Friday, August 04, 2006


posted by anne

tattoos fascinate.

i have a traditional red rose on my ankle, but i'd like to get a big tattoo on my shoulder. maybe a massive red lily. or possibly something in a one-needle, black vine design.

what i don't get is why it's SO hard to find a decent tattoo. why are so many of them so ugly and tacky? art is art.

I would love for everybody who reads this to reply to my questions.
I'm begging you!!

This blog is set up so you can post anonymously. I have absolutely nothing against anonymous posting.
Or you can call yourself Fred. Doesn't matter.

Part 1 -- you and your skin

do you have a tattoo?
how many?
where is it located?
are you glad you got it, or do you sometimes catch a glimpse of it and think, WTF was I thinking?

Part 2 -- the family of tattoos

does your mother have a tattoo?
does your grandmother have a tattoo?
does your daughter have a tattoo?

Part 3 -- share, help, show it off

I would love for you to send me a photo of your tattoo -- or a link to a favorite tattoo you've found on the internet.
have you seen one you liked? can you describe it? i know there are cool tattoos out there!!!


Betina Krahn said...

I have no tats myself, nor do the other women in my family. . . men either, for that matter. but I know a tattoo artist in Mankato who is truly that, an artist. I'll get the info for you. . .

Helen Brenna said...

I don't have any tatoos and neither do any of my family members, mother, grandmother, sisters, daughter. No one. Well, now that I think about it, there is a neice on my husband's side who has a calla lilly on her shoulder.

I am, though, fascinated by them and have often thought of getting one. I just can't think of a design or picture or whatever that I'd want to look at for THE REST OF MY LIFE!!

My daughter has her belly button pierced. Does that count?

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, and I LOVE the pictures you put up, Anne.

anne said...

betina: thank you! that would be wonderful! a bunch of us are doing a signing in mankato in november. maybe i'll just stay an extra day.

helen: aren't those first two covers beautiful? i couldn't believe how great they looked on our blog. it makes my eyes happy.

Candace said...

The only person is my immediate family with a tatto is my dad. It's on his bicep. He was 19, drunk, and in the navy when he got it. 'Nuff said.

I have a female cousin with a lovely, graceful Asian symbol (don't know what it stands for) on the nape of her neck. She has long hair, though, so it only shows when she wears her hair up.

Like Helen, I've often thought of getting one myself but I've never seen a design I'd want to live with forever. And whenever I bring up the possibility my husband says getting a tattoo would be like defacing the Venus de Milo with graffiti. And what can you say to that except thank you?

Anonymous said...

No tattoos. But I have two sites you may be interested in.
They have beautify work.
What not to do with Chinese characters.

Michele said...

Now there you see, Anne? You can be happy! :-)

I have two tattoos. One on my back right shoulder. A faery that I drew myself (I would never get a tattoo that I haven't drawn myself) and another on my er....chest area..that's just a small heart.
Very glad I got them. Need many more! Believe me, they are addictive.

My mom would never get a tattoo, nor any of my stuffy ole Norwegian relatives. But my daughter got her first a few years ago and now she's tie with me, two tattoos. I have a feeling she's going to get another soon. She must not have more than me!

We actually went to a tattoo shop together about a month ago . I've got this dragonfly I've drawn in a tribal form I wanted done, and my daughter wanted a scorpion (she's a Scorpio). The artist refused to do my tattoo, because while he loved the drawing, he said the spaces between the thick black lines were too close and over time the ink would blur and it wouldn't like as nice. I was glad he said that, instead of just doing it to make a buck. So now I'm on to redesigning. And of course I've told myself I won't get this tattoo (on my lower left stomach) until I've tightened up the abs a bit. [Hey, I just realized, my little picture that shows up here? It's the dragonfly tat I want.]


Kelly Parra said...

Part 1 -- Yes, I have 2. One when I was 18, the other when I was 21. I drew the first, a crescent moon with a rose wrapped around it. On my stomach, with 2 kids it's now a full moon. ;D The second on my back, shoulder: 2 dolphins in a yin yang sign. I keep thinking I'll get more but I haven't found any I like.

Part 2 -- Brothers, both. One brother has them on his arms, his thighs, his legs with piercings to match. My husband has almost 2 full sleeves. My kids want tattoos now. =D

Part 3 -- I used to know a bunch of tat sites when I husband was searching, but now we just pick up magazines. I'll to share pics sometime!

anne said...

candace: LOL! love the story about your dad!

anon: thanks so much for the links! i have the feeling i'm going to be spending hours at that first one. some very cool tattoos!

anne said...

ah-ha! michele. i was thinking, i'll bet michele has some tattoos. :D i love that you designed them yourself. and i love the dragonfly!! that would be a fantastic tattoo!!! yes, yes!!!

i love that you and your daughter go to tattoo shops together. that sounds so familiar! :)

anne said...

kelly, the moon and rose sounds really, really cool. damn! what a lot of great ideas. i would never have thought of combining those two, and i love it. now you have me wondering about combinations...
i knew your husband had a lot of tattoos. very cool. :) i have the feeling there are a lot of good tattoo artists in CA.

oh, and LOL at the full moon!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm too much of a stick-in-the-mud to get a permanent one, but I got a henna gecko on my ankle (over a scar) in Hawaii last year. I have a photo. Maybe I'll put that up on my next post. Also the photo of the cute kid who did it.

I got the gecko because I get all nostalgic about my mother when we go to Hawaii. We stopped there on the way and on the way back from Guam in the 50's. She wanted to go back for my parents' 25th, and they went to FL instead. Daddy died a couple of years later, and Mama's admonition later was: don't say next year if you can do it this year. Anyway, the gecko was a memory of Mama nearly jumping out of her shorts when my brother put one on her leg.

My son has tattoos. The first one was an India ink job--his declaration of independence at 18. It says "Danger" on his wrist. (India ink tattoos were big among the kids at Standing Rock, and most of my bro and sis-in-laws have them. Mostly words.) Since then, Firstborn got a sylized eagle put on his shoulder--more colorful and ironically one I designed. I painted it on a little chair of his years ago.

I think I have a bit of tattoo envy. Maybe more like envy of the kind of confidence I think it must take to take the plunge. If I did it, it would probably be commemorative rather than decorative. Like my dear friend who had a symbol (Chinese, I think) tattooed over the scar left by her breast cancer surgery. Don't remember what it means literally, but it's a victory tattoo. I love that. I'm putting it on a character in a book.

anne said...

kathleen, i like the idea of a gecko in honor of your mom, even if it was temporary. you have the photo! and is anything really temporary? i'm beginning to think it isn't.

and there is always the question of should this be decorative or commemorative, or can it be both? i love them all for all reasons. yep, i'm infatuated.

i've seen photos of women who've had their entire chest tattood after a mastectomy. talk about defiant.

anne said...

as far as my family goes -- none of the guys have tattoos. wow. that seems strange. i have one tattoo i've had for about 9 years. my daughter has 4 tattoos, a giant one across her shoulders that she regrets getting. i think she's had it about 7 or 8 years. it's a black tribal, with really wide lines so it will be almost impossible to get rid of. the guy who did it messed it up, so she had to go to somebody else to correct it. That person had to make it a lot bigger in order to fix the uneven lines and mistakes.

i think it looks nice, but the design was part of a fad. that's the thing about tattoos. you don't want a fad tattoo.

Anonymous said...

Anne -

I have one tat on my right ankle. It's a crab with my sign under it's legs. I'm a Cancer. I had to have it drawn up especially for what I wanted because they didn't have what I wanted. I did it for my 30th birthday. I had always wanted one and when I decided what I wanted and where, I did it. My husband was against it, but it is my body and I'm the one who will live with it forever. I'm proud to show off my tat and look forward to getting more, when I can afford it.

No one else in my family(ies) has one and many don't understand why I did it.

If you're ever at an MFW meeting when I'm there, I'll be glad to show you. I went to ACME Tattoo in St. Paul. They are great there. They do have a site, but I'm not sure what it is. I love watching Miami Ink and Inked on cable because I see a lot of great work and ideas.

My next tat is for my husband's profession, a thin blue line around my ankle with the saying 'Heros Live Forever' around the top of it in the back. I'll have to have it drawn up, but it will be worth it. The others I want are of Faery on an open flower on my lower back (found on a note card in a gift store, which again will need to be drawn up) and the I would like to get a dragonfly on my upper shoulder (I'm not sure which side yet).

As it's been said previously, once you get one, they're addictive. I love looking at people's body art and asking them about it. Thanks for the blog.

Betina Krahn said...

Go to the web site The Mankato artist I spoke about is Megan Hoogland, the daughter of my late husband's old flame. (long story) Years after the fact, old flame and husband became good friends with husband and me. They read my books and we had fun together until my husband died. Their eldest was quite an artist and got into body art early on in the 90's. She's remarkable. Give her a look when you're in Mankato.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I don't have one, but my brother's wife does. A little white tiger.

I'm not all that hepped when teens get them, because they don't always have the greatest judgement about what to write on their bodies.

When you're older? Go for it. I think they're cool, but won't get one. As I get older, I've thought more about an Asian symbol or Indian henna-look thing somewhere, but it probably won't happen. Especially cause I have this lowered-immune system from transplant drugs I take.

I will say this, and I believe Helen Brenna will back me up on it, that I might have come awfully close to going wild and getting a tattoo at RWA in Atlanta, had I stayed at the bar to finish the Mojito I'd ordered.

anne said...

anonymous, i wondered about ACME tattoo!!! i came across their website when i was trying to find a good, local place and from what i read it sounded like some nice work comes out of there. and yes, if i ever make it to an MFW meeting, you'll have to show me your tattoo. would love to see it. but those meetings... that's like getting up in the middle of the night for me, which is why i don't go -- but i need to quit being a baby, kick myself in the ass, and just do it.

Susan Kay Law said...

Not me. I don't like avoidable pain. One piercing in each ear is plenty for me. I have zero interest in anything else.

My two oldest boys each have one. They got it together, their Chinese names on their right shoulderblades.

I suspect Ian will get another one soon, either Survivor or LiveStrong.


anne said...

oh my god, betina!!!!!!
that place is AMAZING!!!!!!
TATTOO HEAVEN!!!!! i have to go there!
Meagan's work is fantastic. she's the kind of artist i've been looking for.

road trip!!

anne said...

michelle: i can definitely see why you shouldn't get a tattoo. and i agree about teens to some extent, although a lot of kids like to get them their senior year. i think as long as it's not something big -- or some guy's name -- haha -- it's okay. names are never good.

as far as atlanta -- maybe a tattoo artist should be part of the next conference. wouldn't they make the bucks? haha

anne said...

susan, yes, there is the pain factor. my daughter got a new one recently and she said it hurt a lot more than she remembered. that's kind of worrying me, because i'm a baby about pain.

i like both ideas for possible tattoos for ian. i especially like LiveStrong

Helen Brenna said...

Yes, I can vouch for the fact that Michelle B's judgement may have been extremely impaired had she finished that mojito in Atlanta!! But she has great willpower.

Me? At conference? I would've finished the mojito!!

Pain, yes, there's another reason I doubt I'll ever get a tattoo.

lois greiman said...

I feel so left out now. I should run out and get myself pierced and inked immediately. My daughter who is 17 suggested that she and I and my mother should all get tattooed together. My mother is 87. It probably won't happen. I suggested we do the women's bonding in the other direction--when she has a daughter we can deface her baby and ourselves before she has a choice in the matter. Whatcha think? Child abuse or art??

Michele said...

Yes, Lois of the belly ring who kept it in for a few days then TOOK IT OUT! I just wouldn't have been able to go through the pain of having someone pierce my belly with nothing to numb it.

Wierd, isn't it? Cause i sat for three hours for the tat on my back and it didn't really bother me at all.

Hey, Anne, I'm going to Mankato in November. The two of us, in town, so close to the tattoo shop.... Hmm...

anne said...

helen, i like the phrase: extremely impaired. it's polite, and yet we all know what you mean. wasted. ;)

lois: i LOVE your daughter's idea!!!! absolutely LOVE it! three generations. but i can see how being 87 might be a problem for mom. maybe all of you could get a really tiny tattoo.

this has the makings of reality TV.

now tattooing a baby... that's just wrong! unless it's an experiment to see how the tattoo changes and morphs over the years. then it would be fine. ;)

anne said...

she removed the belly button ring? LOL!! lois, that is so funny!

michele, i'm seriously thinking about that tattoo shop in november. i might even stay over to get something. what do you think? could be fun.

amy*skf said...

Late to the party, and way late getting a tattoo. I got mine when I was 42--judgement intact, Michelle. It's on my lower back--a sun on one side and a crescent moon on the other (forming one circle)with three stars around it, and designs to the sides. My daughter thought of the design.

The sun represents my husband, the moon is me and the stars are my three children

Because it's on my back I don't see it constantly, and 5 years later I still say a happy "oh" when I see it in the mirror.

amy*skf said...

Also, I brought a book with me to read while being tattooed--yeah, that doesn't work, I ended up using the same breathing techniques for that as I did for being in LABOR. But then you get used to the pain.

Husband has two tats. Single color ink on both. Mine are multi-colored.

anne frasier said...

amy, thanks for sharing. your tattoo sounds beautiful. *sigh* i love the concept and how the stars represent your children.

that is so funny about the book!
pain. damn. that's the problem with tattoos! :D

i'm afraid i'll get some huge outline, then not want to go through the pain of getting it filled in.