From the early Egyptians to today’s popular Miami Ink artwork, tattoos have been a part of society and have allowed people to express experience or emotions through them. It can be a simple “I love Mom” on the side of the arm, or a full body set of tattoos that make someone look like a cheetah. Most people wouldn’t go that far. Instead people tend to find that happy medium and settle for something on a more personal level.
“To me, a tattoo is a symbol of what I stand for. It’s a big deal,” Eliot Bartlett, junior history and arts major, said.
Bartlett had thought for some time before getting his first tattoo. He decided on the Delta sign, which means change. Bartlett liked the idea of tattoos so much that he decided to get four more, including a grenade with the accompanying lyrics from “Against Me.” “This is advancement, this is entertainment,” Bartlett said.
On another note, Bartlett had another piece done depicting a man throwing a bouquet of flowers (instead of a Molotov cocktail), which symbolizes the peace needed to balance war, represented with the grenade. However, there is one distaste Bartlett has regarding tattoos.
“For girls, tramp stamps are not attractive,” Bartlett said.
So what about those who don’t have tattoos? Have they not gotten around to getting one, or is there another reason?
For Jessica Haurin, junior psychology major, she feels there’s more to it than having ink under your skin.
“A tattoo is too lasting, and for something like that to always be there, I feel after some time it wouldn’t be what it used to mean to me,” Haurin said.
Some people have taken tattoos to the next level, using their skills as an artist to open their own shop.
Justin Bolonski, owner of Integrity Tattoo, has been a professional tattoo artist for the past 18 years. A self-taught artist, Bolonski knew at age 12 that he wanted his entire body covered in ink.
“People hang pictures on the walls of their houses. I figure I might as well put some pictures on my skin,” Bolonski said.
Many of Bolonski’s tattoos are intricate designs that capture the eye. However, he does have one that holds meaning to it, and it’s his daughter’s name. It also happens to be on the side of his head.
Bolonski knows the lasting effects of tattoos. He sometimes warns customers not to follow through with their tattoo, because many of his customers come back a year later asking him to remove it.
In his field of work, long and tedious hours of sketching and brainstorming are not uncommon. To aspiring tattoo artists, Bolonski throws a caution flag.
“You have to love what you do, because you will lose your social life. The day it stops being fun for me is the day I stop tattooing,” Bolonski said.
Integrity Tattoo, located in Royersford, Pa., is an attractive shop complete with every tattoo magazine to help customers get a better feel for what they are looking for. If you feel your body is a canvas, stop in and say hello. Who knows, maybe you’ll walk out with some fresh ink.