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Tattoos on Toes

I got my first tattoo done yesterday, and since I have found so much useful information in the experiences of other BME users, I figured I would return the favor and write in with an experience of my own.

I've always wanted to get tattoos, ever since I was a little kid, but I took my time in deciding exactly what I wanted, and where I wanted it. I have a few ideas of tattoos I'd like to get in the future, but I wanted to find one that would really be perfect as a 'first' for me. I went back and forth between a number of symbols in my life: family, birth place, religious views. Nothing really stood out.

I'm a college student - an English major with a love for words - and one day while writing an essay, I tripped across a word to add to my collection of words with large numbers of consonants in a row (yes, I'm a loser). The word Worthwhile has five consecutive consonants. Delighted by my most recent addition, I started to think about the word itself. I've struggled with depression for a large part of my life. Sometimes when I used to get particularly sad, I would write words on my feet to remind me of my own humanity, that there was hope for me to no longer be stuck in the rut of depression. Worthwhile was one of the words I often used. Still being a nerd, I counted the number of letters in the word - ten - and thought maybe it would be nice to have it tattooed across all ten toes... But I remembered being told that foot tattoos are of the most painful variety, so I put that idea on hold.

In the meantime, I was reading a book by the Dalai Lama called The Art of Happiness. In this phenomenal work, His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains that one of the first steps to becoming a happy, and an actualized person is accepting one's own self-worth. I thought heavily about this, and the relation to my own struggle with depression. I had also recently taken a restorative yoga class, in which we learned about the respect deserved by one's feet. The toes were a go, I had decided.

I went into Black Cat Tattoo in Boise with a friend of mine to make an appointment with artist Sean Wyett, whom I have known for a while. We set up the appointment to be a few weeks later. During the wait, I only got more and more excited, and I continued to hear more and more of just how much foot tattoos hurt. It rattled my nerves a little, but there was no chance of changing my mind now.

I spent a lot of time exploring websites full of fonts, trying to decide on a suitable one. I considered traditional tattoo lettering with the thick bars, maybe filled with a color, but I have small toes and didn't think the letters would fit well. I decided to wait until the day of my appointment to look at fonts with Sean, to get his opinion.

The day came, just soon enough, and I found myself standing on a table while Sean stenciled the letters on my toes. I chose a different style of traditional tattoo lettering, simple lines with a little curve to each - perfect. He told me I wouldn't be able to wear shoes for a while, which I understood, though unfortunately I don't own any sandals and am currently borrowing a pair of worn-out flip flops from my roommate. Sean had me lay down with my feet at the end of the bench. Two friends came with me, both of whom have tattoos, and not knowing what to expect, I braced myself by holding one of their hands tight. He started the first letter - my first reaction was, "Oh my gosh, this isn't nearly as bad as I thought!" I smiled the whole time. It hurt more when he crossed the little bones in each toe, but I expected that. The whole thing took less than ten minutes.

It's a little over 24 hours later as I write this. My toes only really felt sore for the first couple of hours; now I don't feel anything. Walking hasn't been a problem at all. I can wear loose slippers and not feel a thing, though I'll wait a while longer to attempt shoes. Overall, it was a great experience. I would say less painful than getting my nipples pierced, and less painful than gauging my ears up to 3/4".

So that's my story, and I hope it helped someone make a good choice about tattoos on toes. I would highly recommend the experience. Enjoy!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Sean+Wyett
Studio: Black+Cat+Tattoo
Location: Boise%2C+Idaho

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