Tattoos: an artistic form of expression

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  • Jeni Obermier
    Jeni Obermier
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There are many things in life that are painful and for the most part, we all do our best to avoid them. But at certain points, you find something that hurts and you say, “Let’s do that again.”
This was my logic when I decided to get my three tattoos. Like many things we experience I forgot about the pain and just remembered the neat piece of art, so why shouldn’t I get another.
I got my first tattoo in 2015 on my left shoulder blade. It depicts River Song’s journal from Doctor Who with the quote, “We’re all stories in the end, make it a good one.”
I remember I had tensed up my arms and back so badly that the poor artist had to stop working for a bit. My first mistake with this one was forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to scratch it, and my goodness did it itch.
But with time it healed. I kept telling myself I wanted to get another one, but there never enough money or time, or some other reason to wait.
Then one day I went to Lincoln with my sister who has many tattoos and decided why not. I had wanted to get something for my two dogs and why keep putting off the idea if I was sure.
I waffled between ideas of outlines or just getting their heads before settling on two paw prints behind my right ear. A symbol for all the pets I’ve known and loved and all the ones to come.
My first mistake is the stencil was put on without my glasses so I didn’t even think about that until I had put them back on after I was all done. Lo and behold the arms of my glasses sat right on top of my freshly done ink and it was not pleasant.
This one ranked as my shortest, taking only about 20 minutes of skull-shaking work. Honestly, the headache that followed from the vibrations was worse than the actual tattoo and healing process.
At this point, I was feeling the urge to get another one. Why not, I thought. So my sister and I each got a mushroom from the same artist. Now I have a tiny mushroom holding a knife on my ankle because I am cute but ready to throw down.
Tattoos aren’t for everybody and I respect that, but for me, I have the mentality that life is short and seeing these images can bring back memories and different people and times in my life. 
It is a way for me to decorate myself and celebrate the things that have impacted me as I grow and change. Plus I love seeing the artistic talent that went into each piece.
Some people may say that I’ll live to regret them, but I truly don’t think I will. If you go into something thinking you’ll regret it you most likely will, so I embrace them as the art that they are.
I did my research, found a professional artist and sat on my ideas to make sure they still meant something to me over time. That is something I recommend for anyone thinking of getting ink done. 
You get what you pay for so understand that intricate, color or large pieces will take time and money. Remember -- good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good. 
JENI OBERMIER can be reached at features@ hamilton.net

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