Buddha Buddha Buddha

So recently one of my friends dragged me on another adventure…adventure being another tattoo shop (what a shock!), not really but it is what it is. She wanted to bring someone who has had multiple experiences with getting tattoos and whether or not this life long investment…was actually worth it in the end.

She identifies with as a Buddhist and for that I have the upmost respect for her and her beliefs and rather than discuss the tattoo and how it was done, I want to talk about a life long commitment with tattoos.

Below are some pictures of the process for those who are interested…

I know every generation begins with the stereotypical, “you know you are going to have that for life right?” Yes obviously we know, but it was when my good friend asked me whether or not this was all worth it is when I started to question her decision, and rather mine as well.

Tattoos have become such a part of me and my life that I could not really imagine myself without them scattered all over me. But then again I began to think whether or not branding myself with designs and colors and blacks and whites was all for the best interest and if it had a good impact on my life.

I always worry about my future job opportunities and how companies and organizations will be turned off to hire someone who has ink on their arms, stretched earlobes, and a nose piercing. See the piercings I can change, the tattoos…well not so much.

Then I started to assess the meanings of some of my pieces and why I got what I have across me and for the most part I love all my tattoos….key words “most part”. Yes I have some on impulse that I will admit I regret but tattoos have been a part of my journey of life and what I have been through.

Do I have any real significant regrets? No. Like I said this ink that is on my body is here for a reason and tells a story of a time in my life that I can never re-live, but be reminded of every time I look down on either my arm or leg or behind my ear or any part of me at this point. The most significant words I said to many people was, “If you love who you are, the journey you have led, and think that this will benefit you personally in the long run…then do what you think is best for you.”

11th Month calls for the 11th Tattoo

As of yesterday, my best friends and I decided what a better way to celebrate Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season by no other than wasting our money on tattoos. As a back story I have two really close friends and since I have started the adventure, they have supported me and took me to shops, given me ideas, and came with me on some of my more recent tattoos.

Seeing as it was the first of the month we figured this was the best time financially to go into the shop and get a few small pieces to keep building up the art on our bodies. The go to shop was Electric Tattoos in Asbury, NJ where I have gone multiple times in the past and where 4 out of the 6 artists have tattooed me.

Because one of my friends was too eager for words about getting tattooed, we let her go first. Done by the artist Rich Heller, she got a few tiny bats around her ear because she was feeling, as she puts it, “spooOOOooky”, because of the season.

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Cute and small and honestly did not cost as much as others would believe. Rich priced it at $80.

I was second in line and mine was personal and had more meaning than the other two. Over the recent few years and growing up, I have always felt as though God was with me every step of the way through the good things and the bad things He was always watching out over me. Now I am not going to cause a religious debate here and I honestly respect anyways religious views on this Earth but personally I have a strong faith in God and what He has in store for me. My 11th tattoo was dedicated to my faith and a reminder of who is always watching over me.

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In the color purple, the meaning behind the symbols is, “God is Greater than the Highs and Lows.” My artist was no other than Rich Heller as well who has done now 4 of my tattoos. He has a steady and light hand with very clean line work.

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This is a picture of Rich Heller and I of Electric Tattoo in Asbury Park, NJ as he was getting ready to do my 11th.

Last up was my other friend who has such a fear of people touching her feet, yet she was so insistent on getting her foot tattooed she allowed the other artist on shift, Evan, to tattoo honey suckles.

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They were done beautifully and actually in very fast timing. Evan told us he learned how to tattoo in New Brunswick, NJ where it was always a busy area where tattoos needed to be done fast and well done.

Our tattoo adventure was very awesome seeing how my friends this far have supported me in my decision to travel and ink up my body. Their loyalty to me as well in getting themselves tattooed is always a blessing and every day is another adventure.

Stay tuned because there will be interviews with my artists and if you could not guess….another one at the end of the week!

Geometric Tattoos

Okay since I am bias and a human being I wanted to talk about how the appearance of geometric tattoos is so pleasing to the eye. Keeping the designs intricate or even simple but in all black give such depth and perception in the tattoos. I personally have a goal of geometric leg sleeve that though I have started, I only have 2 pieces done for it and will be getting another one in the next few weeks and trust me….I will be posting about it. I am traveling to Black Iris Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY for my next addition to the leg piece.

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I will be honest and tell you that they do cost more than the typical tattoo because of the radical designs and intricacies that need to be put in place. There is a need for artists that can work in straight, black lines. Let’s be real, no tattoo is ever perfect and if you think it will come out absolutely perfect…I hate to break it to you it won’t. But there are some artists near the New Jersey and New York  areas that come pretty close to it.

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The picture above is geometric work done by John O’Hara of Black Iris Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY. Now he is the next one I want to work on my leg because as you can see the lines are consistent and the designs are beautiful and almost match flawlessly with one another though they were done at different times. His specialization in geometric tattoos shows true talent and this is something the world of tattooing needs more of.

Tips on How to Not Annoy Your Tattoo Artist

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Alright, going to that tattoo shop especially for the first time is a nerve wrecking experience all in it’s own. Now many do not understand the etiquette that comes with going into the shop. As every business, the artists are professionals and this is where their career lies. So as a fellow lover of ink I comprised a list of ways not to annoy your artists.

  1. Please shower before hand. Tattooing is a very intimate where the artist is basically on top of you and do you really want to wreak up the entire shop because you did not feel like showering that day?
  2. Try your best not to move. Moving only interferes with the artist and nobody wants a random line going across them. Keeping still has its advantages and sometimes being a good client can actually reduce the cost of the tattoo especially an hourly rate artist. Without moving it gives the artists an ample amount of time to complete the tattoo without interruptions.
  3.  Friends. Bringing one maybe two is okay for emotional and moral support when getting tattooed, but bringing your mother, father, brother, sister, best friends, boyfriend/girlfriend is not cool at all. Overcrowding the shop does not only distract your artist but the others working in the shop as well. With constant talking and nagging on the artist, it will only piss them off in all honesty and making such an exciting experience disappointing.
  4. Try and keep quiet unless the artist asks you questions. Even though talking only requires mouth movement, there is still a risk of your body language changing as in shrugging or moving your hand and if your artist is on your arm for example, it puts more of a strain and need for concentration from the artist. Keeping quiet and still just helps so much.
  5. Do not take too many breaks. Now if you are going through a tattoo for 3+ hours then yes you need a break because of pain, swelling, a quick stretch or a cigarette. But a tattoo that should not take too long, do not ask for a break unless it is an emergency because news flash, you are not the only person in this world, and the artist does not have the time to spare so you can make multiple bathroom trips. They have other clients and other deadlines to make after your tattoo and prolonging will only cost more and irritate them.

Glow in the Dark Ink?

Alright I have had friends, coworkers, and even family ask about glow in the dark in and what it is and if it is even healthy to use. From research and speaking to multiple artists from around my area I have come to a conclusion that as of right now, glow in the dark ink is one of the most dangerous inks to use and would not suggest.

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Though it is visually pleasing, the formula that they use inside of these inks are mainly phosphorus which can be really dangerous to use on the skin due to the fact it is only activated in UV lighting. There is a concern in the community about developing skin cancer due to the ingredients are inside of the ink.

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After doing some research, I have actually found out that big time celebrities such as Lil Wayne, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan all have glow in the dark tattoos. Now as of a few years ago, this ink was not FDA approved which led to discussions about what it could do in the skin long term. As of recently though, there has been a formula made in which there is an absence of phosphorus but tattoo artists around my area in New Jersey have not recommended it because it has not been out too long and that they are still unsure of what effects it can cause.

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Disclaimer: the photos above are not mine and were taken from other photographers and some of this information was found from http://blog.tat2x.com/glow-in-the-dark-tattoos-the-pros-and-cons/ if you want more information on them.

Just A Few Days Later

So after just about 4 days after getting my elbow tattooed, which I must admit was an experience for me, I am well into the healing process. To disclaim, the healing process of tattoos is different for everyone and I am not justifying how it should be, but these are my experiences.

For the first few days I was in some minor pain that was just mainly irritation and some bruising that formed around the fine lines of the script of the tattoo. I am a big fan of constantly cleaning the affected area and especially since it is on my elbow that touches the dirty counters of where I work, keeping it clean is a big concern of mine.

To clean my tattoos, I have always preferred using a spray by the trademarked brand Bactin. It is a cleanser, pain relieving, and infection fighting spray that covers any affected areas and cleans them thoroughly. Spray the tattoo and its surrounding areas and with either a CLEAN wash cloth or even paper towel, gently pat the tattoo until mostly dry. After that comes the moisturizing process. Now if the tattoo becomes too dry and too brittle there is more of a risk of deforming the tattoo, losing some of the ink, and even infections (which I have had on my leg and let me say they are not fun at all). I prefer for the first few days after being tattooed, using a healing ointment named Aquaphor. Applying a thin layer every few hours seems to keep my tattoo from drying out completely which is a plus. The Bactin/Aquaphor duo that I use seems to really work for me and after the first couple of days I continue to clean with Bactin but substitute the ointment out for a regular lotion such as Lubiderm every so often to keep the moisture.

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This was the best close up picture I can get by myself of the tattoo where you can see that the redness for the most part has completely disappeared. I am still irritated in some ways especially when bending my arm back and forth. Looking at my arm towards the left there is definitely some swelling and the words are all individually raised which is very natural. Most of it has scabbed over completely which is a good sign of proper healing! I can not stress this enough, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE PICK AT YOUR SCABS! If you are to take a way any of the scabs that are on the tattoo you are prolonging the healing process and interrupting the natural flow of it.

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From another perspective of the tattoo (sorry not the best of quality) it is evident that I am going to need to get a touch up which is not a complete shock to me. Some of the lines appear to be shaky or even from just brushing up against my shirts of somethings at work so of my scabs partially came off. It also slightly appears that my skin could have rejected the ink as well. That is natural and happens to almost everyone depending on if your skin is sensitive, how heavy or light handed the artist was, and even the type of ink used. Looks like it might be another 2 weeks before I am completely healed and ready for touch ups.

All in all I am actual very happy with how easy this tattoo is healing. I am a typical person to take twice as long to heal apart from everyone else. I have fair and thin skin which makes my healing process much longer and usually much more painful unfortunately. Will keep updating and post a final healed picture in the future!

Welcome!

Welcome to Unsolicited Ink! My name is Julia and I have a serious passion and devotion to getting tattoos and being educated on the do’s and do not’s when it comes to getting tatted. Whether it be from what ink to use, maintenance and aftercare of your tattoos, what artist suits best for what person, to anything else that has to do with being a walking piece of art.

Personally I have 9 tattoos, though some are visible and some are not, I would like to share the significance of the few that I can and that have actual meanings behind them.

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These were my first two that led me into my severe love of ink. MCDXII was the first which stands for 1412. Growing up I lived in my mother’s childhood home which was 1412 on our street. Now growing up there was a dream come true with a happy family, friends, neighbors, a dog, the whole nine yards when it comes to your regular suburban living. Unfortunately, at the age of eleven my father left my family with nothing thus forcing us to lose not only my childhood home, but my mother’s as well. I had it tattooed on me because of the significance it holds to my past.

“new again.” is actually a song from one of my favorite artists, Taking Back Sunday. The song goes on about having a new beginning and become a new person that is worth living for. I proceeded to get it done in order to represent my future as I see my house number as my past yet my other wrist to be a new person and to carry on for the rest of my life.

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A few months after the first two were done I ended up in a severe car accident that changed my life forever. As my best friend and I were heading to get Christmas presents at the mall, my car spun out going 70 mph, we spun four times before flipping two and a half landing upside down on a guardrail. My friend walked out of the accident with one little cut as I suffered a bruised rib cage, sever concussion, and a lifetime of fear of driving. I was told that if we moved 3 more inches I would have for sure been announce D.O.A. and ever since then I have chosen to not take my life for granted. On the one year anniversary of the accident we got matching boat tattoos to represent the two of us continuing to sail through life and keep going on after almost losing it all.

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Now this one’s meaning is not too long, but as it goes is everyone from my hometown of Belmar, NJ always gets a tattoo dedicated to the beach and how growing up near the coast line is very different than what anyone can expect. Instead of getting a conventional seashell I decided to get a trident to represent my love for the sea.

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Now lastly out of the tattoos I am willing to share I have 3 glyph symbols across my other arms which are what dictate my life without being too blunt about it. In order they represent Create, Connect, and Protect. In my life I have created who I am and what I want to be, I connect with as many people as I can and is what I look forward to doing for the rest of my life and lastly I protect everything and everyone that I love from the horrors of the world.

From the few that I’ve shown, it is obvious that I went on the smaller scale for most of my tattoos. I am patiently waiting to continue filling in my body with more and more art work because sometimes the most destructive things are the most beautiful and that is exactly how I view tattoos. They are some of the worst pain and damage to the body but at the end of the day, after all of that pain leaves some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen and why not represent it on the canvas of my skin everyday!