My Tattoo Tour

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Hello everyone! This is the last post I'll be squeezing in before heading off to Portugal on Wednesday, and it's actually one I've been meaning to do for a while. I got my first tattoo at 18, and 8 years later my body is starting to fill up with a pieces of 'artwork' that I've collected from around 10 different tattoo artists so far. I thought I'd share some photos and who I got the tattoos from, along with a few questions I commonly get asked. It was so hard to photograph every single one of these individually without it being a total photo spam, and I hope I haven't missed any out! I was initially planning on posting them in chronological order, but that's too much of a maze for me to get my head around haha. So we shall start from the feet and work our way up.

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Anchor and diamond done at Hepcat Tattoo - when I was 20 and can't even remember the name of the guy who did them. Off to a great start!

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Lighthouse and ship by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

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Bees by Billy Hay at Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

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Dexter by Danielle Rose (currently travelling)
 Tin Man by Neil Dransfield at Oddfellows Tattoo Collective, Leeds.

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Pocket watch and lillies by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

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Hot air balloon by Rizza Boo at Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

I am in no way an expert when it comes to tattoos, I've made my fair share of mistakes! A big question I get asked is do I regret any of them, and the answer is no. A couple I regret from being young and not researching the artist properly first, then being a bit disappointed in the quality of their work (with their hands not being as steady on those fine lines as I hoped they would) but I never regret the actual content of the tattoo its self. Another question I often get asked is 'what does that symbolise?' and for me, each tattoo reminds me of a time in my life - representing a person, place, or time that I've wanted to document along the way. Each one tells a story for me, and sometimes that story is as simple as I have a jammy dodger biscuit tattooed on my arm because I REALLY love biscuits. Deep, huh? But it still means a lot to me. For this reason I'd be respectful and hesitant in asking someone what their tattoo means, especially if you don't really know them. It's perhaps similar to asking someone how they got a certain scar. You're asking a deeply personal question and unless you know that individual really well, they might feel very uncomfortable and awkward in giving you the answer.

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Swallows by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

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Teapot & cup, and lifebuoy by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow
Umbrella & thunder by Billy Hay at Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow
Balloon animal, match and wishbone by Darryl Mullen at Irezumi Tattoo, Glasgow 
Horse shoe by Ria Barrenechea at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

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Lucky cat By Rachel Baldwin at Bold As Brass, Liverpool
Tropical heart and Totoro by Darryl Mullen at Irezumi Tattoo, Glasgow
Lady hand by Billy Hay at Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow
Origami crane by Harry Morgan (currently travelling)

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Bubble butt by Darryl Mullen at Irezumi Tattoo, Glasgow

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Mermaid theme half sleeve and motorbike by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

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Death Before Decaf by Keely Rutherford at Jolie Rouge, London
Treehouse by Darryl Mullen at Irezumi Tattoo, Glasgow

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Loveheart locket and key by Laura Kennedy at Timeless Tattoo, Glasgow (my first tattoo!)
Scissors by Stephen Kelly at Forevermore Tattoo Parlour, Glasgow

Some other common questions I get asked about my tattoos are how many do you have, how much money have you spent on them, and were they sore? The answer to that is I have no idea, I have no idea, and yes they hurt! But I am a massive wimp when it comes to pain, so if I can sit through all of these tattoos... then anyone can. I'd actually rather get tattooed over pierced any day! I'd also rather get tattooed than have a jag at the dentists. Told you, I'm a big wimp. Most of the tattoo artists I have been to charge an average of £85 per hour, with most sittings for each tattoo lasting anywhere between 2-5 hours. I haven't attempted to add all of mine up yet and I don't think I will. A good tattoo ain't cheap, and a cheap tattoo ain't good. If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to really research your artist before you go under the needle. If their price is cheap and too good to be true, then it probably is! Home tattooing is also a big no no. There is so much to be taken into consideration in terms of hygiene, and a tattoo studio is the only place that you should be going for a tattoo. That's not me trying to preach or being a tattoo snob - it's just common sense, and you are putting yourself at risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV by getting tattooed in someones home.

I was asked a couple of questions on twitter too, mostly about where I get my ideas from and how I decide to put what where, so that they all look cohesive together. Honest answer? I make this up as I go along! Placement on my legs and body are the easiest, as there's so much space so I can spread them out as I fancy. My arms however, have become a bit of a puzzle piece. I didn't start tattooing them with having two full sleeves in mind, so it's really just a case of filling up the gaps, and relying on the artists advice on wether my ideas would work in each space. I have two spaces left on one of my arm, so at this point the size and shape of the space will partially dictate what goes in there. Hoping to fill these gaps when I come back from holiday! Which brings me onto another question I was asked about long term aftercare. It's just a case of looking after your skin in general and keeping it nice and moisturised. Avoiding too much sun exposure and using a higher factor on your tattoos is also a good idea, as the sun can fade them over time. I learned this the hard way after being somewhat addicted to sunbeds in my late teens, so I ended up getting the swallows on my chest touched up at 22 because the red had faded so much.

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Once my arm is completely full, I'm not quite sure what my future plans are for other tattoos. I gather ideas along the way which as I mentioned before, are inspired by people, places, life events... and any other things I stumble across that ignite the fire in my belly enough to make me want to put a mark on my body for life. I follow a lot of artists on instagram who's work I admire and that I would love to get tattooed by one day. So if I had an idea for a tattoo and I thought that their style/work would be the best for what I had in mind, that's when I would get in touch with them and see about booking in. I love chatting about tattoos and discovering new artists, so if you ever want to blether then just drop me a message on twitter or instagram (@hellorogue) or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.

I understand that tattoos aren't for everyone. Some people like to admire from a far and others are waiting to feel truly inspired about an idea before they take the plunge. How do you feel about tattoos? I hope you enjoyed my tattoo story, and as always I would love to hear yours.


Thank you to my lovely friend Ashley Baxter for taking these photos.

19 comments:

  1. I have always loved your tattoo's! I love them but I really am too much of a wimp to get one, although with you mentioning you aren't good with pain maybe I would be able to cope! x

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  2. What a beautiful collection and from some crazy amazing artists! Beautiful!!! X

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  3. You have some of my favourite tattoos on your body so I'm so glad you shared this post! Such a beautiful collection of artwork.

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  4. I want to break the rules and ask what the bubble butt tattoo means! Maybe you will tell me over a cocktail. I've never been interested in getting a tattoo until recently. My goal in life is to build a wee house in the woods. I think that'd make a cute tattoo.

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  5. Your tattoos are gorgeous and incredibly jealous that you have one by Keely Rutherford - that's the dream! I also adore that last photo of you smiling, you look so happy! Lisa x
    (astarfellonher.wordpress.com ~ @cthulhuwakes)

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  6. Yes!!! Been waiting for you to post about your tattoos for ages! Its great reading your tattoo story, they are so well done & colourful :)
    I am slowly building my collection on my leg & planning to finish my arm with my favourite disney characters :)
    Have a fab time on holiday
    xXx

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  7. Oh wow your tattoos are awesome. I don't really have plans to get any myself but I love looking at other people's tattoos!
    Love Hayley,
    Water Painted Dreams

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  8. Such gorgeous tattoos! I only have one at the moment, but am itching to get another one, even though I'm a wimp with pain...

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

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  9. Love your tattoos. I have just booked in for a back piece I have been dreaming about for years. So nervous about it as it means a lot to me but im also so excited to get it done. I have a few small tattoos but this is the first one im really getting custom designed.

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  10. I love your tattoos so much - I love the style of them all! So glad you did this post and hope you're having a great time in Portugal :)

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

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  11. 'A good tattoo ain't cheap, and a cheap tattoo ain't good' - I really love this! I don't want to seem like a tattoo snob either, but I have to admit I genuinely don't understand people choosing a cheaper artist or tattoo studio to save a bit of cash - your tattoo is for life, so it's absolutely worth taking a little longer to save for a piece you know you'll adore. And, as you say, researching your artist like crazy so you know you love their work.


    I've shown my boyfriend your lighthouse and ship tattoos because he wants something similar on his arm. I'm so impressed by Stephen Kelly's work - I actually love every tattoo of yours by him. What beautiful, varied work.

    I have to say though, the Tinman tattoo might genuinely be my favourite tattoo ever - I fell in love with this the second you posted it on Instagram and I've had such a soft spot for it ever since. The detail and colours are beautiful and I love the little heart with details from Oz inside. I actually can't put into words how much I love that tattoo!

    x

    p.s. And, of course, Rachel Baldwin - the queen of quirky, girly tattoos! I don't think I've seen a single tattoo by Rachel which I don't love.

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  12. Hey you.
    Ayden your tattoos are a massive credit to you and your creativity. I've always been a fan of yours, but hadn't realised you had built such an incredible collection.
    True story (irony if you will).
    At the age of 26, yesterday I got my first tattoo.
    It was a long time coming, but it was so whole-heartedly worthwhile. I am a little bit in love and the pain itself was less painful than I imagined/feared.

    You, most certainly are an inspiration lady. A very big one.
    x x x

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  13. I definitely get bored too quickly to ever get a tattoo, plus: PAIN, but yours are all amazing. The style and the colours are just so fun! I have a question: what do your family think of them? (Hope you know I mean this in a non-judgey way, it's just something that always pops into my head when I see people with tats because my Mum HATES them!)?

    Becky :: accooohtrements.wordpress.com

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  14. I really love sleeve tattoo''s. I've always wanted a tattoo myself (not sleeve for me) but just something simple though I let my 'wimp' side get the better of me. I would love one on my foot or wrist! Maybe one day! You really suit them! x http://coffeeatmidnight13.blogspot.co.uk/

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  15. Your tattoos are so awesome. I loovveee the bee's so much!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

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  16. I love this post. I have three tattoos, but I really regret one of them and I want to get it removed. I'd definitely think more carefully before getting another one.

    http://beewritesx.blogspot.com

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  17. I have wanted to get tattoed by Rachel Baldwin for the longest time! I absolutely love her work. Sadly, saving for a wedding means I'll probably have to put that dream back for another year! Not so sad really though, because you know, wedding!

    Tattoos just really do suit you, Ayden! They look awesome on you and I am pretty jealous that you rock them so well.

    Xx

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  18. Holy shizzle I love the bees. Does it hurt getting tattoos on your shins? I was thinking of getting a small one on my knee but im a bit wary of the pain..
    :D xx
    (I also love the balloon....and the motorbike....ahhh gad I love them all!)

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