Tattoos are always a touchy subject. You either love them or you hate them. I hate saying that but it’s true. People always have something to say about them, good or bad. Personally I love them. It’s just that extra step in expressing yourself. Ever since I was small I always thought it was one of the coolest things ever. To this day I still think it is. Now with tattoos becoming more accepted in this society you are seeing more and more people getting them. I like that. Go express yourself.
Over the past sort of year I have had a couple of tattoos done. Some which were sparked with drunken conversations and others that actually have a meaning. It still doesn’t mean they have to be conventional right? To be fair I like to think of tattoos as like a postcard. They all really have a meaning. Even if you don’t think they do. You are always going to be able to tell a story about a specific one. Why you got it done or what it means. That’s one of the reason I love my tattoos. I love telling stories and there is always somebody asking about them.
I have always had a certain idea of the type of tattoos I like. It’s mostly black/traditional work with a bit of dotwork thrown in the mix. I’ve never seen myself being covered in lots of colour work so I thought it was good to just to stick to black. So far that’s working out for me.
I suppose I will start talking about my tattoos now. Back in November of Last year I went and got my first piece done from the brilliant Ema Sweeney. It’s an anatomical heart which reads “The Fools compass”. I got the idea when I saw a shitty little drawing somewhere with the same saying but on a banner wrapped around a love heart. In my head it sparked the idea of having it an anatomical heart with the saying underneath, like it was a diagram from an old biology textbook. I like the idea of it all. You’re a fool if you follow your heart. I guess i’m a fool then eh? I picked Ema after searching for probably around two months for the type of artist I wanted. I knew as soon as I saw her work that she was the ideal person to do my first tattoo.
After that I had really caught the bug. Constantly thinking of ideas of what I could get. So I went and got this Frightened Rabbit “fucking mega cross”. Frightened Rabbit have got to be one of my favourite bands. There work just means so much to me (see Owl John post) I wanted to get the “mega cross” as I just love what it means. If I remember correctly in an interview Scott said a few years back it means nothing. They just want people to question it. I like that. In my mind it’s iconic and will always stand out. This tattoo was one of the more impromptu ones. I had the idea in mind and when I saw the artist Darryl Mullen had a free space for the next day I instantly emailed him. At the time he was Tattooing at Top Mark in Stirling. I had heard good things from this place from friends so I thought it was worth a shot. It was done back in February of this year and I was happy with the result of it but over time it started to make me think, more on that later though.
Now my next tattoo is one of the best and one of the worst. It reads “Everything’s Coming Up Milhouse. The idea behind this one is I just like it. I like the quote and I like the meaning behind the quote. It’s just ridiculous. The reason I got it was because things were actually looking up for me. I passed my driving test, Got a job then an apprenticeship. I was traveling about a bit and making some great friends. It’s not conventional and I like that. I don’t even want to say where I got this done but im sure you could probably figure it out. I love this tattoo because the meaning and I like the style of it just the lines are awful on it. I can’t even remember who done it. I just got landed with some apprentice I think. When I went and booked it I had a good few reference images of how I wanted the styling to be but when I went in she had nothing drawn up. She was clueless. Even after explaining numerous times. Although she did offer to touch it up for free with going to Kendal and then Leeds shortly after it I’ve never had a chance. In all honestly I’d rather go and pay somebody else to touch it up than go back to her. I got this work done in June of this year.
Let’s go back to last Sunday. I got tattooed again. This time I got a domino. It’s a long story so I won’t get into. The abbreviated version of the story will have to do. It’s pretty much to represent going to Leeds Festival. To remember the weekend and the people I met. It was also an extremely drunken idea when was down there. The five and the three represent the people I met down there. The 5 of us that came down from Scotland and the 3 girls from Manchester we became friends with. I still talk to everybody now and I think it’s a good way to remember them and the weekend. I was originally going to wait and get it done next year by Ema. One thing led to another though and thanks to my friend Sarah showing me her new ones I couldn’t resist. She told me about Craig Mercer a local tattooist that’s currently tattooing at Studio XI in Grangemouth. His style is perfect. Like literally everything he does I like. The dotwork is just incredible.
When I booked my appointment I didn’t only get the domino done. I also asked if he would touch up my “mega cross”. I thought it was time to get something done about it. It’s not like there was anything wrong with it I just wanted it to tie in a bit better with my arm. I knew Craig could do something with it just to make it come to life. I never had any intentions of getting it shaded in but with the plan to get a sleeve of black work I feel like the small lines would’ve just got lost. He done amazing work and I couldn’t be happier. It’s like he could actually see in my mind and knew what I wanted. I definitely plan on going back for more work from Craig.
So that’s my tattoos. Not the most interesting in the world but I like them. I don’t think I will be getting any more this year, but who knows what will happen right?
Thanks to Martin Tazioli for the photos follow him on instgram here –