I am doing a project on tattooing for a Social Anthropology project which is coursework for my undergraduate degree in St Andrews, Scotland. I have a personal tattoo on my back which I got when I was 18 and suffering from depression, this tattoo provides me with encouragement and has been a source of inspiration – this is what has motivated me to research this area. Any help you can give me would be fantastic!
I was hoping you would be able to help me by (if you don’t mind) sending me a picture of you’re tattoo(s) and telling me your main motivations for 1. getting a tattoo in the first place, 2. the design of your tattoo (if there is a particular meaning behind it, or the inspiration etc), 3. the location of you’re tattoo.
I would also appreciate you telling me about you’re experience of the process, how did you relate to the tattoo artist, did he/she set you at ease, did you feel awkward etc anecdotes would be greatly appreciated!
Finally (!) it would also be great if you had any experiences that changed possibly as a result of your tattoo – did people relate differently to you either in a positive or negative way (tattoo possible starting point for conversation or causing someone to avoid conversation/interaction with you). How have you changed after getting a tattoo and do you think others view you differently as a result?
As much detail as possible and your stories y would be greatly appreciated and would feature in my anthropology project.
Hopefully I can help you dude. I’ve currently got 2 pieces, and I’m booking to start my half sleeve this afternoon. Pictures of the pieces I have can be found in my gallery, I tried uploading to the page but it just doesn’t play ball. My tattoos so far each have a meaning which is quite personal. So here we go
1st tattoo, sword, crest and quote
1) I’ve always been about looking after my family, and the quote I’d found fitted how I felt perfectly, the idea was to portray exactly how I feel/what I believe.
2) It took me about 3 designs to be happy with what I wanted. The image was the big problem, as well as where I put it. The sword and crest are from a video game, but I chose them more because they were the style I wanted then anything else.
3) Left side of my rib cage from mid-chest to hip bone
2nd tattoo, owl
1)This piece was 3 things at once really. Partly the associations with being wise, partly because owls mate for life and partly because they are seen as the ‘Angel of Death’ in some cultures, and the way they are seen is something I find particularly interested and quite believe in.
2)The design was mainly from my artist, I went in with a style and a basic reference image and a few colours and let him take it in his own direction.
3) It is on my right calf from the back of my knee to about 2/3 down my calf.
The process was very much the same for both. Once I’d spent a good few months on a concept and really being totally happy with it I went and spoke to an artist (there are 3 artists on the island where I live, 2 of which I really disklike their attitude and the other was highly reccomended by a friend) and he took my ideas on board, either deisnged them for me or tweaked my design to his taste and then booked me in. He offered any advice he could, about numbing cream on my ribs, eating before and was extremely helpful about aftercare.
After I’d had them done the reception was very mixed. A lot of people are extremely positive, even some (like my grandparents) who hate tattoos were impressed by the quality. However I have had encounters at work where individuals feel it’s stupid and immature because of the video game reference or I’m so young. But my rationale about it is that those who understand everything about what and why are supportive and encouraging, and those who mock or are discriminatory don’t understand or are just closed-minded.
Hopefully all that helps, and if anything to do with the process of getting my half sleeve is relevant I’m happy to offer anything I can
Thanks for replying, 🙂
Do you feel that the ‘tattoo’ world is predominantly male? I have not encountered, for example, any female tattoo artists. Also, girls/women I know who are tattooed tend to have easily hidden designs which are small and typically feminine – butterflies, flowers etc. Would you consider tattoo’s to fit with your idea of female beauty or not?
Thank you for your help!! 🙂
I would say that the tattoo world is probably fairly male dominated, yeah. I haven’t come across any female artists in real life but I know of several. As far as women with tattoos go my girlfriend has a quite decent sized piece on her wrist and just booked to have a quite big piece on her leg, both more effeminate designs but far from the cliche really girly tattoos. As for the beauty aspect it’s all personal perception in my mind. For me a few tattoos look nice, but there is a point where I feel they can detract from how attractive a girl is, it’s all your own feeling on it though.
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