Think Before You Ink

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Ink stains from the needles pain.

At the very least, you’ve thought about getting a tattoo. Maybe you’ve even thought of sporting a sleeve or some individual pieces. Speaking from experience, they’re addictive, expensive, painful and are, in this day and age, becoming progressively more commonplace. However, in this column, I will limit myself to a op-ed on today’s tattoo culture. I, myself, carry quite a few etchings on my skin, all of which mean the world to me. I started with a small piece on my spine when I was 18 and from there, my addiction was born. I don’t regret my choice(s) but have to admit I don’t approve of the vast majority of ink I see on a day to day basis.

In spite of this, I’m contemplating becoming a tattoo artist but let’s not get sidetracked and stick to the issue at hand.

I was on the bus the other day and a younger guy was discussing his new tattoo with a friend. “Ink before you think” was his defense when asked about the subject matter of his piece. It was a poorly done rose on his right hand, in case you were wondering. Now… I held my tongue but was sorely tempted to give him a whack on the back of the head. You know…to knock some sense into him.

Think before you act, no matter what the scenario because even the briefest of reflections could benefit you greatly. Tattoos are permanent, they don’t wash off. A majority of the world population still regards them as taboo and it has shown to encroach on your job opportunities. They are expensive; a good tattoo is never cheap, as a cheap tattoo is never good. Your average shop, ball park, is asking for about $120 an hour for their artists. Furthermore if you do by chance go the route of a rookie artist you run the risk of improper sterilization, shoddy work and a permanent reminder of your bad call. Ultimately what I aim to get across here is to be smart and think before you act. Remember, this industry doesn’t often reward the rash and spontaneous amongst it’s followers.

In the future you might cross my path and I will probably have some visible ink but I dare you to ask me what the meaning behind it is. I accept my fate as a tattooed individual, a lot of jobs will turn me down, many people will pass judgement but, in the end, it is who I am. Speak with an artist before getting work done, ask them for some insight, ask a friend, do your research! Honestly with the passion I reserve them, I invite anybody to speak with me about them, questions or comments my ears are open.

-Ryan Largan