Lochlan

First time you saw a tattoo

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Growing up in New Zealand lots of home made gang stuff, but specifically a Mongrel Mob member with "SIEG HIEL" and barbed wire around his neck.

These amazing photographs illustrate members of New Zealand's Mongrel Mob .

These Stunning Photos of New Zealand's Largest Gang Will Give You Sleepless Nights | VICE | Australia / NZ

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The first one I remember was my granddad's. He died when I was really young, but I saw some photos of him when I was a little older. He had a naked lady pinup on his forearm that was of course blurred to hell in all the photos I saw of him. But still pretty cool, I wish I would have known him.

Beyond that, my first exposure to heavily tattooed people (and my first look at clear, well done tattoos) was probably in some music magazine. Seeing all these tattooed guys in bands really piqued my interest in tattoos, that probably started in my pre-teen years.

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Can't remember the exact age but was very young. Remember being at the North Coast of Northern Ireland during the summer as a child. It was always full of bikers who were heavily tattooed.

And then later one of my older bro's mates was heavily tattooed. Grew up thinking heavily tattooed were lots of fun, friendly and good for a laugh.

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Probably my uncle in the late '90s. He had his scratcher friend practice on him and his whole back (at least that's all I can remember) was a giant wizard. Pointy hat, blue robe with yellow stars, shootin' lighting or something. Real '90s shit.

I remember my sister asking him why he had all of his tattoos, and I remember him saying "Because I'm stupid". Always stuck with me for some reason.

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My mother was an art major at Cal state LB in my early years. I remember sitting in her nude drawing class with live models many nights. I think I was 4 and 5 at the time when this woman stood for the class with long dark hair in a pony tail going down her back, vine/flower arm bands on each arm and a peace sign on her butt. I thought at the time she must be a princess, Because she was SO beautiful. :)

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my grandfather had this strange dagger on his forearm, and old blue ink hand poked tattoo: he told me he got it

when he was around maybe around 12 or 13 years old (it was around 1915). All he had to show this tattoo in any harbour to have to eat and a roof if he was in need.

It was really later, when I was about 14 years old, and he was really old, I discovered he was tattooed from head to toe visiting him at the hospital: ladies head, town's name, girl's name, ships, and others I can't remember... all hand poke tattoos... everywhere!

I guess I know where my love to tattoos comes from!

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I know this is a old thread but I had to add to it! (and I loved reading everyones responses)

Mine would have to when I was around 4 in the late 70's and noticing my grandfathers tattoos he had a dagger & my grandmas initials and asking him a million questions about them lol His brother also had biker tattoos and that alone when I was a kid had me hooked & loving tattoos.

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Before I was born, my dad got his shoulder tattooed while in the navy during the Korean war of an anchor and oak leaf clusters. I remember him telling us about what it was like getting it. I'm not sure if he got tattooed while in San Francisco or San Diego.

My great grandfather (1880-1977) had a horse's head on his inner arm that looked like a big "L" when he was in his 90's.

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I had about six tattoos before I started following artists on Instagram and then thats when I actually started seeing REAL tattoos. I never had any idea up until a year ago how amazing people are.

Needless to say, I am done going to local shops for tattoos.

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I was thinking back to first hitting the double digit age, we used to tape the Pepsi Power Hour off Muchmusic when we were getting into the heavy metal and skate punk. I remember seeing an Agnostic Front video and then seeing Roger Miret in Metal Maniacs magazine...his crucifixion front was one of the first tattoos I saw and could not let it go. It blew my teenage mind.

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My grandpa was in the coast guard, and he has a knife/dagger on his forearm with a white ribbon around it that says "Death Before Surrender". It's extremely faded and blurred out, smudged now but it's still pretty hardcore. I never thought of it in the sense that I liked or disliked it, it was just part of my grandpa.

First tattoo I saw that I really loved was my uncle's. He has Calvin and Hobbes on his calf. I remember how brilliantly colored and crisp it was when he got it and thought it was awesome.

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My Dad had a killer skull with an intertwined snake on his upper left arm - he went into the Marines in 1946 right after graduating from high school. He was too late for WWII but remained in the reserves after serving two years active duty in California and was then activated and sent to Korea during the Korean Conflict. I'm assuming he got his in the San Diego/Los Angeles area since he was stationed at El Toro Air Base. This is a picture of him in July 1946 at Parris Island - had just been named high scorer for his platoon during qualification week. The rifle in his hand is a Springfield Armory-made M1 Garand. The serial number is 2860035 and I am still trying to find it - a needle in a hay stack...but I'll keep looking.

So, for me it seemed natural for people to have tattoos since my Dad had one. He was an electrical engineer and taught at a College and then went into the corporate world.

 

Dad &M1.jpg

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Great Topic!

Very few people around me had tattoos when I grew up. But my first conscious recollection of seeing one is still quite vivid. In the early 1960s, I was probably 8 or 9, my great uncle visited from Arizona. He had a fuzzy blue-black panther on his left forearm. My guess was that he was in his 80s. I must have asked him about it, because he explained that it involved needles, and ink, and was very painful, and it would never come off. When he explained about the needles he sort of gripped his arm in a way that made me think that the tattoo was applied with some sort of clamping device. So for several years after that I thought that a tattoo was applied with something like a waffle iron!

I'm not going to say that I knew that I wanted one from that moment, because I didn't. I knew they were not for "good boys" like me. Besides the tattoo image was not appealing, and the process sounded ghastly. But I do remember being absolutely totally fascinated with the fact that it was permanent, that it would be be there forever. That stayed in my subconscious until the early 70s when Janis Joplin suddenly made tattoos cool, I learned that there were no waffle irons involved, and got my first tattoo.

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My uncle had a bad ass chest piece of a sancha wearing a sombrero he scored in prison. It was very similar to Danny Trejo's chest piece. I was about 4 years old, & kinda understood it was a drawing that never erased. I was intrigued.

My mom never liked to talked about it, she said it was a mistake for him, but I knew he was proud of it. My uncle got caught dealing 14000 dollars worth of coke to an undercover. Betrayed by his best friend. He was than later deported back to Mexico, where I think he got another tattoo of an acoustic guitar on his upper arm.

Edited by Groovy4dabooty

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