Eternal Connectivity

By eternal connectivity in the tattoo relevance, I would be referring to the significance of matching tattoos. There is something so comforting about having the exact same piece as someone else who holds so much significance to you. Being that I actually have 3 matching tattoos with people (My mother and both my best friends) I feel as though we are connected even more so than usual due to them.

 

 

Though the popularity of them has risen, the underlying meanings of them are all different and unique which is why they are so appreciated. As you can tell I have 3 very different tattoos that are actually some of my most significant. Each tattoo tells a story in general but I feel as though when you have a matching one it doesn’t just tell a story, but an adventure of life. They tell a journey with the other person, the struggles, the good, the bad, the happy, the ugly, and the love you have for them.

There is something so special about having this unspoken bond with someone that lasts forever. All it takes is a glance down at your ink and a smile pops across your face because you think of how much that one person means to you and hopefully they do the same. The matching ones I do have I always looked down at and grin because I think of a memory about me and that person I have such a bond with. They are special and should be cherished.

Many hesitate when they consider getting similar tattoos. Now as I see it, family is forever, your friends may come and go but if you found the right ones, they will never leave, and well significant others…. that is where the caution should be raised due to the uncertainty of the future. It is all within your heart and if cherishing that special someone means getting a matching tattoo, then so be it.

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Is Your Shop Sanitary?

Nine times out of ten when a person goes to get a tattoo, they are looking for two things.

  1. Is the tattoo artist qualified and is their work clean looking?
  2. Cost- Is the tattoo of desire overpriced? Where is the best deal?

The issue in looking for the best deals is that many are not necessarily looking into the cleanliness of the shop and how business is run there. With having to be at an A inspection grade to keep as shop open, there are a variety of things to look at before setting up your next appointment. Below is a list of signs to look out for when choosing an appropriate and clean shop…

  1. Medical Equipment
    • The use of needles is an obvious idea when it comes to tattoos, but making sure your shop uses fresh ones for every single customer is essential to prevent any sort of cross-contamination and disease spreading.
    • Gauze, is the shop fully stocked? Do they use fresh and clean for every person? These are all things to look for even though it seems silly.
    • Cleaning supplies…green soap sound familiar? Maybe witch hazel? Always make sure your artist has a supply that is plentiful!
  2. Uncluttered
    • Look around and see that their workshops are free from any loose and unnecessary equipment that could cause distractions or contaminations
  3. Disposal
    • Looking and making sure that they are properly disposing of needles and contaminated napkins is always necessary
  4. Overall Upkeep of Shop
    • Take a peak around. Anything seem off? Leaks? Mold? Bugs? If you’re saying yes to any of these than it is more than evident that their inspection is either way out of date, or there is something else going on that you want no part of

It may seem silly to hesitate and look around the potential shop, but trust me it is worth it. The price may seem right, the artist may, but if the shop isn’t at top quality standards than start looking else where. Nothing is worse than putting your body in harms way for a tattoo and it may be an extra few weeks that you would have to wait…but that wait will be worth it.

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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.

White Ink…what about it?

There is a social stigma and craze about white ink tattoos. Though they are sophisticated and are easy to hide, there are many more concerning factors before you go out and get one.

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The first issue is that white ink is quite thick and is hard to work with. Having a thinner consistency in ink is what helps tattoos get done faster (advantage if you have an artist that charges at an hourly rate) and come out clean looking. There’s another issue, with wanting your tattoo to come out perfect with crisp and clean lines, it is exceedingly difficult to accomplish when using white ink because it is difficult for an artist to see what they are doing exactly while the skin starts to get irritated, swell, and bleed.

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As these photos (which are not mine and I do not credit them) seem to appear clean, if you look closely upon them you can see inconsistencies in the appearance of them. Line work tends to be much more shaky and patterns do not seem to match too well with one another. With this being said, many artists refuse to work with straight up white tattoos because the artist knows their capabilities and can tell you whether or not it would even appear to come out on the skin nicely. Also another factor is one’s own skin; fairer skin seems to not show white ink as well as skin that has more melanin in it. The issue at hand with more melanin would be using more and more of a thicker ink into the skin which can lead to scarring and permanent raising of the tattoo which no one really wants do they?