“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Tattoo
1) Can I commit to this design for life? Both of my tattoos have very important meanings to me and were designs I thought about for a long time, considering their permanence, designs I decided I would be happy to have on my body at 97 years old. They are easy to conceal (should I be in an environment that asked for it), black and white (because I wear a lot of colour), and represent nothing ‘fleeting’ – just an artistic expression of my happiness.
2) What is my pain tolerance? Tattoos are no cake walk. You are essentially, scarring your skin with ink and that doesn’t come without pain. If you have a low pain tolerance, you may want to start small.
3) Will this tattoo improve my life? Tattoos are expensive, painful and permanent. There are many other ways to express yourself (fashion, art, etc) if your concept doesn’t seem to be ‘worth’ the aforementioned!
If you’re still game…
Find a tattoo artist!
Hands down the most important part. At 18, I went to the most renowned tattoo parlour in my local town and looked through their portfolios for hours before choosing my artist. I actually loved my artist so much I returned to America – six years later – to get my second tattoo done by her. Since my last tattoo, Instagram has become an absolute haven for discovering tattoo artists (showing real time portfolio updates) – I recommend researching for at least a few weeks to decide who is best for you and who might be able to bring your concept to life in the way that makes you happiest. The right artist, regardless of style, will always be open to any questions or queries you have beforehand. Including design work-shopping. Don’t settle for anything less.
Test your tattoo out!
Before the final step, it is absolutely worth testing your tattoo design on your body. While this can be done with henna or temporary tattoo pens, Londoner’s are in for an absolute treat this weekend when Lenovo launches its Illuminated Ink Tattoo Parlour in Soho. From the 22nd to 23rd of April (11am-5pm), Lenovo is pop-upping the UK’s first projection tattoo parlour powered by the YOGA Tablet 3 Pro, with its in-built projector in collaboration with renowned tattooist James King. The tattoos are mapped directly onto skin using nothing but light and the event is completely free to attend, so worth a trip even if you’ve decided temporary tattoos are as committed as you’ll get!
Where: 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London, W1D 3AQ
* Photo from this outfit post.
As I’ve mentioned before, my go-to approach when getting to know a city is walking as much of it as I can so was pleased to schedule myself in for Florida CraftArt‘s St Pete Mural Tour as an adult introduction to a part of America I hadn’t seen for over ten years.
The two-hour tour took our small group of enthusiasts, locals and tourists through the backstreets of St Pete’s ‘Arts District’ – centred, appropriately, around Central Ave – and matured into the most inspiring city initiation imaginable.
Though I would never have expected it (based on misconceptions I will delve into in an upcoming blog), St Pete’s arts scene is thriving. During the recession, the city’s artists took the opportunity to own and rent studio space cheaper than ever before and manifested a progressive community of their very own.
With government assistance, the city’s walls have become powerful canvases. A compelling collection of metaphorical graffiti art, societal commentary, and love letters to the city from the esteemed likes of Ricky Watts, Sebastian Coolidge, Man Made Murals (their comic-inspired “Saint Tampasburg” is an illusory feat), and more.
Personally, highlights included the giant shark mural by LA-based Shark Toof, a ‘Man vs. Ape’ collaboration between artists Bask and Palehorse (much of Bask’s contribution was influenced by the themes in George Orwell’s 1984), and a touching memorial to St Pete’s own Bill Correira. The latter – dedicated to the artist better known at Woo – began as an overnight portrait project from friend and fellow artist Derek Donnelly as soon as word of Woo’s unexpected death hit him in 2012. In the four years since, members of the city at large have contributed personal pieces to the memorial, immortalizing Woo in a glorious underwater permanence.
It took less than the two full hours to feel intoxicated by the creativity, community, and art in St Pete, and this was only the beginning…