My First Time and a very good first time at that
I am only 19, soon to finish up my freshman year of college, and I've wanted a tattoo for a long time. I've had piercings before (tongue, eyebrow, lip) but I get bored and end up taking them out after a few months or so. A tattoo I know would be a huge step for me, especially as I am so fickle, but I decided that I wanted it, and once I make up my mind, it's going to get done.
I've been interested in tattoo design for a long time, and I know that I love new school and lettering tattoos most of all. After awhile of going back and forth between different ideas, I settled on a Hebrew proverb that has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Most people worry about tattoos and whether they will like it in 25 years but the way I look at it is, "are you really ever going to like the same things in such a long period of time?" You could look and look but chances are you aren't ever going to feel the same way about a design as you do the day you get it tattooed to your body. Along that line, I know that even if I physically don't like having the inscription on my body after 20 years, the meaning behind the proverb will not be lost, and will always remind me of a specific time in my life.
Once I settled on a design the hardest part for me was deciding placement and size. I have always wanted a tattoo between my shoulder blades and I still might get one there, however, for this particular tattoo, I thought that would be too open for something that is very personal to me. I decided on my lower back, but a placement about 1 ½ inches from where most get there's. It's high enough to if I ever wanted to include something under it, I would be able to. That was also a stipulation to my design, I wanted it to be sized and placed in a position to where if I ever wanted to add on to it, I could with no problem.
I go up to the tattoo shop on a Wednesday afternoon after looking up several shops online and seeing different artist's portfolios. I finally settled on Influence Tattoo after hearing several good things from my friends and seeing their work, but also because of their portfolios online. I knew which artist I wanted from seeing her work online and in the shop, so after going over my design and her schedule, I made an appointment for that Friday afternoon. The design ended up being about 3 x 4 in Hebrew, and she priced it to be $70, which is less than I was looking for, but after hearing it would only take about 45 minutes, I understood.
I made the appointment for Friday because I wanted it done as soon as possible so I would have less time to get nervous and go back on my decision. Come Friday, I didn't get nervous until I left my last class and prepared to leave with a friend for the shop. I eat before, drank lots of water, and made sure not to take any pain relievers because I know it causes you to bleed more. When we get there, she takes my design, copies it, and as me fill out papers. Even then I'm not too nervous, and didn't get to be until I had to wait about 10 minutes to use the restroom which gave me lots of time to think beforehand.
My friend had to wait outside the actual booth but he looked through the window and went through the artist's portfolio until it was time to get the job done. I don't remember how all she prepped the area, just that she had to shave even the fine baby hairs to there wouldn't be any ingrown hairs anywhere. She had me straddle the chair, I set up my i-pod so if I decided to I could listen to it during, and she gave me a squeeze ball as she prepared her final things. She had to apply the design twice to get it perfectly centered and straight but after that, she asked me to stand up to look at it, and then she was ready to go. She started on the right bottom, and I could definitely tell when she got near my spine, however, it definitely was not the pain I was expecting. It was more annoying then anything, and although it hurt, it was not painful. It was just annoying because it was like somebody constantly poking you and you just want to push them to get away from you.
I did not bleed at all during the experience and have not experienced any pain in the healing process, although it has felt like a bad sunburn at sometimes. I am really happy with how it turned out and I love having something that means so much to me on my back. The verse by the way is from Hillel, Pirke Avot 1:14, it means "If I am not for myself,(then) who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I (for)? And if not now, when?"
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 April 2005
in Hebrew Tattoos
Originally written by anonymous
Location: Lubbock, TX