Beneath the Surface: The Art of Tattoos

Tattoos are a personal form of art, often containing meanings that go deep beneath the surface.

My story starts at the young age of sixteen, when I got the first of what would eventually be four tattoos. I had known by around the age of twelve that I wanted a tattoo one day, maybe because of seeing my father’s forearm tattoo daily, my love of art, or the beauty in the ink. Whatever the influence or reason, I knew that I wanted one, which led to getting four before my nineteenth birthday. The reasons behind my tattoo choices ranged from wanting a daily reminder of ‘balance’, to a tribute for the passing of a dear friend.

Everyone has their own reasons for deciding to get inked, and sometimes, as we grow and change with time, our reasons can shift as well.

This leads me to my current tattoo journey – getting them removed.

Getting my tattoos removed was not a sudden decision, and actually started out as a wish to get some of them re-done (covered up) with new images. Events over the past year (passing of my grandmother, starting a small business as an artist, and leaving my twenties behind) all played major roles in the decision to re-assess my tattoo status. The truth is, I’ve changed, and I’ve grown. The art adorning my skin, that I once couldn’t wait to get, no longer served the same purpose for me.

The first tattoo that I got was a simple black cat, chosen on-the-spot, without much thought. I was never truly happy with this tattoo from the beginning, as it was done poorly. I have wanted this tattoo changed for years, but simply kept putting it off for some time in the future. I guess that time has finally come!

After having my first laser treatment on just one tattoo, it brought a huge sense of relief and joy. I was finally taking a huge first step on a very personal journey. The tattoo healed within a few weeks, and I suddenly knew that I wanted them ALL gone.

Ultimately, I want a clean slate, and now choose other ways to express myself and remember people that have influenced my life.

Personal reasons for getting tattoos can range from self expression, culture, celebration, loss, etc. Just as people have reasons for not having tattoos, such as careers, faith, health related issues, or simply not being interested in the art form.

I would love to hear your thoughts, regardless of which side of the tattoo kingdom you fall on. What`s your tattoo story?

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