There is something to be said about getting a tattoo in terms of personal self-fulfillment, and many that have been etched have even said that it can be quite addictive. For Siobhan Creedon, a tattoo artist out of Roxbury, she says that tattoos are the most intimate form of self-expression on the planet. She is covered in ink from head to toe, and starts off on her head with the number 22 etched, and ends with a cat on her foot. You can’t see the 22 now, as this was performed when she had her head shaved, but it is there nonetheless. She even has her knuckles tattooed.

And as it stands how, she does very well, raking in approximately $120 an hour for her beautiful work. All that ranges from your standard butterfly, to massive art work that covers the entire back. She says she sees all walks of life in her shop. From an anesthesiologist to a stripper, all in a days work. Of course there are the old standbys as well, with Moms, boyfriends and girlfriends all topping the charts of requests. She talks about the experience, and about the tattoo.
On her thigh tattoo that looks like a squirrel on a bike:

I used to work as a bike courier, and I earned the nickname “Squirrel” and “Crouching Squirrel” when I accidentally ran over a squirrel in the Boston Common. I felt awful about it. So this tattoo commemorates my nickname and that incident.
On the pain of getting a tattoo:

It can feel like being scratched by a cat, sort of a sharp scraping feeling. It can be even more painful in bony places like your sternum or collarbone, elbow, or rib cage. In the fleshy parts of your body, though, it’s usually not too bad.

How long does it take to actually receive the tattoo?

I’m working on one now that’s a shoulder-to-elbow tattoo, also called “half-sleeve.” It’s for a kid from Florida, and he wants a train going through an orange grove, with an antique postcard from Florida as a background, on the inside of the arm. It’s a custom piece, and it will probably take about 20 hours to do the entire thing. He’ll sit for about 4 to 5 hours at a time, for about 5 to 6 sittings. On the other hand, we get walk-ins; people who will come in and out on the same day for a small tattoo.

And if you want to be an artist? Here’s an idea of how it starts…

I studied illustration and fine art printmaking at Mass. Art, and then apprenticed here at Darkwave. To earn a tattooing license, you need to pass the state test and meet any local board of health requirements. I needed to take classes that covered skin borne pathogens, antimicrobial agents, and cross contamination.

Check out Siobhan’s work and see her MySpace profile !