Crowd-Sourcing Tattoos

Recently I overheard my husband talking about tattoos to someone and they mentioned how they would worry how they would look once they got old and wrinkly. To which he said, “I’m really hoping I don’t care about things like that when I’m old and wrinkly.”

I love tattoos. I’d have more if I were A) Rich or B) An artist. A lot of my problem is having ideas in my head and having no idea how to get them on paper. BUT! I still get the periodic small one that requires minimal artistic skill. My most recent was the Deathly Hallows symbol I got with E after he graduated from high school.

I like to stick to a few criteria with my tattoos. Mainly – they have to mean something to me. There has to be some reason behind the tattoo other than, “THAT’S PRETTY!” Mainly because my opinions of “pretty” may change over time. Also? Tattoos are expensive and if I got inked everything I thought: PRETTY! I’d be covered and poor. I also put them in places that I can easily cover up…just in case. I love tattoos on the neck, under the hairline, but I’d never get one there because I wear my hair up too often and would hate to have to wear my hair down every time I wanted to hide it.

My last tattoo (the Deathly Hallows symbol) and my next one are linked to items in Pop Culture, and with those type of tattoos I have some extra criteria.

The main thing is that – if there’s a pop culture element to it (like with the Harry Potter tattoo) – I want to really make sure I’m committed to the entire franchise. I actually wanted to wait until the books were done to make sure I loved the entire series enough to ink my body from it. This was challenging because I wanted a Harry Potter tattoo for YEARS while I was waiting for all of the books to come out. I also try to read up as much as I can about JK Rowling so that I can be pretty confident she’s not going to suddenly join the board for the National Organization for Marriage or something. While there are still many other HP things in the works (Plays, Movies etc) I feel pretty confident in the franchise and in her that they won’t do anything that makes me regret my permanent link to them.

I would really love to get a Doctor Who tattoo – I’ve seen some amazing ones – BUT – that franchise is never going to die and it’s in the hands of so many people I can’t be confident that they won’t turn it into something I hate.

I also keep the reference discreet just in case something happens and I want to disassociate myself from the franchise, it won’t be as obvious I was connected to it to begin with. This also helps weed out the hard core fans, which is an easy way to establish friendship. If something happens to JK Rowling or the HP franchise and I suddenly want to break ties with it? The Deathly Hallows symbol is discreet enough that it won’t be obvious to everyone that I was connected to it to begin with.

I had been wanting a Nerdfighteria tattoo for awhile. I wasn’t sure if I wanted something from TFiOS (The Fault In Our Stars) or something that was representative of the group as a whole. I really liked the idea of doing something swirly with “DFTBA” (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome) so that, if I told you that’s what it said you would see it, but it might just look like cool knot work or vines to the average viewer. But, again, my lack of artistic skills have limited that effort. I’ve tried, and I’ve not given up, but it’s just not there yet. Again – I want it discreet in case someone ever decided to write a song or put a line in a movie: “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!” that suddenly took the “ownership” from Nerdfighteria and made people think I got the tattoo for that random song or movie.

BUT! The Fault In Our Stars! That I could do. It’s a book I adore and have read several times. It’s a connection with my oldest child because he loves it as much. E got the tattoo with the infinity quote and while that is my favorite line, I decided not to get that same quote because A) He has it and B) I already have an infinity tattoo I got in memory of my Dad. I don’t need to overdo the infinity references on my body.

I have another quote I adore and I’ve been playing around with how/where I want it. I surveyed Instagram recently on whether I put in on the outside of my arm where OTHER people can see it, or on the inside of my arm where I can see it. When I got my Deathly Hallows symbol they convinced me to point it in the direction so it’s “right” when other people look at it, not when I look at it. So, I wasn’t sure if it should play this way again. BUT! These words are powerful, they come at a beautiful point in the book, they touch my heart in many ways – some that don’t even relate to the book. Everyone on Instagram assured me: YOU NEED TO SEE THOSE WORDS.

SO! The inside of the arm it is. Now the trick is: Which font?

(Also! Do you see the Harry Potter tribute in there?)


Edited to add: ONE MORE!


19 thoughts on “Crowd-Sourcing Tattoos”

  1. I like the top one. I think the bottom one is a little too ornate/fancy for the characters in that book.

  2. I also like the top-it’s basically the book title page font (which I’m sure was your point).

    Another suggestion might be to have E write the quote and get it in his handwriting. A friend of mine has a lot of word tattoos and she has had each of her parents and her husband write something. It’s really neat and just makes it that much more personal. PLUS, E has really nice handwriting.

  3. Lone dissenter here. I like the bottom one. It is going on your body and to me that means curves. It seems like it would just flow better. Although, I like Elizabeth’s suggestion of having it in E’s handwriting.

  4. THAT IS GENIUS. I’m going to wake him up before work and make him do it!!!!

  5. I like the having E write it idea. I am the person who has commented before about getting a tattoo of my mother’s signature, so I think handwriting tattoos are lovely and have wonderful sentimental meaning. With this book, that would be even more true, I think.

    Also, should you watermark these ideas so someone doesn’t start selling them like they did your running tattoo ideas?

  6. I’m sorry if that sounded bossy…me saying you should watermark the designs.

  7. Boo! We tried and couldnt make it work, AND he didn’t want the pressure ๐Ÿ™‚ He said maybe a shorter tattoo, fewer words, would work better ๐Ÿ™‚ SOME DAY!

  8. Do you have print copies of the book lying around? Look on any page….specifically the top corner ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I like the #3 the best. The curves add a little something extra. I’d like to know what the name of that font is — I love it!

  10. Ha! I listened to all the HP books (jim dale!) so thanks for giving us the reference ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I had to come out of the feed reader to share this random bit…We met some new neighbors and she has all the faces of the Harry Potter characters (the faces of the actors) on her left shoulder/arm…big, huge, and kind of odd (more like a sleeve of tattoos with all the main characters). I understand your thought process MUCH more…I’m scared of needles and the buzzing so I’d not do it, but I’d be doing the same kind of thinking/analyzing before I did that. And actors that are going to age, do other things? Um, no thanks. She’s in the process of getting Back to the Future actors on the right arm/shoulder. I just chalk that up to “well, it takes all kinds!” and move on. They have cute kids and seem super nice, and I’m sure I have my own things she doesn’t get…

    As for the quote, I’m liking the 3rd option best. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. If you really like the idea of an interlocking/swirling DFTBA, you should go talk to an artist and have them draw one up. They’ll KEEP drawing them until you find the thing you like, typically with a small deposit.

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