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Advice on Facial Tattoos

Several years ago I had a symbol which I designed tattooed below my right eye, one of many tattoos which I've designed and had done but by far it is the one that people notice the most. The tattoo experience itself was a good one and not very painful but more than that I want to write about the different experiences related to living with facial tattoos.

I remember the excitement leading up to getting my face tattooed as well as the anxiety involved with getting a tattoo that's going to be staring back at you in the mirror every morning, wanting it to be perfect and hoping it doesn't hurt like a sonofabitch. If you're contemplating getting a face tattoo in the same area I'm pleased to tell you that it is one of the least painful tattoos I have gotten so far. Still, the pain is relatively unimportant compared with the design chosen and its meaning, the abilities of the tattoo artist and of course the professionalism and cleanliness of the shop where you're going to get a face tattoo. The meaning of the piece is crucial and think about how you're going to explain it to people because you WILL get asked on a daily basis questions like: Did it hurt? What does it mean? Where is it from?  Although I realized this before I got the tattoo I'll be honest that some days I really don't feel like answering them. People can't help being

curious but I've noted that part of it is cultural too. When I visited Japan, nobody asked me about my tattoos unless we were already acquainted but here in the U.S. A. people don't consider it strange or rude to ask so it's not unusual to get questions and comments from the guy selling me movie tickets or the bus driver or the pizza delivery guy, etc. I find that the best way to deal with it is to come up with a concise explanation unless you're willing to tell everyone to fuck off which isn't very productive if you ask me. A lot of people worry about not being able to get jobs if you have tattoos that are visible in plain clothes especially neck, face or hand tattoos, all of which I have. While it's true that some jobs are more conservative about appearances than others, I haven't had trouble getting or keeping jobs and I don't believe tattoos are stigmatized nearly as much as they have been in the past. If you live in a place that looks down on tattoos and the people wear ing them then I recommend that you come down to California or anywhere where people realize it's the content of your character and not what's in the skin that counts. I believe that as long as you are hard working and self motivated you can get work done and make some cash doing it. Another aspect of face tattoos is that you have to be on the aftercare more than most tattoos. The skin on your face takes a beating from the sun every day and that fades the ink. The forms are still good but I've noticed the ink turns bluish more rapidly and to a slightly greater extent than tattoos I have elsewhere. A good non-greasy sunblock isn't a bad idea when you're going to be outdoors most of the day or a heavy duty zinc blocker would work well if you're going to go sailing or on a motorcycle trip through the desert. How do I feel about my face tattoo? Well I'm planning on expanding on it and getting it touched up now that it's had some wear from the sun so I'd say that I'm happy with it . For anyone thinking about it I very strongly recommend that you get it from an artist who's experienced and who you've gotten work from in the past so you know what kind of quality to expect and how well it's going to heal up. The last thing you want is a squiggly fucked up tattoo staring you in the face every time you brush your teeth. Only go to professionals and give yourself some time to think about the design, you might find details that you'd like to change about the design after having it in your head for a couple of weeks. Consult with your artist, get some feedback and when you've got it crystal clear then you're ready for the fun. When it comes to tattoos I say get as radical as you want to with it but do it consciously and with care, keep the ink pushin' and enjoy your new skin!

I'm currently working as an apprentice tattoo artist in Los Angeles at True Blue Tattoo off Hollywood Blvd. I can honestly say that the work coming out of there is of excellent quality so if you're in the area come visit for your next face tattoo or a consultation if you've got any questions. Thanks!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: James+Haun
Studio: Insane+Ink+Tattoo+Parlor
Location: Leesburg%2C+VA

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