Tattoos - to ink or not to ink that is the question.

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on November 07 2013

Tattoos. Ink. It's time to tackle the subject. One of the most frequently asked question I get for my "ask Lisa" posts has to do with my tattoos. What are they? What do they mean? Why did you get them? Any regrets? And will you allow your children to get them? Let's start at the beginning shall we? Because after all…it IS a very good place to start. I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine I have wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. Long before they were cool, or even socially acceptable. I knew my parents would be vehemently opposed. So this one time in my life...I did the right thing. Avoided the ink. (at least for awhile.) Honestly, I never looked at my desire for a tattoo as an act of rebellion. To me, it always seemed to be self-expression. I am an artist. I am visual. I suppose I just like things that maybe aren't the norm for everyone else. Fast-forward many years. And the tattoo "itch" was getting stronger. Our fourth child was almost two years old…and we were about to be married for 10 years. I wanted something to commemorate that occasion. I wanted something I could give my husband as a gift. It would be a gift right? He would love it right? I did my research and design processing for about six months. And on our 10th anniversary I headed to a friend-tattoo artist and had the words "I am my beloved and my beloved is mine" tattooed on my hip in Hebrew. I added our anniversary date and a vine design. Happy anniversary! I love this tattoo so much. It's small. It's private. It's between him and I. Very few have ever seen it. (yeah, you're not going to see it either. sorta weird to post a photo of my hip!) What they say is true. Once you have a tattoo that you love. You want more. You start thinking about your "next" ink almost immediately. Our 20th anniversary is coming in April. To date...I have five tattoos. For me…this artwork is my stake in the ground. Each one marks something I want to remember. They are symbols of who I am, and what is important to me. I don't see them as rebellious. I don't see them as attention-getting. My tattoos are for me. I love art. I love sketching. I love self-expression. Those elements are all encompassed in the ink I have had permanently placed on my body. From my marriage - to my children - to words of encouragement - to a guiding Bible verse. For me. Often people get tattoos because it's something on their bucket list. A slight form of rebellion. A bit of "look at me!". Or "everyone else is doing it". With that attitude there are bound to be regrets. I have zero regrets! A tattoo can give you a voice. I believe a visual can often speak so much louder than a word. If it speaks to you. If it tells your story. If it celebrates something important to you. Then it is so beautiful and so powerful and so intimate. My tattoos have given me a physical voice as well. For as many raised eyebrows as I encounter, I also get inquisitive questions. "What does it say?", they will ask. And then I have a choice. I can give them the quickie matter-of-fact answer. Or sometimes...if I sense in them an openness, and a real desire to know… I will tell them more. I'll elaborate more. My arms are my testimony. They are truth. And this, this is why have tattoos. For me. My voice. My story. my arm tattoos. bible verse tattoo from psalms and in Hebrew Do my children want ink? Of course they do. Will I allow it? Absolutely. When they are mature enough to put thought into what it is they want to commemorate or celebrate or remember, and then….why. If they can articulate that, I believe they are ready. But that's me. Not you. my family tree tattoo - a colored birthstone fruit for each child. Noah got his first ink last summer. I took him. He paid. No regrets. Last night he asked me to schedule him for another. I love what he wants. I love why he wants it. For him. His story. noah's tattoos - forgiven I know tattoos are not for everyone. And I know there are a lot, and I mean a LOT of ugly. Like total shudder worthy ugly! But hey, that's their story, right? Don't be a hater! the process of getting a tattoo - it is not for the faint of heart. All I'm asking is that if you don't like them, you open your mind to why someone may have chosen that artwork. Maybe they are not rebellious. Maybe they have a story to tell.
tattoos. chinese symbols on my ankle. faith. family. strength.
seriously only photo of my ankle!
So what would you choose? What would be your stake in the ground? What is YOUR story? I would love to know! And thank you Nan, for asking. You get a $25 gift certificate since I chose you! If you have a question for me, please email me here. Ask me anything :) xoxoxoxoxo, lisa

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