Illustrated Teacup

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

TATTOOS: Lessons from Mum

I've learnt many things over the years from my mum, about life, love, pain and for this blog, tattoos.

At 18, my mum knew I wanted tattoos. She herself had five small tattoos, from dedications to her Dad, to a black cat on her hip and a rose on her ankle, plus a little tribal here and there - it was the 2000's and tribal was very fashionable.
The best advice my mum ever gave me - which was also a rule - was to wait. Wait til I was 18. Of course, we all know this is the law too, but it would be naive to say that everyone abides by it. But I did.
My mum's other advice was to go somewhere really good with a good reputation. I ended up going to the same place she went for hers, on my birthday, and the entire studio sang Happy Birthday to me.

These bits of advice are ones I still live by. Admittedly the first one would be hard to break as I'm no Benjamin Button, but it is advice I will continue pass to others and; to my God-daughter and to any future children, nieces, god-children or little ones.

And I go where I've seen the art, seen their style, and looks good, clean and a safe environment. I follow my gut. 

Even today and some 15 odd tattoo sessions later, I still send my mum photos of each of my tattoos once it's finished, tell her how it felt, ask her advice for future ones.
She's never said she disliked a tattoo, or told me not to do it. Just words of wisdom, making sure I think them through and am confident and certain in my choice and tattooer.

I'm lucky to have an understanding mum who supports my love of body art. Fortunately I don't have a mother like the one in this Guardian article

She's the person I can turn to in crisis, cry down the phone to, laugh at and share our special kind of wit. And most of all; She's my inspiration, the mum I want to be one day. My hero.



  1. Oh that article is ridiculous! Even though my Mam and Dad aren't tattooed at all themselves they both completely support my decision to be so and have also supported my efforts to combat the discrimination within the work place.

    You're Mam sounds awesome and that photo of the two of you is beautiful.

    Best wishes, Danielle.

    1. Thanks for reading - she is pretty awesome. And its my one of my favourite photos.
      The article is shocking - you'd think he'd cut off his own arm the way she goes on!

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  3. I love this. My mum is very anti-tattoo but my husband loves them - both getting them and as an art form to be appreciated. I love them as an art form and don't have any myself yet - I have some planned but I'm too much of a wimp! - but this post is lovely. I think your mum's advice is great!

    1. Believe me huni - they really aren't as bad as they seem, or people wouldn't keep having them! Thank you - my mum is a fab lady, wouldn't have her any other way, and glad she can advise other people through me!


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