A beautiful twist on a Zodiac Tattoo
Just 4 days ago I added another piece of art to my body. I had another tattoo before this one, but it is only about the size of a Loonie and this new addition starts right below my ankle bone and works its way up my leg to my mid calf and wraps side to side from calf to shin. So you can understand why I did some research before I went ahead with this tattoo. Like you, I headed to BME to read stories and gain insight, but more on that later.
When I was researching a design for my tattoo, I was having trouble at first coming up with a design that wasn't flash and that was unique and personal to me. I am a firm believer that a tattoo should have meaning to you. I had always thought of a zodiac tattoo but didn't want to tattoo the typical zodiac sign or create a design around the typical zodiac symbol. I am a Scorpio and started doing some Internet research. I was surprised to learn there was actually more than one symbolic reference to Scorpio. There is of course the Scorpion but I was surprised to learn that there is also the Eagle and the Phoenix.
I have recently went through some major changes in my personal and professional life and know the myth of the Phoenix very well, so thought this was a great base point to start the design. I decided I would get a Phoenix tattoo and since it would be an original design, I would incorporate something else.
Since this tattoo is supposed to represent me being a Scorpio, I decided to add the Scorpio constellation to the Phoenix. I started to search Phoenix pictures and stumbled upon a beautiful CGI type picture of a Phoenix flying through the night sky with trees, the moon and stars around the Phoenix.
I was a little worried about where I would put such a large tattoo since I can't have any ink showing in my profession. I work in a law firm and often meet with clients, so naturally I wanted something easy to hide and easy to show off. I started looking at my legs and feet as a great possibility and a great "canvas". At first I thought of putting it on my left foot, but decided against it once I spoke to my artist. When I told him about the design, we both agreed it would look better on the side of the leg as opposed to cramped into the flat space on the top of the foot.
I brought in my reference material to Derek Leach (the owner of Soulful Creations in the Orleans sector of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) on a Friday night and scheduled my 3 hour session for the following Saturday. This gave Derek 8 days to come up with a design and for me to make any changes if I wasn't completely satisfied with what he came up with. I had a lot of faith in Derek and knew he did great work (he did my boyfriend's sleeve) so I wasn't too worried.
That whole week was like torture to me. I was counting down the days and it was all I Could think about. I read story after story on BME trying to figure out what the pain would be like, the whole time knowing it varied for everyone.
I got a call from Krista (Derek's wife and the piercer at Soulful Creations) on the Friday night, the day before my appointment. The design was finished!!! I was so ecstatic and couldn't wait to see it. They were closing so I arranged to come in early the next day and let Derek know if I wanted any changes made to it. I arrived the next day eager and anxious. The design looked great and I couldn't wait to come back in a few hours to get it permanently on my skin!
I went to get something to eat (it's always a good idea) and went to a friend's house for a couple hours and couldn't stop moving! I gave myself plenty of time to get there on time and arrived 15 minutes before my scheduled appointment. Derek was just finishing a significant tribal arm tattoo and I was too excited I couldn't even sit down!
Finally the time came to put the stencil on and get to work. It wasn't quite right the first time around, so we tweaked it a little bit, brought it up a little higher and it looked great! Now come the hard part... actually sitting still for the tattoo. From the stories I had read on BME I knew it wouldn't be so bad as far as pain was concerned but I was still a little nervous.
Derek asked if I wanted to do a dry run (with no ink) but I didn't want to... let's just jump right in! He started the tattoo and the first couple minutes are always the worst. Once your adrenaline kicks in and you get used to the feeling it's not as bad as when you first get started. So there I was, getting inked and loving every second of it. The atmosphere in the shop is always pleasant and they ever ordered some pizza for everyone once I was almost finished.
As far as pain goes, it really wasn't that bad except for right around the ankle bone. That hurt pretty bad and I can take a pretty good amount of pain. In the end, if you are worried about the pain, you shouldn't let that stop you. A couple hours of pain or discomfort and you will leave with a lifetime of beauty on your skin. I couldn't be happier with the design and the complete outcome of the tattoo. I have to go back in a couple weeks when it is all healed so that Derek can take a picture of the finished product for his portfolio.
Here is a picture of the finished product taken at Soulful Creations right before I got bandaged up. I hope you all enjoyed my experience. Please email with your feedback.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 June 2008