My first tattoo, on a foreign continent, no less!
On September 22, 2008, my Grandma took me to Europe. Now, I'm 18, and the farthest I had been was Minneapolis. Being born in Winnipeg did not leave me with a worldly air, but instead made me desperate to travel.
In Germany, I knew I wanted to have my first tattoo. An aunt, who I had met only days before, called the family tattoo artist and he booked me in. My grandma, on the other hand, was having a fit. She did not want me to get one at all. It goes against everything she believes in.
Well, we traveled to Hungary for 10 days, and I decided to postpone my tattoo. The trip was fabulous, but I knew I wanted the tattoo.
When I came back to the family in Germany, I decided to do it, against my grandma's wishes. My aunt took me out of the small town of Obrigheim, and we arrived at a house.
I was hesitant when I saw the outside, as it was rundown, but the inside was incredibly clean and well-kept. Apparently it had not looked like this before, and my aunt and cousin were both equally surprised at the clean inside.
The artist spoke only German, and I spoke only English, leaving my aunt to translate back and forth.
I chose the 'Compass Rose' without the round outside piece as my first tattoo. It was meant to represent both the trip, and the prospect of future travel. It has also traditionally meant 'Coming home safely' or always being able to find my way home. I thought it was fitting, considering I definitely caught the travelers bug after the trip. I chose the colours red and black, with the 'N' symbol coloured in red, and the 'S,W,E' all in black.
We compromised on the lettering, and the stencil was then put on my foot. I decided that it was a nice place to get it. It was easily covered, but also would be striking in shoes, I hoped.
Well, the tattoo was relatively painless. My foot kept slipping off the table, and it had to be readjusted, and it did flex on its own, because of the acupuncture sites, I suppose. I could not believe it did not hurt. I was so worried about the pain, and then it felt non-existent. Closer to the toes, it started to ache. My aunt and cousin held my hand the whole time, haha. The shading and outlining was done basically simultaneously, which I was not totally prepared for. I was expecting to have the outline done, and then the shading, but as I looked down, all the outlining and black shading was being done at the same time :)
My cousin also had a slight bit of fading on her wrist tattoo, so he cleaned me up, and put his equipment in the autoclave, and touched hers up as she was there. It's a great tattoo of her name 'Melissa' in Japanese lettering.
Well, aftercare was a bit tough for me. It's hard to travel and have a new tattoo to maintain, but I think it worked out.
I was also not completely sure of aftercare instructions, so I just sorta dealt with what I knew. The artist gave me a lemon-scented cream to put on it 3 times a day, and I did so. The only thing was that I wore socks and shoes, and the socks would stick to the cream, irritating the tattoo. Also, I was not sure about showers, and just had one 24 hours later, and it seemed to be okay, I just dipped my foot in, and then let it rest outside the tub.
My grandma still hates the tattoo, but is just glad it is small and can be concealed :)
It's now over a month old, and is doing fine. I am still dealing with a little scabbing at the tips of the star, and have found that a small bit of the red has faded on the inside, but I will have it touched up eventually.
I absolutely love the tattoo. It is definitely a tattoo I can showcase or keep to myself easily. I still love the idea of being able to find my way to wherever I may need to go, and am already looking for my next tattoo. I knew it was addictive, but wow, I'm afraid I won't be able to stop!
I recommend both the artist, and the position of the tattoo. Both were amazing. I would just recommend that, if you have a foot tattoo, be able to look after it properly, as I hear they are a bit more susceptible to bleeding and harsher healing. Also, being able to speak with the artist would be a big hit, but I can't imagine getting my tattoo anywhere else now. It was the first big trip of my life, and it was a wonderful way to remember it.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008