So, I’m getting inked.


Tattoos were cool when they were frowned upon. One as harmless as a butterfly would make self declared ‘right thinking’ members of society judge you. They’d form dark opinions about your upbringing and refuse their children to date you.But now, tattoos are as normal as dreadlocks (and dreadlocks are as normal as permed hair). The shock value is all gone. If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo to express how edgy you are, you’re too late, sorry. You may as well use that money to pad the foundation of a land-buying/ car-buying fund.

However, if your itch to get inked comes from a deep, dark, genuine place, get one and let me know how you zeroed down on your message or drawing.

A whole new kind of pressure has infiltrated the process of getting a tattoo. Since coolness and peer pressure have been taken out of the equation, tattoos now have to mean something:  a memory that you hold dear, a date that changed the course of your life, a phrase that reaffirms your beliefs, etc.  I’m judgmental of anybody who just goes into a tattoo shop, opens a book and picks a design and I’ll totally judge myself if my own doesn’t seem well thought-out to the world.

I’ve been hunting for the right message for over two years because my expectations of the phrase that will occupy rent-free space on my skin are unrealistic. I want it to be funny, deep, a bit shocking and full of feeling. I want every human that glances at it to be thrown into a frenzy of self-reflection.

My first idea was ‘writer’s block is for amateurs’. It was stupid. Every artist goes through periods of hyper creativity, followed by periods where their brains refuse to start, like the engine of a third hand car. I thank my lucky stars that I chickened out because I’d have this nasty, mocking message running from my chest to my belly button, paralyzing my creative process and driving me over the cliff of sanity.

Ever since I discovered a website called Zen pencils, however, I feel I’m as close to making a decision as I‘ll ever be. What this guy does is take inspirational words and turn them into comics. I don’t know how wonderful the lines will remain when they do not have his pictures below them, but I’m slowly moving past the point where I mind so much about what people will think. It’s not like I’m going to stand at city square showing passersby my body ink.

The best ones I’ve found are: Fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds’ worth of distance run. Rudyard Kipling wrote that. It’s beautiful because life is full of unforgiving minutes. Boredom, depression and ennui can combine to make you useless and this message will spur me to action every time my cubicle feels oppressive.

Make good art. This one’s by superstar of the pen Neil gaiman. He says to make art out of every situation, especially the ugly ones.
Baby, air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it! This is by Bukowski, that coarse and brilliant man. It bashes the notion that one needs a certain combination of factors to be perfectly aligned for them to be creative.

My favorite idea is to have the word LAUGH! printed on my belly with a naked fat lady laughing uproariously below. That’s the second one I’ll get.

Now to find the first.

3 thoughts on “So, I’m getting inked.

  1. Lol!! They have become like Macs & iPads – everyone has one these days!

    For the first one you could pick a “deep” word – you know, that one epic word that describes your existence on this planet, the one that you would die for – and have it inked in a forgotten language…

  2. I would say don’t over think it but this is something you will have on your body forever so that won’t do. All I can do is share my experience and hope it helps. First, there is nothing deep about my tattoo or if there is, I’ve never really thought about it. Mine is a wrist band of sorts, with butterflies, flowers and dew-filled vines going around my wrist. How did I choose this particular pattern? I LOVE charm bracelets and I got tired of buying them and then watching them rust or fade to the point when I couldn’t wear them. So I decided on a permanent bracelet -that solved the where bit of the puzzle.

    For the pattern, I thought of something I could look at, everyday, for the rest of my life and smile. Butterflies do this for me. These creatures manage to look so beautiful after the oh so fearsome caterpillar stage, and the sight of them makes me happy. And have you seen charm bracelets with butterflies on them? Be-eautiful! And that is how I decided. That took me about a day. I was 14. Getting the actual tattoo had to wait till I was old enough for my parents not to throw a fit, which was ten years later. But I never changed my mind about the pattern I wanted. And that is what now adorns my delicate left wrist.

    I was anxious only about what my parents would say, my mum to be more accurate. But I knew that they would not disown me or anything so I got over it. My mum reacted exactly as I thought she would and got over it after I showed her the antibacterial cream I was applying. My dad has never commented on it, but that’s the kind of guy he is. If you are not breaking any laws or hurting anyone, then there is no problem.

    Now, to you Miz Kyrtr, u r settled on using words so make them great. And I hope we will get to see the one of the laughing woman…. FU-UNNY!!

    Good luck on getting inked… and don’t mind the sting, it wears off.

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