Waking up on a Saturday afternoon, post-BYO/flat party/Bar 101 romp (gross), the biggest comfort is knowing that the hangover, feelings of regret, or person sleeping next to you are only temporary. The promise of a clean slate, a new day, with no permanent damage is the only thing to get you through to Monday. However, after said night out, there’s no guarantee you won’t wake up with a slightly less short-term addition.
Getting inked up is quite the commitment. Tattoos, whether they’re beautiful works of art or terrible stick-and-pokes, will most likely stay with you until the day you die. Spooky. Judging from this batch, UoA students aren’t exactly the sharpest knives in the flat draw of loose utensils.
I was just coming off the back of a massive acid trip and I was getting super emotional with my friend. I told them, “I’m gonna get a tattoo and celebrate my family.” Then, I dragged my Mum out with me to the tattoo studio. Basically, it was a flash day and I pointed to the heart with Mum across it and said “I’ll get it,” just as a joke. But Mum was so keen, like “Yeah! You’ve got to.” So I got that. The artist was like “I made it as a meme, but I’ll make it really beautiful too.” My grandad had a mum tattoo as well, so I’m kinda carrying on the family tradition.
Anchor and Arrow
I got my tattoos when I was 17 and underage. I finished work on a Sunday and was strolling down the street and just thought, “I’m just going to go to a tattoo studio and see if they’ll give me one.” I walked in and asked them, and they just did it. I got two, an anchor on my ankle and an arrow on my wrist. I remember saying to the artist, “These might look dumb next to yours,” because he had such a wild sleeve. Very sweetly, he said “Even if it’s a little one you’re one of us.” When I went to school the next day I talked about the meanings to my classmates. The anchor was “Be your own anchor” and the arrow was “When life drags you back you will be shot forward.” Everyone was like, “Don’t they contradict each other?” and I was like, “Well, fuck, guess those are on for the rest of my life.” They’re funny, like little memories. I was young and I was stupid, obviously, but I still like them.
Goose on a Lemon
The story of my tattoo, a goose standing on a lemon, is kinda stupid. It’s a collage of two nicknames that people call me. “Goose” comes from a longer internet handle and “lemon” is from a friend in first-year who didn’t know my actual name. Since I work at a bar, I always have old men coming up to ask me if I’m a fan of Grey Goose and lemon. If they’re paying, then YEAH I AM.
I wanted to get a tattoo but I didn’t know what to get. I thought it would be kind of a big ‘fuck you’ if I got a tramp stamp, because it’s so often used to bodyshame women and that’s something I’ve dealt with a lot. The design wasn’t really premeditated beyond just seeking out an artist whose work I admired. I’m pretty happy with it, I’m not sure how it’s going to age but, whatever, life is for living!
Waking up dusty on a Saturday morning the news of a tattoo party happening in the neighbouring suburb got the attention of me and my mates. Pulling up to an old bank in Grey Lynn, the scene was pumping and the booze was flowing. Lying next to my best friend we both decided on skeleton tattoos by two different artists. I don’t know why I picked a skeleton on the hiss but he looked cool, he was smoking J’s and was dancing on shrooms. I felt like it represented me at the time. Well, the needles start going and a couple minutes in, just over the whirring sound of the machines, I hear a loud, “Skelly Battle!” My tattoo artist starts racing the artist working on my mate and the pain ramps up. It was an hour and a half of stinging, but I won so who cares!
I have the word BREAD written on my arm in wonky writing. I have this joke in a friend group that I love bread (it’s not really a joke). My friend kept bugging me to let them give me a stick-and-poke, because I’d done a bunch before but never had one. So, on their birthday, we got drunk, built a pillowfort and she gave me the tattoo. I actually love toast, but bread is pretty good too. I love it. I’d say it’s my best feature.