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A Wish Come True, 13 Years in the Making

When I was about 8, I had an art instructor with a beautiful, simple sun with a moon inside tattooed in black ink on her ankle. I just loved it and started doodling the design over and over. I also decided that I wanted a tattoo like it one day.

For the last three years, I have been contemplating the designs and placements of the different art I would like tattooed on me over the course of my life. I decided that I wanted my first tattoo to be the sun and moon on my chest. One day, after a chiropractic appointment, I had 25 minutes to kill, waiting for the bus. I went for a walk and came across Monsters' Ink, where I had previously decided I wanted to have my next modification done, because of the good things I'd heard about the shop. On a whim, I went inside and asked whom I should speak to about getting a tattoo. Shawn was at the front of the shop, so he introduced himself and asked me what I was thinking of getting done. I explained what I wanted, and he told me, " You know that it's not going to tickle, right?" He informed me that the sternum is particularly painful to tattoo, but, at the time, I was still all gung ho. He drew me up a sun and moon and I was so perfect that I decided to go for it, and booked an ap pointment.

I told my family and friends about it, and although many where excited for me, they all cautioned that the chest is a very visible body part and that a tattoo there would be difficult to hide. I contemplated their words and realized that it would be a hard thing to hide from my landlords (my parents), who would kick me out upon their discovery of my tattoo. I opted instead to put the tattoo on the upper part of the side of my right thigh, just under my hip.

I missed the bus by five minutes on the morning of my appointment, so I power walked downtown as not to be late. I ended up with achy blisters on the backs of my heels, but I was only 10 minutes late. I told Shawn that I had changed my mind about the tattoo placement, and he looked relieved. He explained to me that although he would have done it, he didn't like the idea of my having my first tattoo on my chest because of the pain factor and also because he told me that some women don't always realize the importance that they place on their breasts as part of their self-image until it's too late and they regret modifying that area of their bodies.

Shawn led me into a private room, which reminded me of a dentist's cubicle. He showed me the equipment that he would be using, which had been autoclaved. I sat down, and signed a consent form. He also showed me the needles and tubes he would be using and I signed to say that I'd seen them sealed and sterile in their packages. I then took off my pants and Shawn sanitized and shaved the area of my leg to be tattooed. With the utmost precision, he placed the temporary template on my leg and asked me to verify that the placement was correct in a mirror. I gave the ok and sat in the chair. Shawn placed disposable around the area he was going to tattoo, as if he was going to perform a surgery. He told me to take deep breaths and he began.

The tattooing process felt basically as I always imagined it would, like receiving inoculations over and over. To my surprise however, I had a nervous response to the pain, and my leg repeatedly twitched. I focused on the relaxing rock music, thought about my weekend plans and wiggled the toes on my left foot to stop from moving. Shawn told me that that happens to some people. He had to go over a couple of lines, but all went pretty well. Shawn changed gloves a dozen times during the process, basically every time he touched anything that was not sterilized. By the time Shawn went to do the shading, my whole upper leg area was so numb that my blisters hurt more than receiving the ink! Afterwards, Shawn rubbed Berri-Care, a medical open wound ointment, on my new tattoo and I checked it out in the mirror. It looked beautiful, though my sun and moon looked like they'd been in a fight because they were all red and swollen! Shawn gave me a little packet of Berri-Care and instructed me to wash my tattoo three times a day for the next three days and rub on Berri-Care and then switch to fragrance and dye free lotion thereafter and keep it moisturized and out of the sun, water and saunas for the next month. I then watched him throw out my needles and tubes in biohazard containers and throw everything else in the garbage. He didn't even pour the water used to clean my needle down the sink; he absorbed it in a paper towel and threw it in the garbage. Then I signed that I'd seen him dispose of everything in a safe manner.

It's been two weeks, and I adore my new artwork. I love dropping trou to show my friends, and everyone has been impressed with it. I highly recommend Monsters' Ink in Medicine Hat for your next modification, if you are in the area. I will definitely be going back!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 July 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Shawn
Studio: Monsters%27+Ink
Location: Medicine+Hat%2C+AB

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