Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ten things about my tattoos

1. I got my first one in September 1990. It was done in Birmingham by a man who, apparently, is called Hagar. I nearly fainted. If not for hearing the Anthrax cover version of Joe Jackson's "Got the Time" on the radio, I probably would have.

2. My second one was in 1991. It's from a flyer for London S&M club The Torture Garden. I later discovered it was from a work of art by Allen Jones.

3. I had one more tattoo between 1991 and 1997. That one no longer exists. It is the only one so far that I have had covered up. I may have my second one covered at some point. I'm in two minds. I still like it, but it doesn't fit in with my ideas for my right arm.

4. Most of the tattoos that I've had done since 1998 feature Japanese imagery. This koi carp tattoo was my first large undertaking. It took four sittings to complete, between June 1998 and February '99. I have no record, but each sitting would have been at least two hours long; some probably three hours. The temple dog on my lower left arm is my Chinese horoscope sign.

5. I have one Adam Ant-inspired tattoo (my first) and one Manic Street Preachers-inspired tattoo (my fourth).

6. Wife and I had mirror-image tattoos of the same picture to celebrate our engagement.

7. I like words. I have eight words on my body and one word in Chinese characters. It's supposed to say "slave", but it could say chicken chow mein for all I know. (It's not Prince-inspired.)

8. I have a sacred heart on my left ribcage. Instead of a crown of thorns around it, it says Wife's name in graffiti script. The flames rise up through my armpit and almost to my elbow.

9. I have a Twin Towers tribute tattoo. It was done in May 2002, two months after I visited Ground Zero.

10. I didn't keep a record of the costs of my early tattoos. I started doing this only towards the end of 2000. Since then I have spent £1,150 (US$2,150) (not including tips) on getting tattooed. Given that two of my largest tattoos are not included in that figure, a more realistic estimated total is around £2,500+ ($4,700+) in almost 16 years. Although this sounds a lot, bear in mind that I don't smoke. The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the UK seems to be £5 ($9.40). Someone who smokes one pack a day will spend £1,825 ($3,425) on fags in one year.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Candy Minx said...

I like the stories behind the tats. And they are gorgeous. My boyfriend used to be a tattoo artist. We often watch the tat reality shows, one called Miami Ink is pretty good. someone got a koi tat last night. I am fascinated by your Adam Ant inspired one and the slave one.

31 May, 2006 17:22  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

money well spent!

31 May, 2006 21:01  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

I think its a very brave thing. Not only with the initial pain, but a commitment to a certain vibe.

you have a lot of guts!

(by the way, it does say chicken chow mein, I checked.)

01 June, 2006 00:22  
Blogger Elder Faery said...

I had my purple om tatoo in B'ham too at Mickey Sharpz..or whatever that shop was called. My first tatoo, however, was in Denmark, and on my inner wrist.

The other major one I had was, of course, on my back, got a good rate for it because I agreed to do it at all. Big crowd watching some artist indelibly printing it all, wierd thing about me not feeling the pain etc. Have had three kids at home with no pain killers...I dunno. This is the first time I've talked about my tattoos.. it's so personal I am not doing a very good job of it. ..Actually, I love my tattoos, and so do my kids.

01 June, 2006 01:14  
Blogger d34dpuppy said...

Actually, I love my tattoos, and so do my kids<---elder faery
wot abot tha kids?

hay its only ajoke dun hit meeeeeeeeeee

i think ur tats r awesome
ya candy i watch miami ink a lot

01 June, 2006 01:45  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Brrr. You sound scarey. I'm sure if I saw you on the street I would stare you out and bang into your shoulder to show I was not afraid.

Nice of you to visit.

01 June, 2006 04:02  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I really like your tattoos they're really cool, addictive eh? I've only got one but have been thinking about getting another one for a while but I'm scared I'll regret it - I love the one I've got now and always will as I thought about it a lot before I got it. It's a really big decision.

01 June, 2006 08:38  
Blogger Ranting Dullard said...

I am with act on this one. I like the idea of a tat. I am really impulsive and wouldnt want a crappy one.
Love the 'slave' one. Very good.

01 June, 2006 08:44  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

CM: Yeah, I watched a few eps of Miami Ink. Not bad, but not sure I like a couple of the guys... Interesting that your man used to be a tattooist.

FF: Ta!

WW: I knew it. I'm a main course...

EF: Hagar worked at Mickey Sharpz, which is where I went, too. I went with three friends, two of who were also going to get tattooed. When they saw my face they decided against it!

DP: Cheers.

TD: It's fun to look a wee bit scary but then to confound by not living up (or down) to the stereotype.

ACT and RD: Thanks. Regret is always possible, so plenty thought is necessary.

01 June, 2006 09:49  
Blogger Cynnie said...

My tattoos cost me a few beers and i think a blow job..( hey i was 17!)
To get rid of the crappy tat it cost me THOUSANDS of dollars and immense pain!!
( the Dr. wouldnt work for a blow job..stupid doctor)

01 June, 2006 15:37  
Anonymous * (asterisk) said...

Cynnie, you're a bad girl... And that doctor's very mean!

01 June, 2006 19:25  
Blogger Elder Faery said...

Jesus! A blow job for a tattoo? Somethings gone very very wrong here. :(

01 June, 2006 20:24  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

I just got my first tatoo a week ago. LOVE IT!

Wow... the armpit... bet that hurt.

02 June, 2006 03:34  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

EF: You know it!

Martha: Nice one! Pictures? I wussed out and used an anaesthetizing gel for the armpit. Even so, it can't be applied until the skin is broken, so you still get some pain. For me, though, the pain is part of the process, and I shan't get numbed-up again.

02 June, 2006 12:27  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

I so wish I had a picture for you, but I don't actually have a digital camera. If I get one taken at some point, I'll send it your way. I'm really excited about it... A roommate in college designed it for me, and I've been carrying it around for 6 years... it's about time, right?

02 June, 2006 22:21  
Blogger Minerva Jane said...

God these tats are beautiful. I especially like the flames... did you ever post a list of all the words (translated of course?)

11 August, 2006 14:14  

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