The Mag Gallery The Hood
User Pass Stay logged in (?)
The Mag
Inside the Mag
Special Feature
Tattoo Culture
Artist Spotlight
Product Reviews
Tattoo Symbolism
Tattoos 101
Ask Toodles
Editorial Page
tribal pattern


User's Guide
Submit Product for Review
Editorial Policy

Editorial Page > View Editorials

Age of Consent

How Young is Too Young to get Inked?

by AdamSkyArtist

May 24, 2005

What's the difference between angry parents today compared to angry parents of yesterday? Today parents get mad if you DON'T tattoo their kids.

I was 17 once. No really, it's true! Looking back at the last twenty years of my life, I can remember turning points like when I got my first apartment, when I learned how to ride a motorcycle and when I fell in love for the first time but getting my first tattoo, well, how can anyone forget something like that?

At 17 I was a teenage run-a-way and a total punk rock hooligan. When I wasn't drunk on a skateboard, I was stealing cars and dropping acid. It was the winter of '85 and I had somehow embezzled a thousand dollars from a check cashing scam and I was on a freaked out bender in the city of Ottawa, determined to get drunk, slam dance and buy obscure punk rock albums.

Remember vinyl?

A thousand dollars in the pocket of a teenager in 1985 made me feel like a millionaire. There was one important thing I needed to spend my money on before it all disappeared and that was getting my first tattoo.

I found a head shop (a store that sells marijuana paraphernalia) that had a tattoo shop buried in the back of it. The tattoo parlor part of the shop was a small, one room deal with a single work table, a mirrored wall and a washroom. There were no designs on the walls, no waiting area, none of the usual trappings of a tattoo studio. The tattoo artist was exactly what I expected him to look like. Kind of a dilapidated Santa Clause with a bushy grayish white beard and paunchy wearing a leather vest. Tattooed in faded blue hand poked letters on his forearm was "Fuck the Warden".

I pulled out a crumpled, yellow piece of paper with my rough drawing of my tattoo design on it. It was a little skull with bat wings rendered in ballpoint pen. He grabbed some tracing paper and made a stencil right from my rough sketch. I guess I would get what I came in with, no embellishments.

The tattoo went quickly and was surprisingly unpainful. It went on my bicep. When he was done, I spun around to view my first tattoo on my pipe cleaner thin 17 year old arm in the wall sized mirror. Patty, the Quebecois tattooer simply looked at the reflection and said "buzzy". I think he was voicing satisfaction with his own work.

When he finished bandaging my arm, he pulled out some paperwork. He told me that he needed to see my ID and I had to sign a waiver saying that I was 18 years old and that I gave him consent to apply the tattoo. I have no idea why he waited until after the procedure to procure the waiver but it worked to my advantage seeing as I was underage and without any kind of identification, even the fake stuff. When I told him I was only

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Article Comments

View 1 comment

Latest Editorials

View all archived articles