Thursday, March 1, 2012

Think before ink

Editor advises consideration of tattoo placement, price and portfolio

By Courtney Donlin, News Editor

My name is Courtney Donlin, and I’m an inkaholic.

Well, okay, maybe I’m not addicted to ink, but I amabsolutely in love with body modifications.

I have six piercings and more than 20 hours worthof tattoos. Honestly, that’s not much, but I adore all of my modifications.

And I’m not the only one. According to a 2011 studyby the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of Generation X adults ages 18-35 haveat least one tattoo.

With growing popularity comes an increased need forgood decision making.

Tattoos and piercings are more prevalent than everand that means those opting for mods need to be aware of what I call the threePs: Placement, Price and Portfolio.

Placement of each piece is crucial. With oureconomy in its current dismal position, the job market is competitive.

Even though tattoos are relatively commonplace, itis unlikely the Human Enigma is going to get a full-time job in a professionalenvironment any time soon.

Don’t know who the Human Enigma is? Google him andyou’ll see what I mean right away.

Tattoos covering knuckles, necks and skulls tend tosteer away from “professional” and more toward “potential serial killer.”I’dstay away from them.

Personally, all my tattoos can be covered by shortsand a T-shirt, which makes looking professional when necessary very easy.

Price is an important factor for any product, andbody modifications can be very expensive products.

However, if you hang around a reputable artist longenough, you’ll inevitably hear this phrase being chanted like a mantra: “Goodtattoos ain’t cheap and cheap tattoos ain’t good.”

I’m inclined to agree.

I know students are on tight budgets, but tattoosand piercings are definitely not something to scrimp on.

There aren’t many cheap shops that employ amazingartists, and that’s what should be the big sell.

An artist’s or piercer’s portfolio is probably themost important thing to consider before paying for any modification.

Consider the seriousness of body modifications: theclient is paying to permanently change his or her body. It’s not like a badhaircut.

Sometimes a bad tattoo or piercing can beirreparable. Getting pierced by someone who has little to no experience canresult in infection and even nerve damage.

Bad tattoos can be impossible to fix. I’ve seentattoos result in scar tissue and, in one astonishing situation, a spellingmistake inked onto someone’s arm.

Always check out an artist’s portfolio to find hisor her strengths before paying them to tattoo you.

Yes, tattoos hurt, but getting laser surgery toremove them is much more expensive and painful.

Be careful with modifications. What seems hip nowcould result in something horrendous later.

Always remember: you get what you pay for, and youshouldn’t pay for anything less than exactly what you want.