How to pull off wearing visible tattoos (and everything you need to know about them)

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Visible tattoos on arms, hands, neck, throat or face are trending. The placement of a tattoo says a lot about a person’s personality.

Domante Butkute’s neck tattoo. Photo: Désiree Schneider

“Like most people, that get or like tattoos, there are many of reasons behind it: self-expression, uniqueness, wanting to be dissimilar and to stand out as well as a sense of thrill and adventure by being part of a different kind of art,” says Domante Butkute from Lincoln.

The 24-year-old likes to be expressive with her tattoo choices and placements. She has her left arm, both sides of her neck, her throat, the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, thigh, one wrist and her breast tattooed. Eleven in total.

“Tattoos make me feel comfortable in my own skin. They make me feel a sense of accomplishment, and I think it shows.

“I like everyone to appreciate the art of the artist on my skin. It’s beautiful and makes me stand out from the crowd.”

Why you should show off your tattoos

Her tattoos tell her stories. They remind her of “spiritual and cultural traditions and certain loss” and boosted her self-confidence and are her way of self-expression and self-representation just like her clothing, piercings, tattoos, hair, hygiene, and behaviour.

“Some tattoos were impulsive. Yet, when looking at them, I am reminded of some great memories which always makes me smile.”

She especially likes her newest tattoos, the ones on her throat and around her neck. “I love the placements and braveness it shows,” Domante says.

Back tattoo, still in work. Photo: Désiree Schneider

“Before I had my neck and throat tattooed, I felt quite bare, like something was missing. I don’t feel that way anymore.”

The tattoo on her throat shows the Hindi chakra symbol for truth, framed by a floral dot pattern design. For Domante it shows the importance of speaking the truth and represents her straight-forward character.

Domante works as a senior engineer for an internet service provider. The decision of getting visible tattoos entailed that she is aware of possible limitations in her job prospects and career.

“Where I am working at the moment, I am not judged by the way I look. I am judged on my work performance and my abilities to lead a team.

She knows herself and is certain about what she is doing: “My tattoos don’t mean ‘I’m going to steal your wallet’, or do a worse job than the non-­tattooed person. I cover them when that is the respect needed to be given. I have no regrets in my relationship with my ink.”

Tattoo trends 2019

Visual tattoos or “load tattoos”, as Drew Potts calls them, are trending at the moment because they are much more socially accepted than a few years ago. Drew is a tattoo artist from Lincoln and tattooed Domante’s neck and throat.

“I love doing the slightly outrageous body parts,” Drew admits. The face is one of his favourites, but he also likes tattooing throats, hands, the torso, and the back.

Drew Potts at work. Photo: Désiree Schneider

“When the stencil is laid, the body is just a canvas to me. No matter if it’s genitals, or boobs or bum. There is no odd body part tattoo,” he says. But as much as he enjoys doing visible tattoos, he also has some unwritten rules.

“If I think something is negative, could cause upset or offense or anchors someone to sad times in their life, I am not going do to it.

“[Visible tattoos] can be a job stopper. Just because models on Instagram have loud body parts done, I won’t do it. People have to be sure about it. I don’t want to mess anybody up. If somebody is heavily covered and has sleeves, that is no problem.

“I am booked to have my face tattooed but I’ve been thinking about it for years and I am a tattoo artist.” The artist wants to have a Viking dragon based on actual Viking artefacts.

Drew is specialised in blackwork tattoo art which is characterised by its bold, black shading and distinctive motives. His art books show geometrical, floral and medieval patterns, dot work, skulls and dark mystical styles, mandalas, and many Japanese styled motives.

Domante saw Drew’s work on his Black Swan Ink Facebook page. “His unusual style was one of the first things that caught my eye. His work is dark and unbelievably detailed. Exactly what I was looking for.”

What you should consider before getting a tattoo

Blackart artwork. Photo: Désiree Schneider

“Drew is an amazing artist and a perfectionist, who has a huge passion about what he does. He invests a lot of time in getting to know a client and understanding their vision in order to create some outstanding custom pieces,” she says. If someone is unsure about getting a tattoo or by which artist to get it from, Drew recommends to take as much time as you want and to meet with the tattoo artist of your choice beforehand. Because in the end, it would be a matter of personality and how people wear their tattoos.

“Every person has a story. Every body has a story,” explains Domante.

“Our skin colour, our hair texture, our height, and our weight — all tell a story about who we are.

“Genetics play a major role in our story, but there is also the tale we tell by our purposeful adjustments to Mother Nature’s work. I appreciate and love the visibility of the artwork on my skin.

“So, why hide them? Show them off.”