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Third and not final tattoo - a great experience!

Last September, I started studying at the University of Nottingham and took a fairly large step into a world of responsibility and freedom. Being away from my parents, living by myself and taking care of myself was extremely invigorating and allowed me to enter a world which, up to this point, been off limits.

I am of course, talking about the world of tattoos and body modifications in general. At the time of writing (August 2008), I have five tattoos: selecting which experience to chronicle first was difficult but I eventually decided on my third tattoo – a nautical star just below my left elbow.

Now, I'm sure you are thinking "Oh no, another clichéd star tattoo and another clichéd star tattoo experience". Well, I would agree on the former, but definitely not the latter. My star tattoo is fairly clichéd, I'll admit. It's green and black and, yes everyone has stars. However, I don't think that there is necessarily anything wrong with having a few hackneyed tattoos. I have/am going to have some ink that is far less popular, so I am allowing myself this indulgence. Also, to a degree I think that you project your own individuality and story onto each tattoo.

I had decided to get this tattoo for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I honestly get aesthetic enjoyment from nautical stars and wanted one adorning my skin. The fact that the star was a nautical one was also important for me, as the star stands for safe journeys, and a return to home. Both of these were concepts that are applicable in my life and my family relations. And finally, honestly...I wanted to feel the buzz again. The indefinable high that comes with getting inked and (for me) the knowledge that you are altering your body permanently, beautifully.

Anyway, enough of that! So, on the day in question, in early May 2008 I went to my usual tattoo shop in Nottingham. (N.B. I strongly recommend Access All Areas for both tattoos and piercings – Martin has done all of my ink so far and I have had my lip and tongue pierced by Paddy and they all do a great job.) I had been in a few days before and got the design blown up so it could be the correct size I wanted. I am always very paranoid about time, and so ended up arriving at the studio about twenty minutes before my actual appointment! It was a weekday, so the shop wasn't too busy so I took a seat, filled out the usual form, browsed the flash and read my Salman Rushdie book whilst I waited. I considered myself fairly able to cope with pain, but was a little nervous as this tattoo was going to be on a fairly bony place.

When it was my turn, I went upstairs and told Martin exactly where I wanted the tattoo, and that I would like it to be green and black. He said something about 'always seeing' me and I laughed as my almost constant presence there has become a bit of a joke! I sat down, he put the transfer on and ensured that he had correct gloves etc and we began. I sat facing away from Martin with my left arm stretched out behind my back so that he could tattoo effectively. It really wasn't as painful as I was expecting – obviously I could feel the needle, but was most definitely bearable. Martin commented on how well I was sitting and that he could tattoo me 'all day', which was pretty sweet.

As the tattoo progressed, I chatted to Martin about my degree, tattoos in general and various topics. At one point I asked him if there are any designs that he gets sick of doing and he gave me a look and said 'stars' which was rather funny. He didn't say it in a malicious way and I promised not to get anymore star tattoos from him. He did make the point that, as bored he may get doing the same design, it's his job and everyone likes and dislikes different aspects of their job. The conversation took a more serious turn when he noticed the scars on my arm and made a comment about it, and before I know it we're having a fairly involved and very helpful discussion about self harm and the psychology behind it. I mentioned to him about my desire to (one day) get a colourful half sleeve to cover up these, and he said that he would be able to do that. So, fingers crossed, I will be talking about my half sleeve experience on BME!

After about twenty five minutes the session was over, and I was very pleased with the latest addition to my body art collection. It may be a simple design, but it was a great session and I love this tattoo :)

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Martin
Studio: Access+All+Areas
Location: Nottingham%2C+United+Kingdom

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