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Going at it again

always wanted a tattoo. When I was thirteen I told my mom I was going to get a Dancing Bear on my ankle, because I loved Jerry Garcia soooo much. Well, It ended up being completely different from what I had originally planned.
I was about to turn 18 and I wanted to give myself a really great gift, other than a carton of cigarettes. So, I started asking around about good studios/artists. After talking to every tattooed person I met, I decided on Lone Wolf. I went to visit the shop and talk to the artists. They were very professional and helpful. I asked about the artists and they all said that Ben was great. So, I found the studio, the artist, now all I needed to do was get the design I wanted. I knew I wanted a Heart and a Yin-Yang. How would I incorporate the two as one. A guy in one of my classes was always sketching. I decided to ask him to come up with the design for me. At first he was hesitant about drawing a tattoo design for me. He's a conservative guy. Using my wily feminine ways, he consented. He worked on the design for a couple of days and came in to class with two pages of designs. We discussed the asthetic value of most of them. We narrowed it down to three designs. He did better drawings of them for me. I ended up being so flustered about the whole thing that I discussed it with a couple of the art teachers at my school. They helped narrow it down to two designs. Finally I discussed it with my German teacher. I really trusted him and liked his taste in art. We talked about it for a while and finally picked a design. God, I was so nervous. First of all, my mother would have killed me had she known. Secondly, I am TERRIFIED of needles. I had to make up some horrible excuse as to why I would be out until late on a school night. Excuses and all aside, the pain factor entered into my head. I kept thinking, "I am going to let some strange guy stab me with a needle gun?!?!" Well, the day had come around. My boyfriend drove me there, moral support. Some of his friends came to watch, being heavily tattooed themselves. I met Ben for the first time and he was really good to me. I told him I hated needles and that I was terribly nervous about the whole damn thing. He talked to me about the placement and tried to calm me down as much as possible. He preped the area and placed the design on my shoulder. I looked at it and we adjusted the placement a couple of times until it was right. He finished preparing the area and had me straddle a dentist chair (another one of my damn fears). After a few minutes he asked me if I was ready. I called my Sam, my boy, over to me. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it as hard as I possibly could. "Ready" I said. I could hear the whirring of the gun and then my shoulder began to vibrate. I asked if he was going to start. Only to find out that a good majority of the outline was done. The whole thing took about 30 minutes. He gave Sam the care sheet and A&D ointment. I am not going to say that it didn't hurt one bit. That would be a lie. For me, it wasn't the whole thing that hurt, but there was a lot of shading/coloring in in my tat. My skin refused to take some of the ink and he kept going over the same areas until it took. That hurt like a !@*$!#!@. I was pretty sore that evening. The next few days were kinda hellish because I kept it covered up so much. Oh...and the itching!!! I never thought that would stop. One annoying thing that no one warned me about was that the tat would also expel some ink. The next morning I woke up with the damn thing stuck to my sheets. I peeled myself off the sheet, only to see an exact replica of my tat on my bed sheet. I kept that damn thing as clean as I possibly could. Last thing I wanted was an infection. I just used liquid soap with triclosan, NO fragrance. I kept the A&D on it until the tube ran out. The scabing was worst around the edges. I felt kinda gross for a while, but it healed beautifully. At this point I only have 3 tats, but I am going to give myself another one for Xmas!

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Dec. 1999
in Tattoos

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Artist: Ben+Dixon
Studio: Lone+Wolf+Tattoo
Location: Nashville+TN

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