Jenni

Getting the first tattoo is a nice memory that I won’t forget. I got my first tattoo when I was 15 years old, and I paid it with the money I had earned from a summer job. It was a lizard, which was a very common tattoo theme in those days. Although it was a common theme, I also had some personal meaning for it, because I used to have terrarium pets when I was younger. 16 years ago, tattoos still weren’t an everyday thing – at least for a teenage girl. My beloved granny even threatened to leave me out of her will if I got tattooed.

Because I was under 18, my mom had to come with me to the tattoo shop. I was very nervous about the tattooing, and on top of that, it was a very hot summer day. I guess I forgot to breathe properly during the tattooing, and as a result of all the heat and nervousness, I fainted. Actually, I also fainted during my second tattoo. I remember that the tattooist was just starting to tattoo above the large vertebra on my neck, and at that point, the pain just washed over my body and I blacked out.

I’ve always had a fear of needles, but for some reason, getting tattoos doesn’t strike me as bad as taking a blood sample, for example. Piercings make me a little more nervous, but I’ve learned how to cope with them as well. One major thing that reduces tension is the fact that I’m already familiar with my tattooers and piercers to begin with. I know I can count on them and everything will be done under my own terms. At the same time, tattoos and piercings have helped me to desensitize myself to needles. This spring I even managed to go and get my blood sample taken without an escort! 

My ear tattoo continues the reptile theme. Without a doubt, this was the easiest of my tattoos – it was ready in 15 minutes, and I didn’t feel a thing.

Sometimes my friends seem a little puzzled when I tell them about my new tattoo ideas that I myself find extremely funny. Never stop the madness is from an internet parody of Donald Duck, where Uncle Scrooge utters this line to Donald.

Before I got this tattoo, I thought about whether it would be reasonable to get a tattoo like this in the first place. Should a tattoo always have a bigger meaning behind it, or is it okay to just get a tattoo based on a joke? What if someone insists to know what this tattoo means to me? Even so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can get a tattoo just because I find it funny. And if someone urges an explanation, I can always say that when I got this, I was in the middle of a process where I had just got things going after living a quiet life. So this tattoo reminds me to never stop the madness!

At some point, I had many years’ break from getting tattoos. There was no particular reason behind it: I just constantly had something else going on, and I somehow forgot getting any new tattoos at all. Even in a year and a half ago, my left arm was completely empty. 

The letter K inside the square was my first arm tattoo. It’s dedicated to my friend whose name begins with K. I got the tattoo as a surprise, without telling my friend beforehand. When I hyped up the idea to my friend’s boyfriend, he asked if this was going to be my first tattoo. It was quite funny – he had never seen my tattoos, and I guess he thought that since I was so excited about getting tattooed, it was probably going to be my first one! But usually, there’s just no need to talk about tattoos once they’re on your skin. They just are, right there on their own place.

The idea to dark circus theme started from the cotton candy. A friend of mine is called Hattara (in English: Cotton candy), and I decided to get a tattoo for her. After that, the circus theme has been continued.

My original idea was to get only black and gray tattoos, but after the cotton candy, I jumped straight to pink color. Now the left arm is intended to be fully colored. At some point, my arm will probably run out of free space, so we must see where to proceed from there.

My arm is tattooed by Niko Parviainen. I’m always happy to get tattooed by Niko – he knows what kind of tattoos I like, and I never have to say no to his ideas! It’s so relaxing to go and get tattooed by someone you trust. That way you already know beforehand that you will love the result.

The anchor was made at LR Tattoo’s walk-in. It’s by Jaakko from Paradise Tattoo.

As you can see, many of my tattoos remind me of a certain person. The number 10 on my neck is a reference to a basketball number. I used to play basketball when I was younger, and one of my friends from those days tattooed my nickname on the side of her hand. As a surprise to her, I got her number on my neck. 

I have the word ”Väistä” (in English: Move over) tattooed on my left thigh. The tattoo was inspired by a joke my friends and I had. Last summer, my friends and I were hanging out. We shouted all kinds of stupid things to each other and were acting like children in general. One of my friends wrote the texts “väistä” and “party on motherfucker” on my leg, and we instantly saw they would be potential friend tattoos. 

It took a while, but in the end, we finally managed to carry out our plan and tattoo each other with a little help from a friend of a friend. I still like this tattoo very much. It brings me great memories. 

At this point in my life, I can say I’ve learned that I don’t regret any of my tattoos. For me, a tattoo doesn’t need to have any deep meanings, and instead it’s totally okay to get a tattoo that is based on some funny occasion or a joke. And if one day I would start to think that some of my tattoos needed to be fixed or something like that, then I can just go and get it fixed. It’s not so serious.