A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was at Uni studying IT and doing all the usual IT geek things, sitting in the dark, not socialising, drinking coffee, learning Pi to 11 decimal places and making virtual online friends in chat, MUDs and BBS.
Then one day I decided to get a tattoo after a few of us had various discussions about tattoos and meanings.
My first was simple but with meaning to me, the symbol for courage. Courage to both have a tattoo (as I have a huge needle phobia – injections are a no go) and courage for my choice to leave university after only 2 years through a 4 year course as I felt it wasn’t for me.
Nearly 20 years later and I’m glad I did. I have and continue to learn so much about IT and still have the same passion now that I did at the start of my career – I wouldn’t change what has happened and have no regrets, yes I made mistakes but I also learnt from those mistakes.
That first tattoo sat happily on my arm for 9 years, I thought about additional tattoos but never got around to do them – partly down to not knowing any tattoo artists, a recommendation and seeing someone’s work is better than just an internet search.
I was told about a studio, made a visit along with the 3 extra symbols I wanted, the artist then added some of his own scroll work and wanted to add some extras which I didn’t like too much so he removed those. The tattoo was OK but even with my exhaustive aftercare it didn’t look great, that and the 9-year-old tattoo was looking pale in comparison.
The following year I was given a personal recommendation from a friend, she had found an excellent American tattooist in Cardiff named Jay who had done a very good tattoo on her wrist. A quick visit and a chat and the metallic dragon tattoo was booked in, the following week this was done and we had a chat about bringing the tattoos together.
The dragon symbolised wisdom and protection, but having a metallic design was to show my love of technology.
Another visit and he corrected the poor quality of the previous artist’s work, refreshed the now 10-year-old tattoo and some smoke and shading to bring them together.
And that’s when it happened, that “You’ll get addicted to tattoos” quote from many people and sure enough I was planning my next.
The next was an edited version of the skull and crossed swords from Pirates of the Caribbean, not only a good-looking design but felt right and showed a different side to me other than technology. A short time after this was mated to a pirate ship and cloud/fog.
A few years ago I got into Airsoft, well I actually went paintballing, broke my foot walking away from a game, waited a couple of months and then got into Airsoft and I soon became a devious sod, dressed as Hitman for a special event and became known as Hitman – yep, I had the Hitman tattoo on my wrist, Airsoft was a big part of my life and did change me, I met some amazing people and made some good friends – it’s just a shame injury has prevented me from playing for such a long time. Plus as a symbol it looks good and fits in well with my others.
I added the names of my parents and my sister to my left wrist, these are hidden by my watch but I know they are there and for me that’s what counts.
My most current piece is only a few weeks old, it represents protection of my family and forms part of the family tattoo, in the centre is my nephew’s name in Runes. Its something that I first thought of 2 years ago but had it done now as a symbol of support for my sister and my nephew and to show them that no matter what, I will always be there for them.
Will I get more? Yes of course, I’m already planning my next which will sit above the Hitman symbol and shows a balance in the force….
The American in Cardiff is Jay from Cardiff Ink – http://www.cardiff-ink.com