About my tattoo...
What with my chemical sensitivities and all, a tattoo can be a very scary thing. The last thing I ever wanted was a half-done picture, passing out and a trip to the Emergency Room. Due to the way tattoos are done (you have to draw the outline from the bottom up, or you'll wipe the picture off when you go to wipe off the blood, if you go with modern style tattoos), the odds are it would be half drawn and not look good in an unfinished state. The best solution is to find a tattooist who can draw the work on the skin as they go, and have no wiping it off fears.
About 12 years ago, Jazz picked up a tattoo artist from a dive bar. I don't remember which bar it was, but the guy was obviously down on his luck and had no place to go. Jazz gave him crash space for the night. I gave him an earful later for that. We ended up hosting a tattoo party at one of our local bars (the Tony R. George Post for Italian Veterans of Foreign Wars in Herkimer, may it rest in peace if they never rebuilt it after the fire and um, we had nothing to do with the fire. Really). I designed and drew several tattoos that day, and he did the tattooing. He offered me an apprenticeship and said I'd be a great tattooist. I was flattered, but I declined. What with my allergies, it would not Do if I was allergic to tatts, because no one would want to be inked by someone who hasn't been tattooed. So before I committed to the tattoo I really wanted (a dragon with a dagger on my lower leg), we did a test dot on my forearm. Sure enough, I had a reaction of the respiratory kind. In retrospect, I think it was to the stuff he was using to transfer the design from paper to skin - regular antiperspirant. That was before I mandated Jazz switch to unscented, I think, so it hadn't occured to me that could be a problem.
But I have my tattoo of literally just . and I think it would be great if I could at least get another . and ) and end up with :) as a tattoo. And If I go to a tattoo artist who can draw directly on the skin, if I don't have a reaction to the inks, maybe I can get another tattoo later where the artist can draw important bits first so it doesn't look weird when we have to stop and let me recover- and perhaps schedule it in one month sessions, continuing the work piecemeal until it's actually done. It would be really expensive to have a tattoo done that way, but if I really really want it, that would be the way I'd have to go.