a tattoo for life. I always find just after I have had a new tattoo I have a mini freak out for the next 24 hours or so thinking “OMG, just a few hours of work and that is there for the rest of my days on this planet! My body has changed forever!”.
What you have to consider though is that our bodies change all the time. When we are young (in body), our surface skin cells regenerate so fast that within 2 – 3 weeks your body is technically brand new on the epidermal layer! So now you know this, imagine what it is like to see that your skin is regenerating in sensational “Technicolor”! For me it is fascinating, and incredibly beautiful.
I’m lucky that I am with a wonderful man who also adores body art.
When Dan and I first met he didn’t have a single tattoo. Yet he was the one who taught me all about the sensational art available out there, as he had already been passionately following and researching for his first tattoo for some time already.
2 months after we got together he got his first tattoo. Since then he has now over taken me and has some gorgeous work from well respected artists from all over the UK and even one from Florida!
Now we get tattooed together, stay up late at night, animatedly talking about the unique and mind blowing works of art we recently discovered and where we want to travel next to collect more!
There are so many other awesome parts to our relationship other than tattoos of course. We geek out over a lot of things like Doctor Who, Sherlock, Star Wars, old Vampire movies and have a shared passion for Lego and comic books! We love a lot of the same music, going to festivals, drinking wine, and snuggling up on the sofa to do a rock’n’roll crossword.
But tattoos is what started it all. I couldn’t imagine my life without my man or with bare skin now. I think bare skin is beautiful too mind you, but I personally love the contrast of a striking image and then the negative space around it to make it stand out.
Personally I don’t plan on having my whole body covered like some. I enjoy stand alone pieces of art that catch the eye.
Like street art, it is very important in how you choose the placement. It doesn’t matter if it is a political or a personal statement, with bad placement the art can lose context.
Although body art doesn’t have to mean anything profound, other than the sheer fact you like it is enough to make it work!
Thankfully, I adore mine! The good, the bad and the ugly.
It is OK if you don’t like it, or don’t understand why I do. Just forget what excites me and gush about the things you love.
Hating something wont change it, so lets just decide to accept we are all unique and celebrate those differences with an accepting smile!
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