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Blog: Is ink an addiction?

At what point would you consider yourself addicted to ink? And by ink I mean tattoos.

My first prick was at 21 and in many respects I would be considered a late bloomer. Legally in Australia you can get a tattoo without parent consent at 18, with written parent consent you can get it earlier.

“I probably grew up in the wrong generation. I wish I could really say “I was getting tattoos before it was cool”

I’ve always admired tattoos, specifically the real large intricate and elaborate pieces that weave and wrap around a person’s body. In my mind it takes a certain level of commitment, a specific love for the art to cover unadulterated skin like that. I wonder what goes in the minds of these people when they come to terms with the fact they want to cover much of their body.

From personal experience, I can definitely say I would love to have a decent portion of my body inked. I do it because I love being able to express my beliefs through the images I choose to permanently mark on my body. Like a puzzle you can often piece together a person’s persona through the ink trails they leave behind.

These days it seems tattoos may have lost a bit of their mystique, they have lost a little bit of the “that’s different” kind of response because every man, woman and child has one. This can be a good thing because it can be seen as societies softening of their traditional conservative views on tattoos (which is a good thing) however it also opens up the debate of whether tattoos are just a fashion statement, a fad or a fleeting moment of drunken stupor. I probably grew up in the wrong generation. I wish I could really say “I was getting tattoos before it was cool”.

Right now I have scatterings of tattoos mostly on my body where they can be hidden easily with clothing. Why? Well partially because I grew up in a conservative traditional Vietnamese household where my mum was against tattoos (mark of a thug, won’t get a job, people will talk badly about her parenting etc) but also along this journey of life I’ve let societies views on openly visible tattoos affect my  choice of location but never of artwork. Unless you really don’t care and have settled with the potential consequences of how people’s perspective will change then it’s just a sh*tty fact of life that people will judge and may treat you differently.

Anyway, I hope to get more tattoos soon in September when I’m overseas. A Polynesian design perhaps, more mandalas, who knows what ink trails life will lead me to!

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