I got my first tattoo when I was 17 during the middle of my yr 12 exams (probably not the smartest idea). It is the southern cross with a scroll through it stating 'Made In Australia'. It took just over an hour and is your typical 17 year olds tattoo. It is located on my left scapula. It's well designed (drawn by my friend James Erdman) and I did put a lot of thought into before I got the tattoo. At the time I hadn't seen anything similar (these days every man and his dog has a southern cross tattoo of some sort). I don't regret this tattoo at all. I still love how it shows my patriotism and my lighter side as well. It does need a touch up, and I plan on getting the stars filled in. But it's not exactly high priority on the tattoo list. Back then I had no idea about the different quality of artists, I was more worried about getting a tattoo while I was still 17. I have no idea who the artist was, I have tried to find out a few times but have failed. It looks like the man who popped my ink cherry will forever remain anonymous as the shop has changed management and artist since then and I believe it may have even closed.
My second tattoo came when I was 18/19. It is a tribal piece on the inside of my left arm. Now tribal was the big thing at the time, and there is no real meaning behind it apart from it looking cool. I did some studio research this time and asked around about good places to go. I initially called the studio in Eltham (which I had heard the best things about) but they were booked out for the day. But I wanted the tattoo that day, my friend had told me about a place on St Georges which he went to, so I called up and the guy who answered informed me if I came in now I could get my piece done straight away, problem was I called Eternal Instinct in Thronbury, but went to Advanced Art in Fitzroy, I failed to take note of the suburb or name when I called up and just went to the tattoo place I'd seen on St Georges Rd. I didn't really pick on as to why they were busy when I walked in, or the blank look on the guys face when I said I called up before, it was because I was in the wrong bloody studio. That aside I still ended up getting the tattoo, even if I was in the wrong place and had to sit around and wait for an hour or so. It around 90 minutes to do. I still like this tattoo, I also drew more to extend it to fill the inside of my arm, however I have moved on from the tribal wave and will leave it the size it is. Hopefully I can incorporate it with the tattoos I will be getting on that arm. The colouring was not perfect on the tattoo and could probably do with a touch up, but once again it is not high on the list (especially considering it's location). No idea what the name of the artist is, although I believe he still works there so I could find out if I chose.
My last piece is a Japanese themed half sleeve, it was started around 2 years ago. It features koi fish on the outside of my right arm and a blue lotus flower on the inside, with cherry blossoms scattered throughout. So far I have had 4 sittings accumulating to around 16 hrs of work. I still need at least one more sitting to finish it off, but that was put on the back burner when I flew off to Queensland to travel. I love this tattoo. The story behind the koi fish really appeals to me, and the artwork itself is beautiful. This tattoo was done by Craig Duece at Eternal Instinct on St Georges Rd (yes the place I thought I was going to for my second tattoo). I went in and spoke to Craig about what I wanted and he drew the whole thing from scratch. It is a completely original piece and that's what I love about it, I also love how Craig has put his own influences in it. It's not a 100% traditional piece, it has modern aspects to it and I think that is one of the things that make it so appealing. The colours are extremely vibrant andI plan on extending this piece to a full sleeve, but not until I'm set in a career that i know I can get away with it. The last thing I want is for my tattoos to stop me from getting the job I want.
I will do a post about the future tattoos I want in the upcoming days.