My first tattoo
Ok, so I had been wanting to get a tattoo for a very, very long time. My husband was totally opposed to the idea, so I hadn't done it.
A few years ago, my sister-in-law (who has multiple tats) and I had been talking about it, and we decided that we would just go look at some flash. We told our husbands that we were going to go rent a carpet cleaner, and we left.
The place that my sister-in-law usually went was closed. It took a while to find a shop that was open. The only shop that we could find was called Electric Rose. We went inside and looked at the flash. I found a design that I really liked. It was a heart with some fancy twirling lines above and below it. I told my sister-in law that if I could get it done for the money I had on me, I was going to go ahead and get it. She freaked out! She new my husband would probably go ballistic, and of course, she had lied to her husband about where we were going, and she didn't want him to find out.
I talked to the artist, and managed to work out the price. I told him I wanted it on my left shoulder, on my back. I wanted things done a little different than the way the flash looked. I asked that he make the heart blue instead of red. I also didn't want the "cartoonish" highlighting that it had. He said that neither of those things were a problem.
I was pretty nervous, and was a little scared it was going to hurt. I asked the artist if he had something I could squeeze. He got kind of rude with me about it, but gave me a ball to hold onto. I got in the chair, and he went to work. As a first timer, I didn't know that he should have shown me what he was doing, like opening the fresh needle. He didn't even ask me what shade of blue I wanted. I assumed he would ask me when he went to color it in. My sister-in-law watched me like a deer in headlights, while I sat there. She was worried about our husbands' reactions. It didn't hurt like I thought it would, so I was smiling and sticking my tongue out at her.
It didn't take very long, and suddenly he said I was done. I was wondering how he could be done, without asking me about the color, but I didn't want to ask a stupid question. Since it was my first time, I thought maybe there was only one blue.
He told me I could look at it in the mirror, but there was quite a bit of stuff in front of it, so I couldn't get very close. I was trying to use a hand mirror, to look at the refection of a very small tattoo in a mirror that was probably five feet or more away. Needless to say, I couldn't see it very well. Again, not wanting to sound stupid, I figured this was how it was done, and I didn't say anything.
He bandaged me up, I paid, and we left. On the way back to her house, my sister-in-law told me she thought he should have explained things to me, and shown me what he was doing. I told her she should have told me that there, but she said that she had watched him carefully, and made sure he was using sterile equipment.
Once we were there, it didn't take long for everyone to notice the large paper towel taped to my shoulder. Everyone besides my husband had tattoos, so they new what that paper towel meant. It took a few minutes, but he finally figured it out too. He was pissed!!!!
He asked to see it, so I showed it to him. He told me it looked fucked-up, but I thought he was just saying that because he didn't like it. Then his brother looked at it and said the same thing. I figured he was just saying it to mess with me, because he is just that type of guy. After a while, when he kept telling me he wasn't kidding, I began to worry.
I hoped it just looked funny because of the swelling or something, and that it would look better when it healed. It didn't!
By the time it healed, I knew I had made a horrible mistake! The color was an awful bright baby blue, and the heart wasn't even close to symmetrical. It looked like the tattooist had had a seizure while he did one side of the heart. The line dramatically shook back and forth. To top it all off, where I had asked him to not do the highlighting, he left it completely empty, so it looked like it just hadn't gotten colored in all the way.
My sister-in-law and I went back to the shop to complain. The guy who had tattooed me wasn't there. We talked to another guy, who acknowledged that it looked really bad, but he said there only thing that they would do, is have the same guy who screwed it up, try to fix it. I told them that there was no way in hell I was going to let that guy touch me again. They told me that was the only thing they would do. I was pissed, but I left, because that was not an option I would even consider.
I had to wait months before I could get anything done with it, but finally I was able to get a cover-up done. I went to the place my sister-in-law goes, Nadwe' Zibe. They did an excellent job, and really worked with me to help me find something that would cover the atrocity. It's not something I would have chosen to begin with, but it's much better than what I had.
I guess the moral of the story is don't get a tattoo on a whim. Check out both the artist and the shop. While I know other people who have gotten good tattoos from Electric Rose, I obviously did not. I hope the so-called "artist" that did mine is no longer there, but regardless, I would not recommend going there to anyone, as at least in my case, they were not willing to try to come up with a realistic remedy to the situation.
I have since gotten several tattoos, all of which I love. My husband is still not a fan, but he is actually paying for my next one as a birthday gift. I am going to get a large back piece in just a few days. Even though I am really familiar with the process now, I will never again be afraid to speak up or ask questions.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008