At this point, I think I have about 40 tattoos on my skin. I got the first five tattoos between the years 2007 and 2011. After that, I had a few years’ break, and all the rest are tattooed during the past 18 months.
During these months, I’ve gotten new tattoos every other week on average, sometimes even more often. The best achievement might’ve been six or seven new tattoos within a week. I can’t even remember all my tattoos anymore – as you get a new one, you forget a couple of old ones!
I got my first tattoo in 2007 when I was 20 years old. It was tattooed at His Master’s Tattoo in Kotka. I decided to start with some basic kanji stuff. As far as I know, the kanji in my first tattoo stands for happiness. At least nobody has yet told me “hey, that’s a nice chicken noodle soup tattoo”!
My friend and I got inked on the same day. My friend got a half-arm sized dragon tattoo, which took maybe three or four hours. After his tattoo was ready, it was my turn to sit in a tattoo chair. After 15 minutes of tattooing, the tattooist declared yeah, it’s done.
The two characters from an anime called Afro Samurai are tattooed at New Era Tattoo in Mikkeli. The characters are called Afro Samurai and Kuma. The meaning of these tattoos is related to the background story of the characters. The main point of the tattoos is that whatever happens, you always stay loyal to your friends.
Winnie the Pooh is also tattooed at New Era Tattoo. The decision to get this tattoo was made after five minutes of serious contemplation. I saw this image on a meme page on the internet, and I think there was also a caption that stated something like “Honey. Not always the best diet.”
I still remember when the tattooist told me that this must be the ugliest tattoo she has done so far. I got this in 2011, so I guess I should go and ask her at some point, whether this tattoo still holds the number one spot at the list of her ugliest tattoos!
One reason why I didn’t get new tattoos for many years was simply that I couldn’t decide where to go to get tattooed. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I found the right people from Kotka Maritime Festival where the tattoo studio Scar.fi had a walk-in. After that, my skin just started to get filled up. Most of my tattoos are by Sampo Harjula.
I can’t even remember which of my tattoos came when. But I do remember that the finger tattoos and the hobo stick man were made during the same Maritime Festival.
The finger tattoos are by Lassi Sidoro. The Free hugs came first. I wanted to choose some nice text that wouldn’t upset people too easily. Nobody has yet gotten provoked, but I’m curious to see whether it will happen one day!
Many of my tattoos are inspired by popular culture.
I have a couple of tattoos that are inspired by The Simpsons and Futurama. My back is still empty since I want to get a proper backpiece at some point. My intention is to get a backpiece that combines Bender from Futurama and Godzilla.
The tattoo on my side neck is inspired by anime called Death Note. That’s a damn good series, by the way! The Tattoo depicts a Shinigami called Ryuk. Shinigami is a kind of death spirit. When it’s time for someone to pass away, the Shinigami will be the one completing the job.
The tattoo on my thigh is from Scar.fi’s Wheel of Unfortune that was held during this year’s The Night of the Arts in Helsinki. My friend and I decided to spin the wheel on behalf of each other. First, my friend spun me the Bankrupt wedge with this stencil on it, and right after that, I spun him another Bankrupt wedge. Well played!
I’m from Kotka, and the posso tattoo on my hand is a test – if I show this to someone and ask what this is, a true local will instantly recognize posso, the traditional delicacy of Kotka.
There used to be a bar called Pikku Prkl in Kotka, and I spent lots of time there in my spare time and occasionally doing some work as well. Once we joked with my workmate that we’re such a power team that we should get tattoos for it. Eventually, the tattoos were inspired by the logo of Powerpuff Girls, which was adapted into a little more suitable version for bar workers.
The shoe tattoo is an allusion to the band where a couple of my friends play in. Above the shoes, there’s Mooncake from the series called Final Space. The Mooncake tattoo was also an idea that was invented in five minutes, but it was a good idea nevertheless!
As I start to think of it, there are quite many tattoos on my skin that have been somehow motivated by my friends. Some of the ideas are purely based on inside jokes.
Once, during a certain surprise birthday party, I was honoured to be the birthday gift: a pool boy with a golden bowtie, leather pants and all. Sampo, on his behalf, surprised me with this super cool tattoo.
The Gentle Swastika-tattoo on my belly was tattooed this year on a Memorial Day of an artist called ManWoman. During the Memorial Day, tattoo parlors around the world tattoo the original swastika symbols for their customers. The original swastika is an ancient icon that can be found from various cultures around the world, and it’s meant to be a symbol of peace and happiness. Of course, as a hippie who loves both other people and himself, I need to wear a symbol of peace as well!
The lion tattoo on my chest is still fresh, and it’s Olivia Moonchild’s artwork. The tree tattoo next to the lion symbolizes the World Tree, Yggdrasil.
Originally, I was planning to get the Yggdrasil tattoo on my throat, but as it turned out, it would’ve been so small that it would’ve looked more like a broccoli instead of a mighty tree. Because of that, my tattooist Sampo and I decided to rather tattoo a proper piece here on my chest.
As you may notice when you look at my tattoos, I’m not the most serious person in the world, and I can get new tattoos without planning them too much beforehand. When you find yourself a good and reliable tattooist, it’s easy to go and get tattooed like “hey, what should we tattoo today?”
Because – why not?