3/08/2012

White Ink

For a very long time I've toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo. And for a very long time I've been uncomfortable with getting one that was black and in-your-face. It felt invasive and the thought of something  so prominent on my skin FOREVER scared me. I know there will be people that say "the whole idea of a tattoo is to be prominent, to be noticeable, to stand out" but that's something that just didn't appeal to me. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to offend anyone with a black tattoo, I think they're lovely on other people, but they're just not right for me. They wouldn't fit. So, I continued to tinker with the idea, but never found a reason to actually act upon it. I'm one of those people who takes the whole 'permanent' thing unbelievably serious and I was adamant that I didn't act on impulse and end up with something big and black which I'd regret later in life.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago... when I accidentally stumbled upon a gorgeous picture of a white tattoo online. It was at that very moment when a lighbulb went off and I was well and truly in love. I'd never seen anyone with a white tattoo before and prior to discovering the picture I'd never even contemplated there was such a thing. I mean obviously a lot of people get black tattoos, or vibrantly colorful ones, but I'd never seen anyone with a purely white one. The more I observed the photo, the more I researched them, the more I pondered the idea and the more I fell in love. I loved how they weren't as invasive, instead more subtle and elegant. I loved how they were unique. I loved how I would always know it was there, and there would be some people who wouldn't even notice it. I loved how getting one wouldn't impact my ability to get a teaching job. I loved how the color white matched perfectly with the tattoo design I wanted. In fact, having my tattoo in white would really heighten it's meaning, really make it more profound. After all, I wasn't interested in getting a tattoo of just any feather... I wanted a tattoo of a white feather. It was perfect.

In Native American cultures it is believed that white feathers represent bravery as well as purity and wholesomeness of the heart. Native American Chiefs commonly adorned feathers in order to symbolize their connection and communication with Spirits. Other cultures believe white feathers represent peace, immortality, divinity, progress and prayer. While Spiritually, it is believed that to find a white feather is a gift from your guardian angel or loved ones who have passed. White feathers are thought to represent a pure and loving message from above to say that angels are present in your life, guiding and protecting you. They are blessings.

It was important to me that my tattoo have great significance to me, and to my life. I wanted something poignant, special and representative of those I love. To me, getting a tattoo of a white feather wouldn't only signify wholesomeness of the heart, bravery, peace and progress, it would also become a beautiful representation of all my loved ones in heaven. Of my Grandma Cousino who passed of Breast Cancer when I was little. Grandpa Tom who also  bravely fought Cancer and lost. A very close family friend, a woman I loved and adored, Mrs. Pawul or 'Mom'. A family friend and long time neighbour, John, who tragically was taken too soon last year. Carl's Granddad Bill and Uncle Roy. And friends from High School who were taken way before their time. It gives me goosebumps, tears, and smiles to know that in getting a white feather tattoo, I'd have the opportunity to signify all of those special people in my life, my 'guardian angels' and carry them around with me on a daily basis. To remind myself that they're not gone and they're not forgotten. That they're still here, guiding and protecting me. And later in life when I am no longer fortunate enough to hug and kiss those precious people around me now, as they'll too smile down on me from above, I'll be reminded of them whenever I look at my wrist. Reminded of my guardian angels. 

With my mind made up, I sent a picture of what I was looking for to a wonderful Tattoo artist that my good friend Lauren recommended. He suggested that I come into the shop (Stigma Tattoo Studio) for a consultation in order to see if my skin tone would suit the white ink (apparently, it's very temperamental, in that on some skin tones it won't even show up). Thankfully, my beautiful friend Charlotte joined me in my tattooing journey. When we arrived for the consultation, Jamie immediately gave me good news in saying I had the type of skin tone that would take the white ink, although I'd need to come in for a touch up after it had heeled in order to make the white color really pop. He sketched a very simple yet beautiful feather based on the photograph I'd emailed him, and was really accommodating. My appointment was booked for later that day so Charlotte and I quickly popped out for something to eat before. When we returned I learned that Stefan (a tattoo artist with 7 years experience) would be doing my tattoo. While Charlotte and I sat on the leather couch as Stefan and his assistant set up, butterflies attacked my tummy, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. To be truthful, the thought of being repeatedly stabbed with a needle didn't really appeal to me. Ha! But I've been through worse, I have a pretty good pain tolerance, and I knew the end result would be worth it. So I sat down, put my big girl britches on, bit my lip as hard as humanly possible and tried to find solace in the loud buzzing of the tattoo gun...even when it felt like a cat was attacking my wrist...Ha! Charlotte was an absolute gem, kept me calm and documented the experience for me. So if you're not interested in seeing photos, quickly scroll to the bottom...now! 




Although it's still very red, covered in Bepanthen, in the process of healing, and will need to be touched up again in 3 weeks, I am absolutely tickled pink with the results. When I go back Stefan is going to go over it again so that it's more 'vibrant' and will add a couple more 'whisps' to the feather so that it's fuller, but I'm absolutely in love. I'm so excited for it to be finished and completely healed so that I can enjoy it even more.  I love how its rustic, I love how, like a real feather, it isn't 100% symmetrical, I love that its white. I love that it's subtle, elegant and classy. I love how it's unique. Stefan did a beautiful job, and I am so happy I've had it done. 

My guardian angels are with me always.

9 comments:

  1. This is AWESOME! I love the significance it holds for you and what you chose. Tattoos are a very personal and permanent thing and it's a good idea to put as much thought as you did into getting one.

    So beautiful - love it!

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    1. Aww, thanks so much, Jen! What a sweet thing to say :)

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  2. I saw you post a pic on Twitter recently and finally made it to your blog to see the reasoning! I am in the SAME exact boat as you in wanting something that is not as IN YOUR FACE as black ink. I want something in the same spot to signify the baby we lost, my dad who passed and my step dad who passed. :( I'm not sure WHAT I want yet but I'm obsessed with the white ink. I have been thinking about the eternal love symbol... Or a dainty set of angel wings? I don't know yet... And I need to research a good shop. I know a few artists and they aren't familiar with white ink... o_O !!! I definitely need to find someone experienced!

    Anyway, love the meaning behind yours!!! Follow me back on Twitter. I'm a good egg, I promise. I have been bloggy bffs with Jen for years!

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  3. Hi Amanda, how's your tattoo looking now...? I've been trying to find an artist experienced with white ink in London for over a year but most people don't want to know or try and talk you out of it or say they'll do it but have no previous work to show you...

    Keen to know if the white is still popping as bright as when you first got it and also if Stefan showed you a bunch of his other work with white ink before you decided to go with him?

    Hope you can help me out :)

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