Somethings to consider when considering a ribbon tattoo.
August 22, 2015
Being a tattoo artist can somedays feel like your real job is mind reader or therapist - which is interesting to say the least.
When a client comes in and you ask them what they are looking to get, their answer is often as little as "a tattoo" it can be overwhelming for everyone involved.
Getting a tattoo and choosing a tattoo artist are topics I may touch on later, but right now I just wanted to speak on getting tattoos to support/memorialize/show solidarity for an illness.
Unfortunately, people have a lot to deal with in life and sometimes it's Cancer, or Lupis, or Chron's, or Cystic Fibrosis - the list goes on.
I speak to a lot of peope looking to get tattoos of the ribbon corrisponding to the disease, and lately I have been feeling quite passionate about trying to change the go to design.
I am sure everyone has seen this image:
This design means so much to so many people, and lately so many people have been looking to get it tattooed. I think its rad if you hit up your local tattoo shop doing a fund raiser where this is the design you get and all the proceeds go to help ________. It is an easily and mass produced design.
Should a tattoo be mass produced?
To each their own on that one, but personally I believe that the people we ae getting these tattoos for are so much more than an illness. They are hard-core gamers, weekend knitters, motor bike riders. They are brothers, mothers, friends. When you put their memory on your body for the rest of your life the imagery should be something that reminds you of them, Of their spirit, of who they are or were.
Recently a couple girls emailed the shop about getting ribbon tattoos and some words. They said it needed to be small and the ribbon needed to be purple. I took it upon myself, out of curiosity, to google "meaning behind purple ribbon".
The results are staggering.
When they came in I asked "Whats this about? What are we looking to do today? One girls brother has Cystic Fibrosis and she wanted to commemorate him on her wrist, her friend on her foot.
When someone speaks of a person with tears in their eyes and love in their smile it's for a reason. After seeing this list they realised maybe they can do better. Maybe they can get something more relivant to her brother as an individual than a generic ribbon.
We went over memories and she mentioned that they let go of balloons for him because his Doctors used to have him breathe into them.
What a simple and pretty choice.
It has the same meaning as a ribbon for the disease and all the memories of their time together.
Take me with a grain of salt. At the end of the day if someone is set on a design I will do it to the best of my ability and they will be happy with the result - but I know we can do better.
Can we start covering people with art, with memories, with positive thoughts?
That's my current goal.
I hope they were pleased and not offended when I suggested moving away from the ribbon.
They left beyond happy with their new tattoos.
Anyways, here is the final result.
It may not be massive and it might not win awards but it helped them today and that makes me happy.