National Tattoo Day with Special Guest “Tattoo Guy”, Jord Fox

Okay, so, it was like this:  I am standing in line at the coffee shop, and I see this guy in front of me covered with tattoos.

After he gets his double mocha latte, I say, “So, Dude, what’s up with all the tattoos?”

He looks up, laughs (spitting out about $2.00 worth of his latte) and after we grab some paper towels to clean up the mess, we start chatting.

Okay, well, it didn’t go 100% like that, but we were in a coffee shop, and we did chat about his tattoos.  Guess what?  He’s a writer.  A songwriter, but hey, that counts.

He showed me his tattoos (Half of you just giggled.  Let’s be G-rated, people!!  He rolled up his sleeve!)

Anyway, he explained them all, and I thought it was pretty neat.  I asked him if he’d like to do a guest post on my blog, and – you guessed it, or I wouldn’t be writing this post – he agreed.

So please welcome Jord Fox (AKA Songwriting Tatoo Guy) to chat with us all about tattoos.

June fifth is National Tattoo Day, and I was asked to write about the tattoo topic.  I had previously posted about why I got mine, so I think I’ll cover some other, broader aspects.
Tattoos, of course, have a negative connotation due to various cultures using them to mark criminals, the times criminals (or would-be criminals) marked themselves as a status symbol, and the fact that anything that breaks the norm is usually scorned.
However, in today’s world, the tattoo taboo isn’t as great.  Tattoos are actually fairly commonplace, and are seen everywhere.  Many women have them on ankles, shoulder blades, or have the infamous lower back “tramp stamp”.  Men get them  on arms, legs, backs, and chests.  But why do they do this?
Well, starting with the criminal element, tattoos can mark loyalties (especially to gangs) and acts committed.  I don’t think I need to cover this realm further; I’m sure you get it.
Members of the military have gotten them to show loyalty as well, or pride in their service.  Tattoos have also been done to honor fallen comrades.  One of the coolest tattoos for military (and sailors in general) is a pair of birds.  I believe the birds are swallows.  My understanding is that when one is sent overseas. they get one swallow to mark that they arrived safely there, and get the matching piece done when they arrive home.  I think it’s an awesome tradition.
Many get representations of loved ones and pets.  And some cultures, such as the Samoans, are tattooed as a right of passage.
Of course, a lot of people in the Western World get inked because they’re trying to be cool or present a certain image, but this should not be allowed to take away from the millions of works of art created every day that have legitimate meaning, if only to the person bearing them.  And this is indeed an art form.  One apprentices before they can get a regular gig as a tattoo artist. They have to earn their dues.  And even the finest graphic artists would have a hard time doing what they do via a vibrating needle and oft-times moving, wincing, flinching canvasses.
I realize some may think of me in a certain light because I would have to wear long sleeves and pants to cover all of mine, but every tattoo I’ve gotten had thought put into it and means something to my life.  And this is the last reason I’ll give as to why people get work done:  For many, including myself, these works of art are landmarks.  They signify where we’ve been, what we’ve been through, and where we want to be.  The only one that brings me a twinge of regret is my ex-wife’s initial on my shoulder.  It happens, but I could always cover it up if I choose to do so.
I hope this was informative.  And maybe you’ll get one of your own now if you haven’t already–welcome to the establishment!

16 responses to “National Tattoo Day with Special Guest “Tattoo Guy”, Jord Fox

  1. IntrovertedSarah

    I’m the kind of person who would look ridiculous with a tatto but I admire them on other people and I enjoy the stories behind them.

  2. Loved the bluebird and headphones tats. I only have one, with my husband’s name on it, but have thought about getting another several times now. But being in my late 40’s, I worry about the look of it changing too much as I age. Loved this post. 🙂

  3. I love the fox tattoo! This was a rad post.

  4. Fun interview. I’ve always thought of tattoos as pieces of art displayed on the human body. Thanks for sharing your insight with all of us, Jord!

  5. Hi Jord! *waves from the office chair* I’ll have to check out your post on the meanings of your tattoos.

  6. Interesting interview.

  7. Great post 🙂 I have mixed feelings about tattoos – some people seem to get it really right and know what’s going to look good on them, and I can look them and think “Wow I LOVE that”. And then there are others that seem to get it so wrong! (Only wrong in my opinion of course, they may be very happy with what they have). I’ve never had one myself, mostly because I tend to do things on a whim and then change my mind, so I couldn’t trust myself to make a good decision on them that I would be happy about forever!

  8. Great interview, Jennifer and Jord. Tattooing has ceremonial and traditional roots in many cultures and was considered a subject important enough for the Seaport Museum to do an exhibit on this fine art form. I’m planning to get one when I get part one of my trilogy published.

  9. I don’t have any tattoos but I do love them. great post.

  10. I LOVE my tattoo’s 🙂 I have 2 very personal ones, they’re part of me now and I’m planning another 🙂