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New Tattoo

Originally published at Umbral Echoes Blog. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been wanting a tattoo for over 5 years, and tonight I finally got it done. I knew I wanted something involving a yin yang — cliché as it might be. The struggle between opposing forces, seeking balance, is a pretty key thing in my life, as are some of the Asian philosophies. Though I do not claim any of the associated religions as my own, I like Buddhist and Taoist philosophies, and even some Confucianist tenets.

However, I didn’t want it to be a standard yin yang — I wanted it to be something a little more me. My initial thought, back in college, was to get it done in binary, with one side (white) being a bunch of tiny zeroes, and the other being a bunch of tiny ones. That idea seemed cool for all of maybe a year, then I thought better of it.

I got the tattoo done by Joe Vegas at 13 Roses. I originally wanted it to be done by a guy named Soul, but by the time I got off my ass and went there, Soul had moved on. So after looking at the artists at 13 Roses, and some other local artists, I settled on Joe Vegas because I wanted it to be Asian-themed, and he does some amazing work along those lines.

Blue described getting a tattoo as like a more intense version of the violet wand. I can definitely see the comparison. Especially with the noise it makes, which is similar(-ish). And it hurt, but the pain was far from unbearable. It did feel like someone was vibrating something sharp against my skin, but it didn’t actually feel like the skin was being pierced. Honestly, the near-constant wiping away of ink (and occasionally blood) was more uncomfortable than the needle.

I really like this piece. I waffled a bit after the initial consultation — I also really like tribal tattoos, and could maybe pull off the same general theme of conflict/balance through that. But in the end, I decided to go with the idea that was in my head for nearly a decade. Still might do something tribal at some point,maybe even try to do a piece around my existing one and blend the two. Or maybe not. If I do another piece, I want it to be something that’s stuck in my brain like this one has (though maybe not for so many years). Something I know I’ll be proud to have on my body for the rest of my life.