I have been debating how to tackle a tattoo post since I started this blog in January. Tattoos are incredibly interesting to me, the culture is so fascinating and the majority of Instagram accounts that I follow are tattoo artists.
Since this is a topic that I love to read about, especially personal blog posts and YouTube videos about people’s tattoos I decided to film a video alongside the post which you can find at the end of the post if you can’t be bothered to read all of this! It is a very lengthy post…
My first tattoo is no longer visible. When I was around 15/16 I got a ‘living room special’ in some guys house for a tenner, I loved my little coat hanger and I felt so badass having an underage tattoo. It was a long time ago but I don’t remember it being painful at all, 1/10 on the pain scale.
The second tattoo I got was the lyrics ‘I am watching the clock that’s ticking away my time’ from Just Tonight by The Pretty Reckless. I got it at Buzz Tattoos by a lovely guy called Greg the day after my 18th birthday. It nipped like a bitch, 7/10 on the pain scale.
I went back to Greg for five more of my tattoos, even my dad went to him for his first tattoo which was on his 50th birthday bucket list! The first of the five was the moon on my right forearm, then the seed of life/lotus on my sternum (so difficult to regulate your breathing when you’re being repeatedly stabbed by a tiny needle), the Disney logo on the back of my left ankle and then the mandala and heart that are on the back of my upper right arm. Forearm moon – 4/10 on the pain scale. Sternum seed of life – 9/10 and 10/10 on the uncomfortable scale. Back of ankle Disney logo – 5/10. Back of upper arm mandala and heart – 6/10 each (they’re right next to each other).
During a lunch break while I was at college a bunch of my friends all decided we wanted some kind of piercing or tattoo, so of course we went to the shed that is Body Art in Princes Quay in Hull! I got a clip art sun just above my elbow. It’s terrible and I will get it covered up but I love being reminded of those silly two years at Park Street College. 2/10 on the pain scale.
My favourite tattoos are by far the Alice in Wonderland hand poked masterpiece that Grace Neutral blessed upon my feet. The first sitting I had was at Doncaster Tattoo Jam, I was sat on a fold out table with my foot on a chair and poor Gracie was sat crossed legged on the floor! We did about an hour before it got uncomfortable for us both which covered Alice on my right foot and we arranged for me to travel to Good Times in London to carry on the session. My second sitting got some shading done in Alice’s hair and Dinah done on my right foot. The third and last sitting was adding three bread and butterflies ascending across my ankles and Absolem (the smoky caterpillar) sitting comfy on the side of my right ankle. Grace is an expensive artist but she is exactly that, an artist. She’s a magical pixie armed with a needle taped to a chopstick possessing otherworldly creative skills. It wasn’t necessarily painful, it just occasionally nipped a nerve in some places causing me to nearly kick Grace in the head (sorry Grace!), I’d give it a 4 or 5/10 on the pain scale. I would fully recommend researching into Grace’s work, lifestyle and career, she’s a very influential and interesting human being.
Link to Grace Neutral’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceneutral/
(Yes I scrolled back three years through my Instagram to take these screen shots)
Once I moved to Sunderland I needed to honour the big change with a tattoo, my friend Fran came for a visit and for years we had tried to find a design we both liked to get matching. We didn’t find one (we have since decided on something to be booked in the next few months) but we both wanted something that represented our spiritualism. I chose a unicursal hexagram which is used to evoke or banish planetary forces, on the inside of my upper right arm. Fran chose an Aum or Om, a Hindu symbol made up of three Sanskrit letters that create the sound that is considered to be the most powerful of all mantras. I don’t remember the name of the guy that tattooed us as it was a walk in appointment at Triple Six in Sunderland which doesn’t bother me ’cause there’s no chance I’d go back to be tattooed by him ever again. 4/10 on the pain scale.
Link to Triple Six’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/triplesixstudios/
The next tattoo I got was in Middlesborough, me and two of my friends got on the train and spent the day in Skins ‘n’ Needles tattoo studio. Myself and one of my friends had booked in with Paul Watson, I got a silhouette of Ariel from The Little Mermaid surrounded by a shell shape on the outside of my right arm near my shoulder. 5/10 on the pain scale.
Link to Paul Watson’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/watsonsith/
We returned to Middlesborough a few months later as my friend Carys booked to get a tattoo done by both Paul and his brother Daryl, one artist doing the border and the other doing the pattern inside. I had booked to get my back of the neck coat hanger covered up by Paul. It took about two hours and hurt a lot more than I thought it would as I usually sit quite well! 8/10 on the pain scale.
Link to Daryl Watson’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darylwatsontattoo/
I have since been back to Triple Six but been specifically to an artist called Stacey Green, I’ve had nine tattoos done by her and I will definitely be booking in more designs in with her over 2017/18 before I move back to Hull. I got two per booking and the first time I got a Chiara Bautista illustration that I love and a small heart reading ‘GRL PWR’ inside (that I urge all ladies, or men, who like tattoos to get!!!), both on my upper right arm amongst all of the others. The second time I got a crystal ball, also on my upper right arm and a rose on the back of my right ankle. The thiiiird time I went I got five done in one hour and a half session! A David Bowie tribute, a crossbones and a tooth both inspired by Bloody Mary Metal jewellery, ’13’ inside the heart I already had (done by Greg at Buzz in Hull) and the clipart sun covered up and turned into a pretty flower type pattern! I’d put all of them in the range of 4-7/10 on the pain scale.
Link to Stacey Green’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_staceygreen/
I have no final plan of how I want my body to look, I’ll always be open to changing my mind and although I’ve had some covered up, I don’t regret getting either of those tattoos. My only advice to those wanting their first tattoo is to make sure you choose the right artist, make it someone you trust and have thoroughly researched and AFTERCARE! Take care of your tattoo (ask your tattooist if you’re not sure how) and it will heal beautifully.
Aaaand if you couldn’t be arsed to read all of that; here’s the video!