Monday, November 16, 2009

Why I'm Not Getting A Tattoo

{Squirrel Tattoo Concepts, 2009}
{Seashell and Floral Tattoo Concept, 2009}
It has been a long while that I have been contemplating getting a tattoo. So finally, I said to my husband one day, " I want a tattoo for my birthday". (Which happens to be today.) I have thought it over for months, to the point of waking up in the middle of the night to think of ideas. I had totally planned to have a smaller tattoo placed on my inner left wrist. The sketches above, are the concepts that I spent time working up. The squirrels would be significant because they were used as a motif for my wedding. I also included many different flowers on my designs that had special meaning to me. (Specifically Lily of the Valley which has a universal meaning of seeking happiness, and it reminds me of my Mom.) The seashell drawing would be significant to me as a reminder to keep working towards being able to live by the ocean and I can not think of one thing I love more than being near the sea and all the ecology that goes with it. ( I'm a total nerd, I know) So... after working out all these sketches and doing tons of research on local tattoo artists and tattoos in general, why am I not getting it done?

Here are a few reasons:

1. I am a major control freak. Its hard for me to imagine another human drawing on my skin. If they altered my drawing in any way, I would be disappointed. Human error, which is inevitable, would happen and then drive me C-R-A-Z-Y.
2. This is another control thing. All tattoos fade over time and feather around the edges. Yes, you can take really good care of them, but IT WILL HAPPEN. I'm a perfectionist, and the odds are, the minute one little dot of ink feathered or blurred, I would be annoyed.
3. Change. My tastes change like the wind. Yes, I will always love squirrels, seashells and flowers, but its bigger than that. At some point, I may not want to profess that love so openly.
4. Getting it for the wrong reason. As most artists, I am interested in things that look "cool". I like to follow trends and I really love the look of inner wrist tattoos. The only thing is, I am a little afraid it will become the next lower back tattoo... or tickle me Elmo... or those weird sunglasses that look impossible to see out of. You know, waaaay too overdone!
5. I don't want to be asked questions or groped by strangers... or casual acquaintances for that matter. I've seen it happen, probably done it before, and simply do not want to deal with it.
6. I have have made enough impulsive decisions in my life, and I finally found something that I explored and was interested in, but ultimately decided was not right for me. I love the culture surrounding tattoos, and the art is AMAZING if its done by the right artist. I think Kat Von D is wickedly cool, and I love her tattoos... on her.

Regardless of my decision, I still liked the little pieces of art that came from exploring this option. I know this is a long and slightly off topic blog post for me, but I feel that I made the correct decision for me and I want to encourage others to think things through before they make big decisions, no matter what the end decision.


Kyle said...

Kat Von D's a bitch.

Julie Becker's hotter and nicer:

Workhorse said...

A wise choice to not get your own artwork. I got my ribs tattooed right when I turned 19 - a huge ass coat of arms I drew for myself, which, looking back on it - I don't "regret", but do not like as much as my other tattoos I got from Sean Heath at mos eislys, which I love.

Being a control freak in tattoos really is the opposite of what getting work done is. I feel like, when I had a general idea - and let my tattoo artist just "do something awesome" ended up being the best. You do kind of have to let go to let another artist do something awesome, and you also have to TRUST that other human being as a professional and an artist. Once you get enough (like, sleeve status) you sort of don't have tattoos that always "mean" something - like, I have this big ass green japanese demon face with huge tusks, and I got it simply because I liked the artists artwork and wanted what he did best.

I'm sure you'll get the feeling to get some ink again, and if you do - go big or go gray! go for a bleeding pentagram on your throat.

AWells said...

Oh man, do I ever feel you on this!

I already pretty much hate everything I've drawn 5 minutes after completeing it, I couldn't imagine having something I designed on my body forever. I would pick it apart endlessly.

But if you ever do get a tattoo- I would suggest placing it in a spot where you can forget you have it, like hidden on your back or someplace, that way you arn't constantly staring at it and noting how much it has faded each year!

Jessica said...

Good choice. I have also been thinking about getting a tattoo, and I think it should be something you're 100% comfortable with. Some of the reasons you stated above are reasons I'll probably never end up settling on a tattoo. XD

princesstomato said...

Happy belated birthday, Candace!


ps, when i was your age I drew a tattoo design for my husband and we were all set to get it done. i am soooo glad we never did it! (we changed our minds for most of those very reasons you mentioned, and we are both GLAD of it!)

Candace Trew Camling said...

I changed my mind, I decided to GET a tattoo, but put it on my back so I can't stare at it as easily. I am also putting it in the artist's hands, as Mr Workhorse suggested. I have an appointment for December 15, and looking forward to it! I think I was mostly worried about the artist not executing my drawing, but I have picked a simple idea that will be easy to hide and shouldn't blur as badly as a super detailed design. I am such a crazy punk, but I REALLY have wanted one forevs!

sara b. said...

Thats my girl! ;) Why do you think mine is on my back?!?