Choosing the right tattoo for your life

By Rachel Hall
Contributing Writer
With an increased popularity in expressing oneself, many people today have one or more tattoos and the students and faculty at Viterbo are no exception. Walking around campus, it is likely that one will see at least one tattoo. The issue at hand is not whether there are many people with tattoos rather it is the great debate on the purpose and practicality of tattoos.
Although many people are getting tattoos, several are getting them re¬moved. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), “In 2011, ASDS doctors performed nearly 100,000 tattoo removal procedures, up from the 86,000 performed in 2010.”
Jason Evans, head tattoo artist at Neon Dragon Tattoo in Hiawatha, Iowa, said, “Get something that means something important to you and realize that people and feelings change. Tattoos are permanent un¬less you want painful and expen¬sive laser surgery.”
Evans, who has been a tattoo artist for 14 years, said he performs many cover-up jobs of tattoos people later regret.
Many tattoo parlors do not have an official policy on discussing repercussions of certain designs or tattoo placement.
Although Neon Dragon Tattoo does not have an official policy, Evans follows a personal code. “I will sometimes give ‘fatherly advice’ to somebody when getting a tattoo that I feel may be a regret” Evans explained, “I usually give advice about placement and bring up the potential of future jobs to younger clients, but people that are mid 20’s and older, I don’t.” Evans said the reason behind his age cut-off is be¬cause a person 25 or older already works in a field where he or she knows the tattoo policy.
Evans is not alone in using a per¬sonal code when a business lacks an official one. Lorelei Stensland, tattoo artist at Color Work Tattoos & Piercing in Des Moines, Iowa, stated that there is no official policy or process to ensure a client is mak¬ing a bad choice; however, she uses her judgment to decide whether or not she will tattoo a client. When a client talks to Stensland about get¬ting an offensive tattoo or some¬thing he or she thinks is funny, she refuses to tattoo the client.
“I honestly believe it would cause more problems for that person,” an¬nounced Stensland, “it isn’t smart, and it isn’t funny. A lot of the peo¬ple that get these end up coming back to get it covered at some point in time. So before you get that band logo or your lover’s name, please stop and really question yourself about if you will be okay with this 50 years down the road.”
Stensland has been in the tattoo industry throughout Iowa for five years and said she has seen many clients that got tattoos “out of a home ‘because their friend is learn¬ing and it was free or $20.’”
She goes on to stress the im¬portance of getting a tattoo from a professional. “Like the saying goes,” said Stensland, “‘Good tat¬toos aren’t cheap, and cheap tattoos aren’t good.’”
Stensland is no stranger to cover¬ing up tattoos. Her advice for end¬ing tattoo stereotypes is to really think about the decision. “Tattoos are a process,” said Stensland, “a lot goes into picking out the right piece for you and finding the right person to do it. Take your time and plan it carefully because it is there for a lifetime.”

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Follow Lumen and receive notifications of new posts.

%d bloggers like this: