Tattoos are debatably one of the trendiest and coolest ways to express yourself. They act as an extension of yourself and speak to who you are as a person. Tattoos can be as casual or as intimate as you'd like, depending on how much feeling you invest into them. Whether you love them or hate them, you have to give admit that they're pretty badass - and undeniably, permanent.
In Toronto, there are tons of options and talented artists for when you want to give your skin a little decoration. One of our favourite parlours? Our friends over at Chronic Ink. Located at 252 Eglinton Avenue East, Chronic is home to of the most talented and creative tattoo artists in the city. With over 70 awards under their belt since opening in 2008, there are few people who know and love tattoos more than Chronic.
We sat down with the talented CJ to answer some of our burning questions about getting your first tattoo!
What's a good sign that someone's 'ready' to get their first tattoo?
CJ: If you're super excited! If it's your first tattoo, it's natural to feel a little nervous. Make sure you've mentally prepared yourself for the pain and that you love the design. Just take a big breath in and out and you're golden!
What about the pain, any advice on that front?
CJ: Realistically, it's going to hurt. Just accept the pain and push through!
Have you ever talked someone out of a tattoo?
CJ: Only when they don't seem ready or don't have space on their body for it.
What's one tattoo you would never recommend someone getting?
CJ: Boyfriend and girlfriend names!! Just don't do it. Sometimes, impulsive tattoos can be fun. They always tell a story and show how wild and carefree you are, but stay away from names.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever tattooed?
CJ: Oh, definitely the 😏 emoji on someone's ass. It was the first time tattooing actual human skin during my apprenticeship. I still remember having to shave her butt and the rest is honestly just a blur. When I was done, it just looking like a sun on a clear day...except the day was her pale butt.
What's a sign that the parlour you're in/artist you're with isn't for you?
CJ: Definitely do your research with shops and artists. Once you've figured out what you want and which artist you want to go with then it's just all about the positive vibes. It's really important to get along with your artist and he or she is willing to sit down with you and figure out what works best. If you don't vibe with your artist, which it happens then move on, you want to enjoy this experience! Don't force it. The experience is just as important as the outcome.
What's a misconception people have about people with tattoos?
CJ: In my opinion, people with a lot of tattoos are less uptight. They don't worry about what other people think and they don't have to look perfect all the time. I've never thought once people with tattoos are bad people. If anything they're just more carefree because they're enjoying themselves and not taking life so seriously. Not every tattoo is perfect but they tell a story, even if it's a random one. Like I have a pink poo emoji on my foot. Go ahead decorate those walls on your temple! Or however that saying goes.
What would you tell someone who's considering getting one done, right now?
CJ: Do it!! Go big or go home! Get something you've thought about for some time. Think if it's going to make you look more badass or.. if it's has great meaning to you. One or the other 😉