Common Ground:Tattoos/body modification

I’ve been meaning to start one if these for a while. I know its been brought up a couple of times in other threads.

I’m probably as “nerdy” about tattoos as I am about tea.

I became fascinated with tattoos at a young age, around 11 or so. I had a few family members with a couple small tattoos, never really exposed to them. I started buying tattoo magazines as entertainment on the greyhound bus ride to my grandmother’s.

I got my first tattoo at 15 with my mom, since then we’ve been tattooed together another 3 times & have a matching tattoo. I’ve got matching tattoos with a few aunts & cousins & to matching ones with my little brother.

I’ve got 23 in total, many larger & highly visible ones, hands, knuckles, neck, arm, chest etc. And way too many plans with not enough space.

I still don’t have my tea related tattoo, but soon.
I wear my life in my skin, from heartache to happiness.

I also love every aspect of the body modification world. Although wouldn’t partake in most of it.

65 Replies

I also love tattoo’s :) My mum had tattoo’s whilst I was growing up so I became very used to them at an early age. I always wanted one but had a phobia of needles and anything sharp for many years and I never thought I would actually get one.

Aged 18 and quickly approaching my 19th birthday I got the feeling that I had been too adult and not daring enough, so I booked a tattoo on the spur of the moment after work one day. I thought about leaving my deposit as the day came but went in anyway and am glad that I did.

This was my first tattoo. (situated on my … bosom)

From then on I caught the bug and continued to collect them.

I have more but don’t want to spam people with pictures :)

I want a tea tattoo but just not sure what of exactly.

Dustin said

I like your first one! I have always been attracted to ankhs. I got to do scarification of one on a friend’s wrist a couple years ago!

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Dustin said

I have tattoos, piercings, branding, scarification and a mod. Every time I get a new tattoo my mother expresses some sort of disgust or disappointment, so that’s pretty cool that you can share that passion with your mom. As much as I love tattoos and mods, I’d have to say I’m more into piercings. I have worked in the piercing industry for over 15 years now as a piercer, instructor and for jewelry manufacturers.

I’m not sure I’m passionate enough about tea to get a tea tattoo, but now you have me wondering what I would get if I was.

I too am a piercer. Quite new to the industry, a year into piercing, nearly 2 into apprenticing.

I’m a piercer as well. Much newer to the industry. A year piercing & almost 2 years apprenticeing.

Dustin said

Cool! Well, welcome to the industry then! Are you going to APP this year? It’s a fantastic place to network, shop, take classes and learn more than you ever wanted to know about piercing. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it this year, but I hate to miss it because it’s the only time I get to see some of my piercer friends. It’s a bit like a family reunion for me.

I’ve thought about getting a teapot tattoo, but it just seems a little too precious.

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I have a tattoo that I used to love, now it could be on Tattoo Nightmares. I want to design something to cover it up, but I don’t know how to do it. It used to be the bird that is on the old Jamaican $2 bill. All the black lines were single needle; you could see every feather. The colors blended between shades of aqua, blue, and light green.

Well, that was 20 years ago, and it faded. So I went to some fly-by-night tattoo shop to ask them to recolor it. I just wanted them to go over it with the same colors. For some reason the guy said he couldn’t. I should have left right there. So he adds RED to the wings and puts random PURPLE crap all around it. My partner says it looks like a frog humping a butterfly. LOL

So I want to fix that somehow, and get another one TBD. Probably some kind of Pride tattoo.

Dustin said

You can go to a laser tattoo removal place and have it lightened enough to do more of a restoration than a cover up. Sadly, I have heard of several stories of going to get a tattoo touched up only to have the artist put his own interpretation on it instead of simply sharpening the art.

Anyanka said

Aw, I’m sorry. You could just embrace it, circle it with letters that say “FROGS N BUTTERFLIES FOREVER” or “FROGS AND BUGS- THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME”.

HAHAHA Anyanka, that’s a great idea! Put a big rainbow around it, there’s my Pride tattoo. Because you know, if gay people are allowed to get married, next thing you know, frogs and butterflies…

Anyanka said


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Dexter said

I too love and have tattoos. This is the upper part of my back.

I have a few other large pieces, and would love to get more but finances aren’t really allowing for it right now. LOL Tea is cheaper so I’m focusing on that at the moment.

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I’ve got a small Celtic knot on my foot and a large round Celtic mandala with a lotus in the center in between my shoulder blades. I will look about uploading pics! I designed them both. I’ve got the itch to get more done but I don’t currently have any new ones designed yet….

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Lynxiebrat said

I have 2 tattoos and would love to get more. On my right arm I have a Witch’s knot, (Associated with the 4 elements, water, fire, earth and air.) On my left is the Pisces symbol that originally I was going to get a circle around it, and colored with blues and greens, but have long since decided that I don’t like the tattoo anymore. The other I do still like, but am planning on putting it on a tattoo somewhere on my back, probably a sword, the knot would be at the hilt. I am a Pagan (Well been kind of lax about it for several years.) Been planning on doing some Spiritual work to see if there are any animal guides that want to work with me, if so getting tattoos of them to cover up the 2 I got.

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I love tattoos!! I have 7. I got my first one in my small Kansas hometown when I was 19. I didn’t know anything about getting tattoos, checking portfolios, etc. I ended up with a really crappy tattoo, but I loved it. After about 11 years I got tired of the abomination on my leg. I live in Kansas City now, and I took it to a much better artist to see if he could fix it. I’m SUPER HAPPY with the results!



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Dinosara said

Have one, want more! My tattoo is a simplified chameleon design that I did after my first trip to Madagascar. I actually got it the day I flew back into the US! I have definite plans for three others but have not gotten around to researching artists and such, and I keep moving which doesn’t help me find someone! I will get them done eventually.

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RiverTea said

I have to admit I never had a tattoo done because I was too afraid of the pain, still am. I have many images in mind and I would choose a small tattoo on my back, but I am still too coward to do it. Has any of you experienced this fear?

In my experience, you build the pain up so much in your mind that when they poke you with the needle for the first time you think “That’s it???” I have a piece on my lower back that took 3 separate sittings to complete. Toward the end of each sitting my nerves would be raw and THEN it hurt a bit. But if you just want a small tattoo on your back, that would take no more than a couple of hours you should be fine!

If you have Netflix, I would look up episodes of LA/Miami/NY Ink. You’ll see lots of first-timers react to the feeling. Plus, the stories that are shared about why they are getting certain tattoos are REALLY interesting!

No no no. Don’t look up any tattoo shows. The drama in those is so exagerated. Studios don’t actually run like that.

In general the pain from a tattoo is rather minimal. Except for areas like the ribs, feet, kidneys, chest. Which are more painful areas.

When getting new areas done (being as I have so many areas covered), I also picture the worst pain imaginable & then when the tattoo starts it’s never as bad as I imagined. Breathing & focusing on other things help. I am one of those strange ones who finds watching the tattoo be done & focusing on the pain helps.

Oh I agree, all the studio drama is for the ratings, but everything else like the stories are pretty moving and inspriational. At least to me.

Lynxiebrat said

LOL…I watch some of those shows, but for the art work, not the ridiculous drama. That is why I started off with both of my tattoos really small, (roughly about 2 inches each.) The 1st took 15 minutes, and the other took about 20.
So River, if this is definitely something you want, check out tattoo shops in your area, Click the link below (Or if you can’t, Google things you should look for in a tattoo shop. )look at the artwork chat with the artist(s) if your gut is telling you to get out of there…heed your gut. The artist should not be in anyway pushy. Even come back for a few visits.
It took me several years to get the nerve to get a tattoo, even though I wanted tattoos since I was 12. (Was 29 when I got my 1st.)
dopplergaydar, definitely inspirational, I get so choked up when someone wants a portrait done of someone they lost, relatives, children, pets. And alot of times other reasons people get their tattoos.

Dinosara said

I watched one of those shows the other night and a guy fell asleep while getting a tattoo done. It’s all about your pain tolerance!

I wasn’t really afraid of the pain, and for the most part it didn’t hurt all that much (mine is on my ankle). My artist was good in that basically he worked in small chunks, so that when there was a stretch of constant work just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore he would let up and wipe it down. Mine was small though and done in maybe 30 minutes.

I got my tat on my left hip. The pain wasn’t all that bad, I swear. Kindof like a gentle cat scratch, only more controlled. Or maybe when you have a really persistent itch, picture that level of scratch.
The thinner the skin where you tattoo, the more painful it will be. So my advice, for a first tat, would be to choose a fleshy body part. Not your ribs or chest etc.

RiverTea said

Wow, thanks! You are really helpful to cheer me up guys! I have to gather around my guts and do it eventually! Thanks so much for sharing your tattoo stories with me and for the film suggestions too! You rock!

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Dinosara said

This would probably be a good place to ask: does anyone have any experience with white elements in tattoos? I have a couple of birds that I want to get with large swaths of white on them; one is almost entirely white! I know there is white tattoo ink but I also thought heard that it can be somewhat iffy as far as large areas of white go.

I have a little bit of white detailing in the lotus on my back, but I’ve never seen large swaths of white to know how well it would perform. Sounds neat though :D

Dustin said

I knew a guy who had white tattooed on his face. I think he had an Irish background, so his skin was pretty pale and got pink when he heated up. The tattoo was pretty subtle most of the time but popped out a bit more when he was heated.
You can check out some white ink photos here…

White is used mainly as a highlights. A lot of people have white that discolours over time, it ends up turning yellow or brown.
Some places do all white tattoos. We don’t do them where I work, because they usually don’t hold up or change colour.

Dinosara said

Thanks guys. I figured as much, also that it’s probably something I’ll discuss with my artist when I find one. :)

I was watching an episode of Tattoo Nightmares, and there was this girl getting a tattoo who was quite pain-intolerant getting a lot of white on her tattoo. And the artist said something about white hurting a lot more than colors. I’m not quite sure about that, anyone else know anything about it?

A friend, who has alot of tats, tells me that because white is a colour that doesn’t show very well, they need to go deeper and over the same spot more than once. Ouch!!

White “hurts more” because it is the last colour to go in. So the area is already raw & sore.

BoxerMama said

I have white on my sleeve and I didn’t really notice any different. However I only have white and black.

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