Ed. Note: People went buck wild for the ornamental tattoo snake below from Russ Abbott — and with good reason. The commentary below is from his client, Daniel, on what he’s learned from the experience as a whole.
There’s plenty of stuff I don’t share on certain social media because I know some of my friends and family would find it unsavory. But with regard to tattoos, I’ve found a lot of friendship in that community and have received some unexpected lessons — nothing like being tattooed in front of hundreds of people to get over body image issues. Nothing like finding an imperfection in a piece to understand taking the bad with the good and moving on. Nothing like receiving a piece that’s better than you could’ve ever envisioned yourself, and understanding it’s because you let go of control and fear, and trusted someone. Nothing like seeing people with older pieces all faded and blobby to understand how an initial attraction to beauty can morph into a deeper appreciation and connection over time.
There’s nothing like “permanence” to help you understand and accept the fact of the matter: impermanence. Mortality. Don’t be scared, have fun while you can. No doubt we all learn those lessons in different ways, from multiple sources, if we learn them at all. Please respect the paths others take to get there.
I’m not going to any local scratch shop, I take the art seriously. I’m not getting my hands or face tattooed before I’m retired or independently wealthy. I cover up when I’m at work conducting therapy, because I want those I’m trying to help listening to what I’m saying rather than being distracted by my tattoos. People have been getting tattooed for THOUSANDS of years, all over the world. If you have a problem with it or know someone who does, now would be a great opportunity to think about it in a different light and unburden yourself/them of that problem. Thanks to Russ and the other incredible artists who’ve tattooed me, and taught me without knowing it.