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A new heart

I started body modifications about twelve years ago. I've been tattooed for the first time about eight years ago. I've been suspended six times so far. I had scarifications done. I had broken bones. I had motorcycle crashes. I had third degree burns. I can take pain.

But damn it, this one hurt!

Let me explain.

I had this idea, a few months ago, to get my chest tattooed. At first I didn't know what to get, I just liked the idea of having a big piece in the middle of my chest. But slowly, the idea of getting a heart grew in my mind, so I started researching. This piece has another meaning as well, as it will ultimately have a latin inscription floating around it, but for the moment I was focusing on the heart itself, its style. I'm not a big fan of old school hearts, and I've always wanted a realistic piece on me. So I started looking into anatomical designs. I chatted about it with Marshall, who did this piece, and he was really interested in doing some realistic work in that vein. A couple of weeks ago, I found an anatomical chart that had just the right design, so I decided to book in.

Marshall had already worked on me, and he's more than an excellent artist, so i had total faith in his skills. I showed him the design, and he booked me in for the next week. He was excited, and so was I.

I had done a few long sittings on some of my ink, but I was a little anxious about getting my chest done. All the people I talked to who had it done told me that it really was no picnic. I was a bit worried. But hell, I can take pain, I'll be alright.

Yeah, right. This was the single most painful experience I can recall. Four and a half hours of pain. Actually, the first hour was alright, the second started to be difficult, and from the third on I was really really tense. By the fourth hour I had to take a couple of minutes breaks every twenty minutes or so. I couldn't even talk to my mates who were popping in to see the work. I know it sounds lame, but I did cry. A few tears jumped out of my eyes and there was sweet fuck all I could do about it. But then I went for a smoke and it was better.

The outline was easy enough. Not a happy place to be, but still, I was not in hell. I thought at the time, "fuck, that hurts! I hope the shading's gonna be easier!"

Surprisingly, I thought that the sides of the heart where it slightly goes over the sides of the breasts would be the most painful, but I was wrong. The sternum is a nightmare. The top of the heart sits just under the line of the collarbones and it was really hard to deal with it. I really cannot say which part hurt the most. I was just in pain. And the spray, to clean up the ink, which usually is a relief, was just making me jump. The pain was radiating, and pumping, almost beating like my heart, which was racing at a hundred miles an hour. I was trying to focus on breathing deeply, tried to take my mind off it and think about other things; I tried to be brave and embrace it, and take it all, but nothing worked.

I couldn't believe it. But the heart was growing, was taking shape, was getting anchored on/in me. It was right. Just right.

Marshall was feeling sorry for me, and I was getting so tense my neck muscles were twitching and I had unvoluntary muscle spasms. But we finally got it done. I got up, a bit light-headed, and had a look at my heart. It was beautiful. It was mine. I'm in love with my heart. This guy has gold in his hands.

I would go through all that again without hesitation. I think it reminded me that you need sometimes to suffer to get what you want. It was a good experience. It was really a rite of passage for me. For the first time in ages, I really have been pushed out of my comfort zone, I had to endure Pain. I was mightily surprised. I felt really tired, a bit drained and vague afterwards, but oh so glad and happy. I'm still sore, my neck is still tense, and my heart is still tender and weeping a bit. But I love it. I am so proud of it.

People told me that I should not get a piece done that high, where it can be seen, as it might ruin my future prospects. Then I show them the "stay down" tattooed on my knuckles and they laugh nervously. This piece is beautiful, an absolute masterpiece, and I will proudly show it off. I'll flash people if I have to!

Thank you so much Marshall for that.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Marshall
Studio: Third+Eye+Tattoo
Location: Melbourne

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