My Ink

12 May 2014 1

I recently got another tattoo, something I didn’t think I’d ever do again.

Yup again.

Another one.

Here are some photo’s, courtesy of my uber talented husband:

pheonix-back-top-web   pheonix-sitting-back-web

I get asked a lot of questions (good and bad), and I also wanted to think through some of the common questions (for all tattoos) so I put together my own mini FAQ for the curious 🙂 :

[toggle title=”Did it hurt?”]
Yes, it hurt like hell. No, I did not get used to it and I did not start to enjoy it. I’d forgotten just how sore it was (or maybe cause my old one’s were so small, it didn’t hurt?). Of course, it’s more/less sore in different places, and also the different lines (outline vs shading) have different levels of pain. The outline was killer. It took about 2 hours, and that’s all I could take. The top of my back and arm was bearable (the most I did in one sitting though was 4 hours), the bottom half of my back was the worst pain ever (but not as bad as the outline).[/toggle]

[toggle title=”How long did it take?”]
My Phoenix took a total of 14 hours, over 5 sessions. (6 if you count covering my old tattoo).[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Why a Phoenix?”]
I have no exciting reason, except that I think Phoenix’s are absolutely gorgeous. I took my time choosing it, with nothing specific in mind, except “I’ll know what I want when I see it”. Eventually I found a gorgeous Phoenix online, and combined it with another’s tail feathers (peacock feathers). My tattoo artist elaborated on the design, and extended one of the wings to my arm, which has become the favourite part of the tattoo.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”How much did it cost?”]

I’m kidding. It cost me nothing 🙂 We did it in exchange for my tattoo artists’ website ( But if I had to pay for it, it would have cost me R17,000 (crazy right?)[/toggle]

[toggle title=”WHY WOULD YOU TATTOO YOUR BODY?!?!”]
Ok no one really asks me this, but I see it on people’s faces 🙂 I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it is one of the most beautiful things you can do to your body. I especially love this huge Phoenix, and I just love buying new tops and jewellery to compliment it.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”But how horrible is it going to look when you’re old and saggy?”]
Lol. I don’t know about you, but when I’m THAT old, you won’t be seeing my body (whether I have tattoos or not)[/toggle]

[toggle title=”How many tattoos do you have?”]
At the time of writing this, 4. (And it will probably be 4 for a while).[/toggle]

[toggle title=”What are they?”]

  1. A small tribal dragon, bottom middle of my back. This was my first tattoo, and although I considered covering it, I’ve decided to keep it for sentimental purposes
  2. My Phoenix, which covered an old tattoo of a fairy. The fairy also meant a lot to me (my sister and I had the same one) but it really hadn’t been done well. I covered it with white ink first, and the Phoenix now covers it completely.
  3. A gecko on my stomach, which I share with my lifelong best-friend, Thato. Also not done the best, and I am thinking about covering it with a new, detailed gecko.
  4. A dragonfly behind my ear, soon to be covered by a sort of abstract butterfly.

Yes I know it seems like I want to cover all my original tattoos (and honestly, I do), but only because they really weren’t done well.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”So, if you could back, what would you do differently?”]
I would have invested more time and money in choosing my first tattoo. These basic, small tattoos aren’t worth it (unless it’s something small and symbolic, on your wrist for example). I should have saved a bit more, researched a better tattoo artist, and gotten a much more detailed tattoo. I think ‘back in the day’, my small tattoos each cost about R400. I really could’ve done better.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Will you let your children get tattoos?”]
Yes of course, but not before they’re 18. I’ll make sure they think long and hard about it, and that they only get the best artist. I would love to get a tattoo with Liya one day, but if it’s not her thing, that’s cool too.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Will you get more?”]
I’d love to, but Bryan isn’t the biggest fan (which is probably a good thing – it keeps me from going overboard :)). I really love my Phoenix because it is so stunning, but there is something special about the dragon, my first tattoo. This makes me want to get more tattoos that are meaningful, such as something for my faith, something for Bryan and of course, something for Liya. I also had a dream about a tattoo, and I’d love to add that. But we’ll see. I have many years to think about it, decide and convince Bryan :)[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Isn’t getting tattoos against your faith? “]
This is a tough question, and I don’t have an answer. I looked it up when thinking about this question, thinking I’d definitely find a ‘no, it’s ok!’. But I actually discovered that it isn’t clear in scripture. There is one verse people always refer to in Leviticus, but in context, it is talking about pagan rituals. What I did find though was a verse in Romans that talks about glorifying God. I can honestly say I did not do it to glorify God, and that’s a hard thing to admit and share. I have considered getting a tattoo for my faith (as mentioned above) to give me the opportunity to speak to people about my faith, but that is a different story. Perhaps getting this tattoo was a bit selfish, but so are a lot of other things I do (Like when it comes to clothes or even doing my nails – so where do I draw the line?)

I had tattoos before I became a born again Christian, and after, and I’m sure I’ll get more. I know God loves me the same, and for that I am eternally grateful.

For clarification, the verse in Romans is:

“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.”

My motives for getting a tattoo were not for faith or to glorify God. But I believe I can still use them in a way that does.[/toggle]

If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I’d love to answer them (I will, however, not be answering any questions further relating to tattoos and my faith).

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed this!

There is 1 comment

  • Carol says:

    Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your Q’s & A’s. I would like to leave you with this thought: In Christ there is no condemnation! Enjoy your tattoos!