Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Home » Archives » March 2006 » When do you become too old to get your first tatoo?

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03/29/2006: "When do you become too old to get your first tatoo?"

I want a tatoo on my middle finger. Is that strange? Will it be painful? I don't know why I'd want to draw attention to my hands, which are decidedly not my best feature. They are old before their time, from years of pottery, and printmaking and digging in the earth. Artist's hands I suppose. But I still want one; when I'm bored in meetings I draw different tribal designs on my fingers. Have I mentioned that some people find me odd?

Anyway, I also want to mention that I'm loving my account with Bloglines. I set it up to test my news feed which I never did fix 100% but it still works OK. It takes a couple of minutes to sign up for a free acount, they give you some initial catagories that you can sign up to get feeds from. I chose the "Arts" one (shock!). So far I love it! The Art Knowlege News feed posts links to info on new shows etc., like this one that looks fantastic The Architect's Brother . Or the ArtsJournal, which finds stories in the news about art related topics, such as Artists flock to Vancouver, but T.O. pays the big bucks, or my favorite Who's left to do the Right thing? (about why there are so few Right Wingers in the arts).

There is also the "Arts Competition List" which regularly lists opportunities for artists to exhibit and make $$$. Not to mention being able to subscribe to your friends's blogs so you can see from one place when they've been updated. If you aren't using a news reader yet, I highly recommend bloglines. Of course, you may want to consider not spending so damn much time online and get your sorry ass into the studio!

Replies: 20 Comments

on Wednesday, March 29th, Dio said

I love Bloglines. Its one of those services you never know how you lived without after a while :)

on Wednesday, March 29th,">Jackie said

E: I will never get any tattoos -I'm too chicken! My twin brother had enough for us both though. I think it would hurt on your fingers - or anywhere where there isn't much flesh/fat to protect you. My friend Charly has a massive tattoo on her back - and she said it hurt ALOT! I suppose a small one would have the advantage that it'd be over with soon! :laugh:

on Wednesday, March 29th, Elise said

I've heard that too, Jackie, that tatoos on your hands and feet are more painful because the nerve endings are right there with no fat buffer.

I have to say the back of the hand would probably hurt a lot more than the fingers. Mine are pretty pudgy anyway, I guess I could try to get a super tiny one and it I can't handle it, I'll just have what will appear to be a mole on my finger!

on Wednesday, March 29th, Donald Daedalus said

I've tons of tattoos and it only hurts at first and then the natural pain killers kick in. The hands do hurt more but I would recommend starting with a part of the body that doesn't move so much. Remember the tattoo needs time to heal.

on Wednesday, March 29th, Elise said

Thanks for the info Donald, I want just something small and simple, like a ring around my middle finger, in the same place where a ring would go. I don't think that part moves too you think that would be OK?

on Wednesday, March 29th, Elise said

btw Donald, I checked out your site, cool stuff! I especially like the drawing of Josh... also, I'm very jealous you're living in Barcelona, una de mis ciudades preferidas.

on Wednesday, March 29th, marja-leena said

Hey, great that you are reading Canadian news! I've been using the free NetNewsWire Lite for quite some time, and it sure saves time seeing who's updated. Glad you've joined the RSS feed, Elise

on Wednesday, March 29th, Elise said

Thanks Marja-leena! I thought of you when I read that article actually! Looks like Toronto is hot right now, though $34,000 a year still seems sad...though if I was making that much from art sales I'd be jumping for joy!

Anyway, the feed works in that it will show up with my blogs name and the date for when it's updated, it just won't include subjects or summaries...which is a drag but at the moment it's better than nothing.

on Thursday, March 30th, Howard said

Toronto has always had a bigger arts sence than Vancouver. The only problem is you have to live in Toronto :P
The Vancouver arts sence has come a long way in the last 20 or so years. I think it's only going to get better here.

on Thursday, March 30th, Elise said

Well, I've never been to Toronto so I couldn't say for sure but I have been to Vancouver and I *loved* that city!

And that was a good 8 years ago, from what I've heard the arts scene there has really taken off since then. If i were ever going to leave Juneau there are only a handful of places I'd consider moving to...Vancouver BC, San Fransisco, and possibly Portland OR....
OK, or maybe Seattle but that's it!
:P :P :P

on Thursday, March 30th, marja-leena said

Howard is right, Toronto has a bigger art scene with more galleries, museums and buyers because it is the business centre of the country. Vancouver is more beautiful with its mild climate and great setting, but is the most expensive city to live in - tough for first home buyers, tough for low-income people like artists. Elise, do you realize that all the cities you mention are on the west coast!? :)

on Thursday, March 30th, Elise said

Hi Marja-leena! I guess I would rather live in a beautiful city and be poor than live in a less beautiful city that is thriving and be wealthy...

did that make sense?

Anyway, we need to learn how to sell our art online directly to the public, that way it won't matter where we live.

As for all the cities being on the West Coast, I'm aware of that. I can't imagine living on the East Coast, the only exception would be Washington DC or Baltimore MD, because all of my friends live there...but I would be moving for the friends, not for any other reason.

on Thursday, March 30th, leahpeah said

i have 4 tats. the ones placed on parts of the body where there is little fat or near bone, hurt like a muthuh. but i would still do it if you want to and you love the idea of it. you are never to old!

on Thursday, March 30th, Elise said

Thanks leahpeah,
I do really want to get one, and I think I have a high tolerance to pain, so we'll see.

I watched this show called "Inked" for awhile and they used to talk about how women were usually a lot tougher about the pain than some of the big strappin guys that would come into the shop.

Still, knowing that it will hurt like a muthuh will help me prepare myself mentally for it.

Now all I have to do is design it!

on Friday, March 31st, greg said

Hey, why not get a ring that looks like a tattoo?? :laugh:

I never got one for personal reasons. I was anti making my body conform to decoration, so no piercings either ... although I've been very tempted on both accounts. Still I stuck to my guns rather than get tribal about it and do what everyone else was doing. Just an unblemished lamb I am! ;) lol

I have designed some tats on others tho' ...

Way to stick to the coast Elise. I dont think I could ever NOT be near the ocean!:)

on Friday, March 31st, Elise said

I only think something is conformist if you do it because everyone else is. If you just do it because you really think it's beautiful and it will make you happy than that's great. I have wanted a tattoo since I was a kid, when i went to Ireland I had wanted to get the Celtic symbol for infinity but the parlours we went to in Dublin were closed and the one in Belfast was a bit sketchy.

I've tried several other times but it has never worked out and then tats did get really trendy so I wasn't as into the idea for several years but now I'm like, you know what? I don't care if they're popular or not. I've always wanted one and I'm getting one damnit!

Oh, and I don't think I could ever live away from "a" coast of sometime. I've become too much of a water baby!

on Saturday, April 1st, berry bowman connell said

Actually, Elise, of all the folks who would want a tattoo, you probably ain't one of 'em. I mean, yeah, I dunno you from Adam, whoever he is, but, if you go back and read what you wrote, you'll see that you don't want a tattoo really.
And the reason you dobn't want one is, where will you draw if there's something already there?

OK, I'll also admit to this,...I had a house with a mural painted on the livingroom wall. Heck, m'first wife just tickled pink at that silly-ass picture, and I betcha a dollar even YOU'VE seen this picture! Dang! Its a mountain lake scene with trees at the other end of the lake, a mountain in the background....
Jus' about the time m'wife got to being tired of me, I was starting to get tired of the wall colors.
She left, I went for the store, some paints (this is all before I set to mind to be a professional, though) and painted AROUND the stupid mural.
Did a fine job of it, too. But, other circumstances came, and I left. Still owned the house, just rented it to a friend of mine. Two years later, I bring m'second wife to the house. Mural's still there. She likes it.
We move on in, and about four years down the road, she gets tired of the mural. I don't waste a single minute, have paint, paint over it, all gone!

Ya can't do that with a tattoo. Well, ya could. But, for what reason? To stop your own creativity?
Maybe your thinking about tattoos is a root of something else entirely....
Maybe, subconsciously, you want to tattoo other folks.
Maybe not. Well, just two cents worth of somebody's opinion.
And, I'm hoping I haven't gone overboard on the comment, again....

on Saturday, April 1st, Elise said

Yeah, you're right that tattoos are permanent alright, but that's why I like the idea so much, I've never been one to make committments. Of course, you can always have them removed with a laser if you *really* want to get rid of it, and hell...probably in another ten years they'll be able to grow me a new cloned finger in a vat at the corner dime store.

on Monday, April 3rd, holly said

Do it! I love every one of my tats and I want a huge back piece. I just can't find the right design. But when I find it, it's going on, no matter how old I am. I've always wanted to have my hands done in some sort of mehndi-type design-- a ring would not be enough for me. But, given my career choice, prolly would not be a great idea. I must reamin a respectable ink junkie. Yeah, it hurts a bit over bone, but it goes away quickly. do it do it do it...

on Monday, April 3rd, Elise said

Mehndi yes! That's exactly what I was thinking, but came to the same conclusion as you. I used to paint my hands with henna in mehndi designs and I loved it!

I even considered getting the tat in henna colored ink, but really I just want a nice dark as possible black.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. There is a tattoo parlour next door to the record store where I take my guitar lessons and I may muster up the courage to venture in there one of these days.