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Inked and Electrified

Can you say sleeping-on-my-stomach-this-week? After a few years of imagining my tattoo-to-be imagery and just two weeks of getting down and dirty in the reality of getting one, I got inked. In the past I had been inspired by the oozing cool that wafts off the arms of circa '83 Brian Setzer or like many young untattooed women, the soft, sweet badassery that glows around Suicide Girls like a sugar and spice version of the Virgin of Gaudalupe's golden aura. Originally I thought I'd get a little traditional flash-style swallow back when I was leaving for my freshman year, an apotropaic stamp to see me on my way (but never had time to get it). I decided on a black and white lotus, something symmetrical and grounding-- it brings me home to my buddhist upbringing and my childhood love of frogs and Monet's garden, whether it be the beliefs my family passed down or the sanctuary of a green bridge and the lilypads I have my home with me always. 

I usually avoid things that I can't undue or that do not pass. Maybe it is fear, maybe it's an addiction to watching the constant flow of things-- I was so nervous the night before and not because of the pain (which, by the way, isn't a big deal AT ALL) but because of the permanence. This has thus far been my ultimate loss of naivete as it is like a pact with something entirely unnatural- a change in your natural self. It's not a negative thing, but I can't help but have a sense of loss- but no regret. Is this the new coming of age for millennials? 

After grabbing a solid brunch at Harefield Road with a friend I walked around the corner for my appointment at Gristle Tattoo, a vegan parlor and gallery at the edge of Williamsburg and Bushwick. It was a mellow and tasteful shop that unlike most parlors, allowed enough sunlight in to make you feel comfortable (as in it was not like you had just walked into an alternative design cave... but rather had found yourself in a calm, quiet space of a yogi... tattoo guru? skin sage?) I had picked Gristle because I was set on getting inked in my hometown and because out of all the instagram-portfolios I had seen in the area the artists at Gristle had impeccable detail work with fine lines and beautiful imagery as well. Over all, the shop was pleasant, organized, attentive, and showcased phenomenally talented artists. It hasn't even been a full week yet since I got my tattoo and I want to go back and get more! I think this electrifying rush isn't so much from the gorgeous outcome as much as it is from the delightful experience of the shop and confidence in its art. AND DID I MENTION IT'S VEGAN?!?! I never knew that tattoos weren't vegan, so when I found out that I could get a vegan tattoo I was sold. Vegan tattoos are very much like regular tattoos, the elements that are changed are generally the use of animal glycerin to vegetable glycerin as a carrier for the pigment, and in pigment, which really depends on the color. Vegan tattoo ink is just as permanent, beautiful, and developed as regular ink and I would wholly support and recommend vegan tattooing to those of you thinking about getting inked.

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