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A Fruity Tattoo

This experience is about my fourth tattoo. Which also happens to be my first visible tattoo. It had been about a year since I got my last tattoo and I was well into my addiction at this point! Unfortunately I don't have a lot of money so there's large gaps in between. I wanted a sleeve, or at last to start the process of getting a sleeve, so I went about trying to design one. The thing to remember here is that I am awful at all forms of artwork! I have a creative mind but it does not come across very well. I am very interested in nature, and appreciate the world around me every day. I also knew I wanted something brightly, vividly coloured that would really stand out against my skin. I decided to start a sleeve based around the theme of fruit and vegetables. Nearly everyone I spoke to about this asked the same question "why the hell would you want fruit and vegetables tattooed on you!". I think it's just the way I see things differently. People think of fruit and vegetables as just these things you buy in the supermarket, I think the structure of fruit is very interesting and can often be found in the kitchen cutting cross sections of fruit and trying to paint them. The shapes, the colours are always stunning. Plus I figure people get all kinds of crazy stuff tattooed on them, why can't I get fruit?

So I attempted to design a tattoo. As you can imagine, this didn't go very well. It was all wonky and just looked ridiculous. So I took it to Nicky at Electric Buddha Tattoo to look at, tried to explain what I wanted and she drew up a really nice, non wonky version. I chose to go Electric Buddha because they have done all my other tattoos and I think, if it's not broke, don't fix it! Although in the future I'd like to go to other tattoo artists with different styles. But for the piece I wanted, Nicky was the perfect choice as I wanted something old school in style and that's the way she works. The finale design was a collection of fruit huddled together, bananas, cherries, apples, oranges and grapes. And wrapped around that was a banner. The banner is currently empty, I know what I want in there but I'm not ready to get it done yet (by the way, its not my boyfriends name or anything).I booked my appointment and went on my merry way.

When the day of the appointment came around I made sure I got a nice breakfast in me and a can of coke to keep my sugar levels up so there was no chance of me fainting. I got there, left my friend waiting in the waiting area for a while. Nicky printed out the design onto the purple stencil paper, and positioned it on my arm, I think we changed it once or twice. But it was pretty quick getting the right place. After this, she told me to sit tight for five minutes while she set up all the coloured inks, the gun and got the area clean and tidy. During this process she must have changed her gloves about 4 times to make sure there was no cross contamination. She then called me in.

I sat in a chair and rested my arm on a table to get the right angle to tattoo it at. And off we went. She did the outline first in black, which apparently is the worst part? I'm not sure, to be honest it all hurts about the same. That probably took about 45 minutes to do in total.. She then set up everything to get the colouring done and changed her gloves again, it was all very hygienic (as it should be!). We then started with the filling in, this took about 45 minutes in total. It didn't really hurt that much, I have quite fatty arms if that makes a difference. It hurt the closer it was to the shoulder, but it was nothing unbearable. It only took about an hour and a half and I felt okay the whole time. I think as long as you don't tense up or panic, you should be okay. Once it was done she sprayed the whole tattoo with the magical cooling solution that feels amazing and wrapped it in Clingfilm, and sent me on my way with aftercare advice.

Once I got it home I took off the Clingfilm and gave it a wash with warm soapy water, patted it dry applied some tattoo goo and let it be. I am a great believer in the "leave it the fuck alone" aftercare procedure. I try not to apply too many products and let it heal itself mostly, making sure it doesn't dry out too much. After about four days the tattoo started scabbing and itching quite a bit. Again I just left it, made sure it wasn't too dry and definitely didn't pick any of the scabs! It took about two weeks in total to heal and looked just as I want it, lovely and bright. Its been over a year now and the tattoo has settled well, some of the colour has faded but it is still vibrant and definitely stands out. There's still a bit of work that needs to be added to it to make it complete, and that's happening this summer. But on it's own it makes a pretty perfect tattoo.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 May 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Nicky
Studio: Electric+Buddha
Location: Ramsgate%2C+Kent%2C+UK

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