I just got my first tattoo.
Wow! Let me repeat that, I just got my first tattoo. I can’t believe I finally did it. I am not the sort of person that is going to end up with a sleeve or a face tattoo. That is for someone else. However, I have always had a few tattoo’s that I really want to get. The one that I just got is on my back. I’ve never really been in a tattoo parlor for an extended period of time and I definitely had some preconceived notions about the whole experience (most of which were not quite on the mark). I had so many questions that I just couldn’t find satisfactory answers to when I was doing my initial research. In the end I went in sort of blind, which made me want to prepare anyone who is thinking of getting a tattoo a little bit better than I was when I got mine.
The first thing I can really recommend is to research the place you are going to be getting your tattoo. I looked at the reviews of tons of places, and then I went out and asked people that I knew and some that I didn’t know about who had done their tattoo’s. A tattoo is fairly permanent and I really didn’t want it to end up lopsided and discolored. Once I found a place and a specific tattoo artist and had made the appointment I felt extremely nervous about the whole thing. I was getting mine on my back and in such a place that I really had to think about my chest coverage options I opted for a bikini top. I get to the place, nervous and bouncy, with my sister who is getting a matching tattoo with me, only to have the tattoo artist refuse to do our tattoo’s…The design apparently went against his principles. Let me tell you that having this happen is not one of the million things that I considered going wrong when I first decided to do this. After that it was back to the drawing board I went. Another couple of weeks of research and we had an appointment somewhere else.
When we got there and showed tattoo artist #2 our design the picture was just on my kindle. And honestly I had no idea how this guy was going to take it from that image to my flesh. He was a fairly good natured fellow which is probably good since I tend to be the blunt sort of person that says things like “don’t mess up” to the guy holding a needle to her back. He took my kindle, placed it on a copier and made a photo copy, which then went to a lady in the back who drew out the design on what was apparently temporary tattoo paper stuff. Once she had it drawn out he stuck it on where I said I wanted it to go, and then was kind enough to move it around several times until I got it where I wanted it.
I had opted to go first, which is probably a really good thing. I don’t think I could have gone through with it if I had watched my sister get hers first. If you are nervous, go first. The tattoo artist sanitized the chair, I got into as comfortable a position as I could with one arm dangling over the side and he got started. Whatever your friend, or relative or whoever might tell you about what getting a tattoo feels like..it is utter crap. The feeling is almost indescribable. It was painful. Not in the, I am about to die way, at least not for me, but for the first 15 minutes it is going to hurt. After that, at least for me, the endorphins kick in and its fine. My design was about 3 inches in diameter and only one color so it only took about 45 minutes. Obviously anything bigger or with more colors will take longer. I had a really great experience. I know that everyone does not. What I learned was that you find someone that makes you comfortable, someone that is truly an artist, and an environment that you trust, rather than wondering if they cleaned the place in the last month. I just got my first tattoo. Ten points if you can guess what that symbol is from. And I will probably get another one.