up for my third tattoo. I called Keith and made the appointment for Thursday, April 29 at 1 PM. This next tattoo I designed myself. Its a circular tat with a lightning bolt running through the middle of it. On the left side is the sun and on the right is the moon. It'll be done in a variety of colors. The lightning bolt will be done in two shades of yellow - basic yellow and neon yellow. The sun will be orange, red, basic yellow and neon yellow and the moon will be done in light blue and dark blue. I arrived at Peter Tat2 just before 1. I was the first customer of the day. Keith was in one of the tatting rooms. He came out said "What's up?" He said heed be ready to go in a minute. But actually he and some of the other workers had just put an order in for lunch. By the time Keith finished with lunch, it was 1:30.
Once finished with lunch, he asked what I was planing to get. I showed him the picture and asked for a quote. He said around $300 for the size I had it. It was a fairly intricate piece and it did involve several colors. Then there was the black outline and black fill. He could scale it down to make it less expensive, but I liked the size of it as it was. I agreed to have the work done. He asked where I wanted it done and I told him my upper right back. He said "Cool" and he went and made a transfer of the design. I did want to have the lizard on my chest colored in, but decided not to. Once he was done he went into the tatting room and prepared for the procedure. While he was doing that, he asked to take a look at the lizard on my leg. It was healing nicely and he said there were a few areas that needed to be touched up. It would be a couple weeks before heed do that. Right now he was focused on the back tattoo. He put all the colors I chose for the "climate" tattoo into clear disposable cups, took a needle for its original sanitized packaging and placed it the tattoo machine. He had gloves on the whole time he did this.
He was ready to go. I took off my shirt and Keith first cleaned the area and then placed the stencil on my right upper back. He gave me a hand held mirror and told me to take a look to see if I liked where it was. I saw the purple outline reflection in the mirror and said I liked where it was. Before he had me sit, he wanted to be sure I was not allergic to red ink. He ran his finger over the eyes of the chest lizard and determined I wasn't allergic. I went ahead and sat backwards in an office chair and started to read a whole bunch of tattoo mags. He said he was going to start. Like the other two tattoos, I knew that the outlining was going to be the most painful part. But I was surprised on how little it hurt. It hurt far less than the chest and less than the leg. I was really relaxed and read the magazines to pass the time. The outline and some of the black fill-in was done in 30 - 40 minutes. The black fill-in consisted of a border around the sun's triangle rays. Because the moon is a crescent, the remaining area was also filled in with black. He had more to do but said I could take a break. I got of the chair and went to find my cigarettes. Keith joined me in having a smoke. Before we took the break, he took a picture of the outline with my digital camera.
While we were smoking, some big, tattooed guy came in and started shootin' the shit with us. He had tats all over his arms and had a gigantic one on his back.
Once we finished smoking, it was time to finish up the black fill-in and begin to color the tattoo. The moon would be done first. He started with the light blue and then finished up with the dark blue. The filling in process is a piece of cake compared to outlining. There were times when I didn't feel anything at all. It took about 15 minutes to complete. It was now time for the sun. There was more work involved with the sun because it has eight triangle rays coming from it. Each ray is divided into two sections. Four rays had a neon yellow/basic yellow configuration and the remaining four had an orange/red configuration. Plus the globe part of the sun was also two colors - red and orange. It took about 25 minutes or so to complete the sun. He asked if I wanted to have another cigarette break and I said yes. The whole area was becoming more tender, thus more painful. I got off the chair and went to have another cigarette.
Once I was finished, I sat back in the chair, but not before grabbing some more magazines. He was doing the lightning bolt next. This was the last section to be done. Keith cleaned up the tattoo before starting. He used neon yellow first. This color would fill the larger section of the lightning bolt. There's a black line that divides the lightning bolt. The neon yellow would fill in the larger area of the bolt. The basic yellow would fill the lesser area. The filling in was a bit painful because the skin was getting tender. But it was finished in 10 - 15 minutes.
At last, the tattoo was finished. It was going on 3:30. He first cleaned the tattoo with a cleansing spray, then took a picture with my digital camera. He then put some Bacitracin on it and covered it with a bandage. He taped the bandage to my back using medical tape. He said to be careful putting my shirt on so the bandage wouldn't unstick. The tape wasn't holding at all as it was, so I kept my shirt off. I went to have a cigarette before paying him. The other guys in the shop gave me compliments on this newest tattoo. I finished up my cigarette and gave Keith $350 ($300 for the tattoo and $50 for a tip). I told him I'd make an appointment to have color added to the tattoo. He filled in as much as he could but said he didn't want to scar me. He'd add some more color free of charge when the tat was healed. I said "Later, dude.", grabbed my shirt and a few bumper stickers and headed to the car for the 20 minute drive home. I tried not to lean back on the seat because I didn't want blood to get on it. By the time I got home, two of the four pieces of tape had come undone. I got some tape and restuck the bandage to my back.
A few hours after I got it done, I carefully removed the bandage and washed the tattoo with antibacterial soap. I then placed a thin layer of Bacitracin to keep it from getting infected. I did this four times a day at least for two days. Then I began using a lotion to keep the tattoo soft and from drying out. The tattoo is only just over 2 weeks old. It's healing nicely and I'll have more color added by the end of the month.
If you would like to see a picture of this or my other two tattoos, send me an e-mail. I've attempted to have the pictures of my tattoos put on BME, but there's a problem with resolution.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999