Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tattoo talk part 1

People are usually both surprised and not surprised when they find out that I don't have any tattoos. Surprised, for obvious reasons, but then they quickly justify it with "Well, knowing you, if you had a tattoo, we'd probably see it." Yeah, probably true. I've got nothing against tattoos. I've always wanted one. But I never could decide of what.

In high school, I wanted a NIN tattoo. Also a barcode at the back of my neck. Later I wanted a "cut here" neck tattoo. Then I decided that the centipede would be my "totem animal" and wanted a HUGE centipede over my entire body. Then I wanted a biomechanical sleeve.  Then a pentagram. Later I wanted the words "All we have to lose is our chains" on my chest, and my favorite quote "I am the cat who walks by himself and all places are alike to me." Then, before I left Chicago, I wanted the Chicago flag on my arm.

This is what I'd look like if I had every tattoo I wanted (AND if I was a lingerie model!):

I'm sure I'm missing something. Also, the upper part of my forearm has both stripes and the chicago flag... wanted both at one point. I still kinda like the centipede. 

When listed like that, all those tattoos seem pretty stupid, but they all had some Deep Profound meaning to me. NIN/"cut here" for teenage angst, barcode/biomechanical, "chains" quote for marxist cog-in-the-corporate-wheel reasons, the totem animal thing, etc. All these momentos for important times in my life....look kind of stupid, as Meaningful as they are. Seems the symbols for my life events don't work visually. Also, I also had the misfortune of liking trendy tattoos at the time that are out of style now. See: biomech tattoo and tribal, both popular in the 00s and 90s, respectively.

Everything that was meaningful to me then isn't meaningful to me now. Obviously it wasn't that meaningful to me then, since I didn't get any of these. In fact, I've always been a nihilist in thought and a formalist at work. So I don't really care about the things I care about, but I like functional things. Tattoos are neither (well except for the marxist ones I wanted to get...spreadin the word and all...and I guess the chicago one too... so people could see I'm from there...whatevs)

But they look cool. I like stuff that looks cool. I have plenty of meaningless, useless things that just looks cool. And I started meeting people with tattoos that just looked cool and had no meaning. One girl brought some window drape fabric to the tattoo artist and said "I want this on my arm as a sleeve" and, honestly, it's one of my favorite tattoos. no meaning.

Then I made a decision. I want a finger tattoo. of cool-looking, vaguely occult-looking designs. No meaning... just looks cool. Also, I wanted it on my fingers, cause, since i work at a computer all day, I'll always see them.

lol but no tattoo artist would do them. especially on someone with no tattoos. apparently, finger tattoos turn into smudgy prison tattoos soon after you get them. who knew?

stay tuned for tattoo talk, part 2: what kinds of tattoos I currently like and want to get (for real this time)

what is your tattoo aesthetic philosophy? meaning or no meaning? were there any tattoos you wanted but never got?


  1. I love the centipede! I kind of love house centipedes. I have a bunch of semi meaningless tattoos, I just love the look.

  2. I'm glad I didn't get half the tattoos I *thought* I wanted when I was younger. *Phew*
    My tattoos really don't have any meaning, they just make me smile :)
    I always suggest to not get something that is trendy in terms of a tattoo, like a tribal armband (very 90s), get something you'd enjoy.

    Also, hand tattoos shouldn't become smudgy prison tattoos after you get them=the artist isn't tattoo it right and/or it's not being carefully healed. Hand tattoos usually need a touch-up due to the nature of the skin and the location. ;)

    1. "My tattoos really don't have any meaning, they just make me smile :)".... and your tattoos look awesome. yeah, I ended up agreeing about the hand kind of makes sense. such an active location, always rubbing and all that... and now I'm whatever about those tattoos anyway. maybe a good idea they said no.

    2. I think most artist say no about hand/neck/face tattoos without having any other tattoos as the are considered "life ruiners". I'm NOT saying if you have any of these your life is ruined, but they are visible and thus can make getting a job/career difficult. My husband will not tattoo faces (ever) nor neck or hands unless they are a moderately covered person and/or old enough, in other word: no 18 year olds. It's hard to judge as it's your own life and body, but I had to think long and hard about even going below the shirt line.....

      Thank you for the compliment :)

  3. How come to tattoo artist would do finger tattoos??? What is this some kind of discrimination? Tons of people have finger tattoos and they looks fine. I am kind of shocked by this.

    I know I will never get a tattoo, because it would be either something I've drawn or a symbol that I like, but I know I would always criticize my own drawing or get tired of the same symbol. Also I kind of dislike tattoos, i guess I like those stuff on others rather than on myself.
    Can't wait for part two!

    1. hey, i'm not the only one without a tattoo! yeah, I tried to draw up some tattoo ideas myself, and I'm not an artist, so it sucked. also, I think I'm ok with admitting that I've got some terrible ideas for tattoos.

      well, the other thing the tattoo artists were saying was that they didn't want it on their conscience if the finger tattoos prevented me from getting a job/adversely affected my social situations. It's kind of not their business, but I could see why they were saying it-- it really had to do with the fact that I didn't have any tattoos yet.

  4. I don't have a tattoo because if I ever need to become a fugitive in the future, a tat would make it easier for positive identification.

  5. I've always wanted tattoos as well, I wanted a usb hub on the back of my neck, but...and a unicorn! :D
    Seriously, I have three designs I want to have on my bod for more, than 5 years, so I guess, they're kinda legit...I mean, it's not that something crazy just popped out of my head and I ink it on me forehead...:P

    The problem is - and always was - , that tattoos cost a lesser fortune and I always spent my money on something else - travelling, mostly and now it's simply the houshold and boring, parctical stuff...but one day I'm going to make up my mind and do it...! :D

  6. I have a couple of ideas in mind, for tattoos I want to get. I'm pretty sure I want to have the last line from The Great Gatsby tattooed on me. I also want to have something in remembrance of my mum, but I'm still not sure about what I'd actually want for that one :3