Taking time with tattoos

Taking time with tattoos

If you’re going for a full sleeve design, it’s better to take three years getting it done bit by bit with a talented tattooist you save up for, then getting some squirley thing on your back just because you could afford it at the time and didn’t know what else to get.

Tattoos are something of a modern day phenomenon. Once reserved for criminals and undesirables, tattoos are now a part of mainstream society.. .well, as long as they are in keeping with the ‘artwork’ of Cheryl ‘eh pet!’ Cole et al! High profile fly on the wall shows such as Miami Ink with the awesome female tattoist icon Kat von D have helped lift the veil on the aenigma of the tattoo community and reveal the creative expertise and passion which (should) be an inherent part of the tattoo process.

Tattoos date back to the earlist years of mankind and were first practised by various tribes across far flung corners of the globe, usually to celebrate/mark rites of passage in the individual’s life.

In the modern western world tattoos are used to convey both asthetic purposes as well personal ones (such as marking the passing of a loved one). The average hourly rate for a tattoo is around 70 pounds and may vary depending on the style and detail of a selected design and also its placement (for example,a tattoo on one’s stomach may cost more as due to the natural breathing in and out motion it’s harder to work on this area).

Depending on the individual’s pain threshold, tattoos can range from being slightly uncomfortable to pretty god damn sore (I found my sleeve tattoo to be pretty naaasty in places.) IHowever, I like to try to put the pain in context. This will be on your body for life, forever. With this in mind, an hour or two of discomfort doesn’t seem nearly as bad. As soon as the needle stops ‘brrrring’ away, the pain subsides, then it’s a week or two of applying bepanthan cream (that’s right, the cream used for babies nappy rash – it works miracles on helping tattoos heal up)twice daily. Et voila, you’ve got yourself a unique, once-in-a-lifetime piece of living art.

Some people aren’t sure on what to pick for a tattoo, or where to go to get it done properly in the first place. As someone with numerous tattoos and some nine years’ experience working within the industry as a body piercer, I’d suggest settling on a design first above anything else, or at least a concept idea that a tattooist can help you evolve into a final piece.

Secondly,speak to friends that have had good tattoos done and check out were they’ve gone to get inked. Have a look online. As I noted in my previous piercing article, BMEZINE is a great site online that covers all aspects of body modification from both the customers and practitioners point of view. Resist peer/social pressure and stay true to your own likes and dislikes.


With something as permanant as a tattoo there’s no point cutting corners. My full colour sleeve tattoo took three ruddy years to complete and cost god knows how much, but was more than worth the wait. I look at it and feel totally happy with what I see. I’d NEVER want to change it. There will be no frantic trips to the lser removal clinic for moi!

As for celebs sneaking tattoo work onto their bodies like a rash, I’d like to suggest that with the exception of Kat Von D, their art work isn’t actually that impressive. There is a limitless array of designs out there for the taking. Don’t look to any one else for inspiration unless they’re genuine artists rather than celebrities. Go look for you!