Home > Tattoos
It’s by Matteo Pasqualin.
This is the photo album from his facebook page.
I’m getting my longest tattoo yet tomorrow, and I’d like to do as much as I can during the first sitting. My current limit has been 2.5 hours, where I only use distraction techniques like reading and breathing. I want to go like a pro tomorrow, though, so I consulted the internet.
This is an excellent post about coping with the pain of a long tattoo.
The simplest way to reach this relaxed state is to focus all thought upon one’s breathing, literally one single breath at a time, if needed. The brief pauses in the tattoo process, when the tattooer is dipping into his ink caps or cleaning her needle tips, provide frequent opportunities for taking a deep breath, releasing tension, and resetting one’s mental focus.
Imagine as you exhale air, that you’re releasing the uncomfortable sensation felt in that moment. Over and over again, in each passing moment, this technique can help remind you of your own strength and endurance.
He also mentions topical anaesthesia like Bactine products. I’ll ask my artist about it, though.
I got my first tattoo fourteen years ago and it no longer means anything to me. I at least chose something that, at the time, was meaningful and original, rather than just walking in, pointing at some flash and saying, ‘Gimme that dolphin!’
But I got it before I was a fully formed human being and it’s easy to cover up, so it’s getting covered this Thursday. I have all of my work done by Port City Tattoo in Wilmington, NC. Everyone who works there is incredibly nice and talented as hell. I’ve had work done by all three artists, Humphries, Justin, and Little Brian and have been thrilled by all of their work.
Little Brian did my husband’s tattoo of our dog:
Which is nothing if not incredible.
For my cover up, I took in reference pictures and told Humphries to have at it, as I know that whatever he does is going to be incredible. He said it could take up to six hours, which will make it the longest tattoo I’ve had yet. I know it’ll be two sittings, at least, because I think my limit is 2.5 hours. We’ll see, though. I’m going to take my Kindle, my DS and my iPod, which has a couple video games on to try to distract myself from the needle stabbing my delicate flesh. I’m also going to try to psyche myself up all week.
Wish me luck.
People get tattoos for all sorts of reasons. Personally, I don’t see the point in getting a tattoo in a language and/or alphabet you don’t read, but whatever your reason–there’s no excuse to have something misspelled (in case you live under a rock, Hanjismatter is a site full of these. It’s reverse Engrish .)
So here’s a resource . Plug your kanji in and it’ll tell you what it means.
A friend of mine who speaks Japanese put in a sentence and learned a new idiom: 死んだ子の年を数える, which means ‘to count the years (age) of a dead child’, which is equivalent to the English/American idiom ‘to cry over spilt milk’.
That’s pretty … wow. (I like it.)
I’ve recently re-discovered this awesome (ever-expanding) collection of science/geeky tattoos.
I love snakes and this is the most amazing snake tattoo I’ve ever seen:
From the site: An anonymous reader writes, “I am a computer programmer and amateur herpetologist. On my leg is Henry, a North Brazilian Boa constrictor — rare in captivity at the time. I brought him in for photos before we began, and again after it was completely healed. As you can see in this photo, his colors were altered in the tattoo to stand out better. It took 20 hours over the course of 14 months to complete and was done completely freehand. Each scale was drawn individually. This photo is so special, since he’s posed very much the way he came out on my leg, tongue and all. It’s not like I could give him instructions on what to do.”
Impressive work. That artist deserves major props.
Ah, the hypocrisy of modern Western culture. Individuality is supposedly highly valued, but only in ways sanctioned by that great arbiter of taste, the media. Truly independent people are terrifying, as they are unpredictable. Unpredictability requires considering where the other person is coming from rather than mentally filing that person away and being free to ignore all other opinions and actions.
Body modification is an excellent example of this. Plastic surgery is mainstream and acceptable (or at least tolerated), whereas jewellery and ink are outside the mainstream and therefore less acceptable (outside of certain groups). One group has “reality television” shows like Bridalplasty lending it value and the other group is considered to be drug addicts, misanthropes and kids trying to irritate their parents. Body modification is body modification. Silicon-based lifeforms do it in order to fit in and human pincushions do it to express their individuality (usually–more on this later).
Botox is comparable to piercing. Neither are permanent. The difference is that one involves injecting a deadly neurotoxin into your face, lending you slightly less expressive ability than an android; while the other involves having a piece of metal inserted through your flesh, making airport security that much more entertaining. (Breast implants can be added to this list, as they can be undone, as well.) Except a person getting a piercing doesn’t run the risk of dying under anaesthetic. (Is there a worse way to go? Your accomplishments will be overshadowed by the fact that you died for vanity; your inability to be interesting on your own was your downfall.)
Other forms of plastic surgery are comparable to tattoos in that they’re permanent and carry the possibility of looking ridiculous in later age. The difference is that most tattoos can be hidden, but plastic surgery is, on the whole, done with the view to being noticed. My hypothesis is that people who spend that much money on something want to be sure everyone else knows. It’s why some of the most expensive items are also the biggest eyesores. They scream, ‘Lookit meeeee! I have more money than you and, thusly, are better than you!’ Because acquiring lorry loads of money can make those possessing neither talent nor originality feel superior to those with the temerity not to sell out. Of course, some people with both creativity and vision are allowed to cash in, but, more typically, it’s the result of catering to the lowest common denominator with callous manipulation of the unthinking masses thrown in for good measure.
Perhaps a person has a small surgery to correct a minor problem, a deviated septum, for example. Then they have a few more procedures–it’s understandble that a person can get addicted to plastic surgery. Realising that your body is endlessly customisable is quite the revelation. I don’t understand younger people getting plastic surgery before their bodies have finished developing; I think it’s connected to our ‘instant gratification is too slow’ culture. Why wait for anything if you don’t have to?
The general reaction to any type of body mod is telling, as well. I’ve had complete strangers tell me I should remove my piercings or that I should have my tattoos lasered (under the assumption that I must regret them). I would put money on the hypothesis that people with the equivalent amount of plastic surgeries aren’t hassled by strangers. This is because it’s acceptable (nay, admirable) to attempt to fit in, but expressing individuality is to be avoided at all costs. If you have the nerve not to fit in then you might also have unpopular opinions (that you feel you have a right to express, quelle horreur !)
There’s a third group–the ‘rebels’ that gets tattooed and pierced to ‘stand out’ by fitting in with their, equally uninteresting, cohort. They’re not your friends, as real friends would encourage you to be true to yourself. Expecting others to bow to your, clearly superior, fashion sense is a form of insecurity. After all, if others don’t approve of the way you express yourself then perhaps you’re wrong, or worse, unpopular. If no one likes you then you can’t possibly like yourself.
My favourite misconception about the pierced is that because we paid someone to shove a ten-gauge needle through our tender bits we must enjoy pain when women who’ve had plastic surgery have endured infinitely more pain. The same goes for women who’ve experienced childbirth. No one says to a woman with more than one child, ‘Daaaaaamn, you must love pain!’ The results are worth the pain involved. I have had twenty-eight piercings and the majority hurt for a few seconds and were then sore for a few days; tattooes are annoying during application and sunburn-like whilst healing. I’ve not given birth or had plastic surgery, but I’ve had necessary surgery and was in agony for weeks even with pain killers (which distracts from pain without eradicating it). But, yeah, us pierced and tattooed folks are hardcore . And we’re completely fine with that supposition. We’re less likely to get jacked if someone figures the threat of physical pain is no deterrent to us defending ourselves.
Both groups have common ground–the ability to make irreversible mistakes (it’s what tribal tattoos and lasering are for.) And if that surgery you got at twenty-five is looking a bit sad at forty there are always corrective procedures. That tiny butterfly on your lower stomach you got on your eighteenth birthday morphs into Mothra after a couple kids and a few pints of Haagen Dazs and those double-Ds are as subject to gravity in middle age as the real thing. Both groups are peopled with those who make decisions without considering the consequences or even knowing their own motivations.
And that is unforgivable. The only excuse one can have for not knowing themselves is being afraid of what they’ll find out and being too lazy to become the person they want to be. Knowing oneself but choosing not to be true to that self is worse; you’re allowing others (who are as flawed as anyone else) to define you. You’re allowing yourself to be controlled by someone who’d rather focus on other people’s flaws rather than their own. Marcus Aurelius says that a person shouldn’t seek the approval of those they wouldn’t want to emulate. To do so is to disrespect oneself–the only person you have to be with twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
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