I’m currently in the middle of an ongoing tattoo project on my right leg. I definitely have more than one tattoo but this would definitely be considered only my second large-scale piece.
With the exception of one, all of my tattoos were done by the same artist. He was the first artist I ever had and I consider myself lucky that, right from the start, he was skilled, blunt, and professional enough to want to keep returning too.
Every time I’m at his new shop, I can’t help but think about how often I’m asked about my tattoos. How many do you have? Where do you get them done? Who is the artist?
And then, of course, the inevitable “what does it mean?”
Now, everyone has different reasons for getting tattooed – none of which are wrong. Some put a lot of deep thought into their tattoos, refusing to put anything on their body that doesn’t contain a massive significant and personal meaning. Others are more impulsive; able to walk into a tattoo shop on any given day and get a tattoo of any design they saw in front of them or ‘online somewhere’.
I consider myself somewhere in the middle of that scale. I began as someone who did put a lot of thought into what I would be putting on my body. I’d think long and hard about a design until I was one-hundred per cent certain that I could stomach having the tattoo on me for the rest of my days. I wanted no regrets.
I’m not as intense I was once was, though. Don’t get me wrong, they all still have a meaning. The thing that has changed is that maybe the meanings of my more recent tattoos aren’t as extreme as my earlier ones. I’ve become more light-hearted, I suppose. And I’m definitely less gun shy to pull the trigger when it comes to feeling that needle. These days, I can come up with an idea and get it on me the next day. Not as much toiling.
But like I said – all of my tattoos contain some kind of personal meaning and I get asked about them all the time. So I figured I’d shed some insight into my body of work (pun incredibly intended). I suppose I should start with the first.
I can’t remember exactly how old I was. Early 20-something. I was still living in the ‘burbs so I had to make the trek to Toronto for this one. It was, and still is, quite the tattoo. Right off the bat, the artist was glancing at me and asking if I was absolutely certain that this was what I wanted to do. Of course I wanted to do it! See, I picked both an interesting design (to say the least) and an interesting part of the body for this first tattoo that it still causes some tattoo aficionados to tilt their heads. Regardless, it still is, and probably always will be, my most meaningful tattoo – as tacky as some may consider it.
The tattoo itself is the logo of the Batman. Once my artist gave up trying to decide if I was either a virgin or absolutely retarded for wanting that he asked me where I’d like it to be placed. I told him that I wanted it across my chest – where it would fall if I was literally wearing the Batsuit. This also seemed to confuse the artist. He knew it was my first tattoo and therefore tried his best to deter me from going through with it. He tried to explain to me that the chest was considered one of the more painful places to receive a tattoo.
There was some back and forth at the counter but I remained steadfast. Like I mentioned earlier, back in the day I spent a lot of time making sure that I was absolutely certain of my ideas. I had been thinking about a Batman tattoo since I was 16-years-old. I knew exactly what I wanted. Next thing I knew, I was laying topless on a table getting a motorized needle dragged back and forth along my sternum.
So that was my first tattoo. It will always hold meaning for the simple fact that it was my first, but it’s so much more than that. It’s more than just a fan-boy tattoo – which is what it’s usually categorized as by others.
I actually don’t talk about these meanings much for some reason. Reading this post will be the first time for a lot of people that they hear what lies behind these markings.
We are all people. Super powers do not exist. Life is not always easy. People die. Parents die. Sometimes we feel alone. Sometimes we feel incapable of making a difference. But sometimes we’re able to raise ourselves up with whatever resources we can find. Sometimes we can do something great. We can change. We can overcome. We are powerless beings that are capable of mustering up the will to become anything. To change anything. A hero can be hiding inside all of us. We can be bold. Pride and greatness can be created; they can be a choice.
I get a lot of comments on this tattoo. I will never regret it. That’s the story of my first tattoo.