Got Ink? Part 2
The November 15 Issue’s Winning Tattoo
By Steven Zapel
The winner of The INSIGHT's "Got Ink" contest for the November 15, 2010 issue is Dominique Graham. Dominique’s tattoo is a perfect representation of the tattoo culture and the many reasons people choose to get tattoos. Dominique’s winning tattoo is his third tattoo.
This tattoo’s artist is Joe Claypoole, who works at Inkspot in Buffalo, near the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Main Street. The tattoo’s design consists of the word "Brooklyn" in a unique graffiti-style font designed by Claypoole specifically for this tattoo. Above the lettering is a portrayal of cityscape, meant to represent the streets of Brooklyn, Dominique’s home town.
Dominique decided to get this tattoo because it represents the heart of who he is, where he was born and the streets that raised him. He said it was meant to remind him of “all the struggles and hard times that made me who I am today and got me to where I am today.”
This tattoo is located on Dominique’s upper back, stretching across both shoulder blades. I asked him why he chose to get this tattoo in that location. “I decided to place my tattoo on my back because I feel no matter what, Brooklyn will always have my back,” he said. As with Dominique, the placement of a tattoo often carries meaning and is an important part of the tattoo’s story.
Every individual has a unique reason for why they decided to get their first tattoo. In Dominique’s case, his brother pressured him to and pretty much made him get his first one, and after that Dominique was hooked. Like most people who have tattoos, Dominique agrees that they become very addicting, stating “it seems like every time I see a new design the craving for new ink comes back.”
I asked Dominique to describe the experience of getting a tattoo. He said, “The experience of getting a tattoo really depends on the person getting it. For me it was cool for my first two tats but my Brooklyn tat was kind of painful but definitely worth it.” A tattoo on the upper back is often times described by people as being painful and when I asked my tattoo artist why, he explained it's because "there's not a lot of fat on the upper back, and places where there is not much in- between the skin layers and bone result in the needle being a lot closer to nerve endings, which translates into a more painful experience.”
I asked Dominique if he has ever had any regrets about getting his tattoos, to which he replied with an emphatic “No!” He's proud of his tattoos and loves that he can display a part of who he is and his personality in the form of artwork on his body.
One piece of advice Dominique has for anyone who's considering getting a tattoo is to "get something that has a deep meaning to you, and something that you can see yourself having for the rest of your life without ever regretting it.” I totally agree with Dominique’s advice and believe tattoos are a great way of expressing oneself. But if the tattoo does not carry a strong meaning, it has a much better chance of becoming something an individual will regret many years after getting it done.
Dominique’s tattoo is our first entry into The INSIGHT's contest to win a $100 to Boulevard Tattoos, courtesy of Kyle, the owner of Boulevard Tattoos. Stay tuned to each new issue of The INSIGHT to see all the biweekly winners and to place your vote for your favorite tattoo at the end of the spring semester.
We'd like to thank everyone who submitted a photo of their tattoo, and encourage those who did not win to resubmit their photo, because even though you were not this issue’s winner you could be next issue's. All Daemen students are able to participate in this contest and The INSIGHT encourages you to submit a picture of your tattoo and a brief message about it to the editor, at email@example.com.
Be sure to get your tattoo entered, because your current tattoo may earn you $100 towards your next tattoo. Until next time, keep the pictures of your ink coming in and secure your chance at the gift certificate and the reputation of having Daemen College’s best tattoo.
The prize from this contest cannot be redeemed for cash value. All entries must be submitted via email with only the tattoo visible in the in the picture. No sexually explicit pictures will be considered for bi-weekly winners. This contest is limited to Daemen college students. Contest winner must be able to show a valid Daemen College I.D. to receive their prize. If the winner of the contest is unable to meet the rules of this contest, the tattoo with the second highest amount of votes will become the winner. All contest participants must be 18 years of age or older. The Insight, Daemen College and their affiliates are not responsible for any lost entries. One entry per email. The Insight, Daemen College, and their affiliates are not responsible for replacing the gift certificate if the winner loses it. The Insight, Daemen college and their affiliates are not responsible for any bodily harm that may result from use of the gift certificate, redeeming the gift certificate is done at the winners own risk. Failure to read and abide by these contest rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.