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First tattoo (wrist)

I'd wanted a tattoo for a good couple of years before I turned 18. I'd toyed with numerous ideas but couldn't seem to settle on any design for long enough. When I finally reached my 18th birthday, I was still undecided so I didn't think about it too much. I ended up getting my nape pierced instead and that preoccupied me for long enough to forget about getting a tattoo. About a month later, I started to get bored again and started to scour BME for inspiration. I decided I'd quite like something on my wrist and not long after that, my idea finally came to me.

I decided to get the name 'Florence' (as in Florence & The Machine) in black in the same font as is used in the band logo. To me, it was more than just the fact that I loved her music as it represented the fact that I was finally beginning to accept and like myself. I knew that I didn't need to wait to see if this idea stuck because I was so certain and I prefer getting my body mods on impulse. Because it was so personal, I hardly told any of my friends that I was going to get it done and went to make the appointment alone.

Pierced Up are by far the best tattoo studio in Bristol and they came highly reccomended. My Mum had got two amazing tattoos done there, as well as a few of my friends with absolutely no problems so I trusted them completely. They work by appointment only and prefer it if customers make them in person, which I really like as it makes you feel safe in their hands. I had got all my piercings done at different branches of another big studio in the city, Holey Skin and probably would have gone there but they had a bit of a reputation for tattooing underage and the girl who did my nape piercing hadn't done a very good job so I didn't really trust them. I walked into Pierced Up (really, really nervous) on my way home from college and was greeted by a woman behind the counter with a crazy haircut and lots of ink and piercings. Despite there being a few big scary guys around, she was really nice and made me feel totally at ease. I made an appointment for the following week and paid a deposit of £20. She told me I would need to pay another £20 on the day and reminded me to bring ID with me.

I had originally planned to go to the appointment on my own but one of the only friends I had told about what I was going to do offered to come with me. Strangely, I wasn't at all nervous and on the way to the appointment, I discovered I had an offer from one of my first choice universities so I was really happy and excited about that, which took my mind off what I was about to do. With my nose and nape I'd been so nervous I was shaking, so I was surprised that I wasn't worried at all about this.

I was really relieved to find that the studio was empty apart from the staff and another guy who was waiting because I was worried there'd be loads of big intimidating men around! The artist, Marcus, got me to fill out a consent form and went to set up the equipment. The woman behind the counter recognised me instantly and took my form before asking for ID. My friend and I went to sit in the waiting area for a few minutes before Marcus called us into the room.

He got the position right second time which I was relieved about because I felt a bit embarrassed asking him to change it; even though I'm sure he wouldn't have minded. Once he'd done that, he got me to lie down on the bed and took my wrist. Even at this point I wasn't really nervous. He said he was going to do a small line t check it was okay then go ahead. He asked me if I was ready and off her went. At first, I was really surprised, it didn't hurt half as much as I thought it would. It got steadily worse as it went on and I was holding my friend's hand pretty tight. The worst bit was when he was getting closer to the bone but even that was bearable. I think it was made easier by the fact that he kept stopping and starting so the pain was less constant. My friend talked to me about uni and the party I was haing soon to take my mind off things. For some reason, I kept laughing when it hurt, probably due to suppressed nerves! All in all though, the pain was completely manageable and I'd even go as far to say that my nape piercing was worse.

It can't have taken longer than about ten minutes and when it was done I was scared to look at it. I only took a quick peep but my friend said it looked really good and the woman behind the counter came in to see and talked to me a bit about Florence + The Machine. She said she liked it but that now everyone would think my name was Florence which made me lauhg. Marcus cleaned my wrist up and wrapped it in plastic, which he told me to remove after six hours.

He told me to clean it with lukewarm water and soap and to use the nappy rash cream Bepanthen, which luckily I already had at home as my Mum got a tattoo not so long ago. He said to avoid submerging it in water and to just use common sense. He explained that in a few days it would start to scab and that I should continue usi the cream and soap/water until it was healed.

I got up and was surprised to find I didn't feel faint, as I had nearly fallen over after my nape piercing. I went to the counter and pain the woman the remaining £20. She told me that due to the area, there was a chance of ink drop out and that if it happened, I could come back and have it touched up free of charge.

After the six hour waiting period, I gently cleaned off the excess ink and gunky stuff with soap and water as advised then applied a small amount of Bepanthen. For the first few days it was sore to the touch and four months on, it's still a tiny bit raised. The scabbing stage was the worst as it was so itchy but eventually it healed and now it's fine. It looks great and I'm really glad I got it done. Most people find it odd that I have a random girl's name tattooed on my wrist but to me it's a permanent reminder that I shouldn't always do what everyone wants me to do.

I'd completely reccomend Marcus and Pierced Up. Marcus himself was pretty quiet but he was completely professional and all the staff are friendly and helpful. I'd definitely go back there for any future tattoos.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 April 2010
in Tattoos

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Artist: Marcus
Studio: Pierced Up
Location: Bristol, UK

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