astraelly

Hey everyone! New to tattoos and getting my first one in a few months...

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Hello! I've only been lurking here for a short period and I'm very, very new to tattooing.

I've been toying with the idea of getting tattooed for years now, but it's only been maybe a few months since I started really wanting to have a tattoo vs just wanting to get a tattoo, if you know what I mean? I spent a long time trying to find a small, simple, "meaningful", and un-tattoo-like image to stick somewhere easily hidden on my body. I eventually opened up to the idea of something that wasn't text, but I had a lot of hesitation and hand-wringing over justifying them.

Not sure what changed, but earlier this year, I came across Greg Whitehead's work up at Scapegoat in PDX and before I really realized what I was doing, I emailed him and now I have an appointment with him in April. My idea was to get a qilin (kirin) or longma with peonies, but interpreted in his style and not so much in a traditional Japanese style. Placement is kind of up in the air -- as long as it's around my upper back/shoulder/upper arm region, I'm cool with it. Is this sort of hybrid Asian/Western style doable? Is it sacrilegious? I really love his style, but I wanted the Chinese subject matter as a nod to my cultural heritage.

Anyway, I'm hoping to learn a lot more about tattoos by hanging around here!

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Welcome!

You came to right place and I think you won't regret abandoning the idea of getting text. Although there is nothing wrong with a tattoo having meaning you will find that some of the best, most aesthetically pleasing tattoos are bereft of any specific meanings and are just really beautiful pieces of art.

A kirin is a great subject for a tattoo, I personally prefer more traditional Japanese but there is absolutely nothing wrong in getting it in any style you like! There is an entire style of Japanese tattoo which is commonly referred to as 'western Japanese' or Neo Japanese' so if that's what you prefer, or anything in between, then go for it! Just do your research and make sure you go to a quality artist.

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Welcome! I really like what I've seen of Greg Whitehead's tattoos on instagram, it's crazy to think that he's so young and is tattooing like that. You'll get a great tattoo from him. As far as mixing Asian and Western styles, go for it! In my opinion, so much great tattooing comes from mixing influences, and I think it's cool and I think Greg should be able to do a really great job with it.

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Welcome!

You came to right place and I think you won't regret abandoning the idea of getting text. Although there is nothing wrong with a tattoo having meaning you will find that some of the best, most aesthetically pleasing tattoos are bereft of any specific meanings and are just really beautiful pieces of art.

Thanks! I am getting a little bit of backlash from people I know for it though. They're just really concerned that I'll regret it because I can't give them a meaning behind the concept beyond thinking that it'd be cool. Well, longma would be marginally more meaningful since my surname is 龍 and I was born on the year of the horse, but maybe I'm kinda stretching for that one.

A kirin is a great subject for a tattoo, I personally prefer more traditional Japanese but there is absolutely nothing wrong in getting it in any style you like! There is an entire style of Japanese tattoo which is commonly referred to as 'western Japanese' or Neo Japanese' so if that's what you prefer, or anything in between, then go for it! Just do your research and make sure you go to a quality artist.

I didn't know there was a style for that kind of stuff! I'll definitely look into it for inspiration.

Welcome! I really like what I've seen of Greg Whitehead's tattoos on instagram, it's crazy to think that he's so young and is tattooing like that. You'll get a great tattoo from him. As far as mixing Asian and Western styles, go for it! In my opinion, so much great tattooing comes from mixing influences, and I think it's cool and I think Greg should be able to do a really great job with it.

Thanks! And yeah, I'm super stoked to be working with him.

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People who tell you will regret it because it has no meaning, are usually the sort of people who don't really know a lot about tattoos and are likely to give you backlash for whatever you get, at least in my experience.

Anyway, if it ties in with your heritage, which you are trying to connect to and looks like an amazing piece of art, then win win.

I have cranes, turtles and koi and planning a whole lot more, although I know what they represent within Asian culture, I got them because I like the art.

With reference to the Kirin, which as you know is also a Kylin/qilin in chinese.

Here is a western style Kirin done by Jess Yen.

fu6mmv.jpg

The work you posted in that link looks really good and if you like his style then see what he thinks about your ideas and get yourself an awesome tattoo.

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Welcome!

You came to right place and I think you won't regret abandoning the idea of getting text. Although there is nothing wrong with a tattoo having meaning you will find that some of the best, most aesthetically pleasing tattoos are bereft of any specific meanings and are just really beautiful pieces of art....

Maybe it's because I am new to tattoos, but I want the tattoo to have meaning to me & be aesthetically pleasing. I have art that I really like, but don't necessarily want to permanently wear it on my body. I also don't mind if the tattoo is more meaningful to me than beautiful.

Guess it's a matter of you get a tattoo for whatever reason you want. Whether it be personal meaning, art or both.

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Thanks! I am getting a little bit of backlash from people I know for it though. They're just really concerned that I'll regret it because I can't give them a meaning behind the concept beyond thinking that it'd be cool.

You seem to know what it's about. See, people who don't understand & including some who do get tattooed feel they must justify the meaning behind every tattoo with some deep & meaningful story of inner wisdom...bullshit.

It can be as simple as you said, cause it's just fuckin' cool.

I like skulls, dragons, lightning bolts & all kinds of shit...so I get them tattooed. Over all it represents something more personal and to the point which I don't need to explain to anyone.

You have the calling. Answer it. You know what it means to you & that's all that counts. Don't let them make you question what you already know the answer to.

Good luck with your journey to collecting kick arse tattoos.

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People who tell you will regret it because it has no meaning, are usually the sort of people who don't really know a lot about tattoos and are likely to give you backlash for whatever you get, at least in my experience.

Anyway, if it ties in with your heritage, which you are trying to connect to and looks like an amazing piece of art, then win win.

I have cranes, turtles and koi and planning a whole lot more, although I know what they represent within Asian culture, I got them because I like the art.

With reference to the Kirin, which as you know is also a Kylin/qilin in chinese.

Here is a western style Kirin done by Jess Yen.

fu6mmv.jpg

The work you posted in that link looks really good and if you like his style then see what he thinks about your ideas and get yourself an awesome tattoo.

Oh wow, that tattoo is crazy. Do you happen to know what flowers or elements are typically portrayed with the qilin? I checked out "Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery" by Patricia Bjaaland Welch, and she mentioned that they're often accompanied by peonies, but she doesn't mention anything else and I'm not sure if it applies to tattoos -- or even if it differs between Chinese and Japanese art. I'd been thinking peonies before because I just like the way they look, so it worked out well, but maybe there are other things I'm not considering. I did talk to Greg's assistant and she said he was interested in my idea, which led to a confirmation for the appointment and a deposit, so that's all settled! :D

Maybe it's because I am new to tattoos, but I want the tattoo to have meaning to me & be aesthetically pleasing. I have art that I really like, but don't necessarily want to permanently wear it on my body. I also don't mind if the tattoo is more meaningful to me than beautiful.

Guess it's a matter of you get a tattoo for whatever reason you want. Whether it be personal meaning, art or both.

I do think that if you can marry meaning and good design, then that's awesome and all the more power to you. Looking back at the tattoos I wanted when I was 18 though, I realized that I placed too much emphasis on the former at the expense of aesthetic value. And to be honest, none of the ideas I had were very original; even if I had an important back story behind it, all anybody else would see is a fairly generic pinterest-style tattoo: tiny black linework or text that would've looked really awkward on my body. It's different for everyone, so I'll respect their views if they respect mine!

You seem to know what it's about. See, people who don't understand & including some who do get tattooed feel they must justify the meaning behind every tattoo with some deep & meaningful story of inner wisdom...bullshit.

It can be as simple as you said, cause it's just fuckin' cool.

I like skulls, dragons, lightning bolts & all kinds of shit...so I get them tattooed. Over all it represents something more personal and to the point which I don't need to explain to anyone.

You have the calling. Answer it. You know what it means to you & that's all that counts. Don't let them make you question what you already know the answer to.

Good luck with your journey to collecting kick arse tattoos.

Thanks! So glad to hear it -- all the justification is getting tiring. If anything, I like the idea that a tattoo represents me and my mindset at a certain time in my life, and that's something I don't think I should ever have to regret.

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Hey, welcome to LST :)

I think you're in good hands. To draw on an age old cliche, a picture's worth a thousand words. Images draw meaning because they tell stories, and it seems like you're found the right image for your internal dialogue. You're in the hands of a great artist, so just trust that their vision will collaborate with yours and I guarantee that you'll get a tattoo that will bring you great happiness for years to come. Good luck on your next piece and be sure to post up some pictures!

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Maybe it's because I am new to tattoos, but I want the tattoo to have meaning to me & be aesthetically pleasing. I have art that I really like, but don't necessarily want to permanently wear it on my body. I also don't mind if the tattoo is more meaningful to me than beautiful.

Guess it's a matter of you get a tattoo for whatever reason you want. Whether it be personal meaning, art or both.

Like I said, there is nothiing wrong with wanting your tattoo to have meaning attached, the same way there is nothing wrong with just wanting artistic expression. It's a personal thing and get the tattoo that makes you happy, the most important thing is to get the right artist for the style you want.

Oh wow, that tattoo is crazy. Do you happen to know what flowers or elements are typically portrayed with the qilin? I checked out "Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery" by Patricia Bjaaland Welch, and she mentioned that they're often accompanied by peonies, but she doesn't mention anything else and I'm not sure if it applies to tattoos -- or even if it differs between Chinese and Japanese art. I'd been thinking peonies before because I just like the way they look, so it worked out well, but maybe there are other things I'm not considering. I did talk to Greg's assistant and she said he was interested in my idea, which led to a confirmation for the appointment and a deposit, so that's all settled! :D

Traditional Japanese art is very similar to Chinese art. In terms of Japanese tattoos, there are no 'rules' as such, but there is what is considered to be seasonally correct, this will vary from artist to artist however as they take on their own interpretations.

As Kirin is a mythical creature there is no season it can or can't be associated with, however the most classic combination would be Sakura ( cherry blossoms ). Peonies would also work, you often see Peonies paired with mythical creatures like the ShiShi which is also said to be Chinese in origin.

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People who tell you will regret it because it has no meaning, are usually the sort of people who don't really know a lot about tattoos and are likely to give you backlash for whatever you get.

I think this is pretty true.

I recently found Greg's work from someone recommending him on here, and it's incredible. I'm sure you'll get a killer tattoo.

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Hey, welcome to LST :)

I think you're in good hands. To draw on an age old cliche, a picture's worth a thousand words. Images draw meaning because they tell stories, and it seems like you're found the right image for your internal dialogue. You're in the hands of a great artist, so just trust that their vision will collaborate with yours and I guarantee that you'll get a tattoo that will bring you great happiness for years to come. Good luck on your next piece and be sure to post up some pictures!

Thanks for the welcome! I'll definitely post pictures when I get it.

Traditional Japanese art is very similar to Chinese art. In terms of Japanese tattoos, there are no 'rules' as such...

Peonies it is then! My parents haven't been the biggest help on the traditional art and meaning front, seeing as they aren't keen on me getting a tattoo in the first place, hah.

I think this is pretty true.

I recently found Greg's work from someone recommending him on here, and it's incredible. I'm sure you'll get a killer tattoo.

Yeah! I have a lot of faith in him.

Two months feels like way too long right now, hah. I already feel pretty lucky to get booked as early as I am and of course it's nothing on the 2-3 year waits I've been hearing for other guys, but I feel like I've been waiting forever to get this -- I just didn't know what I wanted before.

Do any of you know how design will work if I'm traveling? I won't see him in person until the day of, so do artists typically ask for measurements or something to get a sense for size and placement considerations?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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More questions inc!

Has anyone here ever had issues with hyperpigmentation in scars and gotten tattoos? If any of my bug bites are bad enough to blister, I'll be left with a dark spot on my skin that can take years to disappear, especially if they're on my lower legs or feet. Same thing with deeper scrapes and some cuts, although those tend to fade to a light color after time.

Is there anything I can do to make sure it heals well? Shorter sessions?

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More questions inc!

Has anyone here ever had issues with hyperpigmentation in scars and gotten tattoos? If any of my bug bites are bad enough to blister, I'll be left with a dark spot on my skin that can take years to disappear, especially if they're on my lower legs or feet. Same thing with deeper scrapes and some cuts, although those tend to fade to a light color after time.

Is there anything I can do to make sure it heals well? Shorter sessions?

I had post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation on my arms, no problems at all for either of my sleeves.

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I had post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation on my arms, no problems at all for either of my sleeves.

So a regular healing regimen worked out fine? How long were your sessions?

I want to say that this usually only happens for me when my wounds get infected or when I mess with them (e.g. scratch them) too much, but I'm still kinda paranoid.

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Hey everyone, so I got the first session in on my qilin yesterday! Would've posted earlier, but I was exhausted and passed the fuck out after getting some food in me.

image_thumb.jpg

It was originally going to go on my arm and back but Greg didn't count on my arm being that small and the stencil looked really squished. He talked me into going with my thigh and I'm so glad I listened to him! I was also a bit apprehensive about some things like color, but he firmly (but kindly) put his foot down and told me why my ideas would not make for a good tattoo so I finally canned it and let him do his job. Couldn't be happier with the result!!

He's not too sure about the belly color yet (may go silvery blue or golden pink) but the hair will probably be ochre and we'll probably add some peonies in the third session. I could only get through about 4.5 hours before the shaking and shivering set in.

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I believe San Francisco is not a bad place for finding tattooers either and yet, you seem to have decided to travel for yours. I'm finding that on one hand London has almost too many good ones but on the other hand I'm looking at a lot of other stuff too to see who I really want to go with...Europe is small ;-)

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