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The Tribal Experience

all started as a joke really, my Uncles and I were joking on how we were going to go out and get a tattoo together, Of course at this time it "was" a joke, but weeks and eventually a month later, I actually was beginning to think about it.

I only just turned 17 at the time and like the look of a tribal design, basically ever since I saw Pamela Anderson's, bare Wire tattoo, I knew that's the kind of design I wanted. I finally asked me parents, about what they would think of me getting one, for real. And surprisingly they said "it's your own decision, you old even to make that, and as long as you have the money I'll sign for you. And I thought "Cool!"

When I heard this, I had my mind set on the identical Barb Wire as Pam, after being freaked out with an outrageous price, I figured I'd save up and look for designs, and eventually my design changed. When I first went into to the tattoo shop, its was amazing how all the walls were covered with Flash designs I didn't feel like I belonged in there, probably because I never thought I'd ever get one.

When it was time to get into the chair, I was nervous of course, I read the FAQ and experiences from other people to get an idea. But it wasn't anything compared to what I was bout to go through. I picked my Tribal design, and was going to get it on my left upper-arm.. I pulled up my sleeve and got the tattoo outline applied to make sure it was to my liking and it was. And then sat back down, and went through the preparations of cleaning the skin, and shaving the area.

When I started to hear the buzzing of the needle close by, I got nervous, I tensed up, feeling a quick pinching, almost burning sensation on my arm. after making it through one line, I opened my eyes and said to myself "oh god, its going to be like this" Because at the time it "did" hurt. I made it through the outline, it took about 30mins to complete the outline and almost wanted to call it quits when it got under my arm. It burned so much to the point of burning and then I was glad I wasn't getting it all the way around, but it was close enough.

When the outline was done, I was asked if I wanted to take a break and so I did, and looked at the permanent black outline now on my arm, and I thought, "this is cool". it came to the point where my arm became numb so I was ready to finish. Coloring of it was a piece of cake, I hardly felt anything during this process, only when it came to the area under my arm did I feel something. This process took about an Hour. Throughout out all this time, I never watched it being done, fearing that I might fear out, from what I saw. So I keep looking at the walls covered in tattoo designs and carried on a conversation with the artist.

This is something that you should do. The artist doesn't know how you feel, or if you want to take a break so it's important to tell them. Usually they'll ask you, just make sure you tell them and don't try to act too tough

When it was all over, I was really worried about nothing, all the bad stories that people has heard were just a joke, you really have to go through it in order to get the truth about it. After It was all done I afraid to move my arm, is was very sore and was all bandaged up. Ounce Neosporin was placed on it and then bandaged up I was instructed on how to take care of it. I wanted to keep in moist and keep it out of the sun.

I took care of it as instructed and to days after I showed it off at school, being the only kid with a tattoo everyone was looking and asking about it. It felt good to be "maybe idolized" in a way. More and more people asked the typical question "did it hurt" and I try to tell them my experience, whether they believe it or not. Some of the younger kids saw me as a "bad ass" for having one. Others curiosity and it sure brought allot of attention toward the girls.

After this first Tattoo, seeing how I was in the chair for at least 2hours for my first one, I began to miss that "feel" you get when getting a tattoo, so about a month later. I sought out my next one, which ended up on my Ankle, this piece is a personal one which I don't normally show, it has recently meant a lot more to me now, then at the time when I got it. I ended up with a Japanese Kanji Character symbolizing "Life". Which is placed on my inner ankle. At least 2 months after that, I ended up partially designing my own tribal wrist-band, which is placed on my right wrist. I'd suggest that if your thinking of getting a tattoo, don't get it on your wrist, for one it swells up quite a bit and becomes very annoying and achy. This happens for at least 3-4 days and it unless you get your design to completely go around your wrist. (I didn't) the design will "not" look even, if you originally placed it that way. By turning your wrist your stretching the skin, in turn making the tattoo move. So at first glance it'll look off centered.

It's now about a year later, and I'm going on my 4th tattoo, seeing how I'm going to be 18 I'm going to be getting it after my birthday. Right now I'm planning on getting a dragon on my Right back/shoulder. While searching for my first tattoos I was looking at the dragons thinking that they were way too big or I didn't find the right one, but I have. I'm planning on asking for "New Skool" colors to be added to it, in Blue.

  • Justin


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 April 1999
in Tattoos

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