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first tattoo experience

I was about 12, I have wanted a tattoo. My father always said "I would let you, but mom would freak". Now my best friend and his brother brought up the subject a few months ago. I decided I wanted one, what I wanted, and where I wanted it. We were going to go. I decided that nothing would stop me from getting a tattoo. First I went to the local mall. There is a man there who does chinese writing, and I had 'freak' written in chinese. I use this word for myself since I've always known I was different, and that no one but myself can define who I am, especially my mother through her guilt. Anyway, I decided I wanted this done on my right forearm. My mother is a very limited, pessimistic, controlling person. It took me months to bend her to my will. I was half a year away from being 18, but I wanted it done with my best friend. So eventually she became so upset that she told me to "do what I wanted". I include this so that other people may have hope and trust in themselves to prevail. The big day came, and my friend and I were very excited. We had been to the tattoo studio a few times before, Center Place, to check it out. It all looked very nice, and the artist, Todd, was obviously doing work that he loved to do. We saw work he had done before through his portfolios, previous customers, and saw his own tattoos he did himself. Everything was certified, sterile, and I felt good with the studio and the artist. When my turn came, I wasn't really nervous, but somewhat excited. Todd scaled down the chinese characters to the size I wanted them, traced them and cleaned them up a bit. I sat in the destist-type chair, with my arm forward on a seperate padded stand. Todd shaved my arm, rubbed it down with various chemicals, and put the outline on my arm with this kind of transfer paper. While he was doing this, he answered my questions and said the area I had chosen would be very tender. I looked at the outline placement in the mirror and gave it the ok. Todd prepared his inks and the art began. I expected extreme pain, but I believe Todd told me it would hurt more than it would so that I would feel better when it came. The pain was still exquisite. I'm a bit of a sadist I guess, because I enjoyed the pain. It felt like being under a sewing machine, or having a razor slowly dragged across your skin. Some advice to anyone thinking of getting inked, going into a meditative state or focusing elsewhere prevented me from feeling the pain. Todd had many pictures around the room. Instead, I focused on the needle most of the time. It was very interesting to watch it being done. He went over an area 3 or 4 times to get it fully black. I also looked at his tattoos, which he did himself. In the beginning, Todd said he could add shadow to make the letters appear to be coming off my skin, but I said I'd wait until the characters were done to decide about the shading. When he wiped off the excess ink at the end, I was overjoyed. It looked awesome. It took about 45 minutes. I was extremely pleased with the finished work, and hope I am for many years to come. When it was done, Todd wrapped it, and commented on my sensitive skin. He gave me instructions to apply a match-head size portion of bacitracin ointment 3 to 4 times a day, but keep the tattoo mostly dry. I bled a lot through the bandage, but the flow stopped when I removed the bandage 2 hours later. I'm writing today on a sunday, and the art was done on friday. Todd said that in 3 to 4 days it should be done healing. As of now the skin that was tattooed seems slightly raised up. I am eager for it to be healed and the skin to be smooth. I put the sticker from Center Place on my car, which my mother is making me remove. But the good part is, my tattoo will always be there, reminding she and I that I decide who I am. I'm looking forward to getting more tattoos in the future. By coming through the experience I understand the addiction to tattooing I had heard about. There seems to be a sort of comeraderie among the tattooed. It's very neat. I recommend that if you are interested in a tattoo at all, that you look around at different studios. Find one you are comfortable with, see some work done before by the artist, and make sure the artist is knowledgeable and friendly. Most importantly, see that the artist enjoys the work. Thanks for reading! I hope that my experience was interesting to you. If you have questions or want to talk, feel free to email me.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Dec. 1999
in Tattoos

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Artist: Todd
Studio: Center+Place+Tattoing+and+Body+Piercing
Location: Connecticut

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