My Tattoo Story – Part 4

Good afternoon readers. This part 4 (to catch up here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) of my tattoo story is dedicated to the two tattoos I designed myself. I think it would be fair to say that most big tattoo fans like to have original designs. Even if you go for a on trend theme such as tribal work, stars or the koi carp that are popular at the moment, you do not want to see someone in the street with exactly the same tattoo as you have.
I think the next step up from having an original design is having one designed by yourself, and that was always my aim. However I one  minor issue with this, I have less artistic skill than the average chimpanzee. I can barely draw stick men, so the idea of drawing something that would be permanently etched onto my skin is something I have had to think long and hard about.

Tattoo 11

My eleventh tattoo was done in 2006. As I said, I knew I was no artist, but I wanted something that I could say was totally mine. I had seen various scroll and vine patterns in tattoo magazines and online, and thought it would be a fairly easy design for me to adapt. I wanted something that would go on my shoulder.
It took me a couple of weeks to get my drawing to a stage where I was happy with it. My first few attempts ended up being virtually exact copies of designs I had seen in books, so in the end I put all books away and did a load of scroll doodles. It took the help of my boys to get the design right. I took several strips of tracing paper with the scroll designs on and they arranged them on my back and shoulder till the pattern looked right, and then taped them together. This gave me  a basic template which I used to make up the final design with the ivy leaves on.

The leaves are not the most life-like  drawings in the world. They are a series of straight lines rather than delicate curves, but they are my leaves, and im very glad my tattooist Phil did not try and improve them when he tattooed the design on me.

My Tattoo Story - part 4


The end design is not complicated, but something I am very proud of. In terms of pain it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was expecting, but it did bruise really badly.

Tattoo 12


My twelfth tattoo is the one I am most proud of. As you may have guessed from the title of my blog I am a fan of dragons. Specifically I like northern European style dragons (as opposed to Chinese dragons).
As a teenager I started collecting Myth and Magic dragons, and still own quite a few.

I have always had an image in my head of how I wanted a dragon tattoo to look like and about six years ago I started to try to get that idea out of my head and down on paper. I used many of my dragon ornaments as visual references for the different parts of the design, for example I knew I wanted the wings partially folded and slightly curved around the body, so I looked at how the wings of my ornaments curved to get the drawing right. It took me a good 6 months and probably 50 or so redraws to get it as close as I could to the image in my head.

I have put several personal details in it. My boys initials are here in the Celtic cross.


The scroll around his tale contains lyrics of one of my favourite Green Day songs. The song is Whatshername and the lyrics are ‘Remember, whatever, it seems like forever ago’. The idea of forever ago went perfectly with the dragon theme I thought.


He (it is a boy dragon, I don’t know why but it just is) also has my initials in his wings. Obviously these are not the same initials as I have now, but i think it maybe possible to change the H to an A in the future (I have literally just had that idea).

Initially he was black and white with just a touch of purple in his wings.

But a few months after finishing him I saw a wonderful tattoo design that was purple and green, so I booked further sessions with Phil and had it coloured in. I love the purple and green, and especially the touch of pink in its face.

This was him before the cross was coloured in

Awesome The Dragon (yes that his name) took a year and a half to complete. The last year of that qualifies as the worst I have ever experienced. It started with the breakdown of my marriage. This was ultimately a great thing for me, but that first year was so very difficult with all sorts of worries for me.
I remember having a sitting for the dragon just a week after everything blew up (I was still in a state of shock at that point) and thinking to myself how the hell was I going to cope with work and the kids and everything else.
I have to say if Phil wasn’t such a talented artist, he would make a great therapist as he is a great listener. I always enjoy my chats with him while he tattoos me. This tattoo always evokes a wide range of emotions when i think about it. Pride (in my design) love (for my kids who are a part of the design) but also the memory of the fear, confusion and anguish that were so sharp at the time he was created.

That is possibly the last part of my tattoo series for now. I do have another tattoo, a rather wonderful one at that, but it isn’t completed yet (despite being started three years ago). I am going to include a picture of it here and then leave it to you to decide if I tell the story of its creation so far in another post.

This is my ‘Fallen Angel’. She sits on my back. If you would like to hear her story, please add a comment to let me know.


Scientific Fact* Anxious Dragons feed off blog comments. please help keep this dragon well fed. Thank you Xxxx

*Possibly not true

The Dad Network


The Blog Centre Showcase Tuesday


  1. Talya

    January 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    My sister has 11 tattoos I think so I totally get that every tattoo has a story and your dragon is indeed totally awesome! #ABitofEverything

  2. RelentlesslyPurple

    January 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Lovely tattoo’s! I especially love the dragon :)#ALittleBitofEverything


      January 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      I am very proud of my dragon. His name is Awesome The Dragon (as named by my kids)

  3. Carrie Bostic

    January 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Love the fallen angel! I have 3 tattoos. One is a design around a Celtic knot on my lower back. The other two are on my upper back, a cat bowing to a naked woman. She’s on her knees facing him with her arms covering her breasts. She is supposed to represent Mother Earth.


      January 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Ohh, I think you need to post some pictures of these ( I love talking about other peoples tatts as much as talking about my own)

  4. This Mum's Life

    January 14, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, I would definitely like to hear the story!! And another fabulous instalment of the stories so far! I love the colours in the dragon, really pretty. Well done for sticking with designing some yourself, that must’ve been really challenging if you felt your drawing skills weren’t up to scratch!

  5. Rhyming with wine

    January 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I love your dragon! The purple and green really bought him to life. I am such a wuss and don’t think I could handle the pain but I would love to have a tattoo, and if I did it would also be a (teeny tiny) dragon.

    Have you decided on the colour for the flowers on your fallen angel? X



      January 12, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Yes, I think I am going to go for white flowers xx

  6. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    January 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve got two dragons on me also. I’ve been itching for a while now for a new tat. Now you’ve put the idea back in my head


      January 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Ohh have you got pics?

  7. Aisling Ozdemir

    January 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    OOOHHH I have to get a new tattoo! Lots of ideas, thanks! #abit ofeverything

  8. Leanne@crestingthehill

    January 12, 2016 at 10:29 am

    tattoos always have great stories behind them and I love yours – and that angel is mighty big – you are better at pain than I am (mine are smaller!)


      January 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

      She is a big angel, thats why she is taking so long, as im a wuss and can only take small sittings


      January 12, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Ohh, you will have to share your what and where and why tattoo stories Xx

  9. Natalie

    January 12, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I love your tattoo series and the fact that each one means something to you within your life. I myself have 15 (I think) and each one represents some point in my life and a story, I would love to hear the story behind your fallen angel. I have a feeling it’s something quite intriguing x


      January 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      I am posting the fallen angel story (so far, it isnt finished as a tattoo yet) next week Xx

  10. Angela at Daysinbed

    January 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

    wow I don’t know too many people with lots of tatoos and am finding your posts on the subject very interesting. I guess like the things I collect, your tatoos have meaning and stories. Angela x

  11. Sara at Handy Herbs

    January 12, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I love reading the stories behind your tattoos. I look forward to seeing the angel completed 🙂 #abitofeverything.

  12. Izzie Anderton

    January 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I don’t have any tattoos of my own, but love the great stories behind yours. I think the dragon one is also my favourite. Would love to hear your fallen angel story… here’s hoping you’ll share this very soon x


      January 12, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      I am linking it to the linky next week my dear Xx

  13. Bear and Cardigan

    January 12, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I don’t have any tattoos mostly because I wouldn’t be able to decide on a design and I’m a complete wimp! But I do love hearing about other peoples! I really like your ivy one, the leaves are great.


      January 12, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Its not a great idea unless you are totally committed to an image. Ive regretted the ones I had done on the spare of the moment Xx

  14. Sandy Sandmeyer

    September 20, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I have two tattoos and each has its own story. Thank you for sharing yours at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      September 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Oh, what designs do you have?

      1. Sandy Sandmeyer

        September 21, 2015 at 11:02 am

        I have a butterfly on my left breast & the words Choose Joy on my right inner forearm. I wrote about the one on the blog.

        1. The Anxious Dragon

          September 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

          Oh, could you send me the link, I love hearing about other peoples tattoo stories X

          1. Sandy Sandmeyer

            September 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

            Sure! This is the most recent update & it links to the other posts –

          2. The Anxious Dragon

            September 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

            A beautiful tattoo, and an important message too. Im sorry to hear about your two friends Xx

  15. DomesticatedMomster

    September 17, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Tattoos are so addicting aren’t they? I am almost done with my sleeve and then I will take a break for awhile. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

  16. Zaz (@mama_andmore)

    September 15, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Well done on summoning up your creativity to make something completely individual! There is something so special about that. Thanks so much for linking up with #AllAboutYou

  17. The Blog Centre

    September 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Interesting stories behind your tattoos. Thanks for linking up with #ShowcaseTuesday

  18. Suz (Beau is Blue) (@beauisblue)

    September 14, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    aww what a great read and as always great tatts! Such beautiful photographs too! Suz x

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      September 14, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Xx

  19. Random Musings

    September 14, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I love Awesome the Dragon, he is brilliant! He obviously holds a lot of memories for you too. The fallen angel is amazing, I can’t wait to see her finished! And I vote a huge yes for hearing her story!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

  20. Something Crunchy Mummy

    September 12, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    They all look great. Thanks for sharing on #justanotherlinky x

  21. Emma's Mamma

    September 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    They all look great! I don’t have any tattoos because I can’t think of anything that means that much to me. I’d love to get one but I want it to have a story and meaning 🙂 #bigfatlinky

  22. thedadnetwork

    September 12, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I swore I’d never get a tatoo until I met my wife. Now i’m thinking of a sleeve 😉 #bigfatlinky

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      September 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Start of big, I like your style 😀

  23. Michele

    September 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I don’t have any tattoos, but understand the artistic expression. You have told your story well and in a very creative way.

  24. nightwisprav3n

    September 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I love all of them! the vine is perfect on your shoulder. I love dragons too (you should see the big dragon I have sitting in my dining room), and the angel is awesome! Can’t wait to see it finished.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      September 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Will have to show me a picture of it C

      1. nightwisprav3n

        September 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

        I will try to post it on twitter.

  25. (@CoolTweed)

    September 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Well I am not a big tattoo fan, but I found your story interesting and I thought you did a very good job designing the leaves. Feeding the dragon via MidLife bloggers

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      September 11, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you, i am quite proud of it X

  26. bumbismom

    September 11, 2015 at 2:14 am

    You can’t leave us hanging! Tell the story! (Please) 🙂

Please leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: