Recommended Posts

I am tired of hearing this question and I am barely tattooed. anytime one of my TWO tattoos show, it is always the same question. How much it cost and what does it mean. The price part I answer truthfully, they always get sticker shock though. And always the reply is, "Oh my boy did mine for 20 bucks, you should hit him up" as they show me the most messed up cheetah tattoo I have ever seen.

Then they go into this big long tirade about the fact tattoos are supposed to have meaning. "Blah blah blah my tattoo means x, y, z, and for my dead parakeet when I was three and my abandonment issues and how I have become stronger as a person."

Then they stop and ask me if tattoos really hurt, because they have all these tattoos planned but are afraid it will hurt, and they dont like pain!

it gets old, quick. and I only have 2 tattoos. How do you more covered people deal with this kind of bs? I am assuming you get it alot more than I do but honestly, I would feel like punching people if I had way more tattoos to be demanded on the spot to explain, give the cost, then listen to other people's future tattoo plans.

A quick aside, I like telling people how much my tattoos cost, because the ones who want them but hate to pay, it makes them reconsider really getting a tattoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have more than two but less than covered, so ill reply from my experience you just take it with a grain of salt. I usually answer as politely as I can "cost a lot" and if they ask about meaning I just say I like to collect.

Annoying people are everywhere, but it's mostly because they don't know any better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just dont understand the need to not only demand that my tattoos have meaning, but that they have to tell me about all their meaningful, story-ridden, non-existant tattoos. Or show me the jacked up tattoo that they had done in a kitchen.

Oh well you do have solid advice though. Being polite but firm problably will save me from those stories/plans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be because I'm a long-haired and bearded burly dude with skulls tattooed on my arms, living in a place where I feel I see more tattooed people than non-tattooed people, but I don't really experience people asking me about what my tattoos mean. I think that women on the whole get this a lot more than men. People mostly leave me alone. I was a little bit concerned about getting "what does it mean" questions about my (in-progress) sleeve because there's a specific visual reference there that I don't really want to explain, but thankfully the raven's head there is hidden by a t-shirt so hopefully I'll mostly avoid that question while I figure out a stock bullshit answer.

I have nothing against tattoos with meaning (for that matter, I have nothing against tattoos without meaning either) I just think that the way most people go about getting a "meaningful" tattoo is all wrong. From what I've seen on the internet, the "meaning" takes priority over the strength of the image, and that's all backwards. You're going to associate your tattoos with whatever meaning you choose to give them anyway, there's no need to have hidden initials or a representative number of flower petals or whatever there. I spend too much time looking at pictures of tattoos on the internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah my mom was giving me shit before I ever decided to even get one tattoo. She like "I dont mind tattoos but they have to have meaning or else I will be pissed at you" Like really? I had to feed her some bs about my Ganesh tattoo, even though I liked the meaning of it, I liked the image more, but to placate her, I gave her a long story on the meaning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people I just simply tell them they watch too much TV and I don't want to talk about my tattoos because they bring up a dark part of my life and I paid my debt to society. Either that or that I was really drunk and don't remember why I got them.

In the shop talking to customers, I usually use a sports analogy. I explain that tattoos are what I follow, like most would follow a sports team. Can you imagine being able to book a couple hours with your favorite sports star and have a permanent souvenir. The experience holds more meaning than the tattoo,but the tattoo is a reminder of the experience. I usually let the tattooer pick the image, because I want a tattoo that represents their style, so I remember where I got it from.

They either get it or just continue to mouth breath, until I start talking about their idea again, but either way it shuts them up. I think the most important thing is having people in real life an on the internet to vent about these things and understand we to some degree go through the same things having tattoos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I got most of my tattoos under wraps when I'm not wearing shorts so people don't really ask me much, as the only tattoo that really pokes out is the bottom of a skull/dagger. When people do bring it up usually they ask how much and I just shrug and say I don't keep track. If it is more recent, and they see my leg, it's kinda understandable that it wasn't cheap as I got half my one leg covered.

If people poke and prod about meaning or anything and you don't want to talk to them, don't. I've found the more I get the less people prod about them and usually they just want to see them. Luckily I usually get a lot of compliments and "holy shits", or people asking where I got them.

Also do remember you are modifying yourself a bit, so people will naturally be interested. This does come with the territory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

grow thick skin........figuratively.....

I am tired of hearing this question and I am barely tattooed. anytime one of my TWO tattoos show, it is always the same question. How much it cost and what does it mean. The price part I answer truthfully, they always get sticker shock though. And always the reply is, "Oh my boy did mine for 20 bucks, you should hit him up" as they show me the most messed up cheetah tattoo I have ever seen.

Then they go into this big long tirade about the fact tattoos are supposed to have meaning. "Blah blah blah my tattoo means x, y, z, and for my dead parakeet when I was three and my abandonment issues and how I have become stronger as a person."

Then they stop and ask me if tattoos really hurt, because they have all these tattoos planned but are afraid it will hurt, and they dont like pain!

it gets old, quick. and I only have 2 tattoos. How do you more covered people deal with this kind of bs? I am assuming you get it alot more than I do but honestly, I would feel like punching people if I had way more tattoos to be demanded on the spot to explain, give the cost, then listen to other people's future tattoo plans.

A quick aside, I like telling people how much my tattoos cost, because the ones who want them but hate to pay, it makes them reconsider really getting a tattoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about just say, "It's open to interpretation. It means whatever you want." I think I'll go with that next time and leave it at that. That's art. What they mean or don't mean to you can be personal--you don't have to explain yourself to anyone. The last person who asked me why I got a tiger I just said, "I liked it." There are things that I associate it with but I just didn't feel like saying any more. Isn't that enough? That we get images that we like. Yeah. I think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last night a girl asked me why I had a butterfly tattooed on my hand, I told her "Because when you're an actual tough guy you can get whatever kind of girly tattoos you want."

that's pretty good. Funny I actually know more guys with butterfly tattoos than girls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most people I just simply tell them they watch too much TV and I don't want to talk about my tattoos because they bring up a dark part of my life and I paid my debt to society. Either that or that I was really drunk and don't remember why I got them.

In the shop talking to customers, I usually use a sports analogy. I explain that tattoos are what I follow, like most would follow a sports team. Can you imagine being able to book a couple hours with your favorite sports star and have a permanent souvenir. The experience holds more meaning than the tattoo,but the tattoo is a reminder of the experience. I usually let the tattooer pick the image, because I want a tattoo that represents their style, so I remember where I got it from.

They either get it or just continue to mouth breath, until I start talking about their idea again, but either way it shuts them up. I think the most important thing is having people in real life an on the internet to vent about these things and understand we to some degree go through the same things having tattoos.

I just wanted to say as a tattoo artist i wish there were more people like you out there. kudos to you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
that's pretty good. Funny I actually know more guys with butterfly tattoos than girls.

My artist mentioned that butterflies go with the fu-dog she's freshening up for me... so I may wind up with 1 or 2 of them before too long.

My standard answer to "how much did it cost" is, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. If you're colored folk like me, then you get a straight answer. I really have no idea how much my tattoo work is before I get it... I just sit in the chair and settle up when the session is over.

As far as meaning goes, its these shitass-drama TV shows that puts the asinine question in the mind of the mindless. I like the art, first and foremost. If they can't digest that, then TFB for them.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last night a girl asked me why I had a butterfly tattooed on my hand, I told her "Because when you're an actual tough guy you can get whatever kind of girly tattoos you want."

That's why i have Carpe Diem on my foot in script (not really) But funny the last tattoo I got was a butterfly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first really visible tattoos that I got were my two calf tattoos. I used to be really awkward when people would compliment my tattoos, something with which I've become used to now and don't mind at all. A lot of that has to do with how fucking weird and rude people can be. I've had people talk about my tattoos behind me, as if I werent there, and then stop me to ask me some asinine question.

The meaning question sucks. I can't recall ever coming across someone that's asked me that question, and when I responded with, "some have a meaning, others are because I like the image and aesthetic," it's something that they can't fucking grasp. This too used to bug me, now I likened it to buying a piece of art or painting. Just because you like or buy a painting, doesn't mean it has to have some philosophical meaning you associate with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always explain that the dragon means I think that dragons look badass. Ditto for pretty much every other tattoo I have.

Yes, a few of them mean something, but I'm not about to break it down for a stranger. And even the "meaningful" tattoos are on me because I think they look good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.