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First tattoo (custom Tribal)

years I have admired what I could only call "warrior armbands" on some people I had seen at the many gyms I had been to over the years. Only recently have I learned the style is called "Tribal", & I like it a lot. Various girlfriends of mine have had tattoos, & I thought they were cool, but I never really envisioned having one myself. Not too long ago I was at a local festival & had a henna design put on my hand, but while looking through patterns I saw some really interesting "Tribal" designs. After a great deal of thought I decided I wanted to get a tribal armband on my left upper arm. I searched everywhere & found some nice stuff, but nothing I liked enough to have put on. Now I must note that this delighted & amazed my finacee who had been bugging me for years to get a tat, (she has a purple dragon on the back of her neck, & wants more). After 4 years I suppose she had given up, then I wasn't ready, now I was. I am artistic & after weeks of drawing/sketching I had a design I really liked, but wanted a true artist to fine tune it into beauty. This proved more difficult than I ever imagined. I found most artists in my area (Atlanta GA) didn't have time for me or my design. The whole process reminded me of a car repair shop, (too busy to talk about a custom design, pick something off the wall), (not today, today is my money day -flash!), (leave it with me, I'll redo it, come back next week), BAH! All of this changed when I met Rob Thomas at Psycho Tat2. He sat down with me & we sketched together for an hour, I left with some fresh ideas, but no finished design. Understand Rob is no apprentice, he is a regular artist there, some of his work can be viewed online, & I had paid him nothing at this point. Over the next week I worked & came up with a new improved design I absolutley loved.I called Rob & immediately faxed him a copy. That night I saw what he did to it..........it was beautiful! He balanced it & worked with it beyond what I could do, as only a true artist could. He gave me exactly what I wanted & more.

This past Saturday, July 3, Rob did it in ink. I must admit I was scared, I had all the worries everyone has:


Can I live with this forever?
This is gonna hurt real bad!
What if I get tired of it?
Its gonna be sooo sore!
My body will never be the same!
I'm paying for this?!!?

Saturday, 2:20, I arrived & Rob placed the stencil he had made perfectly the first try, it looked great. When I sat in the chair the nervousness went away as I had already made the decision I was going to do this. I watched, amazed, as he wrapped everthing in plastic, & filled a small cup with black ink. Then Rob said, " I'm going to do a couple small lines so you can feel whats its like". As I waited for the pain I felt a vibration, a little pressure, & heard him say, " how was that?". I was elated! I had envisioned 3 hours of HELL!!! This was nothing. All I remember saying was, " THAT'S IT?". He laughed & said everyone has the same reaction. I must tell you at times it did hurt a little, but not at all badly, & if that's the only thing keeping you non-inked, go for it. It truely is not bad at all, I could see if it was on the neck or foot or something, but on my arm there were times when I could have fallen asleep. One thing I will say that seemed bizarre is that I never experienced the adrenaline rush/endorphins everone talkes about, but oh well, no free buzz. At 4:45 Rob gave his work a finale inspection & declared me done. He wiped the blood, (which seemed strange, it didn't seem to have hurt enough to have made me bleed), wrapped plastic around my new arm, went over aftercare, & sent me on my way. The only way I can describe the soreness to follow is "minor". On th e way home I bought Betadine clear as directed, Psycho Tat2 swears by the stuff, & now so do I.

It is now 9:30pm Tuesday as I write this, I have just switched from the Betadine to Lubriderm lotion, I have developed a few very small scabs, but am healing quite nicely. Sunday the soreness was the worst, but even then it felt like only very mild sunburn on that arm. To think I was so worried about the pain & soreness seems laughable now.

You should see this tattoo!! It is the most beautiful, wicked tribal armband I have ever seen, I am so happy with it. I feel like I have gained so much, & to all those out there whom this applies (you know who you are) I don't feel changed. When I look in the mirror it's still me, but when I see my tattoo I see something beautiful, that I created, that I chose for me, that I brought into existance by my will, for me. I see this in place of normalcy. I was afraid that the absence of that normalcy would make me different, change me, it has not, it has added to what I am.

I hope my story will help someone, the letters on this site helped me in my decision immensely & I felt it only right to contribute. I would of course highly recommmend Rob Thomas at Psycho Tat2 in Atlanta GA (404)255-8282, thanks again Rob. I will be taking some pictures of my new tattoo real soon, if anyone wants to see them contact me at flyboy29@mindspring.com

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 July 1999
in Tattoos

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