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Aramaic Ink

Back in February, I became a Christian. It was pretty crazy, a really random spiritual experience that I never thought would happen to me, but it made me feel amazing. I knew I wanted to remember the feeling forever. In search of something to put on my body, I read through the New Testament, specifically the book of Mark, and came across something perfect-- in Mark 5, Jesus raises a girl from the dead, saying to her "Talitha Koum," or "little girl, get up." I thought it was pretty descriptive of what I felt my life had gone through, from atheism to Christianity, so I made the decision to get it permanently inscribed on myself. I had an itch for something-- I had just taken out my nipple rings, and hadn't gotten a piercing besides ear lobes and cartilage for about 6 months. After doing quite a bit of research online, I found the Aramaic lettering for the passage (turns out it is actually written "Talitha Kumi," but the 'i' is unvoiced) and chose a font I liked (it was to ugh to find fonts for a dead language...), then printed it out.

I looked around for studios-- the one in my college town had recently closed, and I didnt want to go all the way to the Cities to St. Sabrina's, but fortunately Aloha Monkey was closer and had good reviews. I got my boyfriend to drop me off on his way to band practice, after getting some food so I wouldn't pass out...my roommate was going to come with and get something done, but didn't have the money for it. We drove by it like three times, sine it was in a strip mall without a big sign. I only had to wait there for a little bit, (because I forgot to make an appointment), so I admired the flash and watched some high-schoolers freak out about getting their bellybuttons pierced. Pretty amusing, though it made me want to get something pierced and I didn't have the money for both that day! The studio was really nice and clean, and Doug was so friendly. He was joking around with me, asking the story behind my design, and was really talkative, which helped me to relax. I asked him whether I should get black or brown (I thought brown might look more natural, but I didn't want any crazy colors), and he said black would fade less, so I went with that. We went over sizing, then he put the design on transfer. He cleaned me up and shaved off my little fuzzies (I got it on my back, right above my bra strap), then put the paper on and checked the placement with me. I was pretty nervous, since it was my first tattoo (aside from a little pin-and-ink thing from when I was 13--BAD IDEA--), and I had only actually decided to go through with it a few days before, but he talked me through everything. It was a little awkward, since I was sitting backwards on a chair and couldn't see what he was doing, so it was really nice that he kept me in the loop.

My design had a lot of tracing, as it was lettering, so the needle hurt quite a bit, but was over in like 20 minutes. It felt like the very tip of an exacto knife being scraped along my back, but concentrating on the pain gave me something to think about besides how much my parents would freak out when they saw me in my bathing suit. It was over quickly, though, and then Doug put on the bandages. He told me to buy some A&D ointment, gave me an aftercare sheet, and I paid ($100, plus tip, which was kind of expensive, but I didn't mind). He warned me there would be some itching and peeling over the next few days, and not to scratch or the ink would come off. I walked about a mile to Barnes and Noble to wait for my boyfriend, and looked at tattoo magazines for the next hour! It hurt for a few days, but nothing terrible (actually no peeling!), and now it's gorgeous! People stop me all the time when I'm wearing a tank top and ask me what it means-- I've even had some Israel i immigrants stop me in the mall and start speaking to me in Hebrew! I'm glad I picked something really special to me, in a place that wouldn't stretch and that I could cover up for work. Doug is great, and I definitely plan to go to him the next time I want some decoration! Doug is a great artist, with a great sense of humor, and I highly recommend Aloha Monkey for anyone south of the Cities.


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

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Artist: Doug
Studio: Aloha+Monkey
Location: Burnsville%2C+MN

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