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Rib Tattoo - an awesome experience, an awesome result.

A couple of days ago, I took the plunge to get my second tattoo. I had been umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting another tatt done for an entire year after getting my first, so when I walked past Wildside Tattoo Studio on Adelaide St, Brisbane I decided that that was the moment to get it done.

My first tattoo was a black outline of a fish hook in probably the most cliched spot ever for a girl - the hip. Gotta start somewhere, right?

This time, I wanted to get something with a little more detail and definitely some colour. I had previously decided on the sanskrit om symbol but didn't really know what else to do with it, and more importantly, I didn't know where I should get it.

So with this design in mind and my nerves ever-increasing, I walked on up the stairs into Wildside. From the moment I entered the shop, I was pretty much filled with confidence. It's probably the cleanest tattoo shop I've ever entered and there's an overwhelming smell of antiseptic - hey, that's gotta be a good sign.

I showed my design to this guy, Don, who drew it up and played around with colours. Now, my art skills and good art results are about as negatively correlated as you can get; given this, I kind of wanted a little more input from Don. However, he was pretty insistent that although he'd advise me if it was going to look bloody awful, the tattoo was going to be on my body for life and hence I should be the one deciding on all of its aspects. Anyway, after asking me about colours that I liked, Don drew up the Om in green (later changed to red, which they were cool with), surrounded by blue wispy clouds. Contrary to my fishhook tattoo experience where the girl who took down my design was pretty, well, rude, Don ensured that I was comfortable with the design and emphasised that he really didn't care if I made him redraw the design a bunch of times - it was going to be on my body for life.

As for where I wanted to get it done, it was either going to be on my ribs, on the right side or else on my inner bicep. I can safely say I know nothing about tattoos, so I asked where the best place would be to get it done. I don't know if Don was speaking from personal experience or if he was just testing my gullibility, but he had said that the inner bicep would be the more painful of the two. I realise that this will make me the subject of naivety, but I was like "Done. It'll go on the Rib". In retrospect, obviously the ribs are going to be more painful than the fleshy inner bicep. D'uh.

I booked in to get my tattoo the next day and met the guy who would be doing the work, Ben Milliken. Now, I know I've only had one tattoo done by this guy, but I've gotta rave about him. He made sure I was absolutely 100% comfortable both with the design and its placement, as well as the pain that was going to ensue (quoting one of the other tattooists: "Is that your first tattoo? Man, that's a fucked up place to get it"). The whole process took near on an hour and we just chatted about tattooing, uni and art in general. It's pretty hard to have a meaningful conversation when someone's jabbing a needle into your side. The pain? Yeah, it bloody hurt - the outline more than the colouring - actually, although the colour (obviously) took longer, it really wasn't that painful at all. Given that I'm a total tattoo newbie, I think he was trying to be as gentle as possible and asked several times during the tattooing process if I was still feeling ok...but hell, I can confidently say that it was the most painful thing that I've ever had done to me.

When I finally had a look at the tattoo, I was amazed. It looked even more awesome on skin than it had done on paper. The colours stand out and really complement each other well. The blue wispy clouds were done freehand and look absolutely fantastic as well. All done and dusted, he made sure I was happy with the tatt and repeatedly told me to call if there were any, even trivial, problems.

Result: it was worth the pain, definitely. I had an awesome experience and would recommend Wildside to anyone wanting a tattoo. Mum absolutely freaked out when I told her, and she proceeded to lecture me about how I am, step by step, ruining my chances of a corporate career (?). Nonetheless, I'm officially addicted and will definitely visit them again for my next.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Oct. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Ben+Milliken
Studio: Wildside+Tattoo+Studio
Location: Brisbane%2C+Qld%2C+Australia

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