Tattoo Tuesday

Name: Evan Rogers
Age: 29
Occupation: Correctional Officer
Age of first tattoo: 25
Favorite tattoo: The Elvis themed sleeve I'm working on right now.
Featured tattoo/location: Virgin Mary with sacred heart and rosary leg sleeve.
Artist/Shop/Location: Joey Trent at Hearts of Fire in Springfield, MO.

Please tell us about your featured tattoo  1. There really isn't a special meaning.  It just happened to be art that I thought would be beautiful, and that I thought would look good.  It doesn't get any deeper than that.  I'm not sold on the idea that ALL of your tattoos must have profound meaning, or a cool story, but I respect those that do, and I even have some meaningful art in other pieces.

Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?  2. I've started an Elvis themed sleeve on my right arm that will focus on a big portrait of Elvis on my forearm, and I have a blossom tree with a sparrow on my chest that I started for a chest piece that I put on the back burner to do my arm and leg sleeves.

Do you plan on getting more?  I plan on at least doing sleeves on my left arm and leg to go with the sleeves on my right arm and leg, but I don't have any huge desire to do much more than that.  Friends have warned me off back (that's a lot more fucking coloring than I think I want in one place), side, and stomach pieces.  All tattoos are uncomfortable in one way or another, and some of the areas I've already hit have been extremely uncomfortable, but I'm not big on really painful areas that I don't really get to show off very often.  That's what tattoos are for in my opinion.  It's my expression, and the things that I enjoy, but the idea is that others can see the art and appreciate it too.

How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them?  My side of the family are a lot more accepting of my tattoos than my in-laws.  They don't make it awkward for me, and keep their opinion to themselves, but I know they can't stand them, and they've made their opinion clear with my wife over hers.  
Most of my friends are tattooed to varying degrees, so no judgement there.  I wouldn't really hang out with someone that's gonna get butt hurt about a tattoo.
I've heard comments from time to time along the lines of why a clean cut guy wants to look like a dirty biker, or that coloring is for coloring books and not your body, but fuck them.  For the most part it's just awkward looks from strangers. Most people are content to just keep their mouths shut.

What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? Probably showing up for a tattoo session and ending up in a chair next to my Company Commander from Afghanistan getting some really big pieces on his back.  He is an older guy that came across as really conservative, straight-laced, and he'd made fun of me and a buddy of mine for having a lot of tattoos during our time in Afghanistan.  It was just interesting in the sense of how much more common it is for people to be accepting of tattoos, interested in them, and finally making the decision to get one.  

Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?  Those who are interested need to make peace with the idea that you are getting something that's gonna be with you the rest of your life.  Choose wisely.  I'm the type that couldn't give a shit about what I'm gonna think about my tattoos when I'm an old man, but there are many people that get a fucked up tattoo, and could definitely give more than a few shits.  Tattoo removal is a lot more expensive and a lot more painful than the tattoo itself.

Research your shop and your artist.  Is the place clean?  Does the artist use a new needle for every client?  Does he change gloves every time he touches something other than your body?  If your state requires it, does the shop and all the artists have their state licenses displayed?  And always check the artist's portfolio.  Make sure you're comfortable with his work.  Ask others, or fuck, google shops.  Find out who's reputable in your area.

What is your least favorite part of being tattooed?  My least favorite part of getting tattooed is about hour 2-3 when your skin is starting to get seriously pissed at you for doing this.  When you first start it's not too bad, and once I get past hour 3 I can put my mind elsewhere to push through without wanting to scream "Fuck!" every time we hit an area with color for a long period of time in a sensitive spot.

My advice to people who aren't tattooed is to expect discomfort, and be pleasantly surprised with the areas that aren't too bad.  I hate it when people ask me if it hurts.  Fuck yes it hurts!  If you really want a tattoo don't be a pussy and just deal with it.  If it's getting really bad there is a spray they can use to take some of the edge off, but it's not a miracle. You will still be in pain. 

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