I was sitting around thinking of how I could top my batman blog post. The best advise I’ve ever heard when writing about something is “write what you know”. Otherwise, you might end up sounding like a fool. So as I’m sitting here in the tattoo shop watching my brother-in-law get his fifth tattoo, I’ve decided that’s probably a pretty good topic of discussion.
It seems everyone has a tattoo these days. My 60+ year old mother-in-law just got her first tattoo yesterday. When I started getting tattooed it was back when it was still taboo and you had to hide it from your parents for fear that their wrath would destroy you. My first tattoo was at 18 years old. I was young and stupid and I was really into an underground rap group, Insane Clown Posse. For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to get a tattoo that represented the band. Not knowing much about tattoos, the process or good shops at the time, I settled on a shop in Adrian, MI that consequently no longer exists. My girlfriend and I went to the shop and I presented the artist with a picture of the riddlebox head, from one of the Insane Clown Posse’s album covers.
Now, whether other people are willing to admit it or not, tattoos HURT. A lot of the pain depends on the area of your body where you’re getting the tattoo along with the skill of the artist, but getting a needle poked into your skin thousands and thousands of times for hours on end isn’t going to feel good. Being the young lad that I was, I had to take several breaks throughout the process to get the small tattoo on my right shoulder blade completed. The whole tattooing process only took about an hour, but I probably added a good 15-30 minutes in breaks to the overall length. When she was finished, I thought I was the coolest person in the world. I had a tattoo and instantly I was thinking of other tattoos I could add to the collection.
Over the next 14 years, I went through plenty of different artists and got my fair share of tattoos. I’ve also gotten my fair share of cover ups, including my first and second tattooed homages to the Insane Clown Posse. In fact, in total, I ended up with four ICP themed tattoos, three of which are now covered up and the fourth is so obscure that unless you were already familiar with the band, you’d never know it was related.
Tattoos are addictive. I don’t know anyone who has only one tattoo that doesn’t already have plans to get more. It’s a great artistic expression and a great way to make yourself even more unique. I’m definitely not done with my ink, I’m only getting started. At some point I’ll probably run out of skin that I actually want to get tattooed, but until then I’m having a blast along the way. I’ve included some pictures of my work along with the artist who did them to pay them tribute.