I was 22 when I got my first tattoo. I know, I know. I waited a bit after all my other friends started getting theirs around the age of 17 but in retrospect, I am glad I waited. My first tattoo was a watercolor painting of a mermaid that I had just finished in college which seemed significant enough at the time and I thought sure that will do….. Yeah I am about to be 28, and in that 6 year span I am pushing closer to 15 tattoos.
They range in size where most of my legs are covered, and I am finally feeling more comfortable getting different styles of art tattooed on me by different artists. It’s been interesting to say the least. Today it seems with people my age (mid 20s to early 30s) our tattoos are seen as this bizarre combination of how successful we are financially, and how decked out our tattoo Pinterest page is. For the record, I swore I would never rip off another person or tattoo artist's work and so far I am doing just fine in that department.
Every time and I mean every fucking time without fail when I get a tattoo and my mom sees it, she loves to tell me… “You know that’s permanent right? And she proceeds with, “That’s gonna be on your body forever.” Yeah! that's kind of the damn point mom. You know what else is permanent? Kids.
My tattoos highlight my life’s journey (so far). I showcase them and I am very proud of the artists who have given me this fixative gift that I get to show off for the rest of my damn life. I love to travel so naturally, I have travel tattoos. I speak Russian and I have lived in Russia where I taught Russian speaking students for almost 2 years now which is something that is very important to me to showcase that I have some Russian tattoos. I even got a Mario mushroom on the back of my leg and okay so maybe that one doesn’t have that much of a meaning, but hey, I do actually like Mario Kart, I just suck at it.
Some of my tattoos don’t have a meaning behind it, especially my few recent ones, I am a sucker for a Friday the 13th tattoo just ask any of my recent tattoo artists. But if you can find a meaning even months later after you get your tattoo, who really gives a fuck? Just please don’t grab me, then we're gonna have a problem.
Now here is something that I’ve always found interesting, I was a little intimidated to start tattooing my arms because I knew they would be 100% shown at work but it turns out not only do most of my coworkers have visible tattoos, so do my bosses, managers, and even some of my older students who I've taught. So I thought to myself, “Chill Ash, its all good.” If anything, I've gotten more jobs because it proves I can commit to something, have a creative mindset, and often confront problems using an outside of the box approach which has been amazing when I have had teaching jobs.
No matter what kind of tattoos you have or choose to get, something about it not only encapsulates that moment in time when you're getting the tattoo but it also reminds you of the people you are with when you get it. However, I chose to go alone to all my tattoo appointments and in some cases, I’ve fallen asleep or just read quietly. It’s all a preference and I already have tattoos because of certain people in my life so I don’t need a reminder of who wanted to kick it with me that afternoon just because they had nothing else going on. You have a definite reminder on your body that you get to show off forever, and c’mon lets face it, tattoos are cool as fuck.
I always enjoy noticing a new tattoo on a friend because there is something to be said about the hard work and the collaboration between the artist and the client. That so called “working relationship” quickly turns into family and friends real quick. Also, I like that you build with your artists as they grow just as your tattoos grow. So, what fuels the passion and keeps tattooing alive? I would say due to the fact that I am proud to have become a tattoo collector and I how I am always supportive of people who are curious about where or who did my tattoos. Tattoos don’t define who I am by no means; they just make me feel empowered and beautiful and there is nothing more fucking badass then that.
Check out my guys at First Hand Tattoo in Warminster Pa, Chris, John, and Evan are all amazing, and talented artists!