Thursday, April 28, 2011

To Tatt or Not to Tatt: Sound Off

My 2011 Golden Heart finalist group has put forward a proposal:  Let's all get a 2011 Golden Heart tattoo! 

First of all, I'm not a fan of tatts.  While some of the images are stunning, I don't like the look of them on skin so I've never been tempted to get one. 

Okay, I confess.  That last statement isn't entirely true.  I once saw a tatt that I totally coveted.  It was on the shoulder of a fellow attendee (yes, a female) at the University of New Mexico Writers Conference -- the Starfleet shield (from Star Trek for the uninitiated).  Ohhh, how I mulled that over.  For a long time. 

A GH tatt falls clearly in the "I think I like this crazy idea" category.

So I'm faced with this new tatt venture.  I'd love to mark (literally?) this landmark in my life and writing career.  But if I did, where would I put it?  If it's somewhere that shows, it's always going to be out there on public display.  If I put it somewhere it won't show, well....what's the point of breaking my own non-tatt policy and undergoing a procedure I'm not really crazy about if it's never to be seen? 

Might as well have it show (if I go ahead and do it, mind you).  So, theoretically, if I do the 2011 GH tatt thing....where would I have it permanently etched for posterity?

Ankle?  I hear that's very painful.  I'm not crazy enough about this idea to have excruciating pain go along with it.  (Wimp!)

Upper arm?  Then it will show if I wear a tank top, a sleeveless top or dress...or my GH ceremony formal.  Hmm....not sure about that either.

Wrist?  Hm, is that ever done?

Hand?  No.

Lower arm?  Um...too Popeye-ish.

Back of calf?  I don't think so.

Thigh?  Uhhhh...not enthused.

Definitely not face, neck or throat area.

I think I'm out of options.

What do you think?  Any ideas on placement?  Do you have tatts?  Where? (IF you can say in a public venue.)  Ever regret getting them?  Were you resistant to the idea, but glad you ended up doing it?  Or did you curse your inevitable but impetuous impulse?  Please help me out and chime in with your sage advice or words of dire warning.


  1. I had my first tatt done over a year ago. It's a celtic butterfly - very delicate tribal style tatt on the back of my right wrist. I had it done there so I could admire it(can't see the point having one somewhere you can't see it yourself), but so that I can hide it under a bracelet, wristband or long sleeves if need be. I'd always wanted one but when I was younger the idea of having something like that for life was a bit daunting. Approaching 40 I felt it was now or never. Also my main MC is tattooed so thought I should have some idea of what it feels like to have it done (and it wasn't as bad as I thought)so partly research. I would like another one or two done - have a design in mind for my second to be done on the other wrist, but I'm not aiming to have loads. I like the tribal ones in plain black rather than the really colourful ones. Definitely a case of less is more I believe. If you really want to get one done ask around for recommendations on a tattooist. One thing I did was to buy some temporary tattoo paper, printed off my design and then wore it for a month, replacing it with a fresh one every time it faded to get used to the idea and the image.
    On the other hand, what about a pair of gold heart earrings or a pendant? I think I'd go for that rather than a tatt.

  2. Some great advice, Pip. I like the idea of the temporary tatt so I can get used to the idea...or not. Still not sure where, but your suggestion of the wrist (I guess that is done) sounds like a good spot.

    Hats off to you for exploring your characters experiences. I think it does add a certain realism to your work when you write from experience.

    And I'm with you on the tribal bands. I like the black designs better than the colored ones. Come to think of it, that Star Trek shield I liked was black, too.

    Thanks for your ideas. Definitely food for thought.

  3. I really like looking at them on guys but not on women - generally - though there are exceptions. Pip's placement sounds good to me!! Some do look good elsewhere. My reservation is - will you still be happy with it when you're old! because I don't think tats look so good on old people. Since I'm not a spring chicken, I'm not going to define old!
    But I'd think long and hard when this is something for life!!

  4. Some practical advice from someone who got her first ink after 50(!): My first ink replaced my wedding ring (three of which I had lost under very strange circumstances-a long story). I like having mine where I can see them, too, so my first big tattoo (a full Chinese dragon) is wrapped around my wrist. I can cover up if necessary, but at my age, very few things necessitate. I have another large one on the front of my right shoulder (a hawk-my totem animal).
    Since I think of my ink as permanent jewelry, I don't mind showing it when I wear something revealing.

    However, both my big tattoos mean something very fundamental, even spiritual, to me. Will this moment always have the same meaning to you as you continue to advance in your career? I like the idea of celebrating with jewelry instead, because you can wear it for as long as the sentiment holds true meaning, then display it if you want.

    Be aware, also, that yellow ink can be problematic; it tends to fade quickly. I've been lucky with my dragon; the yellow details have lasted very well. But lots of people have been surprised when they've learned how long I've had the dragon to see how well it's held up.

  5. Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas, Barbara and Donna. Didn't realize that about yellow/gold, and if it's not yellow, what's the point? Can't see me with a black heart tatt. Although I did dress up as Joan Jett one Halloween.

    I'm leaning toward a temp tattoo for the conference and then deciding on permanent. I'm going to buy several temptatts if they become available so I can use them for other events in the future, too.

  6. I love my tat. My husband got it for my 15th anniversary. I've heard there is a new technology out there where the ink is encapsulated in micro-spheres and through a special process with a laser, the capsules can be broken open and the ink is absorbed by your body, permamently erasing it. This I think would be an option for someone who isn't sure if they want a permanent one and want to take it for a test drive. But after dealing with the pain, I'd rather not erase it.
    Not sure if it's available yet anyway. My thoughts, if you don't want to show it off, don't get it because you will regret it. They are for show.
    My tat is a tramp stamp--so if someone is seeing it when I'm old and saggy, enough to form an opinion on how it look--I'm doing pretty good. LOL


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