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Setting Myself Free

I believe in the power of imagery. A picture is always worth 1,000 [or more, depending on who you speak to] words. The tattoo which is now happily located on my right shoulder speaks volumes. Taking the time to listen is what's important.

At the age of about 14, I knew I was going to get tattooed. I had seen my mother get hers and from that moment on, I sort of knew it was my destiny. I spent the next three years debating on my design, and around April 2007 [a few months after my 17th birthday] I knew. A butterfly has great significance to me for one huge reason. Butterflies to me represent freedom. And for me, freedom is important. I pride myself on escaping a past [specifically the past year] that has been scary and dark, but which has also ultimately been a period of growth. I have changed and matured, and staying in that "cocoon" for awhile has allowed me to grow as a person and to truly spread my wings and fly. Also, after reading Cecilia Galante's "The Patron Saint of Butterflies", the meaning of butterflies to me grew even deeper, and I knew I had to get this tattoo done as soon as humanly possible. I consulted a close friend of mine who I knew was also a talented artist, and she quickly consented to dr awing my design. It took a long time to get a design out of her. She is, after all, about to be a college junior and therefore has much on her plate, so I wasn't irritated about having to wait. Finally, in the month before I got my tattoo done, she e-mailed me several things she had drawn to pick from, and the fourth and final was the perfect one for me.

So, on a random day in June after my high school graduation, I decided I was not waiting one more second. I picked up my friend Haley and drove over to Stormi Steel + waited anxiously for my tattoo. After talking to the owner [who had also done my labret piercing, which is absolutely amazing + brought me back to Stormi], I spoke with Bob, who would be my tattoo artist. He told me that he would draw up my design and if I didn't mind waiting, he'd be able to do my tattoo that day. I looked at Haley, and she and I agreed that getting it done that day would be optimal.

I sat around on some couches with Haley while Bob worked on my design + after about 25 minutes, he showed me the end result. It was beyond what I expected, and at that point, I couldn't wait to get in the chair. He left to set up, and I waited for a few more minutes.

When I finally got into the room with Haley by my side, my heart was beating right through my chest. Bob had me sit in the chair and bend slightly over so he could work on my shoulder. Well, the pain was not what I thought it would be. The linework was definitely the worst part [it felt like being repeatedly stabbed with a needle, which, you know, it is] so when I got to the shading, he told me that the hard part was over. He was right. The shading was really easy, and I kept glancing over in the mirror to see how my tattoo was coming along. I was so excited to see it build + I was thrilled that it looked absolutely amazing. I was also very impressed with my artist. He was very professional + made easy conversation with me and Haley throughout the entire procedure. He kept asking if I needed breaks, but I didn't, as the pain was certainly not unbearable. After roughly two hours in the chair, Bob was done + he wrapped me in Saran Wrap. He gave me my aftercare instructions [whi ch were simple enough to follow] and sent me on my way. I headed to the Walgreens across the street for Aquaphor + drove home with Haley.

All in all, I'm THRILLED with my first tattoo. I'm already thinking about number two, and I know that I'll definitely be going back to Bob at Stormi Steel when that time comes. Because I plan to make all of my tattoos very personal to me, I already know my second tattoo will have to do with music in some way and I know that Bob will come through as he did with tattoo number one. He was a very professional artist and he is very talented, and I know I'll never be going anywhere else. I'm now thoroughly addicted to tattoos and I know I'll never grow old of mine.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 20 June 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Bob
Studio: Stormi+Steel
Location: Kingston%2C+PA

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