Oh Man, I Don’t Know What I’m Thinking Wanting More Back Work…
Since I was 10 years old, I always knew I was going to get at least one tattoo and would often tell my mom this and receive mostly skeptical looks. By age 14 I was checking out books from the library about tattoos. I was interested by the different styles, the quality, the safest way to get one. Well 15 comes around and I become obsessed with the idea of finding the perfect piece of art to get on my back, specifically a dragon. I’m a decent enough artist, but not for this and I know if it’s going to be on my body for the rest of my life, it HAS to be perfect.
This search for the perfect dragon, or at least something close I can have an artist edit ended up being a huge challenge. As anyone who has looked at any amount of tattoo’s knows, dragons are common thing to get but absolutely nothing is striking me as what I want, only every now and again do I find a piece of work where I like the wings or like the face. I’m playing freaking where’s Waldo with this damn tattoo.
But at one point in the early days of my search, I came across an artist with some really interesting work. There was a gorgeous pastel drawing of the 4 elements swirling around each other posted on what looked like a blog with some of his art. I stared at it for a long time, thinking how it would be such a cool tattoo. In the end I moved on and returned to my quest for the perfect dragon design.
Finally I’m hitting 18 and I know that I WANT this tattoo so bad. I find a good artist and I bring to him the scraps of dragon pictures I managed to find and asked what he can do for me. A recovered meth addict, I was quite confident in his skills and detail work. I was pretty happy I hadn’t caved into getting some stupid little tattoo as my first just because some guy with a tattoo gun was at a party and my high ass thought it might be a good idea.
Then disaster strikes! I go to visit my artist a few days later to see what he’s come up with and its definitely NOT what I was looking for. I think a little piece of my heart died that day, cause that’s when I knew I wouldn’t be getting my dragon any time soon. I went home, feeling a little defeated cause I now had nothing in mind for a tattoo and my skin was itching for that needle on my skin. But wait…I had had something in my mind for over 2 years since the day I saw it! That pastel drawing of the elements swirling around in perfect harmony had more than a few times been in my mind when I’d think about other tattoos I would get in the future besides the dragon.
A new fire was lit inside me. I loved the artwork since the day I saw it, I loved what it represented to me and I LOVED the idea of getting it on my body. I went back to my artist with a print out and we made a few minor changes and then had the sketch of my first tattoo! An appointment was set and I awaited the day like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
Well, I never doing anything half assed and I decided the day before to go into San Francisco with my best friend for her to get a tattoo. She had had it in mind and wanted to go back to the shop she knew there. A new thought popped into my head, why not get my nipples pierced too! But that’s a different story for a different time. Needless to say, the crisp bay breeze was extremely unfriendly!
If I thought my nipples hurt the next morning, I had no idea what I was in for. My best friend hops in the car with me and we’re on our way. Too excited to eat or relax, I chain smoke the whole way there and can’t wait to get started. I had decided on the location of my lower back, often referred to as a “tramp stamp”.
I get to his house and come in to see that he’s got everything set. He makes sure I like the size and everything we had discussed. Of course I did, it was perfect. He puts the outline on, has me look at placement and then tells me to sit in the chair……. OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING??? That went through my head for a split second as I heard the tattoo gun roar to life behind me. My whole body tense with anticipation for what it’s going to feel like. My best friend laughing at me wasn’t helping much, but she told me to calm down. She’s had quite a few tattoos herself, I figured I could trust her judgment.
Oh……Well that’s not too horrible. The needle presses against my skin and he makes his first mark and then asks if I’m alright. I respond with a confident yes and he goes right back at it. I try to get comfortable, chatting with my friend a bit, asking my artist a few questions now and again, sometimes him telling me something. But as I sit there long, the more it starts to hurt. The initial adrenaline rush is wearing off and the pain is starting to be pretty consistent. Oh and my spine! As he does outlining and gets closer to my spine, the pain intensifies and then he’s tattooing on my spine! It’s tolerable, but let’s just say my excited mood starts to slide downhill as the time passes.
After about 3 hours we take a smoke break, something I desperately wanted. Worst decision ever… No tattoo gun keeping my muscles tense, my back relaxes… But now I have to go back for him to finish and my back is even more unhappy than before. But I know it’s going to be amazing in the end, so I sit my ass back down in the chair and let him get back to work. I slump in the chair, feeling particularly exhausted and asking more than a few times if he was getting close to the end. Then finally, he’s done and I couldn’t be happier! I get to take a glance in the mirror and have my friend take a pic before he takes his own pic and wraps it up. All those years of searching and wondering and waiting and I’ve finally gotten my first tattoo and I LOVE the results! Not a day yet where I regret it and I don’t see one coming any time soon, every time I look at it, I love it even more.
submitted by: Lillydragon
on: 07 Aug. 2011
in Miscellaneous Tattoos