Tag Archives: “how to”

How to Make Your Tattoo A Conversation Piece

11 Aug

This post is Day 9 assignment of the #31bnb or 31 Days to a Brand New Blog

If it’s one thing I know something about, it’s receiving attention from a strategically placed tattoo. I wear an Adinkra symbol, specifically, Sunsum, on my left shoulder. When the tattoo is displayed for all to see, I often get a LOT of attention from it. Everything about this tattoo was planned. From the what, the where, and the when.  In sharing my story, this post will help you to turn your tattoo into a conversation piece.

Conversation Piece: The What Where and When Matters

Choose the tattoo. Think about how this image will be with you for the rest of your life, hopefully. I’m not one of those people that believe in removing tattoos. You got it, be a big boy/girl and stick with it. Plus, who wants to go through all that pain only to go through more pain to erase it. Tattoo removal SUCKS, in my opinion.

I actually choose my Adinkra tattoo nearly 2 years before I committed to having it permanently put on my body. That way, I was completely informed about it’s meaning and was comfortable speaking knowledgeably about it.

That being said, do your research. What do you want your tattoo to say about you? What do you want it to say to other people?

Choose the Where. Where you decide to put your tattoo ranks right up there with what you decide to put on your body. Consider where you are in your life, personally and professionally, and if you can afford a publicly visible tattoo or whether you’ll need to be more discrete.

I got my Adinkra symbol at age 21 or so, around my senior year of college. I had an F-it attitude. But I didn’t completely disregard thinking about the professional world.  When it’s appropriate, in times of soulcialiting, I go out of my way to wear strapless and other off the shoulder fashions that highlight my body art.

Conversely, it has been only a slight challenge in the professional world. I don’t often wear strapless outfits to work, but the occasional sleeveless shirt can be problematic. My solution is to wear a blazer or light sweater, where appropriate.

Choose the When. When you get a tattoo can also be a great conversation piece and add to your greater tattoo story. I got my first tattoo on my birthday the first year of college. About four friends and I made it a rite of passage, so to speak. We packed into someone’s borrowed car, because we were freshmen, and didn’t have our own rides, and made our way over to a local tattoo shop. I think it was called Superman’s.

Well, I sprawled out on my side during this first and patiently endured the pain of my sun, moon, and stars tattoo. {this tattoo is located on the right side of my stomach, at my waist.} I remember the buzz of the needle and the individual punctures on my skin. I recall emphatically letting the tattoo artist that NO – he didn’t have to shade in the entire circle, that it was symbolic that only the moon side was shaded, lol. Wow. The memories.

But the symbolic timing of my decision played a huge role in this story. I was a college freshman, I felt liberated to get my first tattoo. And when I decided to get the Adinkra symbol, I had waited two whole years. And then one day, I went, all alone. I didn’t tell anyone, I didn’t announce it, and I didn’t invite anyone along. It was me, and my decision. It was personal, just like the purity and sanctity of my soul, as sunsum has come to be defined.

Everything about getting an image permanently branded onto the body should be deliberate, in my opinion. It’s a commitment of time, money and to pain. So deciding the appropriate what, where and when are prerequisites for my tattoo adventures. When you can explain what you’ve chosen as a personal symbol, why you’re placing it on a particular part of your body, and when in your life that you’ve decided to commit to it is the basics to having a great conversation piece about your tattoo.

For my next tattoo, which I’ve already selected, I have two of my three prerequisites figured out.  I’ve got the what, and the when. (I’m ready at any time – my life has prepared me for it.) But I don’t have the where. So, I kinda don’t have the when either (in my warped thinking, all three need to come together in a trinity.)

I sure would like to know what my readers think about tattoos, if you have any, why you got them, any interesting stories behind them and what challenges they may have brought you professionally.