For today’s blog, let talk about a customer we had. I shall call me Ben. Ben has the misfortune to suffer three times for his single tattoo. The reason I’m writing this blog is to inform tattoo enthusiasts about choosing a good artist, and, to remind those unscrupulous “tattooers” to cherish each and every single piece of “skin” that are presented to them as artistic canvas. Don’t try to earn a quick buck and destroy your client’s skin! They deserve to enjoy the whole process of getting a tattoo, and have something marvellous to show thereafter. Please don’t get into the mindset that you’re a factory churning out tattoos – don’t you want a good reputation to get them to come back for more quality work?
And…(drumroll) let the story begin…
Ben got his first ever tattoo in China. The artist and studio he visited were good and the price was fair. Two months later, he developed an allergic reaction on his skin, and worried, he consulted his artist way back in China. However, as he started panicking, he got anxious and visited a tattoo studio in Singapore with his concern. Unfortunately, he encountered an unscrupulous tattooist. What surprised me was that Ben did not get to see his potential artist’s portfolio.
My surprise turned into horror, when Ben asked what the little white spots appearing on his tattoo were, the tattooist claimed that it was the result of his original artist injecting “tissue fragments” into his skin while working on his tattoo! This guy is a true genius in concocting up tall tales.
But that did not turn on any red flags for Ben. Instead, he chose to trust this guy and entrusted his skin to him for a “corrective “procedure. The whole tattooing took about half an hour. Though it was fast, quality suffered tremendously – this tattooist managed to cause widespread bleeding of the ink on his tattoo, causing Ben’s skin to look like its permanently bruised. (Bleeding of ink in tattoos is a normal phenomenon caused by the skin’s metabolic system through time; anyone who ever had a tattoo would know this, so it won’t be discussed here further.)
Though when Ben finally realised this, it was already too late. As his tattoo was already touched up (and a bad one at that), he felt embarrassed to even return to his original artist in China for damage control. Fortunately, or thanks to fate, he found us.
I told him what I believed happened, and told him what he should realistically expect from my corrective actions on his current tattoo. Having fully understood what I had to say, I reworked on his tattoo all over again. While repairing the blown out edges of his tattoo, Ben said that it blew out only after the second touch-up. The whole process was tedious and, I’m sure all the more painful for him (this being his third time under the needle). The blow out areas of his tattoo were camouflaged with blue-tone graffiti styled watercolour splashes as a new background to help minimise the visual effect of the blow outs.
In retrospect, did he suffer because of his lack of proper tattoo knowledge? Over the course of interacting with him, I became agitated by the fact that there exist many such unscrupulous tattooists who lack the basic ethics of being a human being. After wreaking havoc on other’s skin, the ethical artists, are left to do the dirty job of cleaning up the mess they made. So, please don’t ever be the next Ben.
Since we’ve talked so much, I’ll add in another short opinion about fingers tattoo. Before embarking on one, I besiege you to do your research first about how it’ll look like after its healed. Over the years, I’ve rejected many individual requests for getting fingers tattoo. Many of them had thought that I don’t do it because I’m not good enough and ended up getting their skin ruined by someone like Ben’s tattooist. Google the results of finger tattoos fading. Or look through past articles I’ve written about this if you’re unsure. I’m not going to repeat all of them again.
Here’s a tip in finding a good artist: if an artist willingly does a finger tattoo for you without even bothering to explain the consequences to you…leave immediately! A caveat: if you’re getting your whole hand tattooed, then there’s no need to worry about fading, since the visual impact is of the whole tattooed area and not just a single point on the finger. As for me, I rather risk losing a customer, rather than doing a job that’s against my better conscience just to earn a few quick bucks.
If you’ve seen my work, you’d seen a fair number of fingers tattoo that I’ve done. You’ll also noticed that most of them are in colour. Before I inked them, they have been fully briefed and are fully aware of the potential fading effect of fingers tattoo (hence, in colours the fading won’t be as obvious as stark black tattoos).
What you also don’t see is how many customers I’ve already turned away many customers who could not accept my suggestion for a better looking tattoo. When you look at any photos of tattoos online, remember there’s a thing called PhotoShop. These photos are enhanced or taken immediately after a finger tattoo is done. Ask anyone with a finger tattoo, see if anyone has a healed tattoo that looks like those you see online.
Thanks for reading!
Here are some of the most common brainless questions people ask about tattoo pricing:
1 How much for a tattoo?
2 How much for a full sleeve tattoo?
3 I just want a very very small design; how much will it be?
4. How much to get a traditional full back piece? Any design recommendations?
Have any of the 4 questions above? Allow me to answer them for you!
Q1: How much for a tattoo?
First, what is the exact style of tattoo do you like? In what style (tribal, mandala, dot-work, geometric, etc.)? Do you want it in black and grey or in full colour? Without all these details, it’s impossible to give you a meaningful quotation.
Q2: How much for a full sleeve tattoo?
What kind of full sleeve design? Most “full sleeve” tattoos are not what you think – comprising of all flowers, etc. You’ll need to have a “theme” to work around with. Without these, there’s no way to give you a quotation.
Q3: I just want a very small design; how much will it be?
You have to understand that your definition of “small” is not universal. To us, it may be a 2-inch design, but to another artist it might venture into 5 inches or more (or even less). For example, a half armour (chest to upper arm) might be considered “small” in comparison to a full back piece. Yet, when the half armour is compared to a small design on the calf, then it would become a “large” piece. So, it’s important to articulate the size properly to the artist.
Q4: How much to get a traditional full back piece? Any design recommendations?
As the back is a huge area, many factors play a part in the overall design and pricing. What’s your built? Are you lean or fat? What do you mean by “traditional” (is it a phoenix or dragon)? Do you want it in black and grey or full colour? Most important of all, without knowing the complexity of the design, there is no way to give you a meaningful quotation. Plus, it’ll definitely not be the kind of pricing you’re looking for.
If you forget everything that’s being said here, just remember this: please don’t approach any tattoo artist with any of the questions listed above. Here’s a tip instead: research on the kind of design you like first, then determine the kind of style you’ll like; like oriental, American traditional, Japanese, dot work, etc. Finally, after doing all your homework, approach your artist with your research and you’ll both get a satisfying consultation going. And here’s a final tip: since most European studios charge by the hour, they may charge for a consultation. However, over here at Memory Lane, consultations are free and you’ll only pay when you need customized designing work, or if you intent to secure a tattooing slot. This is just a general overview of how other studio operates. To ensure accuracy, you’ll have to contact them yourself.
Thanks for reading!
A special girl contacted us recently. She was half-paralyzed and wanted to have her beloved dogs' names tattooed on her arm in remembrance of her pets. Due to her circumstances, she invited us to her home to help her fulfil her wish.
After some discussion, we learnt that she was a true blue tattoo aficionado. Although we would be more than happy to help her, we insisted that she consult her doctor first - for her health’s sake.
The doctor finally replied her. Yes, she could get a tattoo. But it must be very small to prevent excessive bleeding which is a very likely complication.
For anyone with tattooing experience, we'll know that regardless of the size of a tattoo, bleeding is inevitable. Although it pained us, we rejected her dream to get a tattoo. Not only because we are concerned about her health, but also because we can't guarantee the quality of the tattoo.
Through this episode, many past memories came flooding back into our mind. Some of our past clients, many of them elderly folks, always have stories to tell when asked why they decided to get a tattoo only now.
Their replies were always the same: "I've thought about it for decades, and only finally decided to do it now. In my 20s, it was always because of the lack of money, career limitations, family prohibition, etc., so I gave up. In my 30s, it was because of my kids and career prospects. In my 40s, I believe I've outgrown the need for a tattoo. Then in my 50s-60s, with one foot in the grave, I've decided that it's my final chance to get a tattoo. Otherwise, it'll only be a dream forever."
In reality, all these are just endless excuses. Time waits for no one. I believe that since you love it, and you have the ability to get one. Then just go ahead and get your favourite tattoo right now. Unless it'll really adversely affect your life, then it'll be wise to wait till retirement or after leaving your current profession before getting one done.
In old age, you may discover that you had many unfulfilled dreams. Don't let tattoos be one of them!
I'd rather be a super cool old granny (or grandpa), than just an ordinary old folk with no interesting story to tell. Perhaps at that age, your hair might've greyed, your memories might’ve become fuzzy, your tattoos might even look wrinkly and tired, but their stories will remain as though it just happened yesterday!
Recall when you really wanted a tattoo, yet were unable to get one. Were you extremely disappointed? Then there are those who have ruined their excellent canvases due to short-sightedness in their thoughts back then. Therefore, if you don't go and nit-pick certain things, it'll repay you with endless happy memories in the future.
As I'm not a professional writer, please take this blog post as personal ramblings.
Thanks for reading!
Many people have misunderstandings of what a tattoo is. Some can't tell the difference between a half completed and completed tattoo. For those with a few tattoos, they'd say a tattoo looks it's best only when it's freshly completed.
This is because during the tattooing process, the skin was damaged and will look inflamed and swollen. People tend to associate the fresh swollen state of a tattoo as the "most beautiful" time of its lifespan.
But to an experienced tattoo artist, he appreciates the difference between a healed and fresh tattoo. For example, most layperson will think that word tattoos and tribal designs are simple and easy to do. But they fail to appreciate the fact that to make such a tattoo look good even after it heals, requires substantial work and experience of the artist; words must be done intricately to remain legible and uniform over time, while pigment saturation must reach a certain level to prevent blotchy designs.
All these requires a skilled and experienced tattoo artist to accomplish. An amateur or junior artist might know how to make it look good upon completion while it's fresh, but generally lack the skills and experience required to determine how it will turn out once it's healed.
This is part of the reason why ill-informed consumers will go around shopping for an artist and settle on the cheapest he could find. For him, the value of a tattoo is only worth so much.
Unfortunately, a good tattoo artist can't expect his customers to understand the value of true art. But someone who does understands this, and treats his skin as an artistic canvas for expression, will tend not to consider the price of a tattoo as the primary factor.
I made it a point to tell my clients to wait until the tattoo heals, before deciding whether it was worth the price that they paid for. This is the reason why I get many repeat customers in my studio.
I'm now showcasing the complete process of my work from just done, healing, and healed, so that you can understand how a tattoo should look like throughout the healing stages and after it's completely healed.
Personally, I prefer the completely healed look. I think that's the best look a tattoo can get. While many people likes the freshly completed look, I guess it might be due to the freshness phenomenon.
This is a photo of a freshly completed tattoo. Look at the redness and inflamed skin. The inflammation will differ from individual to individual. But they'll look identical.
Colours will be able to be applied to the tattoo about half a month (depending on individual's healing period) after the initial outline and black-grey shading was completed. During this period, all the black and grey areas would have healed completely and its full intensity and depth would be clearly visible.
For large pieces of colour tattoo, the best case scenario would be for the black and grey portion to be fully healed before applying the colour. This way, the colour portion of the tattoo will look natural and vibrant.
For those on tight schedules, such as tourists, etc., my advice is not to do a large colour piece while traveling. Instead, choose a black and grey design, then return to do the colouring in the future. However, if a colored piece is needed, go for something either A4 sized or smaller. For pieces that are mostly composed of black and grey with a little colour here and there, it'll be alright as well. For details, give us a call for a free consultation.
This article is meant to explain the essential tattooing and healing process. Some may even think that I might have Photoshopped the images. Rest assured, the photos are untouched, and the depicted tattoos belongs to our studio director, Mr. Edward. You may give us a visit to witness the healed tattoo for yourself!
The healing stages of the colour prob will be uploaded as it becomes available.
We will also continue to update this article with further explanations as to the "why" of tattoo healing.
Thanks for reading this tattoo healing article dedicated to all tattoo lovers out there!
Dwayne Douglas Johnson A.K.A. The Rock (b 2-May-1972) is a professional wrestler and actor. He returned to WWE officially in February of 2012 and won the “Royal Rumble” match against CM Punk, becoming the WWE reigning Champion. He has acted in Hollywood blockbusters such as “The Mummy,” “Scorpion King,” “The Mummy 2,” and Fast & Furious 7.
The Rock has two tattoos. One is a modern single design on his right upper arm of a bull. However, his second tattoo was a departure from modern tattoo design, being a traditional Samoan style of tattoo all over his left shoulder.
The bull head tattoo on Johnson’s right arm corresponds to his Western zodiac birth sign of Taurus, the Bull. The tattoo is a long-horn type of steer and is a fairly straightforward outline style of design. The eyes of the bull are also colored in red. The tattooing on his left arm and shoulder is traditional Samoan style tattooing, done by an artist in Hawai’i.
It incorporates traditional tribal patterns and symbols representing Johnson himself, his wife and daughter, his family and spirit guides. This extensive half sleeve wraps all the way around the upper arm, over the shoulder and onto the chest. A later session extended the section on his chest, adding a large symbolic warrior face over his heart.
Traditionally, Samoan tattooing was done by an artist, assisted by multiple people. The tattooist would use two tools, one a bone-tipped rake and the other the striking stick. The rake would be dipped in ink, then struck with the other stick to puncture the skin. The assistants had the job of holding the skin of the tattooee taut so that the artist could work. In his recent interview with Playboy magazine, Johnson did mention that that work took sixty hours total to execute, spread out over three sessions and was composed entirely freehand (meaning the artist worked right on his skin without a stencil or transfer). He did not mention if the tattoo was done with the traditional hand tools or if any of the ink was tattooed by conventional machine.
Dwayne has two tatoos, one on his right arm of a Brahma Bull that represents his sign of the zodiac which is Taurus the Bull and also he has an affinity for bulls. His next tattoo extends from his left shoulder, shoulder blade, and midway his left arm. It is a Polynesian tattoo (basically Marquesan) that he had done in Hawaii sometime in February of 2003 by Po’oino Yrondi – a famous Tahitian tattooist.
What Does Dwayne’s Polynesian Tattoo Mean? In early 2003, Dwayne traveled to Hawaii to have his family history tattooed on him—a Samoan tradition. Here he reveals the meanings of his tattoo.
A) These are coconut leaves, or niu, which denote a Samoan chief-warrior.
B) This is the sun which brings good fortune.
C) This isa/ga fa’atasi (three people in one), That’s me with my arms open. As it continues on my chest, it connects to my o lo’u to’a/ua (my wife, Dany) and my o lo’u afafine (my daughter, Simone Alexandra).
D) These descending swirls represent past, present and future, with the future becoming ever bigger. The pattern continues under my arm, where its meaning is written: “It changes in the place where it is found to be gone.”
E) These two eyes, called o mata e lua, represent my ancestors watching over my path.
F) This is the Great Eye, It’s an intimidating symbol that allows its user to possess the spirit of his enemy. The eye is used to distract the enemy in a confrontation.
G) This broken face, marked by shark teeth—a symbol of strength—is my spirit protector and a symbol of my struggle.
H) This is the priest and spiritual guide, who raises a warrior to enlightenment and supernatural power under the eyes of the warrior’s ancestors.
I) These are stones of achievement and abundance. They’re the foundation of my life and symbols of my dedication. They bring the right to stand and speak with honor as a Tula Fale—a high talking chief—and they maintain mana, or supernatural power.
J) This is a tortoise shell, to deflect evil spirits. Warriors used shells as shields.
It took between 15-20 hours to have done (not counting his chest that was done afterward). According to Dwayne, when you get a tattoo like this, it tells the story of his life and what he represents, what’s important in his life from strength to protection to loyalty to family. It tells a story from beginning to end. During the process of receiving this tattoo he along with his cousin Tanoa’i, who also got a tattoo of the same magnitude that took 24 hours, sat around with other cousins and friends and talked about the story of his heritage as well and played music and sang in order to take their minds off of the pain of getting the tattoo.
Was just informed by friends in both Singapore and China that I became a celebrity overnight!
Apparently, someone innocently asked who am I on Facebook, which garnered many likes and remarks that my tattoos might wash off in the shower (just like watercolour)!
Well, I hope to pull off such an interesting magic trick in the future, but alas, its permanent folks! wink emoticon
Anyway, the main question was, "who is this girl that claims to be Singapore's best?"
To keep it nice and simple, I have been tattooing for over decade. Folks that may not have known me otherwise, came over to get inked by me. Among them were celebrities, politicians, royalties, etc.
It's interesting, but I consider myself as one of the best Singapore Female Tattoo Artist currently working in Singapore. Many of my clients would be delighted to share their stories and tattoos with you. If you ask nicely, that is!
On top of that, I have also been featured in a few publications including Expatliving.sg as well. So... you be the final judge.
'Nuff said. May artistic inspirations continue to permeate from every living cell of everyone!
Inking & Loving IT,
Hou Boqiao or Xiao Hou as we affectionately call him, is one of Apple's ardent fan and a close friend of ours. He first came to Apple after learning about her excellent skills over the internet, and one tattoo led to another, eventually we all became extremely close friends. May this friendship continue for many years to come!
Below is a description and images of his tattoos that were all done by Apple.
My first tattoo is located on my upper back, which I got while in year two of university. The design is of a cobra and a rattlesnake intertwined together. The cobra represents Oriental Culture while the rattlesnake represents Western Culture. Essentially, it means the merger of these two unique cultures into one universal community. Another more straightforward design element is that I am born in the Year of the Snake!
My first encounter with the needles was awfully painful, and I told myself this was and will be my only tattoo for life! Half a year later, the tattoo bug came visiting again. My second tattoo was of the grim reaper. This unique design has him bald headed without the typical hood that usually covers his head in most representations. One of his arm is also made out of a tree branch, which resembled closely to my outlook on life that although death is the end, but it also represents the beginning of a new chapter. I extremely loved this design, which resulted in me feeling the awful feeling of the needles once more.
And so my woeful tattoo journey begun! Ever since my second tattoo, I believed that I was permanently hooked on. After a month of letting my second tat heal, I went back for my third! This one is on my lower leg of the Chinese character of “Chan Buddhism.” Inside the character is a portion of the famous Chinese painting “Guiguzi.” Below the word is a calligraphic script of the word “ghost” in Chinese. Portion of the word is embodied in the lotus flower. Within the flower there is a small ghost emerging from within. This represents the Buddhist teaching that even a ghost who carries kindness will be able to attain Buddhahood/nirvana. Whereas, the lotus is symbolic of Buddhism.
My fourth tattoo is a complimentary piece to the grim reaper on my left arm. Similar to the snakes tattoo on my back, I believe in complimentary work between cultures, and so I placed the grim reaper representing evil or ugliness of humanity on my left (because I believed that western cultures considers evil to be more leftist), while compassion and peace is represented by the beauty of China’s famous Chinese Opera singers. This being said, I still believe that there can never be a clear difference between good and evil as it’s the differing viewpoints that only separates one from the other.
My last tattoo (at the moment), was made when I completed my studies in Singapore and just before I left for home in China. This tattoo was sort of a keepsake for the few years I spent in Singapore. This is a purely Chinese characters tattoo. It comprises of a large “Dao” which means “the supreme way of the universe,” with a “six” written in red ink within the word, making it “the 6 ways of the universe.” At first, I planned to have it made into a full back piece, however, Apple suggested against it as it did not match the snake tattoo I had on my back. Therefore I had it done on my leg, which complements the “Chan Buddhism” (third tattoo) tattoo I have as well. Just like how the Chinese believe in karma and the affinity of things. Just about everything was planned, my life in Singapore, my friends, my encounters, and now my tattoos!
Below is his story in his own words translated for your reading pleasure:
"If life's journey is a drama, then a man with tattoos is the leading man of this drama!"
This sailing boat isn't my first tattoo, yet it's the most meaningful one yet. I've known Apple Qu for many years. Even though she was in Singapore and I'm in China, our distance did not prevented me from admiring her artistic skills and commendable passion for tattooing. In my heart, I've long determined that she's the one to inking this sailing boat on me.
In the Summer of 2014, fate has destined that our path should finally cross. Apple arrived in my city (Xi'an), and we finally met for the first time. After a brief discussion of my tattoo, she completely understood my vision and motivation for this tattoo. Thanks to her, I've also gained a fuller understanding of the fine art of tattooing,
Perhaps it is because of the literal meaning of my Chinese name - Bai Fan meaning White Sail or ship, I've always been fascinated by the idea of having a sailing boat as a tattoo. While surfing the web one day, I stumbled upon the design for this tattoo. You could call it love at first sight. After setting eyes on this particular design, I have never looked elsewhere ever again!
In life you will have to face many ups and downs, but how many of us have the determination and perseverance to brave the stormy seas? Only with strong faith, will one be able to persevere this stormy voyage. The sailing boat symbolizes my level of perseverance and commitment to succeed in and navigate through life's stormy seas. And thanks to this determination, my life journey has begun!
In life's journey, regardless of whether you're a good or bad guy, your love towards your children will always be the most beautiful thing there is. Children is God's most precious gift to us, one that requires our utmost care and love. That's why I've added the imprints of my little darling to my left calve!
Here are some common reasons people give to getting tattooed. Whether its legitimate or not, well, just use it to get a laugh or two, eh?
For certain people who feels insecure about themselves, tattoos help them to feel confident/beautiful.
Tattoo as a remembrance of a person, place or event.
Tattooing for the sake of looking cool or different from the pack.
When the body hurts, the soul stops hurting. A reason to make a memorable and beautiful reminder to oneself.
Because of love...
Just to know how much it really hurts.
A friend for life. A tattoo will never leave or forsake you. You can cry your heart out and it will always be there to silently comfort and stay by your side.
No one will be with me for life. Only can a tattoo till death shall we part.
Because of my child. After my children grows up and moves away, my tattoo will remind me of the bygone memories.
Because of religion or beliefs.
Mother of all reasons:
To cover up scars, or stretch marks from a pregnancy. A tattoo can beautify the body's appearance.
A walk down memory lane:
To mark the march into adulthood.
Most astonishing reason:
Tattooing is highly addictive. The kind of pain and adrenaline rush makes for the most delightful indulgence.
With tattoos, I look tougher. Which means lesser chance of getting bullied.
In a more pragmatic sense, "how much is a tattoo worth?"
After arriving in Singapore for a few years, I have been fortunate enough to have encountered folks of every race and culture during the course of my work here. I've met Caucasians, Indians, Malays, Chinese, etc. They've taught me the methods and ways in which the everyday Joe uses to measure the value of a tattoo.
This is just my interpretation of my findings. Please forgive me if there are any errors or omissions.
Let us first discuss the process of selecting a design. A lot of folks tend to lay eyes on a design that they saw on an artist or celebrity. Then there are those who had just lost a relationship and needed a "diversion" which incidentally ended up on the pain (and exhilaration) of having a permanent tattoo. However, the bulk of folks we entertain are those younger individuals who simply want a tattoo to "show" off - as a fashion statement. These are the same group of people who would be and get their body pierced for the sake of it.
Then we have those who get a tattoo to commemorate or remember a beloved or pet. For these group of individuals, they are not tattooing for the love of tattoos, but simply because they have a very good reason to have to. These are the people who would only get one tattoo and that is it.
These are essentially the main group of tattoo customers with no exception. While watching those American reality television with clients telling long stories about the rationale behind their tattoos, one might think that all tattoos have a meaningful story behind them!
Frankly, I think it's all a bunch of hogwash. Where on earth do all these people get such stories from? But then again, they were doing it for the viewership. So it's all a commercial ploy.
In the real world of tattooing, stories or no stories make up half of the tattooed population. Take me for example; I can never associate any of my numerous tattoos to any peculiar story. Except for the bitter sweet moment while getting tattooed: the pain, the adrenaline rush and the excitement. My rationales for my tattoos are simple enough. The designs are etched on my skin for life. I treat them as my best friend forever. When I'm happy, it's there. When I'm sad, it's there. While everyone leaves me, my tattoos will be beside me my whole life. Until death, I will never be lonely again.
Throughout my years spent in the tattoo studio, I have met people of all shape and sizes. For such a small little country, I've met folks from all over the world and have heard countless stories from these emotional tattoo clients. All I can say is I've learnt much from these encounters.
I remember a particular encounter I had with an Australian Vietnamese. He told us a very touching story. But this is an exception and not the norm. For these groups of people, they would not attach a monetary value to a tattoo. Because to them, a tattoo is a lifelong remembrance that will never be lost through the passage of time. While for those who wants a tattoo just for showing off, then they would never know the real value of a tattoo, and would simply choose their artist based on the price.
For them, it will be very difficult to tell the difference between a good and poorly executed tattoo. They may say its art. But they will never know the real significance of a good tattoo. And because of this, they would tend to have at least one badly done tattoo on their body. When they are matured enough, they would then regret it, and spend a fortune either to have it covered up or removed. Those in the know will tell you that getting a tattoo removal is expensive, and it will either not remove it completely or leave a scar in its place. This all depends solely on your luck (and skin).
In truth, most people falls under one of these two categories. I often ask my Chinese clients here, why they want to do a particular design. More than half would give the same answer. I'll leave the answer out here. At least I've only met a handful of Chinese folks with a meaningful or touching story behind their tattoos. Of course, for tattoos, there are both good and bad rationales behind them. It really depends on your capacity for understanding all the varying factors.
For those of us born in the 80s, we think that we can always catch up with the latest fads and trends. But we're wrong. As we mature and age, tradition and old cultures will slowly creep back into our lives. The bashfulness of those born in the 90s is our past.
A close friend from my hometown in China once told me that when her girlfriend saw his tattoos, she told him in the face that those with tattoos always have a shadowy past. With that they ended their relationship.
When I learnt about it, I was intrigued. Either this girl has been living in a cave all these years, or she comes from a very strict family background. Either she can't accept new things in her life or she is just too dogged with things that change her perception of the diversity of society. Just like that, a possibly beautiful relationship had to end abruptly. Just because of a tattoo!
I felt like shouting at the top of my lungs, "Do not judge those with tattoos. Just because you have none, doesn't mean that those who do are all bad people!"
This is just one of the long list of stories I've heard about tattoos. I'll stop at one. To judge the heart of a person, guy or girl, you can never judge them simply by their tattoos. How to judge a person then? I'll leave it up to you!
For those true tattoo lovers, please do not use money to measure the value of a tattoo. Remember the adage, "art is invaluable." I'll not discuss further about "art" here. Because I did it once over coffee with a Singaporean friend at a cafe and we got into an argument because of it!
A lot of things are best left unsaid. I just hope that people do not choose a design blindly. Even if you found a meaningless tattoo, be very sure that you will never regret getting it. If you really can't find one design that you will never regret, then it's best to shelf the desire to get a tattoo for the time being. We only have so much skin. Treasure it!
Through the years, I've seen countless cases of tattoo regret seeking a cover up. The most challenging tattoo cover ups are of tribal tattoos. Tribal are the buck of all tattoo regrets. Why? Is it because some pop star or celebrity got it? Do you know how many of these celebrities have regretted their tattoo choices and are in the midst of having it removed?
Those awful black blobs for designs! Then there are those who are in favour of Maori tattoos. Please go and google the meaning and significance of a Maori design before getting it inked. Thank you very much!
I can’t emphasis this enough: if you don't have the funds, please don't rush into getting a tattoo. Go online and research some materials, look at an artist's portfolio, compare the good and the bad, before deciding on anything. The pricing difference between a tattoo artist and someone who simply does tattoos can be 10:100. That is why for those who are financially lacking but still wants to get a tattoo, all I can say is, wait - wait until you've matured in your thinking before making a decision you may regret later.
But even if you are financially able, you should still not rush into getting a tattoo immediately. Do due diligence as above before deciding on anything. Remember the 10:100 ratio. Why the staggering difference? Because a guy who tattoos, is simply doing it for the money. He may have the best location in town, but he's all about the money. Out go ethics and other professional measures of a true tattoo artist. You want a tattoo? Sure! He won't care anything about design, placement, etc.
Then, we have the true tattoo artists. They are not high up on a pedestal. They have elevated tattooing into an art form. Of course, for these groups of selected few, the pricing will be based on affinity and communications. They may give you a tattoo at a discount, for half the price or even charge you the full price. But no matter the costs, it's worth it!
I've always been perplexed with people having difficulty differentiating between good and bad tattoos. Is it really that difficult, or is it because I've been in this industry for too long (my fine arts background plays a part as well). It's just like a 9-5 worker who does not have high aspirations in life; he may never know the true value of a good tattoo.
If a fine arts trained artist desires to get a tattoo, it will be extremely hard for him to get a tattoo that he will be truly satisfied with. This may be because as a fellow artist, he knows that in art nothing is perfect. At the very least, I won't be able to do it. Because I'm no perfectionist, I only strive for second best.
Then there is another group of people with the perfect lifestyle. They have everything they want and lead a beautiful lifestyle. But they will not be able to tell the difference between a good and a bad tattoo as well. All they have to show is a tiny little tattoo - the result of a moment of bashfulness. The simple solution is to do some homework and research online, and you'll be fine.
If you ask me how much is a tattoo worth. Frankly, I can't answer that question. Because art is priceless. Of course this is true only if the tattoo is expertly crafted. All I'll say is to treasure every inch of your limited canvas.
Why does a similar tattoo with the same size and component costs $50 here and $500 there or even much higher someplace else? Well, it's your call. Consider what your tattoo is worth to you, and then decide on its true value...