The Girl with the Prison Tattoos

download2I’ve talked about my relationship with tattoos before. Where it began, how I used them to rebel, how I used them to express myself, gain strength and empowerment, accept my body and sometimes just for shits n’ gigs. So what on earth else is left to say?

I thought I would try to tattoo myself recently because honestly, why not? Stick and poke has become super popular, even more so than it was back when I got my first, administered with a needle tied to a piece of bamboo in Thailand.

So, as with many things over the years, I thought I’d give it a go myself. Like singing and stand-up comedy, there’s always something that makes me wonder whether this new thing, whatever it is, could be my thing.

This time it isn’t but it’s still good to try, right? Turns out stick and poke tattoos are hard to master. Who knew?

My first was quite ambitious. I chose a Beyoncé lyric because why wouldn’t you? And then I just went for it.

DISCLAIMER: I should note here that I bought proper tattoo needles and ink and then did a shitload of research on poking your own skin (which meant watching a ton of horrible amateur videos). I made sure my ‘station’ was cleaner than Rory Gilmore’s mind and that, my friends is all I can tell you. 

img_2874You can argue that my first tattoo didn’t turn out that great. The reality is that I got bored and uncomfortable in the position I was hunched in. I used a very thin needle (3s), which made it harder to punch the ink into my skin.

It stung a bit but it wasn’t bad. I was more paranoid about cleanliness. I think I’ll definitely go back for another go, why not? I’ve since been given a bit of advice by a tattooist on needle size (start with 7s) and he thinks this will clean up quite nicely.

Maybe I’ll share the results, who knows? Not so bad for a first attempt though, right? Plus, Queen B always.

~

img_0698I’ve wanted tattooed cuticles for TIME and that is the main reason I bought the needles.

I love how these have turned out but I suppose it would be very difficult to fuck up what is essentially just a full stop. They took forever but I am so happy with them. It also feels kind of badass rocking my own ink, administered by me.

I’m not sure this is the secret new career for me. Gone are the very brief dreams of me discovering a (deeply) hidden talent and rising through the ranks to become the finest stick and poke tattooist in the land, revered by all, feared by many. Or something.

I’ve been asked by a couple of friends to do some dots on them though.

Which is kind of the same thing. ❤

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Express Yourself

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Click on image to see more of european.son.420’s work

Bit of a cheat post today.

You might have noticed that I failed to post yesterday and am making up for it today with a 2 for the price of 1 deal. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as there are 31 published posts by the end of October, roughly one a day, right?

Right.

This barely counts as a post but I thought I’d share. I got this tattoo this afternoon by an artist I’ve been admiring for a while on Instagram. He was very lovely and I’m in love with it.

I got another but I’ll share that for Halloween as it’s fitting.

I think I’ll also take some time in the last week of Blogtober 2016 to talk about my relationship with tattoos. Consider me inspired by my old mucker Meghan Lightle. It’s a topic I find endlessly interesting. Maybe you guys will too.

Happy Sunday all, hope it’s been a wild one (or, like mine, not) ❤

 

Grrrl

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Today I got this.

It was somewhat impulsive, I won’t lie but I feel it’s very necessary. I need a little Riot in my life, right now (and always).

Who doesn’t?

I’m having a few more bits done at the beginning of February and then hopefully 2016 will be a rather inky year for this guy.

Tattoo by @alexneweytattoos (on IG).

Bah Bye 2014!

tumblr_nhdfojHJg01tsfm3lo1_1280Well well well, here we are on the cusp of a brand new year and it feels like we were standing here not so long ago, doesn’t it? Where did 2014 go?

That said, quite a lot of shit has gone down and even as I ponder how speedily those months have flown by, I know it has felt like a full year.

The obligatory recap (and you will have to forgive me for a rather long and self indulgent post):

It’s hard to believe that A Voluptuous Mind has only been in existence since March. Before that I wore a few monikers, including The Meet Cute and Groupie for the Underdog.

Looking back on my blog is how I know what I did, what my mental states were throughout and what I have achieved.

I started my current job role in February after what felt like an epic battle to get it. I went up against my (now) good friend and in the end won it based on my writing ability. To me a great victory, even if it appears small to others.

It’s been a huge learning curve, stepping up from the bottom (where all good employees begin) into Head Office and having to adapt accordingly. For the most part I am happy and doing well, with a few frustrations that don’t seem important now. I’m doing okay work wise. Whether I will ever have a career based on what I do now is another matter, but is something to have a think about.

What my job has given me is a handful of really brilliant friendships and for that how could I ever be mad? I’ve been touched by the love I have received from three of my now closest friends and feel like a stronger person for each one of them. I’ve been inspired to get off my ample arse and move, in the best possible way – to think about what I want from life, who I want to share it with and invest in.

These women are a million light years away from the unhealthy friendships I have put up with in the past and that’s just magical really.

Among the hair brained schemes I had at the beginning of 2014 were: singing lessons, hula hooping and running. Only one of those stuck to be honest, but hey, that’s better than nothing. I also tried my hand at reviewing a few movies and books, which is something I would like to take into the new year.

I plan to have my nose stuck in a book as much as possible next year, rather than on my phone or whiling the hours away on Candy Crush Soda (which has not real merit at all). Ditto Netflix.

Continue reading “Bah Bye 2014!”

My Week Filtered

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This week has been a good one with many highlights. Here are a few of them, from Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

  1. It was pissing down at 9am yesterday but by lunch it looked like this: I like to call this image ‘Narnia after the thaw’. Despite the title of this post #nofilter
  2. The prettiest tree I have ever seen, right in time for the upcoming Christmas period #nofilter
  3. Short classic red nails. This may not seem like a big deal to anybody else but this week I cut my very long nails down to this length and I think they can stay! It feels so fresh, modern and practical
  4. #obsessed 
  5. What’s a lunchtime stroll around the cemetery without a dorky #selfie?
  6. This is one of the coolest charity shop finds I’ve ever unearthed. Love Miranda July, and I bloody love the British Heart Foundation! Saturdays are for the Open Market and charity shop rummaging (except today as I think I may have food poisoning from some dodgy chicken last night)
  7. This happened! I love it so much, it feels like a sexy secret tattoo that in the end only Glynn and I will ever see. My friend Ella has just started tattooing and she’s ace. She does dotwork and it’s so delicate and beautiful. It could become a big problem for my tattoo addiction… #never
  8. This also happened and I adore it! I’ve wanted a paper fortune teller like the ones I made as a kid for a long time, and this is perfect. Also by Ella
  9. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I’m a bit of a sucker for graffiti. I don’t know quite why this appeals so much, but I like it a lot #brightongraffiti

Happy weekend all!

Think Ink

When I was a teenager I wasn’t sure of anything really, but I did have a slightly rebellious streak (that I cultivated to push against an76467164700c60e1c37c733e0cd53e93 imaginary enemy). My lovely mum was pretty cool with most things so I was fighting myself, mostly.

When I was around 14 (in my anecdote I am 14, but I suspect I was actually 16), I convinced my uncle to take me to get a tattoo. We chose a tiny little shop in an alleyway in Hastings Old Town one Saturday and I had absolutely no plans for a design.

I am from a family that you wouldn’t exactly call ‘tattoo friendly’ and before this had never had an older family member with a secret tattoo. If my own grandfather has a fuzzy blue mermaid anywhere about his person then I have never heard of it, much less seen it.

So it was brave of me I think to walk into the buzzing atmosphere of my first tattoo parlour that afternoon. In those days it was easy to fake a birth date on a flimsy piece of paper, no ID was requested and to be fair I don’t think anyone cared all that much.

I pointed to a tiny pink butterfly on the wall and before I knew it I was in the chair, a huge man with a ring through his nose looming towards me with a needle.

I took it well, marvelling at a feeling I had never had before. I know it now to be a flush of adrenaline but my childish heart was just delighted to be doing something so unauthorised. So free.

While he waited, my uncle fell in love with a dream catcher design (or was it a mushroom?) and went back a few weeks later for his own ink. And I’ve been in love with tattoos ever since.

If I didn’t know anything else, I knew right there that one day I would be covered in them if I only had my way.

Today I have quite a few. The artwork on my body varies from very very bad to really great and there are some oddballs in between. People talk about tattoos being a map of events in your life and that is true for me to a certain extent. There’s the 18th birthday present from my high school BFF (shooting stars, ankle), the ill-advised travel tattoos (tiger cub, hip/multiple lotus flowers), the great big Fuck You.

There’s the love token (letter ‘g’, back of neck), the BFF that is no more tattoo (tiny star, behind ear) – and then there are the ones that I just had to have because I like stuff (sugar donut/nail polish bottle/hula hoop). What I have is for me and nobody else, although I do run it past Mr Bee first. It’s not a request for permission per se, just checking in.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say, how many times they ponder when I will stop or if it will affect my ability to get a job in the future. A big oaf in the Co-op asked me if they were real and then proceeded to tell me how much he hates tattoos. Great customer service, my friend!

It is my body and if I’ve thought it through and want to do it, I will. I’m not as heavily covered as some friends, but have quite a bit more than others. Some of my friends have nothing at all and always make me think of what Ozzy Osbourne once said:

If you want to be —-ing individual, don’t get a tattoo. Every —-er’s got one these days.”

This week, today actually, I am popping in to hang out with my friend and tattooist, Alex, who is going to draw me up an epic piece. I’m at the stage where slapping things on empty space isn’t an option anymore, they have to fit in with existing pieces so that the overall ‘sleeve’ knits together.

I like colour and I love the traditional style, and I’m also a massive girl so everything I have has to have a feminine edge, even my lumberjack is drinking from a fine bone china cup and saucer. I don’t really know what I’m doing but I do know what I like so that’s half the plan sorted, right?

As for my family, well my Mum at least, she came round eventually, electing to have a tattoo to celebrate her 65th birthday. Her son-in-law paid and every time I see it I get a glimpse of the bad ass within. She gets complimented by hipster waitresses and I admire her for doing it because she wanted to.

She’s still not sold on the idea of me being covered but that’s just because I’ll always be her baby girl. She loves them on other people.

So what are your views on tattoos? Do you have them/want them/abhor them?