And so it begins...

Yes it hurts - a lot 

Yes it hurts - a lot 

 Getting your first tattoo is a badge of honour; it puts you into a select group of people who have adorned their bodies with permanent ink. Where you go from there is up to you, and quite literally the sky is the limit.

 I was 17 when I got my first tattoo. It was bribery from my mother to get me to pass all of my Grade 11 classes. It took me a few weeks of summer school but I got it done. It was great motivation for a guy my age. Nearing 10 years later I have over 50 percent of my body covered in ink. I have sat in the chair or lain on the kitchen table and many other variations of the two for over 130 hours to finish what I have up until now.

My first tattoo was a dream catcher, placed on the outside of my left bicep, a pretty standard spot for first timers. It has long since been covered up, but please don’t misinterpret the action, I did not regret getting it, I had got it young and it didn’t suit the direction I was headed in my mid 20’s. I think it is safe to say that when I tell you that at that age you should definitely think before you ink, I might just know what I’m talking about. Alas there will always be those who think that they know better (I used to be one of them) and just do it anyway, thus stabilizing part of a tattoo artist’s pay cheque.

I happen to have a little more advice for anyone interested in tattoos. One: Yes, it bloody well hurts. I have work done on almost every part of my body and I have never once found one that “felt good,” so stop asking every tattooed person you see on the street if it hurt. Use your common sense. Two: There is only one difference between people with tattoos and those without: We will not judge you for not having them.

Keep all of this in mind when deciding what you plan to do with your skin; you only have one living canvas, so make smart choices.



Alex Scantlebury


Alex Scantlebury is a married father of two young daughters, as well as being a very vocal tattoo enthusiast.                     

For more information: Ink Master /  Tommy Helm / Ventura Blvd Tattoos & Piercings