Sunday, 13 May 2012

Getting under my skin

Tattoos are not to be entered into lightly. They are one of those things that requires careful consideration and a clear decision making process - like buying a car, picking a career and choosing a Twitter handle. You can't rush into any of these things!

I have one tattoo. It is a green four leaf clover on my right hip. Jess, my best friend in the whole word has the exact mirror image on her left hip. This is because I am right handed and she is left handed. It's a beautiful perfect design that symbolizes different things to each of us - for me, it's my Irish heritage and the sacrifices my Protestant grandmother made to be with my Catholic grandfather.

I have thought of many tattoo designs I would love to get over time. Designs inspired by Alice in Wonderland, dinosaurs and The Nightmare Before Christmas and quotes from Edgar Allan Poe, Red Hot Chili Peppers and other songs that have spoken to me deeply.

The only two I ever thought about enough to really consider getting permanently inked into my flesh are the words 'Mi temor no soy yo' just below my left breast. This is Spanish for 'My fear is not me' - as in Yes, I have a fear (of death) but it does not define me. If I was partial to more ink coverage, I would get 'Es el alma temerosa de morir que nunca aprendío a vivir' or Spanish for 'It's the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.' I have been teaching myself to speak Spanish for years now & those words are very special to me.

The other tattoo is 'You'll never walk alone'. This is the Liverpool FC motto and was the song sang at my Grandfather's funeral. The lyrics inspire me and feel like they were written especially for my fear.

I had previously been debating fonts to use, wondering if I should stick true to the all caps design on the Shankly Gates or choose a favourite script. Tonight, I finally settled on a design. Dad wrote the words out in his own handwriting. They look simply beautiful and I can't wait to have them etched permanently onto me.

I am going to England (what? You hadn't heard?) in around three months and plan to get my tattoo done in Liverpool - birthplace of my grandfather and my father and home to my favourite football club. I've found a tattoo parlour and emailed them.

But this brings me to a problem in my process. I had always wanted my tattoo on the outside of my right foot (see pic) because this is my kicking foot (for football) and because... well because walk, foot, walk? See what I did there? But I've read this can either fade or smudge. Since my tattoo is 9cm long x 1 cm tall & the thickness of a ballpoint pen, the fine detail needs to remain.

Yes, others have similar tattoos. I don't care.
My design. It's in my dad's handwriting and in
lower case font (AKA: Santa's handwriting)
The other issue I have is a tattoo needs to remain uncovered for 2-3 weeks minimum and up to three months to truly preserve the artistry. I can't do that while traveling around England! I had planned to make a quick pitstop with my traveling companions on our UK toad trip (of which I am the sole driver). Perhaps I could trek out to Liverpool just before I return to Australia and let the healing happen here? I'm not sure.

I've emailed the tattooist asking for an opinion on all this. If it comes back in the negative (and I'm afraid it might) where else could I get this tattoo? I AM getting it and I AM getting this exact design. It is in an envelope labelled 'my tattoo' and is in my suitcase already (along with my Oyster card & its union jack holder). So, 9cm long x 1cm tall handwritten tattoo. Any ideas for placement if I can't get my foot?

Miss SAMawdsley xx


  1. Upper right thigh just above your shorts line? You'll know it's there, won't be rubbed away with the scabbing like it would on your foot and you'll be wearing loose-ish clothing because of the northern summer...there's a lot of planning that goes with it, be careful but i'm sure it will turn out awesome :D

    1. I'll be there in the Winter though, silly! September - January! On the front or the back of the thigh? Vain Samantha wonders how that would look while naked... I have to consider both clothed and naked... xx

  2. Have you thought about around your wrist or ankle, in a bracelet like design? The phrase in that handwriting does look beautiful.

    1. I am now considering my wrist. I don't know what I have against the ankle but it's not for me. I'm trying to work out what I would do with the last 6cm of skin around my wrist, to finish it off. Thank you! My Dad has lovely handwriting & it means a lot that he would work on my tattoo when he hates tattoos, haha! :) xx

  3. Wherever you put it, there's another thing you have to consider. There are limitations on how small your script can be. If your artist says go bigger listen to them, they know what they're talking about. As far as the fading goes, the sun is the worst cause of fading so make sure you use sunscreen

  4. I love the design and the thought you've put into it (fathers hand writing). I think you should put it some where that you can see it daily/regularly so that you have a constant and nice reminder of everything it stands for :)

  5. That is also the motto of the Madison Scout Drum and Bugle Corps from Madison, Wisconsin. Very cool!