Lochlan

First time you saw a tattoo

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My uncles and cousins had pretty typical black and grey chicano tattoos that I remember thinking where really tough/cool as a kid, but when I went to san francisco in the mid 90's with my Mom I remember walking past some punk kids who had color tattoos and was completely blown away.

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Grandad had an eagle and shield on one forearm, maybe baseball size. I might have been 12 or so. On the other arm he had an old girlfriend's name, it wasn't grandma's. He never bothered to cover it!!! Later on I asked him where he got them, he said one was in Hong Kong the other in Hawaii ... Dude was a badass...

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While I don't remember the very first tattoo i saw, I grew up around punk rockers and gang folk so I've been around them since I can remember. The first tattoo that I saw that made me say oh fuck thats amazing was a buddy of mine who had just gotten a panther head on his elbow and a tiger head on his other, I was about 15-16ish.

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First saw my grandfathers tattoos when I was about eight years old. He served in WW2 and had a few from overseas. Fast forward 10 years and I got my first. I managed to hide it from my parents (this was over 20 years ago, tattoos still were taboo) but my grandfather saw it when I reached and my shirt sleeve raised. He smiled, bear hugged me and his eyes welled with years. He was proud and approved! Parents, not so much.....

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My mom and stepdad each had them. My dad had convinced me that tattoos meant going to hell, but then I moved in with my mom and learned that tehre was nothing wrong with having tattoos. My mom had a yin-yang done in someone's garage, then had flames added years later. She could never heal right. She had a chinese symbol in her calf but it healed rough too. My stepdad has two wolves in his upper arms and a wolf in his calf. I gained an appreciation for tattoos when I was like 12. Everyone in middle school wanted one. But the first tattoos I saw among my class mates in 7 and 8th grade has us all fascinated. But they were terrible.

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When I was still living in Woudenberg I used to sweep the floor of a garage for pocket change when I was young. The owner and head mechanic was a huge barrel chested man who often turned up to work shirtless and unshaven (in sub-zero temperatures) And he had two swallows on his chest and an anchor on his forearm.

From the first time I saw those I knew I wanted tattoos.

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First saw my grandfathers tattoos when I was about eight years old. He served in WW2 and had a few from overseas. Fast forward 10 years and I got my first. I managed to hide it from my parents (this was over 20 years ago, tattoos still were taboo) but my grandfather saw it when I reached and my shirt sleeve raised. He smiled, bear hugged me and his eyes welled with years. He was proud and approved! Parents, not so much.....

My grandpa served in the Navy in WW2 but didn't have any tattoos. If he had any there's probably a decent chance that I would have gotten a similar design, but it works out because his ship's badge was of a leaping tiger so I'm going to get a tiger tattoo instead.

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When I was about a year and a half, sitting on my Fathers lap. He has a skunk tattooed on his arm with the name Stinky. Certainly not the best choice he could have made, but I think from that moment on I was hooked. I had to have one.

And 50 years later, my arms and chest are covered. Dad has complimented me on making better choices in artwork!

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It was about thirty years ago. We were at a flea market and this dude had the first art car I had ever seen. Inside and out there were toys all over the car, he even had a old iron that he would throw out the window when he parked like an anchor. Ol dude had his shirt off selling crazy things while wearing a clear plexiglass cowboy hat. It was the first time I saw a few things I guess, he had a solid collection of tattoos and piercings.

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The first tattoo I recall seeing was in Brockville, Ontario, sometime around 1977 or 1978. I was about 8 years old, and I had gone into a convenience store and the old guy who ran the place had rows of pictures from his WWII days in the Royal Canadian Navy. He had a series of schooners down his arms. I remember looking at those pics and then at the man himself, recognizing the blued and now blurry tattoos down his arms. I thought he was the coolest old-timer I'd ever seen. I was not from the area, but whenever I was back in Brockville, I wanted to go back to that store. He was gone by the early 80's. but his tattoos made a huge impact on me. I can recall my mother wondering why I was so insistant that we go back to that particular store. Around that same time I found a magazine or book in my parents home that also captivated me. The memory is hazy, but there was a grainy picture of a guy, probably a WWII sailor, with his shirt off and he had tattoos on his chest - probably swallows. Birds of some kind. I wish I had the magazine still, but it has been lost for decades. At any rate, I always loved that look, and many years later, I opted to get very similar tattoos on my chest.

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First ones I saw were my fathers army tattoos, nautical stars on his knee caps. I still remember him telling me how his army mates got him drunk and tattooed him. He died when I was young so my first tattoo was the same star on my shoulder blade as a memorial.

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My grandad (who died when i was 6) was in the Navy and i can remember sitting on his knee when i was about 4 tracing the swallow on his hand with my fingers while we watched the Disney version of Robin Hood. its actually my earliest memory :) When i began getting tattooed i knew i'd want a swallow and i do have one on my forearm. No one else in my family has any tattoos, it was only him.

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First ones I saw were my fathers army tattoos, nautical stars on his knee caps. I still remember him telling me how his army mates got him drunk and tattooed him. He died when I was young so my first tattoo was the same star on my shoulder blade as a memorial.

That is awesome that you got a memorial tattoo for your dad. I want to do something like this for my parents as well.

I honestly do not know when the first time was that I saw a tattoo.

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Both my parents have tattoos that pre-date my arrival, but I was probably 5 or 6 when I first got to see a "before and after" sort of deal when my dad added to his collection (until the color was put in he spent many hours sitting patiently as I happily scribbled away on my personal coloring book with washable markers).

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I have an uncle that served some time in the navy, he has the first tattoo that i can remember, he had an outline of a shark on his arm and he would let me color it in with markers. it was old, lines were all thick and aged he told me how he got it while he was overseas and he didnt remember if it was before or after visiting the mama sans but i was so intrigued with it and i always wanted to look at it when he came to visit

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First one's I ever saw were the two my dad got in Viet Nam. Though he later tried to have them removed and was left with some sweet scars.

First time I saw people that made me want to have tattoos was 1981 when the Stray Cats played Fridays. I knew at that moment that someday I would be covered with them.

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My first sighting was my dad's tattoos. He's (t-shirt) covered in underground tattoos from the days before he met my mum.

It must have been so annoying for him but bless him, he never stopped me! At night I'd curl up behind him in bed and "play" with his full back Battle Royale, walking my feet up and down it, pinching the snake's nose, pulling, punching, twisting their faces... never thought till now how much patience my dad has! Any time at school when we had to draw our family, our hero, in fact any kind of "grown up"... that's right! A dodgy stickman dad with big circles for muscles, big scars on his face and every single tattoo I could remember till the page was filled with monkey faces, womens names, dice, skulls... my teachers must have had a scream!

Speaking of this, I've recently decided that I'll get my own Battle Royale in tribute to his. I'm not gonna tell him, just turn up with the outlines, hopefully a bit of colour at that point and let it speak the words I struggle with.

Have a good day!

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I grew up in trailer estates (just a step above a trailer park) and during this time, late 80's to early 90's meth was a big thing(still is)..so, my first memory is just of some sketchy tweaker with some even sketchier jail house/living room work. It wasn't until I hit high school and started going to hardcore and punk shows where I saw really sweet traditional and Japanese tattoos on the older guys.

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I'm sure I saw them before, but they never really made an impact till I walked by Tiny Tim's shop in my home town of Sedro-Woolley. I was barely a teenager and would loiter outside and harbor dreams of getting some epic gothic tree on my back, lol.

I was actually kind of tickled to find him on facebook, about 20 years later. Blast to the past!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tiny-Tims-Tattoos/135953736443299

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