My little birdie feet!
I have several tattoos, and almost everyone i know pretty much excepts my art as just who I am. When I talk about my plans they are supportive, sometimes helping me work out a design, or offering me constructive criticism if they think it would look better with more blue, etc. All and all my tattoos are loved because they are part of me, and day to day not much is said about them. But when I told my friends I wanted to get the tops of my feet tattooed with old school swallows and the text "true" on the right and "love" on the left between the toes and the birds, I was met with shudders.
Nearly everyone I told elicited the same response in one variation or the other: A grimace, a shudder and/or "You know that's gonna hut like hell, right?". "Think about all the little bones!!" Was another one. But I wanted them. Bad. And for years I drew and redrew my design, gazed at my un-tattooed feet with a sigh, superimposing my little birds there. The pain was never a factor in my mind. I just didn't care that this could possibly one of the most painful places to get tattooed. And i figured since i am over weigh the fat on my feet might make it easier than all the experiences i had read on BME.
One day, my two of my friends called who were new to the area, looking for a place to get a side labret for one of them. I told them about Tiger Moon a few minutes from our houses, they picked me up and off we went. I arrived at the shop fully intending to just watch the piercing and that would be that. While we waited for another customer to get done, my non-piercee friend and i looked through the artists portfolios and the flash and soon my second friend wanted to get her wrist tattooed as a memorial for a recently deceased friend.
While she got started getting her tattoo drawn up, i started talking to the other artist. He told me his favorite type of tattoo to do is old school style, and after talking to my buds and asking for a bit of cash until i got back to the house, i was on my way to finally getting my birds!
After getting up on the table and letting Adam prep my feet, and place the stencil, a little of all those shudders started to creep back into my head. We decided to start on my right foot, and he started up the machine.
Now, i LOVE that noise. Really. I am honestly addicted to tattoos, and that noise is so beautiful to my ears. But as soon as he touched the needle to my skin it felt red hot and merciless. The first line is always the worst, so i took a few deep breaths and willed the pain to subside. By the end of the outline on my right foot, the pain was still there and now every pass of the needle felt like a hot scalpel cutting into my skin. My whole foot was on fire. My head was swimming and i had to keep reminding my self to breathe.
I held my foot as still as i could but my leg kept twitching, i put all my concentration into trying to keep my leg still and tried to ignore the pain. It didn't help that i was sitting wonky in the bench and i had to keep my foot flat at a weird angle. And to top it all off, i was wearing a skirt and was politely trying not to flash my junk to the tattoo guy.
He moved onto the left foot and i couldn't believe it but i think that foot was even worse. When he finished the out line he moved back to the right foot and colored it in. I really wanted to scream, or make him stop, but i wanted these tattoos so bad i refused to walk out of this shop with them half done. My whole body was tense, but now that my tattoo was coming to life i knew it was worth it.
By the time he finished both feet, i wanted to cry i was so relieved it was over. My feet were still on fire, but my tattoos was done and it was beautiful. I thanked Adam and shuffled out the door. We stopped by CVS and got cocoa butter which the guys at the shop assured me was the best thing for it. I washed it with Provon once a day and applied cocoa butter 2-3 times a day until it was healed. Wearing shoes to work was not a problem like i thought it would be, i just made sure i wore clean socks and laced my shoes up real good so my feet didn't slide around.
Its been 2 months and the tattoos have faded slightly and need to be touched up a little, but the guys at Tiger Moon told me to come back and they would touch it up for free because it was a foot tattoo. The only real problem i have noticed is near the tips of the tails where the foot meets the ankle, there was a little bleeding out of the ink, but that is really minimal. All in all, painful as hell, but completely worth it!
submitted by: The_Voodoo_Dolly
on: 14 Feb. 2011
in Old School (and Old) Tattoos
Studio: Tiger Moon
Location: Irving, Tx