A few people suggested a piece about tattoos and mental health. Metal and tattoos go hand in hand, with heavily tattooed people being very common in the scene. Tattoos often convey important messages, stories and meaning. As usual we asked people in the heavy metal therapy community to provide us their personal stories and we were more than impressed (not to mention moved) by what you came up with. The original idea was inspired by Chris, who posts about his tattoos and their meaning. Here is his story
I am an architect of my body, I designed the walls of my inner sanctum, my body became a sketchbook of my dreams and ideas. I’m proud of all my tattoos as they remind me of who I am. From my first one which was a Slash inspired piece to my last which was a Punisher playing card, they tell the story of who I am and where I’ve been. The Phoenix is the beginning of a new life, rising from the ashes and taking flight, “I’m awesome” represents the time I would wake up on the mornings through my darkest days and say to myself “Hooyah I’m awesome”, The Crow represents eternal love same as Jack and Sally as I had that done for me and my missus. Each one like the Black Roses, Turtle, Dreamcatcher, Jack Skellington, Pirate, Japanese Dragon, Slash’s Snakepit are all important as they represent a stage in my life. The lion represents strength same as the Celtic inspired piece, that was done the day before my 21st birthday.
The Poppy represents The Brotherhood and I’m proud of that for what it is and the date is the day I joined the brotherhood, the clouds is my dream of flight and the waves is my natural love of water, it’s a sketchbook of my life and although I’ve had a few covered like ex girlfriends names with death lol rather appropriate I thought. I love tattoos and seeing them from initial sketch to application, how it builds up and outline done to shading to colour. Never be afraid to be yourself and design yourself the way you want to, it’s your body so paint it, sketch it or build it the way you want to.
Chris is really into veterans mental health and recommended this cool website about military tattoos and what they mean to the veterans and family members who have them.
Your personal stories
As there are quite a few of these we have divided them into themes for the stories, though of course there is some overlap. Some of you just submitted some pictures so there’s a gallery of these as well:
If you would like to submit your tattoo picture and story please drop us a message. There are a couple of rules we ask you to follow for this process: please only submit your own tattoos, we can’t publish tattoos in ‘intimate’ areas or that have potentially offensive content, while they are anonymous if you have a very distinctive tattoo this might identify you, and please think carefully about what aspects of your story you are comfortable in sharing as this is a public forum and we share things on social media.