Tattoo You

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here.

My first published novel, MYSTIC INK is finally available! To celebrate, let’s talk tattoos and tattoo art. The novel is named after a tattoo shop – Mystic Ink. The heroine, Nix, is a Sea Nymph and talented tattoo artist.

Tattoos have been part of mainstream culture for a while now. Anyone catch the new show, Tattoo Master? Ever hear of Miami Ink? L.A. Ink?

There was a time when only the “baser” elements of society got tattoos – sailors, degenerates, people you’d cross the other side of the street to avoid.

Attitudes are much more relaxed now and I bet you all know at least one person with a tattoo. They may or may not make it public knowledge or have it in a location visible to the general public.

What’s that? You’re positive you don’t know anyone who’s been inked.

How about this, then?

I know at least two of the 7 Scribes have a tattoo (see, you know someone). No, I’m not saying who. That’s up to them to share. But, I’ll give you a hint – I’m not one of them.

The Scribes aside, there is one very important person in my life who has tattoos – my hubby. You may remember him from the Voodoo Curse Burger challenge and as Scar. While filming a book trailer for Kristan Higgins, he graciously allowed us to paint “I heart romance” on him. For some reason, he didn’t want that permanently on his arm. Go figure. Click here to watch the video.

Hubby got his first tattoo in his late twenties. He asked for a comedy and tragedy mask

Not a gang tattoo!

(because he was a fan of Motley Crue). What he didn’t find out until years later was that the artist colored the tattoo with local gang colors! So far, it hasn’t been a problem, but it still worries me just a little bit.

We designed his next tattoo together. He knew he wanted a dragon, but couldn’t decide on an image, so he turned to a cross-stitched dragon I had made him years earlier. He presented the pattern to the artist who sketched it free-hand.

Isn’t it lovely?

Much to hubby’s delight, the final product came out nearly identical, right down to the colors. Needless to say, I like this tattoo way better than the kinda-sorta gang colored tattoo.

It’s a beautiful piece of art.

Regardless of whether you like tattoos or not, make no mistake, they are art – a permanent form of expression etched into the skin of the wearer.

Let’s talk ink. Who has a tattoo? What made you decide to get one? For the un-inked, have you ever considered it?

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69 thoughts on “Tattoo You”

  1. I really want one! I recently turned 18 so I can get one without my parents’ permission, and I think I want to get one right before I leave for college of almost a family tree to represent the fact that my family will always be with me. However, I’m not sure where to get it because I don’t want to get it someplace everyone can see, but I also don’t want it in a really painful place (I know, I’m a wimp). I was thinking about getting it on my ankle though, but I’m really not sure.

    1. I almost ended up with nothing more than a black line, cause people who say getting a tat doesn’t hurt, lie. They are a bunch of lying liars! In the end, I’ve got a romance book on my thigh. I like that location because I can see it, but most of the time it’s covered up. Also, I didn’t want it anywhere it would sag with time. And by the way, I’ve heard that the ankle really hurts!

  2. I’ll fess up, Casey. I am a tattooed lady. You can see my story as to the why, what, and where at http://bit.ly/xetka8

    I am a believer in personal freedom, symbolism, fine art, and making a statement. I’m fairly certain that having a tattoo has not made me a lesser person:-)

    1. Ohh, I will be watching now for that paranormal sale, Shelly! About a year ago, I dreamt about a tattoo of one of the characters in my urban fantasy (still unsold). It was so vivid, I can still see it in my head. I told my hubby that when I sell the book, I want him to get that tattoo. I doubt he will agree because the character is a sprite – not very manly!

  3. Hi Casey, my husband is covered in them. There are still those out there that hold stereotyping opinions about those with tattoos, but Idwsay over the years it’s gotten a lot better. Great post and congrats on your new release, can’t wait to read it :)

    1. Thanks Mandi! Yes, public opinion has really relaxed over tattoos. When I was a kid, no one got tattoos. Now, it seem like everyone has one. But attitudes have not completely changed. But I think we can all agree – to each, his or her own!

  4. I think with tattoos, like piercings, that a little goes a long way. Many people seem to forget that their skin will change with age and it ,ight not look so good later. And I think I might start looking for a new doctor if mine came in sporting tattoos.

    1. Moderation is the key to most things. I have to admit, excessive piercing and ear gauges really get to me sometimes. Especially the ear stretching. It’s not like that can be easily changed or made to disappear!

  5. I have a tattoo above my left ankle. It’s a beautiful angel. I got it about a year after my mother died, right around my 30th birthday. i am a minister, and my spirituality is a very big part of who I am. I wanted something to represent my beliefs, but I didn’t know what I wanted until I saw this angel. I knew immediately that it was perfect for me. Although I always believe I have an angel with me, I now have a permanent one on my body. :-)

    I have considered recently tattooing the names of my sons in small script, one on the inside of each wrist. I also have considered tattooing the words “i carry your heart with me” on the inside of my wrist or arm to represent my husband, a poet (that is an ee cummings quote) and then tattooing the names of my husband and children somehow attached to that. We’ll see.

    I think tattoos are a wonderful expression of who we are in particular moments of our lives. I would think very, very long and hard about a tattoo, though–you want it to speak about yourself in a way that you won’t want to change.

    Can’t wait to read MYSTIC INK!

    1. What a wonderful tribute to your mother! And to your family (even if you don’t do it). I totally agree about thinking long and hard. It is permanent and they do stretch and change with age. I’ve never really considered getting one. My tastes change all the time. It takes me months of deliberation to choose a paint color for my wall!!

  6. I am (and shall remain) tattoo-free. Oh, I like them, but red-haired freckly types do not have the kind of skin that they look good on when they’re new. After a few years….<>

  7. I don’t have a tattoo, but I greatly enjoyed seeing Mr. Wyatt’s! A big fan, as you know…

    Well, if I ever did get a tattoo, it’d probably be the NY of the New York Yankees or a 2 to represent the mighty Jeter. I’d put it where only he and I could see it. ;-)

  8. Hi Christine! Great post! I’ve got a rainbow colored butterfly on my upper thigh and very soon I’m going to get a dragon sitting on a pile of books, knitting — on my back. I was also contemplating a penguin, the Tor rocket ship, but alas it wasn’t meant to be :D

  9. For a long time, I desperately wanted a small, bumble bee on my foot. I wanted it to look like the bee on Dutch money (I haven’t seen Dutch money in sixteen years, so I have bonuses if it looks the same. But oh! It was cute).

    Maybe I’ll get the tattoo for my birthday in a few years!

  10. I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was in my late 50′s. It’s not much of a tattoo, but I really like it. It hurt like a son of a gun to get it. Friend said it only tickled. She lied. I went to work the next day, boy did I get some looks. I had my eye liner tattooed on. I had red eyes for about three days. Will I ever get another tat. I have been thinking about a tatt for my back. Either wings or a large dragon. I thought I would try henia first. That way if I don’t like it, it will come off. But the jury is still out.

  11. Well, I’m a tattooed Scribe – boy does it feel good to let that out! :) I got mine when I was 25, it’s a book with a heart in the middle. Any yes, those who say it doesn’t hurt lie! I almost ended up with nothing more than a line….cause it hurt so much! And one is enough for me.

  12. I do not have one. For a while I really wanted one, but that passed. I love them, but for me all I could think of was being some 90 yr old woman with sagging skin and a faded tat … or worse, ink gone so dark you can no longer even recognize the design … gross. So I opted not to do it.

  13. Oh I adore the dragon! Just before I clicked over I was thinking about the dragon tattoo I want on my shoulder! I have two tattoos, one on each wrist. Among some cultures (and historically) you’d be weird if you didn’t have a tattoo. The western world tends to frown upon them because of Biblical prohibitions. Probably tattoos were associated with paganism.

  14. This Scribe is tat-free and has no plans to get one, ever. I figure by the time I get to the funeral home, the mortician will be marveling at my untattooed skin because she’s never seen anyone without a tat before! I simply cannot think of any image I would want on my pasty white body that I would want to look at every day, or that I wouldn’t regret in another couple of decades (maybe sooner). I don’t want any needles poking me if I can help it; also, I’d rather spend the money a tattoo costs on books or a weekend away somewhere fun with my family! That said, if other people want them and can live with the permanency (and the pain), that’s cool. Some tattoos are quite beautiful. But I agree with Jonnie that people (especially those in their teens and twenties) should use discretion on how many, how large, and how they’re placed. Whether it’s right or wrong, a lot of conspicuous body art can be perceived as unprofessional in certain occupations, and it could limit opportunities and even choices. I would hire Queequeg to harpoon my whales, but I might not hire him to be my lawyer or my dentist. I don’t care if my lawyer or dentist HAS tattoos — I just don’t want to see a full sleeve or anything on the face or neck. It just feels too personal. People in creative professions (photography, etc., have more leeway).

  15. Ooh, I love a tatted guy – Ami James (NY Ink) is a personal fav, along with Tom deLonge from Blink 182 but I digress… I think they are a great form of self expression and while in previous years might have only been displayed by ‘bad boys’ or military guys, I believe our generation will leave behind a lot of inked corpses. I have one, am plotting my second (that’s a writer for you) but I think it will be a reward when I’m finally published. Though I draw the line on the face, the guy who gave me mine had his whole scalp done – now that had to hurt!
    Your story sounds fascinating, Casey, can’t wait to read it! I think you’re going to build quite a following, seeing as how popular tattoos are in today’s culture, GOOD LUCK! As an FYI, several of my heros sport tattoos and I just love describing what – and where!

  16. Hi Casey: I live through others. I’m not into pain so I watch the “ink” shows that are on TV. I love some of the stories that are behind the tatoos. I keep my options open but at this point if I get one it will be one that is the temporary ones that you can get in the stores. This way I can change as my mood changes. Good luck with the book. Sounds great.

    1. Thanks!! Hubby and I have been watching Ink Master. I’ve been fascinated by the criteria and standards the judges apply when critiquing the artist’s work. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to let someone ink me on a crazy deadline either!

  17. Fun topic! And I love your husband’s dragon! I have two tattoos, the word “Imagine” on my right wrist and a star with three roses across it on my right shoulder–one rose each for my older daughter (pink), younger daughter (purple) and mother who died (yellow). I didn’t get them until my late 30s, though I’d wanted one when I was as young as 24, 25–I wanted to be sure about what I got and that I wouldn’t regret it. And I totally don’t regret it–I LOVE them and they feel so a part of me. I want more, but right now I’m really enjoying the ones I have.

    1. Hi Laura! Welcome to our blog! So is it true that they hurt more the closer you are to the bone? The wrist seems to be a delicate place. My husband will be pleased that you love his dragon. He is such a good sport. He didn’t even bat an eyelash when I announced I was taking pictures of his tattoos for the blog!

  18. Actually, I have three tattoos and I had the opposite experience. The tattoo that caused the most pain was the one on my thigh. I have one on my ankle and one on my back.

    And for those wondering, YES it does hurt. So plan well if you want one. Getting a tattoo is like giving birth. The pain is short-term, you can breathe through it, and the results last a lifetime. :)

  19. I cannot believe the response over tattoos. And, I am amazed that the secret carriers like the 60 year old woman I just met. I asked if she got the tattoo when she was a kid. She said “no, I got it last year.” I nearly fell over. Once you get a tattoos, you are marked for life unless you have plastic surgery, right? Tattoos are not for me, but my daughter and all three of her grown children have them. More power to tattoo people.

    1. Wow! See you just never know who will have a tattoo! And yes, they can be removed, but certain pigments like red can be really hard to remove (if at all- I think depends on how deep the color is too). Anyone know the answer?

    2. Hi Gail: We had a news item last week where someone let their 12 year old get a tattoo of their brother’s name put on their arm in order to pay tribute him since he was gone. I think there are other ways to pay tribute to someone at that age. I’m surprised the artist allowed that to happen. I would think that they could get into trouble for doing it to someone that young.

  20. Really? I thought you had to have plastic surgery to remove them. How we think as kids is so different to the way we think as adults. Tattoos as an adult is very different from kid’s thinking.

  21. I’m a little late to the tat discussion, but I too am tatoo free but always kinda wanted one. My brother has three very large one and I call him, a freak. But I think men( who are not my brother) with tats are kind of sexy.

  22. OK, so I just have to tell you a tat story. My ex-brother-in-law was in the Navy for a few years, and he said one morning he woke up, in his bunk, horribly hungover, head pounding, and realized his arm hurt. A lot. He looked at said arm and realized he had gotten a very large tattoo of a sword-wielding, scantily dressed warrior woman. And he didn’t remember getting it. A few months later the same thing happened, but this time he ended up with a semi-pornographic mermaid on his chest. He eventually stopped drinking. I don’t know if he’s gotten any more tattoos though! I swear I am not making this up.

    1. Susannah, that story reminds me of my dad. He was in the Navy during WWII, and he ended up with 2 tattoos, one on each bicep, after a drunken night. He barely remembers receiving them, and when I was younger, I always wanted to see them because I found them fascinating. They embarrassed him. At least, for a family man, they aren’t too racy–one is a skull and crossbones, and one is an anchor with the name of his ship across it.

      Nowadays, it’s much harder to get a tattoo if you’re inebriated. Artists are not supposed to work on you unless you’re sober. Probably a very smart rule!

  23. I have 6 tattoos. got my first on the very day i turned 18. my one rebellious moment. lol! my latest was just after this past Thanksgiving. society has changed so much that it’s almost more common for people in my generation to have a tattoo than not.

    1. Hi Leia,

      Thanks for stopping by! I agree. Tattoos are everywhere. Better watch out, I’ll be scoping out your ink at the next meeting. That sounds kind of creepy, doesn’t it? :)

  24. My own skin will remain uninked – eczema and tattoo ink do not play nice together- but I find tattoo influences are creeping into my mixed media art, as tattoo art tends to be intensely personal, which I like.

    I discovered Ink Masters last night, don’t miss an episode of NY Ink, and devoured Kat Von D’s first two books, so I think it’s safe to say some tattooed characters will probably show up in at least one of my books.

    1. Hi Anna! Ink Masters is a lot of fun. And the people who volunteer to be canvases are super brave! I love Kat Von D’s designs. Her artwork really speaks to me. Thanks for stopping by!!

      1. The last one I saw he actually visited the shop down in Miami (his wife and daughter still live down there – which seems strange). He talked about going back and forth between the two shops but no mention about any fall out. I actually don’t watch this one as much as the other shows because of all the fighting that seems to go on. If I want to see a fight, I’ll just watch boxing. That’s not why I tune in.

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