December 6, 2019

Every drop of ink on a person’s body reflects a story. For tattoo enthusiasts, getting inked is not just an idea alone, it is a way of narrating life stories.

“My tattoos mean a lot to me, I got them in memory of people close to me,” said Kimberly Menj, a resident of Waterloo in an interview with The Spoke. 

“The tattoo on my forearm is in the memory of all the dogs I have had since I was a child, and the other one is my favourite cartoon, Fred Flintstone.”

Tattooing as an art has come a long way. Many youngsters are following the trend now and joining the bandwagon. 

Wayne Galbraieh, the owner of the Wonderland Studios, a tattoo shop in Kitchener, Ont., said 25 per cent of his business revenue comes from students.

The peak time for getting tattoos is during the summer. Students usually get their tattoos done as soon as summer holidays start, said Keight, a tattoo artist at Stay True tattoos in St. Thomas, Ont.,  who goes by her first name.

Tattoos help people commemorate time and things close to them.

‘Remember who you are,’ reads Mike Coles’s tattoo. (Kriti Thakur/ Spoke News)

“My tattoo from the movie Lion King, ‘remember who you are’ gives me strength to move forward from a horrific concussion I suffered for months,” said Mike Coles, a first-year Conestoga graphic design student.

According to Galbraieh, trends in tattooing have been shifting since he started as a tattoo artist in 1995. 

A floral tattoo by Wayne Galbraieh. (J.R. Ribbe)

“When I started it was so different, but now it’s moving towards geometrical and floral drawings,” he said. 

“Lately, I have been doing a lot of flowery stuff on people.”

People not only exhibit memories through tattoos, but also dedicate them to their loved ones. 

Nicole Cutting of Cambridge said, “I call my tattoo a ‘friendship tattoo’ as five other girlfriends of mine have the same one.”

Nicole Cutting’s ‘friendship tattoo.’ (Kriti Thakur/  Spoke News)

According to Tim Karn, Kitchener- based tattoo artist, a person needs to have an ideal meaning for their composition before they decide to get it done on their bodies.

Tim Karn tattoos his client. (Kriti Thakur/ Spoke News)

“Without a meaning, a tattoo is uninspiring for me,” said Tim Karn, the owner-operator of the Exoctic Skin Shop in a telephone interview. 

“With no inspiration, I try to tell my clients maybe I am not the person they are looking for,” he said. “If they don’t have any purpose then there is no sense of doing it.”

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