As the spawn of two parents who possess multiple tattoos, it will come as no surprise to many that I too have multiple lines scribed into my body.
As of writing this, 3 tattoos occupy my skin and I have accumulated them all over the last 3 years.
Often when people see my tattoos they ask for the meaning behind them, expecting some sort of extravagant and magnificent story about how the tattoos have intricate explanations that delve deep into my personal life. They are often disappointed when I shrug them off and reveal that there is no real meaning behind any of them.
Well, I guess that's not entirely true. 1 of them has a sort of meaning. But all 3 of them earned their position on my body due to them looking cool.
I got my first tattoo in Bali of all places. Mum was getting her tattoo added to and I had been wanting a tattoo since I was a young, wondrous adolescent preteen. I always had a love for tattoos and would admire most that I came across. Obviously, some were not my taste at all, but I would never hate or discriminate against them. After all, they meant something to that somebody.
When in Bali, I toyed the idea of receiving my first tatt with my parents and they agreed that I could go ahead. They even shouted it for me - very stoked. And it was pretty cool getting to say that I got my first tattoo with my mum.
The tattoo has no meaning at all. In fact, the tattoo is the outline of the Karen Walker necklace that I was wearing at the time. I really like the ocean and the look of anchors so that was that. I placed it on the inside of my wrist, sat down, got inked, got up again after 5 minutes and went on my way - absolutely beaming from ear to ear and over the moon with my first ever tattoo.
I didn't even care that I couldn't go swimming that afternoon because I had a tattoo.
Some call it a mountain, some call it a triangle and some call it a Dorito. Whatever you interpret it as then that can be it.
My second tattoo has more meaning behind it than my first, but as with the anchor, it's more the story behind it that has the meaning than the actual tattoo itself.
Basically, I ripped this tattoo right off of Pinterest. I have no shame in that. I liked the fact that it had thin lines, would match my anchor tattoo and was a mountain. The mountain it represents is Mt Taranaki. I was born in Taranaki, my parents are from there, my grandparents are from there... you get the picture I'm painting.
But the story behind the mountain is so much better.
While eating a cheap but yummy Thai vegetable dish down Auckland's K Road one Sunday afternoon, Hayley and I discovered we were sitting directly underneath a tattoo studio. It sparked up the conversation of tattoos and what our next tattoo would be. We finished our Thai, but instead of leaving, our curiosity got the best of us. Next thing we know, we are lying down on a bench in a tattoo parlour down K Road getting inked and absolutely cracking up in laughter at how damn spontaneous and easily swayed we were.
The third tattoo and my biggest bit of ink to date was the result of a family tattoo session in Tapanui. Mum & Dad paid a guy to come down to Tapanui and ink them, both very big pieces of art, and brother Luc was going to get his first. Of course, I couldn't miss out on the action, so I booked a flight from Auckland to Dunedin and started googling tattoo ideas.
I liked the idea of a skull. I've always had a... passion? a... love? a.... interest? I don't know how to say that without coming across slightly morbid, but I've always liked skulls.
So I looked into a few skull designs. Sugar skulls at first. I love the Day Of The Dead looks and after my trip to Mexico, I was even more all about them. But, after thinking of the look I decided it didn't really suit me and was a little bit predictable. I wanted something different and that I had never seen before.
Then I set my eyes on animal skulls and I knew one of those designs was going to be a keeper. I was very indecisive between a deer skull with antlers or a cow skull. I (obviously) ended up pursuing the cow skull idea because deer was a little far-fetched. I had never shot one in my life, so getting one tattooed to me seemed a little excessive.
No doubt I will get more over the rest of my lifetime. However it all depends on my career, what I like the look of and ultimately, funds. Tattoo life ain't cheap, and if it is it probably comes with infections.