Almost any pole dancer will tell you pole isn’t just a way to pay the bills or a form of fitness, it becomes and obsession, a way of life for most, if not all of us…and what better way to display your commitment to pole more permanently than on your skin with a pole related tattoo. For some of us it might be a small tattoo, hidden from the rest of the world, only on show when we allow it to be seen. An ambigram perhaps, the classic pole silhouette or even some simple stickmen (or stickwomen) performing our favourite moves are a great way to devote a small area of our body to our passion. For others it can be a large, bold statement of our devotion, like Fawnia Dietrich’s epic portrait of Jamilla Deville across her entire back!
For many others it can be an artistic interpretation of our chosen form of dance, or even just an image inspired by the feelings of freedom and love pole has brought into our lives. Many dancers have use their art form to bring them through dark or hard times in their life and polers are no exception, and creating a permanent reminder of that strength and courage through some exceptional artwork on our skin is a perfect way to celebrate what we have achieved and show it off, to be proud of what we have found ourselves capable of.
For me…I always knew I wanted some pole ink, and once I settled on my chosen design I sat on it for about a year to make 100% sure I had it right.
If you’re not a tattoo virgin then you’ll probably already have a favourite artist but I thought I’d just spend a few lines to say if you don’t have a tattoo artist already, here’s a few tips for finding the right one for you. Don’t be afraid to travel for good ink, just because there is a tattooist down the road from you doesn’t mean he’s going to be the best. Check out reviews online and on Facebook, look at their artwork in detail via other social media outlets as well such as Instagram. If possible speak to people who’ve been tattooed there, if you have friends who are inked, get recommendations for a clean, reputable tattooist. Many artists have a preferred style that is they’re forte so if you want a super realistic portrait type tattoo you might want to focus on finding an artist who lives and loves that style rather than going to someone who focuses on Japanese style tattooing. Cost is a factor too, most people are watching their pennies at some point but, like the benefits of spending good money on a decent pole instead of a knock off brand that could break your neck, tattoos are not where you want to scrimp. This will be on your skin FOREVER. Spending a little bit extra to make sure it’s exactly what you want is well worth it. Coming from someone who’s had laser (evil, horribly painful) and had tattoos covered up I would definitely recommend getting it right the first time round.
So back to me. I went to my regular tattoo studio, booked in, paid my deposit then spent a week in excitement waiting for the day to come! My design was drawn by Erica Milhomem from Pole Friends Art (find them on Facebook and Instagram – they’ve done some pretty cool drawings of pole stars such as Pink Puma and Cleo the Hurricane) of one of my signature moves – Teddy. I love the image because the girl has a little fluffy teddy tail and teddy bear ears and it almost has an anime style vibe to it. I wanted something fun and vibrant and from the moment I saw this image I knew she was for me. I wrote to Erica to ask if she would mind my getting her artwork tattooed, out of courtesy, and asked if she would mind if I darkened the images hair as I am a brunette and the original image is of a blonde poler and I wanted her more like myself.
The day came and 2 hours later I was the proud owner of my Teddy tattoo. I love her so much and love that she’s kind of only really on show when I’m in my pole wear or on the beach. She’s my secret to share.
So my advice for pole tattoos: Think it through properly, research your artist and enjoy your own personal canvas artwork.
With thanks to the owners of these tattoos for allowing me to use their images. Credits from top to bottom, L-R – Beth Wakefield, Amasia Shadric, Ana Winchester, Fawnia Dietrich, Amanda Green, Anna Douglas, Bethany Ellen and Marina Mars .