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third of what will be many

So today I went in for my third tattoo!

My first was a religious choice, but my second was more of an aesthetic choice, so I felt it was time for another religious one. I'm not one to push my religion down others throats, but I like having these 'reminders' on my skin.

The image I chose came from many sources. It came from a George Harrison DVD, it came from online, it came from my own head and I've had it kicking around for a year and felt it was finally time. I have always been interested in Eastern religions and the theories behind chakras are very interesting. The image I chose also happens to be a really beautiful piece and the kind of thing I love seeing on other people.

My plan is to have 3 religious tats on my upper back, and this was to be the base of the line, so I chose to have it practically in the middle of my back. I like this placement, it is more unusual than the lower back, and easier to hide (which I like because it's more of a surprise when people see it for the first time. In fact, every person I dealt with in the studio assumed it was my first tattoo, I must have one of those faces.)

I'd used the studio before and they seemed good, not as good as my usual White Flame, but good enough. The artist who had done my first one (beautifully) had left and so the design was taken on by Nushka. I had gone in yesterday to book and the guy on the counter seemed really nice and helpful so I wasn't worried. While this morning he was just as nice, this was not as favourable an experience as the last two have been.

The room was small and cramped, there was only room for one friend to sit with me, so the other had to leave and come back later. I was also asked to lie on a bed with a leather pillow! If the bed itself hadn't been covered in a hygienic sheet I would no doubt have left there and then.

We didn't really talk about my design, I wasn't even asked about ink and I began to feel a bit worried about the whole thing, last time we'd discussed thickness of line and colour and shading and all kinds of things, but these never came up. I figured I'd wait and see the transfer, and if I didn't like it I could say.

Nushka applied the transfer, and I felt a bit more confident, fortunately it was in the right place and looked great.

The next part was probably the most painful mod yet. The last one on my back hadn't hurt that much, but it was higher up, smaller and far more delicate, so I wasn't really surprised by the pain. It took just under 2 hours and I was good to go.

It is interesting to note the different aftercare routines that different studios recommend. The last one said I should keep the tat covered for a full week and only get it wet to soak it every other day. Here I was told to keep the cling film on for a few hours then wash and apply baby creams a few times a day. Think I'll stick with the former routine.

I felt a bit like just another person in a line, not like an individual customer, which is how I think you should feel in this situation. I felt like she had no interest in me or my mods, and maybe it's just me, but that seems like a pretty bad outlook to have in such a profession. She also seemed pretty desperate for me to have a bigger piece and to use colour, but it seems to me that if a customer clearly isn't interested in that then there is really no point pushing the issue. On the other hand, she was smiley and polite and did keep asking if I was okay.

It wasn't a perfect experience, and I certainly didn't feel as comfortable with Nushka as I have with other artists, but at least she did a fairly good job of my tat. I get the feeling that Area 51 is the kind of place chavs go to get names of people they'll be with for a few months tattooed or teens getting jokey tats, but not a very professional place, which is a shame because I remember it being so much nicer first time round. At least at the moment the piece looks great and I just hope it heals just as well. I also means I'm going to have to have my first one thickened up a bit to suit, but that is something I have been thinking about for a while


submitted by: Loz-fairy
on: 26 March 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Nushka
Studio: Area+51
Location: Basingstoke

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