See as how I'm currently a NING and all, I was thinking about starting a thread that would let the curious know a bit more about myself, while also allowing me to learn some new names in the community. Lilias mentioned some of the members were into ink, so I thought I'd start up a general tattoos/piercing topic.
I am currently a licensed tattoo artist and body piercer in the state of Missouri (in the ole U.S. of A.). I make mention of the state, because there are different laws state-to-state. If you have any legality questions, I might be able to answer you, but will probably just be pointing you in the direction of where you can find such information. Aside from that, anything goes. Feel free to ask about the tattooing process, stories from the shop/my days as an apprentice/etc. The only information I will withhold is that which I feel could be used wrongfully (by scratchers).
It would be fun if this topic expands into more than just little old me jabbering away. If there are other licensed artists or piercers who want to join in the answering, I'd love to have some support. Also, anyone that has a collection of tattoos will be pretty knowledgeable, so you all jump in, as well!
To get things started, I'll ask the question I get, unfailingly, every day:
Q: Does getting a tattoo hurt?!
A: Short version- Hell yeah, it does! Long version- Anyone who tells you getting a tattoo doesn't hurt is a liar who is just trying to sound tough. Now, there are certainly areas where it hurts far less than others, but barring any previous nerve damage, you're going to feel it. I work with some seriously rough-and-tumble dudes, and not a single one of them will tell you a tattoo doesn't hurt. They'll have no qualms about telling you to man up and take it like a champ, though!
The best way I can describe getting a tattoo, and I've heard many-an-artist use this same reference, is a cat-scratch on a sunburn. It will sting like a surface burn while they're working, but the second the needles pull away, the pain stops (at least, it should, if you have a decent artist). Depending on the location of the tattoo, the majority of pain/discomfort comes from the healing process.
Oh yeah, in light of tonight's television line-up on TLC, I'll go another.
Q: How do artists feel about tattoo schools?
A: Tattoo schools are an abomination. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can learn to tattoo in two weeks. It's just not possible. Maybe you'd like to get a root canal from a dentist who learned from a two-week crash course? Tattoo 'schools' are a disgrace to the art form, and the fact that TLC is taking advantage of tattooing (...again...) to boost their ratings is despicable.
Anyway, I hope to field some good questions, hear some funny stories from the rest of you, and feel free to post your own art, if you've got it!