I must admit that these “adventures in Ink” interviews are very enjoyable to conduct. You can see why when I get to talk to such amazingly creative and passionate people about an art form they have given themselves over to. This next instalment features the very lovely Brianne, who agreed to answer a few of my questions, and share her thoughts and feelings on the ink she has and the ink she wants. I first got in touch with Brianne after noticing her blog one day. I sent a message mentioning how I liked her designs, and the thoughts and feelings expressed in her posts. I asked if she would like to do an “adventures in ink” interview, and she jumped on board. I’m so pleased she wanted to share her opinions with me for my blog, and throughout the interview process I felt as though I had stumbled upon a real gem of an interviewee. Honest, impassioned and extremely nice to work with. Brianne is a down to earth and compelling lady. It was very interesting to talk with her, and a pleasure to post our interview. Have a look and see what I mean…
Q: Before you had tattoos, what were your opinions of them? Did you admire people that had them?
Before I had tattoos, I definitely admired other people’s tattoos. Whenever I would see a person with beautifully done work I would always catch myself staring at them trying not to look like a weirdo. However, I think before I had tattoos I was much more naive about the “tattoo world”. I had wanted my first tattoo for a long time, but knew I couldn’t get one until I was 18. So, what made me get my first tattoo is pretty cliché.
Q: Do you remember how you felt leading up to your first ever appointment, and what was it like for you during?
My first tattoo was of a peacock feather on my foot. I picked something simple, small and not so unique for the simple fact that it was my first tattoo, and like I said, I was pretty clueless to the “tattoo world”. I remember I kept putting the tattoo off; as bad as I wanted it, I was really nervous about the pain and permanence. One day I had to just say screw it and I went. I knew if I didn’t go that day I probably would have never done it. Once my artist started tattooing me, I was relieved. It definitely didn’t hurt as much as I had anticipated, but throughout the process I definitely underestimated how long it would take. Watching someone get a tattoo is a lot different than actually being the one getting it.
Q: When thinking about getting a tattoo, do you consider the design first or its position on your body?
It depends. I think sometimes I decide on the position first. Other times, I come up with a design and then figure out where I’d want to put it.
Q: What was your second tattoo, and how long was it between your first and second?
My second tattoo was a heart lock on my upper arm. I’d say it was only a matter of a few months before I decided I wanted another. This one was a big deal for me. I knew my parents didn’t expect me to get a second one right away, if ever… and more importantly, it was on my arm which I initially hadn’t planned on tattooing for a long time.
Q: Is it a big deal when you get a tattoo, or are you more relaxed about it now, like getting a hair cut?
It depends. Sometimes if it’s just something small, I’m not too nervous. Or if it’s a spot on my body that I’ve heard hurts a lot, then I consider it a big deal. But I don’t think I have enough tattoos yet (I only have 5) to be so relaxed about it. Getting a new tattoo is always exciting, I think… no matter how many you have or how used to it you become. It should always be exciting.
Q: Do you see any of your tattoos as a work in progress, eventually making up a sleeve or larger design? Or are the pieces you have totally individual?
I think I’d consider all my tattoos are a work in progress. The heart lock on my arm I eventually want to make up a half sleeve, there’s more I want to add to my thigh tattoos, and my side tattoo will eventually be paired with a back piece. I have so many ideas.
Q: Have you ever had second thoughts or regrets when it comes to any of your tattoos?
Definitely no regrets at all. But there have been times where I think to myself “oh, I could’ve got something else there” or “this idea would’ve looked good there, but I already have something there”. It’s not a regret or second thought though.
Q: Why do you think tattoos have become so popular over the past few years?
I think that this is a generation of “anything goes”. A lot of things that were abnormal years ago are becoming more accepted and tattoos are one of those things. Also with more famous people or people in the media expressing themselves with tattoos, people start to think they are more “okay” or “cool”.
Q: How do you go about choosing a tattoo? Do you design your own, or work with your tattooist?
I usually just come up with an idea and tell my artist about it, and he would draw it out. I’ve only had two different artists tattoo me, since I admired their work I trusted that whatever design they would come up with would be awesome.
Q: Could you tell us about the other pieces you have, what was the sequence in which you got them and the reasons behind your decisions?
Well after my second tattoo (the heart lock on my arm). I took a big step and tattooed my entire left side, mainly just because I always felt side tattoos on girls were so beautiful…
I then tattooed my right thigh with script (lyrics), which meant a lot to me during that period in my life. And then I tattooed a cat on my left thigh, which was sort of a memorial for one of my cats that has passed as well as my love for cats in general. As for why I chose my thighs, I didn’t want any more on my arms just yet and I always liked how thigh tattoos looked, as well as for the fact that I could still hide them if needed.
Q: What is your most recent tattoo, and did it turn out how you hoped?
It’s been at least a year since I’ve gotten a new tattoo, not because I don’t want any more, just because of my financial situation. But the last, or most recent one, was my cat tattoo on my left thigh. It turned out perfect, just how I wanted it, and it’s definitely the one I get the most compliments on. It’s my favourite.
Q: What are you thinking of having done next?
Next I’d like to tattoo the inside of my left arm (the same arm the heart lock is on) to start building up my half sleeve, which will be pretty soon here. I won’t say what it’s going to be though; you’ll just have to see.
Q: In your opinion, do you think there are right or wrong reasons for getting tattooed?
Definitely. I see so many people getting tattoos because they want to look “cool” or “tough”, those are the tattoos you’ll end up regretting and I think those are the type of people that are ruining tattoo culture as well as giving people with tattoos a bad rep. Other than that, no I don’t think there are any right/wrong reasons for getting tattooed. Even if a tattoo doesn’t have meaning to the person, it could be a piece to simply appreciate the artwork.
Q: Is there anyone else whose tattoos you really love, or a placement or design you would like?
Definitely. Many female “alternative” models such as Rhian, or as she’s known in the Gods Girls world, Charity Laurus (wifelife.tumblr.com), her tattoos are so perfect to me, not only the placement but the designs as well.
Q: Is there anywhere you wouldn’t consider getting a tattoo?
As face tattoos become more and more popular, I definitely would never ever tattoo my face. Probably not my neck either. And I always say I don’t want to tattoo my chest, but I go back and forth with that. So I guess we’ll see ha-ha.
Q: What style of tattooing would you say your pieces mainly adhere to?
Since I don’t have many at the moment, I don’t think I’d say they’d all adhere to a particular style. However, I’m most attracted and most interested in very traditional styles as well as neo traditional. Because of that, I think you can tell that those styles have had a great influence on my current tattoos.
Q: What do you think about tattoo shops? Are they a place of comfort for you, an intimidating place, or do you feel the same way about them as you would say a salon?
I think they’re very comfortable, especially if it’s a shop I visit frequently. I don’t find them intimidating, although I suppose I might if I didn’t have ANY tattoos. I think they’re very different than a salon mainly based upon the types of people that would go into a tattoo shop vs a salon.
Q: Are you looking forward to your artwork maturing and changing as you do?
Definitely. I think my peers will see the difference in the new tattoos I’ll get, compared to the ones I currently have; mainly because of my knowledge of tattoos is a lot more in-depth now than before when I had just turned 18 and wanted a tattoo right away. I’ll definitely put more thought into the art and I think that’ll show.
Q: What one word would you use to describe the sensation of being tattooed?
Q: Would you say you are addicted to tattoos?
Well, yeah. Especially after my first one. I initially planned on only getting maybe like 3, but after my first one I immediately planned for so many more.
Q: Are you more attracted to people with tattoos?
I don’t think that tattoos have the ability to make a person any more attractive than they already are. However, I think tattoos can make a person appear more interesting, or you can assume they may be more open minded than a conservative looking person without any tattoos. I think tattoos can provide a greater judgement or assumption on a person (based on the subject/style of their tattoos) rather than a person without any. But just to clarify that I don’t seek only people with tattoos, my boyfriend and I didn’t have any tattoos before we started dating, so it’s not about whether a person has them or not.
Q: People say never get someone’s name tattooed on you. Do you think there are other tattooing no-no’s at all?
I think names are only bad if it’s not family. Significant others and friends names are a big no-no. A lot of people also say matching tattoos are a “curse”, but my boyfriend and I have matching tattoos and even if we broke up I wouldn’t remove it or cover it, it’ll always be a memory no matter what happens. I think obvious things like gang tattoos are a big no-no or anything that’s currently a phase in your life, it’ll definitely be a tattoo you end up regretting later in my opinion.
Q: Do you class tattooing as an art form?
Absolutely, and definitely one of the HARDEST art forms. I’ve tattooed my boyfriend and a few friends a couple times and it’s SO hard. I think people are so ignorant to assume that it’s easy, especially people that are aspiring to be a tattoo artist. I definitely don’t think that tattoo artists get the recognition they deserve, being that it’s so hard.
Q: What do other people in your life think about your tattoos?
My family is very conservative and doesn’t like them, but they accept me anyway. However, most of my friends have tattoos so of course they’re interested in them. I think that the younger people in my life accept and like them much more just because it’s part of our culture now compared to the older people in my life.
Thanks a million to Brianne for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope she enjoyed the process, and got something out of sharing her passion for tattoos with us all. Tattooing will always hold a deep fascination for me, and I can only hope that there are others out there as willing to share and exhibit their ink as Brianne. If you want something kick-ass and interesting on your dash then go ahead and follow her:
All the terrific and detailed pictures were generously provided by Brianne, and used with her permission.