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The beginning of a full sleeve PART 1

My story starts off as any typical 23 year old would. I got involved in some bad stuff, went through quite a rough patch and recently turned my life around. I decided that I would begin living for myself and not for anyone else, or the way that people said I should live.

I guess I should give you some background.

I am one of those people, you know the kind, likes to party, but doesn't know when to stop. I became involved in quite heavy drug use, it started with coke, and progressed to heroin. I wont bore you with the details but it did become quite bad, suffered from loads of depression, suicidal thoughts (although I knew I would never do it...) etc.

I recently found a new girlfriend, moved to a new area and started life over, this is the reason why I decided to begin pursuing my passion of tattoo's.

I have had this idea in my mind. I have a small obsession with aliens and extra terrestrial life, therefore my idea for a space to earth theme from my chest to my wrist was born.

I decided to start on my chest. I have had the design for a while now and knew that I really wanted it tattooed on my body. I have fiddled with the colors to get them just right and was finally happy with the design.

I found a great tattoo artist by the name of Abi here in South Africa. I made the appointment to discuss the idea and to run over a few things. I have always been the type of person that will ask all the questions. I would rather pay big money but for quality work. After chatting to Abi, I was confident that she could give me exactly what I was looking for.

We decided to begin with the line work and then work the color in at a later stage.

I must say that the tattoo hurt a lot more than I expected, but only in certain area's, not where you would expect. I thought as it goes around and below my nipple, that that would be the most painful part, however, the most painful was the area between my arm and my chest.

The area around my collar bone, which everyone had told me was one of the most painful places was honestly not too bad. It was a little sensitive but not unbearable at all.

The whole process took around 2 hours with 1 smoke break in between final touch ups.

The healing went fine, just driving that day was a little uncomfortable as it always is. Now I have a little secret to share. After having tried many different creams for healing the tattoo, I have discovered self tan lotion. BUT PLEASE NOTE: do not apply directly after getting the tattoo done, wait for a round 3 to 4 days. This only helps with the scabbing phase, use the standard creams before your tattoo has begun scabbing.

Abi has one of the steadiest hands I have seen. She is great company and simply makes the whole experience a little better.

Also stop using the self tan lotion a week prior to getting tattooed again, as it may cause the ink to pull out of the skin. This may not happen to everyone, but I have heard some stories regarding this.

I am not saying that this will work for everyone, I suggest trying different things out. BME is a great resource on issues like this and many others. I simply found what works for me and you should do the same.

I think for anyone thinking about getting a tattoo done, whether it be big or small, there are a few things that you should really consider: first, find a reputable artist that you are comfortable with, don't be scared to ask questions, and if you are unsure, don't do it, its that simple. Second, be sure of your design, play around for a while, change it, I would recommend keeping it for over a year and if you are still happy with it after that time then go for it.

I will hopefully post some photo's soon as I would really like to document the process.

  • I have stared the coloring in, and have experienced just what I said would happen, the flame colors (Orange and Red) did not stay planted too well, they look a little dull. But no worries, that's the great thing, they can always be redone and fixed. I want the tattoo to be vibrant with strong colors. I am heading back for another 4 hour session this Sunday, so hopefully can get the majority of the color work done by then.

Wish me luck folks.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 June 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Abi
Studio: Abitat
Location: South+Africa

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