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My First Time

Like any teenager, when I hit the age of 14/15 I began to think, "Wouldn't it be AWESOME if I had a tattoo?" And, of course, like any teenager my friend agreed. She was an artist and quickly scribbled up some ideas for the both of us, and the next day we were off on a hunt to see where we could get these beauties done; needless to say, it didn't happen. We were not only broke, but most places wouldn't do anything until we are 18. I don't really mind – looking back on it, I'd have been seriously disappointed in myself if I got stuck with one of those on-the-fly designs. My desire for a tattoo never really died, though, but I began to consider a lot of things about them that put me off of the idea. I wasn't pretty enough, they didn't suit me, people would laugh, I don't do pain well ... It was my eyebrow piercing that changed all that. After the piercing, the thought of a tattoo began to reign supreme once more, and for the past year I have been altering and planning a d esign that would be perfect. (Here, I define perfect as a tattoo that means more to me than something pretty to look at, and something that works with everything that defines me.) Money saved up, design settled upon, I knew I was ready.

Choosing Bushido wasn't really that hard. Not only had it been recommended to me by people back in British Columbia, but I couldn't find one person who had something bad to say about it. Not to mention, the artists are so immensely talented that I found myself creeping their online portfolios multiple times. Booking the appointment was one of the easiest things I've ever done. The receptionist was totally chill, and that, combined with the atmosphere of the shop, put me at ease and only aided in reassuring me that this was the right thing to do. Appointment booked, deposit paid, all I had to do was go home and wait for three weeks.

Three weeks later. It's the big day. Skipping class in favour of getting in some extra sleep, the only thing I had to sit through was a meeting at work. Time ticked by slowly. Sure enough, I made it to the shop fifteen minutes early (alone, because both friends who were meant to come with me had other engagements). Getting more and more nervous, I tried to kill time by playing Brick Breaker. Funny enough, I wasn't nearly as nervous as when I got my eyebrow pierced. The artist came out and showed me the design, which I immediately approved, then continued to set up her station. After what seemed a LOT longer than three minutes, it was time for things to get under way.

I did everything I read a newbie should do. After placing the stencil on my calf, I stood in front of the mirror until I was absolutely sure that was where I wanted it to be. Position approved, I hopped up on the chair. She did a small line to show me how it felt. My initial thoughts? Not bad at all. In fact, it hurt a lot less than I thought it would. It wasn't even that uncomfortable. And luckily for me, my artist I and I had plenty in common. We spent our time geeking out over comic books and superheroes, talking about our families. There still wasn't much discomfort. The worst part was the lettering and the part of the tattoo that hit my shin. The coolest part? Feeling the vibrations of the needle in my teeth when it got close to the back of my knee (no joke!). Because it was my first, I chose a simple design that required no shading. By the time twenty minutes had passed, everything was finished. It was perfect. She nailed the comic-book feel and the the me. Everyone I've shown it to thinks that it's done in sharpie, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

I wasted no time in admiring it in the mirror before it was covered. The following few hours were hard. For a while, I wasn't sure that I did the right thing. I got worried that I'd made a big mistake and that I was going to regret this the next day. Once the bandage came off, though, I was in love all over again. Every time I look at my calf, I can't stop smiling. It's kind of a surreal feeling. Sometimes when I look at it, I try to remember which of my friends drew on me, then I have to pause and remember all over again that it's permanently there. Not to mention that it's healing well (helped along by following the after-care instructions, of course). There's also been hardly any pain. Believe everyone who says it feels like a scratched sunburn or road rash – that's exactly how it feels.

Needless to say, I, like many others before me, am already planning Number Two and I'll be returning to Bushido for it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 19 Oct. 2009
in Tattoos

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Artist: Teika+Hudson
Studio: Bushido
Location: Calgary%2C+Alberta%2C+Canada

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