My First Tattoo... Of Many To Come!
My first tattoo is something I've wanted and yet put off since I turned 18. I'd wanted it for even longer, in fact, since 17. I love the look of tattoos, and have always seen myself as almost a tattooed person without tattoos – although I’d always said I didn’t want too many (yes, “too many” is subjective and arbitrary – more on that later!)
The reason behind the design came about when I was 17 too. A very close family friend (Like an uncle to me - he was there for me more than a lot of my "actual" family) passed after a short but incredibly aggressive cancer.
I knew what I wanted. A letter C (for his name) with a star worked into the design somehow (as I saw him as being a star in my life), and I knew I wanted it on my inner right wrist.
Now, at 21 I found myself still with virgin skin, inkless and still wussing out of it. I wasn't all that worried about the pain, I can generally handle a reasonable amount without issue.
Finally, I found myself in my chosen studio (Inkslingers, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK), booked and with my deposit all paid up! I was to return the following Friday - I was surprised to have managed to get in so quickly!
On that note – you’d think I’d have thought the date through a little more as the night before was the night my boyfriend was having his birthday celebrations – a very sober occasion for me! I still rocked out at a local club… Just in a very tee total manner!
The following Friday rolled around, and my boyfriend and I made our way though, stopping off for food first (I’d read in my prior research that eating before a tattoo was a good idea for blood sugar levels and what not – so buffet Chinese, pizza and dessert seemed like a fantastic plan!). We made our way across to Inkslingers and once settled with my artist, the lovely Hayley, I mentioned it was my first tattoo and I was a little nervous… but that I'd be fine. I'm not sure if that was more for her benefit or my own!
The design she'd worked out was a script-y C with an 'inverse' star - the no hard lines on the star but instead shading outside the star so the skin is where the star is... I loved it, and we got straight to work. I remember resting my arm on the stool, and feeling quietly terrified.
Hayley was fantastically reassuring, and told me when she was going to do a small line so I could experience the sensation and get used to it. It was fine. What had I been panicking about?! During the line work, only one spot actually hurt - I suspect it was a site of a problematic needle when I spent some time in hospital a few years ago. Even the spot that hurt though, wasn’t anywhere near enough to make me think twice about forgoing future tattoos! For the most part, the line work was only mildly- moderately uncomfortable but nowhere near off-putting enough to stop me getting more! (In fact now, looking back, I think I can only remember how uncomfortable –or not- it was from what I said at the time! Maybe it’s a little like a mother and the pain of having children?!)
With the line work done (it's a very small piece so it didn't take long), Hayley moved on to the black/grey shading. Hayley suggested a small diamond of white in the centre of the C, which made it really come to life.
The most surprising thing for me was to find that shading makes me giggle uncontrollably! It's not that I feel tickled per se; it is a very strange thing!
I'm delighted with the work and will get a picture up once I can take a decent shot of it... And I'm booked in for tattoo number 2 next month, on my birthday! My next planned design is for the back of my neck (so whether that will prove more challenging for me I don’t know!) and is going to be 2 dice, just having been rolled, in red. Needless to say, I’m booked in with Hayley at Inkslingers again!
If you've been like me - desperate for some ink but putting it off - bite the bullet and have a go! It's well worth it, and I already have so many planned for the future! As for the subjective and arbitrary nature of “how many is too many?” – I suspect my boundaries have shifted more than a bit on that one – I have a feeling I am going to end up with rather a lot of tattoos!
submitted by: LivingFire
on: 19 April 2010