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Phoenix Scarification

I'm going to start this off with an introduction, and my reasoning behind my choices, then I will get into the details of the experience.

I've been fascinated with scars since I was a young boy, and as I grew up, the more I saw, and the more I got on my own body, the more I loved them. Then, a couple of years ago, I saw scarification on bmezine.com, when it was first coming out into the public. Though most of the pieces were self inflicted, or poorly done, they still intrigued me to no end. In the next year to come, scarification blew up, and you could see more and more people getting them, as well as tons of artists developing skills, and techniques for doing them. From branding to cutting, even chemical scarification! Needless to say, the more I saw the more I had to have my own scarification done.

So I jumped at the chance to go to Texas and meet someone I've known for over six years, that has a friend that does scarification. Though I was nervous as hell, the little work of his I saw came out really clean, giving me a little bit of confidence in him. I researched plane ticket prices, waited too long and paid three hundred and twenty dollars (320) to fly out to Texas for a week. Met up with my good friend, and had quite a fun time before heading off to talk to the Artist. When I finally got a chance to meet Lance, I was pretty damn nervous, and informed him of what I wanted. He agreed to it, and later that night I dropped off the scribbled up cheap drawing of what I wanted.

Now I can't draw for sht people! I basically handed this man one of the shttiest drawings he had to have ever seen. It looked like a flaming chicken that got ran over by a truck... After looking at the scribble and being informed that I wanted it to be a full back piece, Lance informed me that he may have to make changes to actually be able to cut it into my back. I was fine with that, since I can't draw worth a damn, and was hoping he would be able to draw something mean up. Well, when I returned to see what he had drawn up, I was highly impressed! It wasn't what I initially drew, but it was one amazing looking phoenix! All I could think about was YES! That has got to be cut into my back! There was no changing my mind after seeing what Lance had started drawing up! It took him a bit of time to get the drawing actually completed to where he felt comfortable with it, but the wait was well forth the finished product!

When I got the word to come down and get cut, I was incredibly anxious to get it started, and once we arrived at the shop, I grew extremely nervous. Never of have had any form of scarification done before, and jumping straight into a back piece, only two days after doing a forty minute 4-point suicide suspension (my first suspension mind you), I was definitely choking on the butterflies!

After chain smoking, Lance gave me the word to come to the back of the shop, where he and one of his tattoo artists began to sterilize my back, and position the phoenix templates. After the templates were on, Lance made a few adjustments to the template by hand with a marker, and then I was cleaned up a bit. I proceeded to run outside and smoke another cigarette, because I knew what lied ahead, was not going to be any walk in the park! When it finally came time to go to the room, my heart was pounding, and the adrenalin was already raging! Lance proceeded to put some form of towels down, that appeared to have a thick almost rubber like coat on them (If I recall correctly) to keep my blood from spilling all over his table. That made me pretty damn nervous, and the adrenalin was pumping even stronger... But, I swallowed it down, and jumped up on the table, and laid on my stomach, ready to go.

Lance asked me if I was ready, and I told him yes, so he began to go to work. I cant even describe to you how it felt, waiting to feel the first cut of that scalpel through my flesh, I don't know if it was more nervousness, excitement, or even fear! Then... as he stretched my skin, I was just waiting for it, not knowing if it was going to be more pain then I could take, or if it would be tolerable.. As the scalpel began to slice through my flesh, it hurt. Though at first it wasn't really a pain, but more of an extreme discomfort, it quickly turned into a pain the more he cut. As he cut long lines, I could literally feel the scalpel dragging through my skin, and the friction of my skin against the blade. At the same time I could feel my skin literally coming apart, which was really an odd sensation!

Though I'd like to think I handled the initial outline pretty good, at the end of the outline, I was feeling it, oh god was I feeling it! My whole body began shaking uncontrollably, and the only thoughts going through my mind, were squeeze the sh*t out of the table, DON'T move my back, and stare directly at Jennifer's thighs, which oddly seemed to help quite a bit.. To the point, I would grab her and pull her back in front of me. It helped me to zone out as much as possible. Though when she tried to comfort me and rub my arm, I instantly slipped out of my zoning, and the pain grew by the second... As you can probably imagine, that ended quick, and I was back to staring at her thighs...

Right into the end of the initial outline... it HURT so f*cking bad; especially on the lower back, and spine... and I began shaking even worse, but was still capable of keeping my back pretty still. It didn't take long now, for me to start moaning and squealing in pain, grunting, and arrr'in like a pirate... Lance was exceptionally well at keeping me talking, and trying to relax me a bit. Cracking some jokes, when I was really freaking out, or telling me what it's looking like; which was a driving point to keep going. Then, at last the outline was finished! Hooray right!? Wrong!

After a short break, and a cigarette, it was time for session number two! Which consisted of evening out the lines, and making them thicker/deeper. Let me tell you people... This sh*t hurt! This is when I began squealing like a btch, and kicking my feet down on the end of the table in pain. If there was a sound of pain to be made, I'm pretty sure I made it, as I struggled to make it to completion... As time went by, the pain grew more and more, to literally an unbearable feeling at times. I'd ask him to stop, and he would proceed to move onto another location, saying it's almost done, and easing my mind a bit. But every location he went to, hurt incredibly bad! So of course, I was squealing like a btch! :) As I neared the very end, I didn't think I could take the pain any longer, and said you have to stop! Lance told me something like, its almost done you only have a few more lines to go. Sensing completion was near... I let him carry on. At this point so much time had gone by, and his and my effort to get through this cutting, that it would only be right to have it finished.. Of course the back of my mind totally disagreed, and I continued to tuff it out while squealing, and kicking my legs around. It was all good because the end was near! The end took forever to get to, I thought I was going to friggin die. But... the end did come, and the last thing to do was, have me sit up on the table, so he could get to the part of the phoenix' wing that wraps around my shoulder. Knowing it was almost done, it was go time, and yes it hurt like a mother fcking btch too! As I btched and moaned during the last bit of cutting Lance was doing, he said 'that's good enough, you think?' FCK YEAH I thought that was good enough!

After completion, I was rubbed down with Technicare Which was bearable, but did burn quite a bit. Let me tell you folks... Never in my life have I felt that much pain! Never could I even imagine that much pain, but on the flip side, never had I been so thrilled and completely ecstatic about a modification being completed. Sure a tattoo stings a bit, but you can sit through it quite easily, and take the pain. This... No way! This sht took effort to get through, this sht took every bit of anything inside me to get through, and when it was finished... The feeling was just indescribable! There it was! A beautiful phoenix cut into my back, and Lance did an EXCEPTIONAL job!

Moving on to after the scarification was finished... I put my shirt on to not bleed all over the place, and my shirt proceeded to get stuck to the bloody wounds. Yeah, that was a great feeling peeling that shirt up, it wasn't too painful, after what I had just went through... not much else could be considered painful. After I got the shirt unstuck, my back began to start drying up, and coagulating, causing the skin to feel almost leathery tight. As I bent from side to side, I could feel it split back open and, could also feel as the blood ran down my back, to my ass. It was a great feeling honestly; just knowing it was done, and there... Oh yeah!

Since i'm typing this, as I heal, i'll go ahead and let everyone reading this, know how i'm taking care of it. I wash it with dial soap in the morning, then soak in the bath, after the soak, it loosens up the scabs, and makes it easier to scrub them off. I then take a medium bristle back washing brush and scrub all the scabs off. This doesn't hurt to terribly bad, but tends to be pretty sore on my spine. After that I jump back in the bath, and give it another soak, followed by a towel rub down, to pull scabs I missed off. I repeat this process twice a day, except at night I put vaseline on it, and wrap myself in syran wrap, preventing the cuts from drying out and scabbing worse. I've also done sea salt soaks, by pouring a bunch of sea salt into the bath tube, and soaking in it. As well as putting a peroxide/baking soda paste on it, to help loosen the scabs up, so I can scrub them off.

There is no way to thank Lance Gremillion enough, for what he has given me, and given the chance to go back and do it all over, knowing how much it was going to hurt.. I would do it in a f*cking heart beat! I'm so thrilled with my back... It's never looked better since the day of my creation!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 Nov. 2004
in Scarification

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Artist: Lance+Gremillion
Studio: Amillion+Tattoo%27s
Location: Austin%2CTX

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