Tattoo FAQ

by Chicago Tattoo & Piercing Co.

I have quite a few tattoos, nothing that is visible in the wintertime as I don’t have any on my face or hands (yet), but you can see them in the warmer seasons and that’s when I start getting these questions:

by Dawn Grace at her own studio
by Dawn Grace at her own studio

What’s that? (often asked about the tattoo on my left shoulder)

What do you think it is? They ponder for a moment and say, “A giraffe? A greyhound?” It’s a dragon. “A dragon?” they ask, with a tilt of their heads. Yeah, see, that’s the snout there and that’s the wing, and the tail… “Ohhhhh. Cool.” *sigh*

What’s that one supposed to mean? (often asked about my leopard print tattoo) Are you a cheetah?

It’s leopard print, and it doesn’t mean anything. I just like the pattern and thought it would make for a cool tattoo.

by Dawn Grace


What’s that say? (often asked about my knitting tattoo)

It says “twisted stitches.” When I first got back into knitting, after having learned it many years before, I misremembered the knit stitch, and so I created a twisted stitch that became my signature stitch and I continued to use. I also thought it would be a great shop name if I ever had the chance to open up my own store. Currently, it’s the name of my pub quiz team, which started out as my knitting group when the four of us used to sit and knit in the bar while we played trivia.

Can I touch it? (rarer as an actual voiced question, considering people (usually, men) just come up to me and think my skin is open for touching merely because it’s tattooed)

It doesn’t feel any different than it looks. It’s not Braille.

How many do you have?

I usually tell people that I’ve stopped counting. But I went ahead and counted them for the purposes of this post. Currently, I have 21, excluding all the little ones that I’ve since covered up with bigger ones.

by Dawn Grace

Which one’s your favorite?

I haven’t gotten it yet. But I do really like the bamboo.

by Dawn Grace

When did you start getting tattoos?

I was in college, and finally feeling free. I walked into a small town tattoo shop and picked a piece of flash off the wall and got it. It was a purple snake with a golden ring around it, and curved around my belly button. It has since been covered-up, but you can still see its outline in the paisley tattoo currently on my stomach.

Why did you start getting tattoos?

I don’t remember exactly what influenced me, but I remember always liking them. When I was a kid, I would doodle pirates and mermaids with tattoos all over their skin. And I had this pen with four ink colors, black, blue, red, and green, that I would use to draw “tattoos” on my friends’ skin. It was usually a rose. And one time, I had a pen with purple ink and I drew little stars all over my legs and went out into the world like that. People thought I was wearing tights.

Does it hurt when you get tattooed?

Of course it hurts, it’s a needle puncturing your skin over and over again. Some hurt much less than others, depending on the body part, but they’re all painful to get.

Where do you go to get your tattoos?

All over the world.