Sunday, 24 May 2009

My Tats

I'm a tattoo freak. I love getting them, looking at other peoples, reading books about them, anything. I just got a new one today and so I thought I'd post up some pictures of each of my tattoos and write a little about each one.

The Crow - Let this be a lesson to you all on bad tattooing!

This was the first tattoo I ever got when I was 18. It's pretty tiny and sits at the top of my back on my spine. My mum actually came with me to the tattoo shop and it cost me £25. That should have been a warning right there - cheap, cheap, cheap. The other warning should have been that I got it done in Cheshunt and, trust me, Cheshunt is not known for it's tattoo artists...or much else actually, other than spawning Cliff Richard and the Goss brothers of Bros. fame....again, a sign.

It's meant to be the crow from the film The Crow, it is now, thanks to terrible tattooing in the first place, a black blob. The Crow was one of my first major obsessions and had a huge effect on me when I was a teenager. I can't watch it much and I have to be in a very specific mood to put it on, very few films have that effect on me. I knew this had to be the first tattoo I ever got and at the time thought it would be the only one I'd ever have.

I now need to get it covered because it's so terrible, I still love the film so maybe I'll just get it tidied up with a larger version but to be honest I think a new cover up might be a better idea. God knows what I'll end up with. So let this tattoo be a lesson to you all, go to a decent tattoo artist, pay that bit extra and do your research. An ugly tattoo is with you forever. In theory this tattoo should have been cute and simple, in practise it's a disaster!

Brandon Lee - One of my favourites

Staying with The Crow my next tattoo is inspired by its leading man, Brandon Lee and is on the inside of my wrist. Brandon was Bruce Lee's son and like his father died tragically young. I obviously got into Brandon Lee through The Crow but quickly tracked down his other films and started reading up about him. He's a real cult hero of mine and for years I wanted his name on me.

Now I hate Chinese symbols, having peace or love written on you in another language just because it looks pretty is just not appealing to me and I think it looks tacky. People probably think this tattoo is tacky for that very reason but let me explain a little about it. Because Brandon was half Chinese he was given an English and a Cantonese name. Sometimes I don't think people get that my wrist doesn't say 'Brandon Lee', it says 'Lee Kwok Ho' which translates to 'National Hero Lee', just like Bruce Lee's Cantonese name was 'Little Dragon'.

When I got this tattoo I was so happy. It's still one of my favourites because Brandon was a big part of my teenage years, huge in fact, and although it's not the most impressive or even well done of my tattoos it really does mean a lot to me.

MCR and Stars - Fandom to the extreme?

Anyone who knows me knows that My Chemical Romance are my life. They are a band I would die for, they're all amazing musicians and people and Gerard Way is my ultimate hero for a number of reasons. I was late getting into them but man did I get into them. Within two weeks of hearing their music I was booked in for this tattoo. It sits on the front of my wrist, on the same arm as my Brandon Lee tattoo.

It was originally done in Birmingham when I was living up in Coventry and it was done pretty badly to be honest so when I moved back down to London I got my tattoo guy to tidy it up and later he added some stars. There are meant to be more stars actually but I never got round to going back so it'll get finished when that arm eventually becomes a sleeve. I quite like this tattoo but my boyfriend isn't so keen, he loves MCR but just thinks the tattoo is a little weak. Maybe it is. It says a lot about me though....mainly that I'm an MCR fan who isn't afraid to show their love despite the often negative feelings people have towards the band.

Bats - Vampires, Batman, MCR...and just bats!

This was my first big tattoo and is in fact a rather extreme cover up. I used to have some barbed wire around my wrist. Barbed wire has no relevance in my life, I always like Pamela Anderson's tattoo but to be fair I'm no Pamela Anderson and at the time I did not have the cash to spend on decent tattoos like Pammy. So I was stuck with a rather wonky, slightly blue, pretty ugly tattoo and I needed it covered. By this time I had just started working in Camden, I had some cash, so I spent out.

Now I'm a vampire addict and a Batman fan so bats have always seemed pretty cool to me. On top of that MCR's first and second albums are vampire related and the first even states 'Unleash the fucking bats' so bats it was....up my arm. It wasn't the most pleasant experience. It took a good few hours because it's solid black but I was quite proud that I sat through it fairly comfortably while the huge bloke getting the top of his arm done next to me had to have a break because he felt light headed...twice.

The healing was a nightmare though. My arm was swollen for about a week and I couldn't put it down or the pressure would cause pain. The thick black around my wrist turned into a kind of cuff that would not expand so the rest of my arm ached. Plus it itched like a bitch!

I get a lot of compliments about this tattoo and thanks to it I've met one of my best mates so it means a lot. It's not terribly feminine but neither am I really so it kind of works.

MCR Face- I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

This is another MCR tattoo. It's on the inside of my arm, above the Brandon Lee one. I actually did it on a complete whim which was risky and not advised. I had some cash (oh those were the days) and wanted some lyrics on my arm but couldn't find a decent font. In the end I just pulled out all of my MCR stuff and decided that the face from the I'm Not Okay (I Promise) single would make a good tattoo.

My tattooist is great and did a really good job. It was my first tattoo in colour, something I thought I'd never have, so felt like a big step but I was so pleased with the result. It healed up nice and quick which is always a bonus too. It's really hard to get a good photo of this one and it really does look better in the flesh.

Lyrics - Ouch my poor ribs

This one hurt a lot! It was only an hour and a half but my word it was uncomfortable. The worst bit wasn't even my ribs, it was the little bit of fat on my hip. I swore to myself I'd never have my ribs done again but you soon forget that when you're all healed up so who knows.

This is an MCR lyric, surprise surprise, and says "This hole you put me in wasn't deep enough and I'm climbing out right now, you're running out of places to hide from me." It's probably got the most meaning to me out of all of my tattoos. It represents that fact that I've not always been the strongest person in the world, I've suffered depression, been on meds, self harmed and not had a very healthy relationship with food but I've never stayed down, I've tried to fight back to be where I am today...a reasonably stable, content place. It's also a little 'fuck you' to all of the people that made snide comments about the way I looked or dressed at school, the people who said I was going through a phase. It's to show everyone and most of all myself that I am who I am, I'm not ashamed and I've actually done okay for myself.

It needs a touch up, it's a little patchy because the ribs are a hard place to heal without peeling, but I've been putting it off. Haha, I'm a wimp!

Swallows - Family

This tattoo is quite obviously on my chest. Getting something there was a big decision but actually one I made fairly quickly, it just felt right. I'd been watching Miami Ink and seen Ami James do two swallow tattoos, one I loved the shape of, it was very traditional but I hated the colour, blue, the other was a less attractive shape but an amazing green, it was less traditional but just stunning. So I tracked down an image of both and got my tattoo guy to combine the two.

Originally I wanted text between them, it was was going to say 'Thank You For The Venom'. I'm so glad he never got the email I sent containing the text. I decided I'd come back another day to have it added but I got home and loved the simplicity of them and I never went back.

They hurt. They took three hours and my tattoo guy said, "Are you ready for the pain?" as I sat down. This guy is huge and covered in tats so if he says somethings going to hurt then it probably will. I'm not saying it was unbearable but definitely not comfortable. They healed up so quickly and nicely though, no need for touch ups and I get a lot of compliments on them too.

Swallows are traditional sailor tattoos, they represent family and home. I've always been very close to my family and my grandfather died in WW2 fighting in the navy so they seemed quite fitting. Both of my grandmothers passed away, one just before I got this tattoo, so I think of each of the swallows as representing them.

Rumor - The new one

My newest tattoo I got today. It's just behind my ear/ top of my neck. My tattoo shop wouldn't normally do this tattoo as it's classed as a neck tattoo and they can be frowned upon but since I'm a little older and a regular customer (and I'm pretty covered in tats anyway) they agreed to do it.

It's from The Umbrella Academy, Gerard Way's award winning comic book. It's Rumor's logo, her emblem, like Superman's 'S'. Rumor is my favourite character and when I met Gerard he asked me who my favourite character was. I told him and he said, "Mine too!" So that's my reason for getting it. It's small and cute and was a pleasure to get. It took 5 minutes and I didn't even feel it, not at all, it was heaven!

I'm already planning my next one but need to save some pennies. I have a fair few ideas, some gypsy heads on my feet, a zombie pin-up, but first some traditional roses with a Gallows lyric and some artwork. Who knows how I'll turn out.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Little Catch Up

I really neglect this blog, last time I wrote anything I'd just been to Camden Crawl, that was like a month ago, so I should update everyone on what's been going on since then.

Firstly I tried to get fit and healthy. This mainly involved me not drinking and putting my new running shoes to good use around Regents Park.
I managed 3 full weeks with no booze, which isn't easy when you live in Camden, work for a company that embraces a drinking culture and class the Hawley Arms as your second home. I managed to slowly start getting better at running, although to be honest my lungs felt like they were going to implode. I haven't smoked for at least 7 years, and even then it was never much, but oh my god my lungs don't like exercise. Never the less I was loving popping on my ipod and trying to find my 'power song'  to run to, so far it's a toss up between half the songs on the new Lily Allen album and Gallows 'The Vulture'. It all went tits-up when a gig I was going to on Monday got cancelled, Skint & Demoralised at the Camden Roundhouse, and we ended up having a bit of a drinking session with Mr. Skint himself, Matt Abbott. We got a rather intimate spoken word session with him in the beer garden (see video and ignore my ridiculous laughing and cackling in the background).

So that was the end of my health streak. I've not had a hangover like the one I had the next day for years. You don't even want to know how ill I was. I wouldn't mind but that much alcohol wouldn't have had much effect on me 3 weeks earlier so trying to be healthy actually made me sick....well that's my excuse anyway.

I also managed to catch a really odd gig on Tuesday night with my mate Sam. We went to the Lock Tavern to try and see Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong do a dj set but ended up leaving after the first two bands. The first was great but we didn't catch their name, bloody typical, the second was called something like Sparky and the something or other deathcap. Oh my god it was the most surreal experience of my life, he had an OHP! So we left and got chips instead which just fucked up my diet even more....along with the pint of cider.

Next came Gallows at Kentish Town Forum. Fucking amazing, out of this world, perfection! That band are fantastic live, they give everything and Frank Carter is so engaging. The only down side was we were up top and you can't stand up up there, we eventually did for the last couple of songs but I'm sure it was way more fun down the front. I managed to spend £30 on merch and have a pint so this time my purse was feeling the pain as well as my liver. I left adamant that a Gallows tattoo is the way forward and I'm searching for a great lyric and an image to pull together as a start of my sleeve.

I also went drinking Friday and Saturday, as well as shopping, so I pretty much cleared my bank account and the health streak is dead and buried. Next steps? Polish off the vegan cakes I bought yesterday, finish this blog and go for a run. Well, maybe I'll have a nap first. 

This week maybe wasn't my finest, god I did some stupid things, but it sure as hell was a lot of fun.