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Following My Bliss

This is the story of my second tattoo, my beautiful ribs. I found Senses Fail early in high school. The vocalist, Buddy Nielson, has a tattoo on his chest that reads “Follow Your Bliss.” Normally I’d think nothing of this since most of the musicians I like are relatively covered in tattoos, but he references the quote in two different songs on separate albums. Most notably (for me anyway) is “Follow Your Bliss, it reads on my chest, I knew I got it tattooed for a reason, why can’t I just hold it true?” After hearing both songs, I looked ... read more

A Body Modificationand Bonding Weekend

For the longest time a friend of mine, Natalie, has been saying we should meet properly (we met on an online forum) and on a split second decision three weeks ago we set a date for a fun weekend. During those three weeks we decided we should get a tattoo to mark the occasion – just something small and a little random - a puzzle piece with rainbow colours “washing” through it. I got it all booked in with a local artist in my home town of Stamford called Adi Earl (of Earl's Tattoo Studio). Three days before Natalie was ... read more

Rib Tattoos Really Do Hurt!

I always wanted a tattoo, but never knew what to get one of. I could never think of something I would want on my body for the rest of my life, I obviously am very indecisive over permanent things. I figured I'd just go through life being one of those people that always played with piercings rather than tattoos, because those are the safer option if you happen to dislike them. This idea stuck for a while, until my dad unfortunately and unexpectedly passed away while he was living in Florida. This tore me up for quite sometime. I had ... read more

First and only tattoo - ribcage

I have been thinking about this tattoo for a long time. I am generally more of a piercing bod myself - enjoying the escape clause that is being able to remove them if you decide to go all fickle. Nevertheless, I had been obsessing about this tattoo for a while... Admittedly, not in its final incarnation. At first, I wanted text in the outline of a star, then I realised that it was not only daft, but totally impossible to get five different sized words into a shape that small. Secondly, I hadn't a clue where to put it. This ... read more

PULSE: my first tattoo

I cannot remember exactly how old I was when I first became interested in tattoos, but my first memory of interest places me as younger than four. I was taking a shower with my aunt Liz. She has a tattoo of a fish on her outer thigh. She told me then that sometimes when she takes a shower the fish swims all the way around her waist. After that I was hooked. I knew from a very young age that I wanted pictures on me too! I became interested in drawing and art increasingly throughout my teens. The internet was ... read more

First Inking

Like pretty much every person on this site, I've been interested in body modification since my (much older) cousin showed me her navel piercing when I was about six years old. That summer spent in London kicked off my obsession, and I always remembered her mentioning the area she had all her mods done. Of course, I was a little kid and didn't know anything about mods other than they were “pretty” and coming from a small town where cartilage piercings were considered odd made me think there was only one place with shops for body modification. In the summer ... read more

Tattoo / first

Our story begins, as these stories often do, with a young boy dreaming of becoming a pirate. Pirates have wooden legs, scurvy, eye-patches and monstrous tattoos filling their big, hairy, Caribbean-sun burnt arms. I guess you know where this story is heading already. Honestly I have no exact memory of when I encountered tattoos for the first time but I'm pretty sure it was through comic books rather than actual events from real life. I grew up in a pretty secluded village where the only ones with tattoos were the ones considered to be feared. Or maybe they just seemed ... read more

Beginning to figure out who I am ...

To understand who I am, one must understand how I was raised. I was born in the deep south, to parents with strong Southern Baptist parents. I was raised to believe that alcohol was the devil, only tramps got tattoos, and if you "shacked up", you would go straight to Hell. For the most part, I allowed myself to stay within the parameters of my upbringing. I got married at the age of 20, becuase my mother and I had a HUGE fight over telling my grandparents I planned to "shack up". Fortunately, my 31st birthday is in 3 days, ... read more

Truisms, amateurs and tattoo needles

When I had my Americanophilic period I became fascinated by the artist Jenny Holzer, and perhaps especially the story of how she one morning in 1982 let the big electronic light board in Times Square Manhattan advertise message like "Ambivalence can ruin your life", "Murder has its sexual side" and "Everything that's interesting is new ". I don’t know much more about the incident but it was enough for me. I loved the idea, truisms instead of advertising in an urban landscape, that she had chosen to work in such an artificial material, as light boards in New York - ... read more

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