Tattoos: Express yourself in Utah Valley

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Priceless are the experiences of life.


The self worth of any individual is determined by how they view life and act upon it. For those motivated by passion toward life, personal rituals often develop. Tattoos and piercings, like many other art forms, have become tools to satisfy these sacred practices.


Presenting who we are, even subtly, is unavoidable. According to Ernest Dick of Death or Glory Tattoo in Provo, body modifications are just changes made to the way you look, even if it seems small.


“Cutting your hair in any particular way could be just as extreme of a statement as any tattoo. One guy’s haircut might offend another,” Dick said. “It comes down to how you want to present yourself.”


Because people are so different and experiences can be interpreted to mean many different things to people, especially during different stages in life, choosing how to alter your look needs to be approached in a systematic way.


“One of the biggest mistakes people make is rushing to get under the needle without researching everything first, which can limit choices, even alter how their procedure turns out,” said Jentery McCausland of Timeless Image Tattoo in Provo. “You’re doing it right if the process teaches you that there is more to life experiences than regret.”


Regretting a first tattoo, according to Dick, happens too often. More thought should be put behind each alteration made to the body.


“Most people cover up their first couple tattoos because it affects their life or career in a negative way they hadn’t anticipated,” Dick said. “Like if you were a doctor, would your patients trust you as much if you had visible ink or not?”


Justin Pierce of Death or Glory Tattoo doesn’t question the integrity of fellow professionals but gives a word of warning about the hygiene of getting work done.


“It hasn’t been an issue whether a needle has been used before or not and hasn’t been for many years. The problem happens when the needles are ordered and shipped,” said Pierce. “Though the needle is sterile the package itself might have something crazy on it, so ask your artist about their sterilization procedure.”


Musicians have instruments, directors have actors and tattoo artists have the body. According to McCausland, it’s like having a blank canvas. Each artist is different so be sure to pick one you agree with.


“We are artists who decorate people. Like a painting, it takes time to place a candle here and some color there,” said McCausland. “Sometimes, as an artist you just want to add.”


Before you get a tattoo:


Meditate: Consider all that is important to you and what you want most to reveal about yourself to the world. Collect your thoughts. Make a list. Remember you are stuck with a tattoo for the rest of your life.


Research: What images or alterations best represent your purpose, idea or thoughts. Compare and decide the one(s) that best represent you.


Avoid infection: Make sure you’re up-to-date with hepatitis and tetanus immunizations, as well as others. If you have medical problems, consider talking to your doctor. Make sure the tattoo shop you go to is clean as well.


Find your local parlor: Take your time to look through as many portfolios as possible to decide which artist best meets your needs. Ask about prices, as they change with the amount of time is required and how much ink used. Parlors are always willing to work with clients.


Introduce yourself: Explaining your ideas with your artist before your designated appointment helps them understand what you want. Build the trust between the two of you, since their work will forever be on you. The last thing you want to have is an artist who is unaware of what you want permanently modifying your body.


-Death or Glory Tattoo-

440 North Freedom Boulevard


(801) 494-8700


-Timeless Images Tattoo-

283 North University Avenue


(801) 356-8282


-Happy Valley Tattoo & Piercing LLC-

275 E. State Road

American Fork

(801) 756-6642


-Forever Yours Tattoo-

608 North State Street


(801) 224-8222

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