Last week, I got my first-ever tattoo. A lot of people I've talked to thought I already had one (my mom even said she figured I had a secret tattoo I was hiding from her...!).
In truth, I have wanted tattoos for most of my life, but I knew I wanted them to be very, very significant to me. That's why its taken me so long to get one - I wanted it to be thought-out, something that would age well and age with me, something that would always be important to me.
One of the biggest aspects of my day-to-day life is being vegan. While my other hobbies have changed, I've had an interest in animal rights for the almost 10 years. Being vegetarian, then vegan, has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I knew tattooing something to signify my identity as a vegan would be important to me, but I also wanted to be careful.
The last thing I want is a regrettable tattoo, and while I think I'll avoid animal products forever, there may be a day where I don't identify with the vegan label. I've also had a few friends with somewhat political tattoos that end up resenting the daily barrage of questions that come with wearing their beliefs on their sleeve (literally). I wanted my vegan tattoo to be more symbolic, artistic, and personal than tattooing the word on my body somewhere.
I decided on a bunny because they are the symbol for animal testing and also super cute. I've always felt a connection with rabbits. If I don't feel like discussing veganism with the inevitable stranger who might ask, though, I can always just say I really like rabbits. I also picked a placement that's easy to show off or hide, depending on the situation. (And, yes, I totally thought about cosplay when I chose where I wanted my tattoo!)
I went to Annie at Golden Age Tattoos with an idea for the design I wanted (bunny in a frame, lots of feminine elements). I was totally shocked when I saw the sketch - it was like she took the image directly from my brain. Absolutely perfect! She got to work right away. It hurt, but only about as much as I expected. A few parts were more painful than others (those flowers took so many layers of color - ouch!) but the whole piece was done in about 4 hours. And, by the way - Annie uses vegan ink!
So now I'm officially tattooed with a large piece, and I love it. I think it reflects my style perfectly, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience.