In our Why We Love Getting Tattoos Uncovering The Reasons Why People Get Inked post, I talked about some of the decisions and reasons that go into a tattoo on a general level. Since this site is born from my own passions, tattoos and dachshunds (and Disney but again, not licensed for that so sorry no Disney swag here), it only makes sense that I cover some of the ink that I've also got and maybe some of the stories behind it. We can start my tattoo journey with my very first tattoo.
Deciding When to Start My Journey
When it comes to tattoos, I've always had an interest in them. My tattoo journey could have started when I was 17. There were two issues that prevented me from making the leap into getting a tattoo, subject matter and money. Some people call it thrifty, but I'll have no problems admitting that I'm cheap. Purchasing a tattoo never seemed like a good investment to me so I never did it.
More importantly, I could never decide upon which tattoo to get. This thing will be on my body for the rest of my life so what should I get. What imagery would be I be ok with today, tomorrow, 20-30 years from now?
Both of these roadblocks prevented me from getting any ink early in my life. That all changed when I got through my practice wife and found my forever wife. My forever wife already had two tattoos and had an interest in getting more. At the age of 40, I decided to get my first tattoo with my wife.
Deciding What to Get as a Tattoo
This is a very important question because like I said before, this tattoo will be on your body for the rest of your life. My tattoo journey began with what you see as the featured image of this post. This tattoo is in the Polynesian style and is of a turtle or Honu. There are a number of different meanings for Honu. I focused on its "ability to always find its way home" because going through a divorce and getting remarried was just that, a return to "home".
I returned to who I was. In my previous marriage, I was more reserved and fell in line to what is expected and how "everyone" thinks you should behave. This was not me. I'm a little more outgoing and I like to joke a lot. I returned to all of this in my life and became happier. I returned to "me".
The funny thing about this tattoo is that the artist put the tattoo facing me. It's also in a place that I see all of the time so it reminds me to always be me.
Deciding Where to Get a Tattoo
I'm not talking where you should get the tattoo on your body. This is totally up to you! I will say that while tattoos are quite accepted, you should still be mindful of your planned employment and whether they are or will be acceptable if they are visible during work. I mean that you should focus more on the artist and shop that you plan to get the tattoo done in.
As noted in Why We Love Getting Tattoos Uncovering The Reasons Why People Get Inked post, you will want to research your artist.
Luckily, my daughter had done a ton of research on artists and found a great one in the area. While the artist was amazing, the shop was horrible. There's a certain "vibe" to a tattoo shop. I can't explain what it is but I really feel like everyone in a tattoo shop should be welcoming. They don't need to grab you a glass of bubbly and rub your feet but you expect a certain atmosphere. This shop had no vibe and everyone just did their work and collected their cash. Our artist was and is still amazing (he's moved to a different shop and we followed him there).
I highly recommend finding a good shop to make your tattoo session more enjoyable. For the past few years now, our tattoo sessions consist of booking the artist for the day and bringing him lunch. We hang out all day and make it more of a social and therapy session. Getting ink is very therapeutic and as you get to know your artist, it becomes quite social.
As I write this post, I'm now 45 and sitting at roughly 18 tattoos with a few sessions still scheduled for this year. I did get a few more Polynesian tattoos due to liking the style as well as having various reasons for getting them. These reasons are mostly linked to what the imagery means.
After getting my fourth Polynesian tattoo, I asked our artist to just create a phoenix and told him that he had my whole left arm. The results are amazing. I've now switched into getting tattoos as a way to appreciate good art on subjects I enjoy. I'm currently working on getting Disney tattoos on my entire left leg. The right leg is saved for Harry Potter.
Stay tuned as I continue my tattoo journey.
Many of our tattoo sessions involve getting matching tattoos with my wife. Keep an eye on social media and you'll get to some some of the other tattoos I've gotten.