Fresh ink

Students talk about tattoo experiences

The advantages young adults gain by turning 18 signify a rite of passage: voting, buying lottery tickets…and getting tattooed

Senior Jessica Meyer said she was working off adrenaline before her first tattoo appointment.

“I was really anxious and excited but also terrified because it’s always going to be there,” Meyer said. “Afterwards, it hurt like crazy, but it was worth it once I saw it because it’s just beautiful.”

Meyer said the procedure took about an hour of nonstop work and felt like a razor blade constantly going over her skin.

“Mentally, you have to be ready to sit there and take pain for quite some time,” Meyer said. “Once it’s started, you don’t want to have to tap out.”

Senior Penny Stopper has tattoos but, although 18, has not been to a shop to get them done. Through a process called stick n’ poke, Stopper actually marks the art on herself.

“I’ve always wanted tattoos, I guess since middle school,” Stopper said. “I just think they look cool. I know some more conservative people say, ‘Oh, it’s gonna look gross when you get old,’ but I dunno. I think it’s so cool to have art on your body.”

Stick n’ poke tattoos are the result of taking a sterilized and thread-wrapped needle, dipping it into ink and poking yourself to deposit the ink into your skin. Stopper, instead of using a sewing needle, uses tattoo needles so they hold more ink.

“I always wipe down with alcohol, and the tattoo needles come with sterile packaging, so I know that it’s safe,” Stopper said. “I haven’t gotten any infections, and the people I’ve given stick n’ pokes haven’t gotten any infections.”

Meyer, whose tattoo is a flower-wrapped arrow, said hers is backed with personal meaning.

“I’m a Sagittarius,” Meyer said. “I have very strong beliefs and opinions. The tattoo has flowers on it, which means that I can be this nice and hopefully beautiful person, but in the long run it’s still a bow and arrow, and it still causes damage.”

Stopper’s tattoos also display personal value to her.

“They all kinda [have meaning],” Stopper said. “The one on my left ankle is the Sagittarius arrow. [The one on my leg] are hands because I’m an artist, so hands made sense to me. I have a slice of pizza on my left knee. I did it with a friend that I met over the summer. I only knew him for a month, but we became really good friends so we were like, ‘Let’s just do a stick n’ poke!’ We both put a little slice of pizza on our left knee. Then on my arm I have ATX512. When I came back from Baltimore over the summer, I realized how much I really missed Austin, so I wanted that on me.”

Meyer added people should definitely think about their tattoo for a long time before they get them because they will be a permanent part of them for the rest of their lives.

“Even if you do try to get the laser treatment off, it’s going to leave a scar, which is just as bad, in my opinion,” Meyer said. “tatt4It should really represent who you are because it is something people will see and judge you by. But if you love it enough, then go for it.”

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