This story takes place in 2000 and is a tale of a decision I would take again every day for the rest of my life. Well, I had just turned 21, decided on the image and the placement, all I needed was the opportunity for my first tattoo an elaborate five pointed star (who knew all those years ago just how popular they would become!).
Even though at that time I lived about 5 minutes from Camden Town, the tattoo capital of the UK, I waited until I went to stay with my best mate in Bournemouth. The night I arrived we did what we always did - went out on the lash and got to bed rather later than planned. The whole night I was going on about wanting a tattoo and how I had decided that this was to be the time. I think my friend thought that I'd forget about the idea of going under the needle and it was a show of drunken bravado but after she saw I'd had a design stuck on my mirror for a month and had obviously thought long and hard about it she agreed to help me out.
The next morning I reworked my original design using a stick on glow-in-the-dark star from my mate's ceiling (well, inspiration can strike from the most unlikely sources), adding smaller points between the 5 existing points and some extra little squiggles and fell in love with it as soon as I'd drawn it.
Now to find the artist, I think the internet (still a fledgling resource at the time) would have been useful rather than the method I used. Acting on a recommendation from a flatmate of my friend, complete with identikit tribal artwork on his arm as to a suitable studio we wandered into town to a small building round the back from the main street. I hadn't quite managed breakfast but we'd arrived at the shop (I don't think I paid attention to the name at the time) and my lovely friend who is terrified of needles threw me (literally) into the shop and held the door closed behind me so there was no escape even if I had I wanted to. Far from it - I was up for it.
Now, I would totally not recommend getting tattooed whilst hungover and to be honest if I had worked in the store I would have told me to go away, or at least checked if I'd eaten but I was quite friendly and chatty so must have seemed OK. I handed over my glorified doodle, discussed a couple of amendments to the edges to incorporate some shading rather than the thicker lines I had put on. The next thing I knew it was on a stencil on my back and I was leaning over with that buzzing noise reminding me that a permanent reminder of a brilliant time of my life was being inked onto me. About halfway through I was a little bit light headed (something to do with not having eaten the pain was near non-existent) and was allowed to stop for a glass of water but within a few minutes it was all done. The worst bits were these little circles I had put around the edge which felt like drilling into my skin but apart from that it was pretty easy going.
I get the feeling that I was really lucky to be able to wander in without an appointment and think it was good timing as the artist obviously had a client due straight after me - maybe it was because my design was small and I had a clear idea of what was wanted that meant he could finish in a matter of minutes.
I was then patched up with some wadding and told about aftercare, which I think went into my head but I promptly forgot. Fortunately I could ask a number of customers in the Camden pub I worked in for how to do the aftercare and therefore it healed beautifully.
My lovely supportive friend then turned up with a sandwich and a chocolate bar and guess which was eaten first!
I still love my tattoo 9 years later and whilst I might not have been physically prepared I had done my research about the design and placement, which to be fair is the bit that lasts forever. I'm extremely pleased I did the design myself as I have a story to go with my design. Ever since I had my first tattoo I knew I would do it again and waited for a design that made me feel the same way I did when I first saw that star and how I have felt every time I have seen it since. It took nearly 9 years before I did, but that's another story!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008