So the following interview is with a friend of mine name Will M.
He has a few tattoos and I felt that this would be a good opportunity to start off with an interview that resembles the types of responses we expect to get from everyday people like those getting/considering getting tattoos in parlors, or everyday people.
He agreed to do the interview enthusiastically, he was also happy to have pictures taken of his own tattoos. I was given permission to put the pictures on my blog. We took them using a laptop camera because my phone camera’s pictures were coming out to dark. Ultimately this interview outline can still change, Devin and I will see about the best way to approach and interview people to get the most of out them.
AO: Do any of your tattoos have any particularly special significance to you?
WM: The ‘Heretic’ on my chest does. When I set aside popular beliefs to discover myself, I could find no better word than “Heretic” to describe myself; I wanted the tattoo for years before I got it. That’s probably the most personal one.
The 718 on my arm is a symbol of brotherhood among my closest friends, it will always be a reminder of where I’m from and who I grew up with.
AO: When did you first really want a tattoo? Did you get it? If so, how long did it take you to get it?
WM: I wanted tattoos since I was a child. I considered body art to be something truly amazing. I didn’t have any steady ideas for a while, I did, however, get my first tattoo when I was 15 years old and regretted it. I was drunk and decided to get it jail-house style. It hurt like hell, but I’ve since gotten it covered.
AO: What do you think of tribal tattoos?
WM: I believe tattoos should be a symbol of something that means something to you spiritually, by blood even. White kids with tribal tattoos generally piss me off. Like what tribe are they in? I believe it should be the work of an actual tribe, not something to look cool or cultured with like that Vin Diesel or Pro Wrestler shit.
AO: Do you know of any communities or groups in which tattoos play an important role? Are you a member of any such group?
WM: Well, there’s the whole gang thing. Bloods, Crips, the Kings, they all have tattoos that basically translate to “My life is worth just as much as the next guy’s”. They can call it a family, but it’s worthless. Real tattoos should be symbolic to one’s heart. I guess the 718 group would be the closest I’d come, but those are my real brothers, and I’d do anything for them.
AO: What do you think about tattoos on women? Do they make them less or more attractive?
WM: Haha, I absolutely love them [tattoos on women]. I think it shows a type of devotion to art or beliefs in some cases. When I was younger I dated a girl who was covered in tattoos, like head to toe. She was sexy as hell, but also a lunatic. Tattoos can show a form of character in anyone who has them. A willingness to take pain for an artistic passion, and that blows my mind. Tattoos definitely make women especially attractive to me.
AO: What would you consider ‘crossing the line’ when it comes to tattoos (if there is such a thing)?
WM: A tattoo is a matter of personal importance; of personality. So I don’t think it could ever go too far. Who are we to judge another person’s tastes? We’re all flesh and bone anyway. It’s up to the individual to support theirs [tattoo]. I can’t say that any kind of tattoo would offend me, but I could have pity on the person since they may not know what it is they follow.
AO: Would you say that tattoos can generally makr it more difficult to get a job? Has a tattoo ever cost you a job opportunity? What kind of job do you think would be hard to get for someone with tattoos?
WM: Well I definitely wouldn’t be able to work for the church, but I wouldn’t want to anyway. The only thing that I can think of is that I couldn’t join the Marine Corps. Tattoos are an employer to employer thing, you never know if they’re tattoo friendly or not.
AO: Your tattoos could keep you out of the Marine Corps? Why’s that?
WM: They have a rule against forearm and neck tattoos under their last two commandments. My wolf and music note would keep me out, although I could probably find a way to get in.
AO: Would you say that there is such a thing as a ‘wrong reason’ for getting a tattoo? What would you consider a wrong reason?
WM: A good example would be how I, in a drunken stupor, got a tattoo of the symbol of the first band I was in. I regretted it for years. There are many wrong reasons to get a tattoo, passion being one of them; a main one. Never get a partner’s name or image tattoos on you; you may feel you have the right reasons but what happens when you break up? Love isn’t the reason for a tattoo, love isn’t permanent. Music isn’t a reason either; tastes change. There are many reasons not to get a tattoo, always pick something you have a real passion for, otherwise you’ll regret it. This reminds me of a man I met a long time ago, he had a tattoo of a heart on his chest, and in the heart several names; all of them crossed out. He didn’t get the names removed; he just had them crossed out.
AO: Alright, and finally…There are people who strongly oppose tattoos. What would you say to these people if you had a chance to reach out them in this respect?
WM: We don’t tell people to get tattoos, although with the common popularity boost they get thanks to shit like Miami Ink, I want to tell a lot of people not to. Some people get things that are meaningless tattooed on themselves, like their own names. But me personally, I value individualistic ideas, and I will never tell someone to change their mindset, it’s just not right. Christianity doesn’t agree with tattoos, and neither does Judaism. But tattoos outdate both religions by many years. It’s a beautiful part of human culture, and they’ll always be around.
AO: Thanks for your time.
WM: Of course, any time.