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I Got A Tattoo In Jamaica

****BEFORE contacting me about Delroy PLEASE NOTE: He is no longer in Montego Bay. He is tattooing out of Kingston at JB Ink. 90 Olympic Way, Kingston 11. This info was updated August 2013****

For years I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo in Jamaica just to say I did it. Well I finally did it and this story has some great history to it. A couple years ago before many of you were readers, I met a guy in the street who was begging for money and discovered that he was a former tattoo artist out of Kingston who had an unfortunate accident in his life that left his hands mangled and unusable. He lost his tattoo shop (and everything else) and was reduced to life on the streets. To make a long story short, I kept in contact with the guy, did some fundraising through this blog and ended up sending him a pile of money to put towards the surgeries he needed to fix his hands and become useful again. After that we just lost contact for a while and I had no idea what became of him.

While I was living in Jamaica earlier this year I ran into him and was astonished at the man he became compared to the one I’d met years before. He is now well-dressed, good looking, thickened up and has really changed his life for the better! Since regaining the use of his hands he got back into art and was in the process of saving money to buy tattoo supplies and restart his career. You can see how this story is coming full circle right?

A couple weeks before leaving on my last trip I had mentioned to a friend in Canada that I may come back with a tattoo finally!! So on my first day back in Jamaica I made the call to Delroy and told him I’m coming to Montego Bay and wanted a tattoo. It seemed so fitting that my Jamaica tattoo be done by the guy my readers and I helped years ago….I was excited!

Since Delroy doesn’t have a new shop set up yet the plan was that I’d come to his family yard in Tower Hill, Montego Bay and get the tattoo at his home. As of now, since he doesn’t have the cash to restart a shop he told me he does house calls for his clients and I was the first to actually get it done in his home. When he had his shop in Kingston he did many tattoos for Jamaican celebrities and music artists…..Cecile and T.O.K. are on his roster of former clients.

He dug out his brand new box of supplies and of course I made sure to take pics of everything. It’s what I do!! All his supplies were new and wrapped and I even got to open my own needle package. I watched him assemble the tattoo gun and get everything ready to scar me for life!

Here’s a picture of the room my tattoo was done in. Later it became home to five of us – I spent the night in here with Delroy, his cousin and two small nephews and went back to Ocho Rios the next day. I even got to have some awesome red pea soup his auntie made while I was there.

The tattoo I wanted is a phrase I read a long time ago that was the most fitting for me and my life. It says “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” and it speaks a lot about my free spirit and lust for travel and doing what I do. I told Delroy I wanted it to be done in a pretty font but not too perfect so he decided he was going to do it freehand. I have to admit I was a little nervous that he would be doing it on my back where I couldn’t see it. For all I know he could have written “I Like To Kill People” and I’d never know it til it was done! So I made him take photos every once in a while and show me the camera so I could see what was going on.

The initial part of this process was kind of sexy LOL. I don’t know about you but I love having my back tickled and when he was preparing my skin and sketching the phrase it felt so nice – but nice and sexy turned into hell when the gun came out! After I viewed the sketch he drew on my back he told me to lay down on the bed and we’d get started! I was kind of chicken because I’d only ever had one small tattoo done before and it’s on my upper arm where it didn’t really hurt at all. This one on my back was a whole different story….OUCH!!! The following picture was taken with my Blackberry, it’s the only one that turned out since I was taking them blindly while laying there.

The finished product only took about 30 minutes and I am completely happy with it aside from some shading and color I might add in the future. But at this time I only wanted the black lettering. They say when you get a tattoo you should be SURE of what you want and it should mean something to you so you don’t regret it. This one has so many meanings for me considering the circumstances and the person who did it. In my opinion every tattoo should tell a story and this one definitely does.

Once we were finished and I was thoroughly in pain we cleaned up the room and decided to head into the town for drinks! Our first stop was the pharmacy to pick up some lotion for the tattoo and then we went to a little bar in downtown Mobay, had drinks and talked about how funny life is and the interesting people who come into our lives along the way.

If you’re ever in the Montego Bay area and would like to get a tattoo let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Delroy. He’ll come to you and get it done!

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85 Comments

  1. Girl, you are BRAVE! Everything looks good, including the tattoo… :-)

    That man should be wearing GLOVES, though!!!

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  2. Wow your brave for real! That is one big tattoo. Looks good :)

    rootsgirlJ – if you look closely at the picture, he has a glove on the had he is using to tattoo!

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  3. Thanks ladies! And yes, I was going to also point out he has a glove on in the photo of him tattooing.

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  4. Awesome story, Kristi.The tattoo looks GREAT!

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  5. Thanks Kerry, I really love it but it hurt so much I think it’ll be a while before I add to it LOL. I want to have some green and yellow shading done somehow.

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  6. Wow… I knew you got a tattoo in JA, but didn’t realize it was this same guy–I remember that story from way back. What a fabulous nice “full-circle” it turned out to be.

    I have to admit though, if I had been present I’d have given Delroy a year’s wages just to go ahead and put “I Like To Kill People” or “Kick Me” or “ATM” or something on there… the possibilities for humour are endless.

    :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Wow. Heartwarming, Jammie. So sweet to see that Delroy’s life has changed and gotten so much better. I’ll never forget the pics of his hands. What a beautiful story!

    Love, love, love your tattoo!!!! Yes — they have to mean something and this one surely does.

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  8. Thanks Lilly. I know you’re one of the few people who’s been around since the very beginning so you know all about the story. It’s definitely come full circle. :-)

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  9. DWLLLLLLLLLLLL Urban!!! I’m not lying when I say I was a little afraid of the possibilities that could have ended up on my back LOLOL!! Deading at “ATM”. Whitey woulda been hilarious too.

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  10. Whitey!! DEAD

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  11. What a beautiful middle to an incredible story (I say middle because I don’t believe there will be an ‘end’)
    I remember when he wrote you the letter that was hand delivered to you last november and how touched you were that he thought so highly of you to get in contact.
    A story to keep close to your heart forever.

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  12. Erin you were with me when I received that letter, no? Yes it’s verrrrrry interesting how the world goes round ain’t it!
    You know after I got that letter I tried contacting him at the email address that was written but the email bounced back undeliverable.

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  13. Yup….I was there. It was sweet. We read it in that bar….Tamaras….Sans Pin?

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  14. Yep that’s the place. I miss you! We need to go back together!

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  15. I love when a tattoo has meaning. Yours turned out great! I’m getting one in that spot too. Where is the link about Leroy’s story please. I feel like I just started reading the middle of a book :-)

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  16. Angie, It’s a really long and kind of convoluted story but I can email it to you. I deleted the original post and stopped collecting donations a LONG time ago because of some infiltrators who started to get involved (sadly).

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  17. JC, that is such a heart warming story…..urban dwl. Love your tattoo btw.

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  18. awesome,history in the making,you ah rule gal,big respect,one love jc,keep up the nice vibes zeen,one hundred

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  19. Thanks Shane!! I’ve missed you and your comments!

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  20. Your tattoo story is awesome. Your a great person for helping Delroy and he’s great for never being defeated and keeping with his passion even when times got hard. I think this will be a great story for both of you. BiggUp JMW & Delroy!!!

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  21. Thanks girl! It’s been an interesting journey with him for sure. But it all works out in the end!

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  22. great story! beautiful tattoo, love it :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Hit me up! Going in 3 weeks and am looking into getting one! lelo121379@yahoo.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. That’s awesome Leighton! I want to see it if you do!

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  25. I have been searching and cannot find any place to do so though. I was hopin that you could email me and I can get the info on your friend to help him out. We will be at the Sandals Resort in Montego Bay.

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  26. I emailed you so send me a reply and I’ll get back to you with Delroy’s number. And I can give him a heads up on Facebook that you might be calling.

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  27. That’s a really good story. I really enjoyed reading it. I like happy endings. At first I was scared that you would write something like how Delroy hasn’t changed at all, that he is still on the streets. lol. Its amazing how you helped him. I like how your tattoo turned out by the way. I’m happy for you both. p.s. I like that saying too.

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  28. Thanks SS! I should post an updated pic of the tattoo. I had more added to it back home.

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  29. What a phenomenal story JC!! Thanks for sharing! The tattoo looks amazing too!!
    Wondering if you could hit me up with some contact info. Headed to MoBay again in March :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Emailing you now!

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  31. I’m glad he made use of the opportunity! Looks good though! Hope his business takes off!

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  32. Can you please tell me how to get in touch with him? I am going to be in MObay March 7-20 and would love to get a new tattoo

    Thank you

    Sherri

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  33. Yes I will email you his contact info.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. I’m going to montego bay on feb 27 2012…. I would to have is contact

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  35. Going again this summer would love to get in contact with him!!!
    Portman15@gmail.com
    thanks

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  36. Hey – I am in Jamaica right now – and searching the web for a reliable tattoo shop to get some ink – how do I get a hold of this fella?

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  37. Andy and Mike, I just emailed you both with his contact info.

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  38. My girl friend and I are heading to Jamacia in a week. We were talking today and she said that she wanted to get a tattoo while we were in Jamacia. Could you put me in touch with Delroy. If she still want one while we are there, I would like to contact him.

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  39. Will, check your email.

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  40. WHERE DID U EXACTLY GET THIS JC? I’M IN JAMAICA & IM GOING TO MONTEGO BAY NEXT MOTH I WANT TO GET A TAT BY HIM

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  41. The last I heard of Delroy is that he’s in Kingston now!

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  42. I WUD LIKE A TATOOO

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  43. I ran across your story while searching for a tattoo artist in Montego Bay. My fiance and I are going next month to get married and want to get matching tatts to remember our trip. Can you give me his contact info? It would be greatly appreciated…:) thank Kimberly

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  44. Kimberly, the last I heard – Delroy is now in Kingston.
    And congrats on your wedding! So great you’re getting married in Jamaica!

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  45. im in mobay now for sumfest. not here long…do you think delroy is around?

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  46. Last I heard he was in Kingston.

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  47. Arriving tomorrow in mobay would like to get a tattoo this time around can you get me his information

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  48. Sorry Tobie, the last I heard Delroy is in Kingston. There’s no way for me to find out on such short notice.

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  49. awesome can i have a contact number for delroy, i am willing to travel to kingston to get it done

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  50. HI :)

    For my birthday I’ll be heading to Jamaica and I thought it would mean a lot if I got my first tattoo in a place that means something as my birth name is Jamaica.
    I read this story and thought it would be the perfect way to get a tattoo, in the country I’m named after and with someone that has their own wonderful story.

    I would like to know Delroy’s details and as you have personal experience, if it’s 100% safe and if he is as talented as you say he is.

    Thank you x

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  51. I will email you his contact info.

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  52. Hey! Any chance you could send me contact info?? I’m going in a couple days and might wanna check it out! Thanks

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  53. Will email you.

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  54. Does he have a website or something I would like to get a tattoo while iam down there
    Wondering if you can hook me up with some contact info

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  55. Hi, I am heading to Jamaica in four days and was thinking about getting a tatoo, would you mind hooking me up with his info? Thanks!

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  56. Hi! My BF (who is Jamaican)and I would like to get tattoos before our wedding this summer, would you be able to link me with his contact info? I love your website I am a white girl too and I also love Jamaican men! and I cant wait to get married to mine in July 2013! Thank you!

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  57. I will email you when I get back from Jamaica. And LOL…..I don’t love Jamaican men. I love Jamaica.

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  58. Nice tatoo and story. Can u email me his contact number

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  59. Well goodness me, That is a full circle incredible story. That is exactly why we are here on the planet right?! Love the words and I promised myself a tattoo this year because Im well on my way to achieving a personal goal. What are the prices like for tattoos in JA? I hope he is still practising his art.

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  60. Nae he is still practicing. The last I heard is that he’s back in Kingston. And I only paid him a couple grand jmd for my tatt but I think that’s the “friend” price lol.

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  61. do you still have any idea how to contact him? I’m going to be in Jamaica in April and would definitly consider getting a tat from him.

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  62. Sorry I accidently clicked submit before I was done! I am going to Montego Bay on the 14th and would like to get a tattoo. Can you email me his contact information?

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  63. Hey Jake, the last I heard of Delroy he’s in Kingston now. I can email you his phone numbers but can’t guarantee anything. Do you want his info?

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  64. Yes please, that would be awesome! Thank you so much! my email is witi32@yahoo.com

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  65. I am going to visit Montego Bay in April & would like to get some work done, can you get me the artist contact info. Thanks

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  66. The last I talked to Delroy he is now based in Kingston.

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  67. Hello miss I love this story it’s amazing, I’ve been in ja a little over a week and have been trying to get a tattoo for ages, but despite my efforts I’ve been unsuccessful. I would really aprettiate if you could forward me his details so I 2 could have a story to tell. Thanks in advance Sam.

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  68. I will email you, but he’s in Kingston now – at least that’s the last I heard.

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  69. Hi I am going to Jamaica in October and would love to hook up with Delroy. We are going to Runaway Bay but I would travel to him if I need to. Please email me any info to get me in touch with him.

    Patti

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  70. Patti please email me through my contact form and I will reply as soon as I have time.

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  71. Hey could I have some contacts for Delroy please. candie_babee@hotmail.com

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  72. Hi that is a great story and sounds like he is a great person I am headed to Montego Bay in September and I have a sleeve with a tattoo from every country I have been to on it and would love to add Jamaica to the sleeve can you email me his contact info ASAP please thanks! Oh and nice tattoo btw great job!

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  73. I’ve seen your tattoo in many pics now however I had never read this blog. I Love the story &that he was able to regain his abilities & his skill & move on again in his career &life.a feel good story Your Tatto is rich with meaning & I love how it turned out, it’s perfect in my books.

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  74. Thanks Vera! Yea I think this one goes down as my coolest Jamaica story.

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  75. I will be in montega bay next week and would love to get a tattoo from him .. Can you please give his information and how much did that cost?

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  76. I will be in Jamaica next week please fwd his information to me? How much did he charge?

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  77. Marcus, please read the update at the top of the blog post. Delroy is no longer in Montego Bay. He’s in Kingston and the address is listed.

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  78. The tattoo looks great is Delroy still in Montego Bay. How can I get in touch with him?

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  79. Thanks! And if you go back into the blog post and read the UPDATE at the top it tells you he’s in Kingston now and how to get in touch with him.

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  80. Heading to Jamaica next week and I would like to get a tattoo while I am there…Can I please have the contact details for him?

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  81. PLEASE READ the update at the top of the blog post!!!!! I put it there so I didn’t have to answer this same question over and over and over. Thank you.

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  82. wow girl! your crazy getting this kind of work done…but it looks great :)….that was a while back now have you had any other tats since?

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  83. LOL thanks Mick. No tatts since then. It took me 33 years to get my very first one on my arm and another 6 to get this one. I’m slow. hahhaha

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  84. hey,

    great tattoo.

    im planning on being in montego bay in april and i’d like to get a tattoo over there. can you pass on his email address or fb?

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  85. He’s in Kingston now. I updated the blog post with his information.

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