You might recall that I mentioned in this post the tattoos I currently have? Well, today I thought I'd go into a little more detail about each one. No real reason, I just thought it might be fun to share the history behind them with you, and it seemed in keeping with the body modification theme that's been going on around here lately!
Being the pedant that I am, I'm going to do this in chronological order...
So, first up:
This was my very first tattoo, which I had done in March 2009. It's also the most personal out of the three I've got. I'd been planning it for a year (I say planning, it was more a case of mentally psyching myself up as I knew from the get-go what I wanted). You probably can't tell all that well from the picture, but this is situated on the inside of my left forearm- about halfway up.
I'm well aware it's not the most expertly executed of tattoos (it's a little on the uneven side) but that doesn't bother me, as it's the sentiment behind it that matters more.
The Roman numerals read: 3.10.1916, which was my maternal Grandmother's date of birth. I never met her as, sadly, she died when my Mum was only 13. Despite never having known her, I've always felt a really strong bond between us. From stories and memories my Mum's recounted, it sounds as if I really took after her. Certainly she was rather quiet and reserved in public (but naturally comical I've been told), unlike my Mum and my Aunt who are both unmistakably extrovert.
Me, on the other hand? Well, like my Grandmother, I'm one of life's silent types. I'm chatty (to the point that it's sometimes difficult to shut me up!) with family and friends but, in public, it's a totally different matter. I prefer to observe and listen, and let others take the floor.
I always knew that, if I were to get a tattoo, it'd be something honouring her.
I chose her birth date and opted for Roman numerals because - to me, at least - they'd look more stylish than just getting the date inked onto my arm. Plus, as not everyone can easily identify Roman numerals, it feels special knowing that only I know what it means (unless I tell people when they ask, which I do).
Pain wise? Nothing like the pain I'd been building myself up for! It felt like a pin being dragged over the skin , or a bit like a prolonged cat scratch. On a scale of 1-10, Id say it was about a 3.
Right, next up we have:
I got this one a month after my first (I'd definitely caught the bug...), in around April 2009. It's pretty self explanatory really: it's a little red bow. It's located on the inside of my right wrist. I designed it myself (I know, Turner prize contender or what?*). There's no story behind it really, I just love bows and red is my all time favourite colour. Having said that, it is also kind of a nod to my Mum (ironically she hates tattoos with a passion) who used to sing a song called Scarlet Ribbons to me when I was little, to send me to sleep. She'd also sing it whenever I was ill, so it's a very comforting memory I associate with her.
This one was a number 6 on the pain scale. I'll be honest, it actually made my eyes water. This was mainly due to the fact it's in a very veiny location, and also that it was done using red ink. Red inks
are notorious for causing adverse reactions in some people. No one knows why this should be, or has
identified the reason behind it, but you can bet, if your tattoo plays up during the healing process,
it'll be down to the red pigmentation. Sure enough my bow was swollen and angry (it even came up in a very nasty bruise) for about a week afterwards. It eventually calmed down but it peeled enormously and I did lose a few spots of colour- although you can't actually
tell in the photo.
Moving swiftly on to:
I got my final tattoo (so far...) as a 27th birthday present to myself. So there was a whole year between the second and third ones. It's a simple line drawing of a swallow, and can be found on the inside of my left wrist.
I was inspired by the design and placement of Sienna Miller's Swallow tattoo, which
she got done in homage to Edie Sedgwick, who she played in Factory Girl. Edie - who was the one-time muse of Andy Warhol- is said to have drawn a swallow tattoo design (but didn't actually have one).
Before getting my tattoo, I researched a little to see if I could find a copy of Edie's original drawing. Lo and behold I did. Rather than go for a carbon copy of Ms. Miller's design, I thought it might be nicer to go with the original, as Edie was a bit of a style icon of mine anyway.
On the pain scale, this one was also a 3. Despite being on my wrist, like my bow, I barely batted an eyelid. This is the tattoo that, aesthetically speaking, I love the most. I get the most compliments on it, and it's definitely the best executed of the lot.
So. Them's be my inkings. As you all know, I hope to add to the collection in the not too distant future. Watch this space...