The first time I started planning a tattoo (seriously) was in spring 2010 when I was on exchange in Australia. One day I just decided that I'm going to design a tattoo and have it drawn on me. I still have that design and I have been thinking over and over again whether I really want it on my body. It was inspired by Jim Henson's movie 'Labyrinth' (I'm crazy about David Bowie), well more like inspired by the movie and Bowie's lyrics.
But that image would have to be, well not like large large, but bigger than I'd prefer. So I designed this little leaping bunny (3cm). It was supposed to go on the top of my left boob, and I wanted it to be white with pink outline. Long story short, I couldn't go through with it.
A. because it was sooooooooooooooooooo expensive O_o around 60€ for a 3cm bunny and
B. because the tattoo artists said that white and pink design wouldn't work. The bunny would look more like a scar, than a tattoo. So I dropped it. I'm glad that I didn't get that bunny. I know that if I had gotten it, I would still love it, it's just that I don't think a white-pink rabbit on your boob would still look as nice when you are 40, as oppose to when you are in your early 20's.
The 'Labyrinth' design came back to me in late autumn, when I had returned to the UK. But again, I wasn't sure if that image was what I really wanted. I couldn't pinpoint a location for it because I really didn't want it to be seen. I know most people who get tattoos want others to see them. I'm more like 'If I'm wearing a lovely dress or a gown, a tattoo will probably ruin the entirety'. No matter how pretty or interesting the tattoo would be, I still think it would ruin any elegant outfit. Inner thigh has been my nr.1 location for a long time, but I reckon that's too sexy for the Labyrinth tattoo.
Again long story short, I finally designed my perfect tattoo and went to a tattoo parlour in Worcester. I had a chat with one of their artists and I was very surprised when he told me that my design wasn't going to work. I had drawn a resting bunny and behind him a lipstick stain The artist told me to pick only one of them because together they wouldn't make as bigger statement as they would separately. It was hard for me to separate them because I wasn't sure if I wanted to have more tattoos or just this one. But in the end I made the right decision. Now I have been wondering where to place dat bunny...
Overall I am very glad that he encouraged me to choose only one of the characters. He was the professional and knew what would work and what wouldn't. So when you go to consult your artist, listen to them. I know you must have this image and idea of what the tattoo should look like, but if your artist is a professional, they will give you their honest opinion. You may feel that you shouldn't have to compromise your design/idea, but you wouldn't want to have a bad tattoo for life, right?
I gave myself 3 weeks to prepare mentally (yeah the artist was surprised that I'd want to wait so long). It was truly a pretty spring day (yeah it was spring in the UK already) when the day came. I wasn't really thinking about the ordeal ahead. Though when I put my loose trousers on and left the flat, I was kinda grinning nervously and felt butterflies in my stomach. As I reached the parlour my friend was already waiting for me. Right then and there I started feeling scared. Of course she had to ask me if I was scared 'Yeah, a little'. 'I'm scared for you too' she said (random note: she got her first tattoo from the same place a year ago). That made me even more scared It wasn't like I was going to throw up or bolt, it was just excitement mixed with fear. We stepped in and were taken to this little room where the artist was preparing his equipments. I was soo happy that we didn't start straight away. His version of my design had gone missing so he was looking for it, like 10min or so. I was so relieved that I had time to calm my nerves and relax as much as I could. He found the little piece of drawing and once I had approved it, we were left to dedice the colour. I had told him before that I wanted it to be red and I quickly settled for a shade of red that was somewhere between Vermilion and Crimson.
By now we were ready to start. I dropped my trousers halfway down my legs and got onto the chair (must have been pretty cool for my friend to see my bum ). The tattoo was going on to my left bum cheek/buttock. I asked the artist if he could like draw a little bit and then let me take break, to feel out the experience and junk. I was so so so nervous He began to fill in the outline and when he stopped I was like 'I can't feel a thing, please go on'. It was pretty much like that the whole 5-7min it lasted. The only time I like reacted was when he was outlining and the drawing like moved on to my buttock. That's when I said 'OW' and was like giggling at my friend. That was the only time it 'hurt' (I reckon plugging eyebrows hurts more than that brief moment of pain at the parlour). And then he was done. BANZAI! I was so happy when I saw my very first tattoo in the mirror. The artist then binded my tattoo and told me to wash it gently with warm water in two hours and cover it with Bepanthen. I felt a little surreal when my friend and I stepped outside the parlour and left to have tea in a cafe.
This was my first tattoo, the experience. I have read my first impression stories on tattoos and asked my tattooed friends about their experinces, and most of them have said that getting a tattoo hurt. The reason why I didn't go for the inner thigh area was because research says that the areas that have bone or thin layer of skin, will hurt more than areas that have fat and muscle. I didn't know what kind of pain to expect, except that it would sting and burn. Again, I must sound like really geeky that I research how to get a tattoo, but knowledge is power to me and it guided me through my nervousness. I looked at like tattoo charts on the areas that would hurt less and bum/buttock was one of the areas that would barely hurt (plus it is very covered area). I didn't want my first tattoo to be an unnecessarily painful experience. And it wasn't
As you can see, it wasn't like I had this philosophy on getting a tattoo and that that tattoo would have a big meaning and such. I play the sexy factor, my tattoo is only ment to be sexy. Like with the inner thigh, I'm looking out for sexy spots for my tattoos. I thought having a tattoo on my bum would be very sexy and you know what, it really is.
There is a picture of my tattoo on my personal Fbible account (if you intend to befriend me on Fbible, send me a message along the invite. I don't befriend strangers. Thank you).
Just a couple of advices for you guys who are thinking about getting a tattoo for the first time.
If possible get the tattoo before you take a break from work or you have a learning week or something. That way you'll have time to tend your tattoo and make sure it starts healing properly. I scheduled my appointment 3 weeks away 'cuz I knew I would have 4 days off from Uni around that time -> so my fresh tattoo could start its healing in peace.
Eat well before you go, it minimises your chances of fainting. It is a scary situation and even if you have wanted a tattoo forever, it's doesn't mean that you can't be scared. I brought a lollipop with me, incase my bloodsugar would drop and I'd need a little boost up. Remember to breath and if needed ask to have short breaks once in a while.
Tend to your tattoo, seriously. Apply Bepanthen as instructed and keep it covered if you are on the move (pfff I wore thongs the whole 4 days and only put pants on when I ventured to the kitchen). Air and water are the best antitode for your tattoo. If you wash your tattoo with warm water 2-3 times a day and apply Bepanthen afterwards you should not face any complication and your tattoo should heal in exactly 2 weeks. Tattoo is a wound after all.
All I can say is that select the location for your tattoo carefully. I mean instep, tramp stamp (lower back), shoulder blades, legs and all bony/thin skin areas will hurt. However it's difficult to predict how your body and mind are going react to the needle. I have some full figured friends and they told me that tramp stamp was their most painful tattoo (even if there was fat there to cover that area). Just be aware that it will hurt. Afterwards try to get some rest and tend to your tattoo correctly.
I hope my first impression was atleast a little helpful in case you are thinking about getting your first tattoo. And even if you already have tattoo/s I hope you enjoyed my little story
Any questions or comments, put them in the comment box below, thank you!
I will talk about my first piercing a little later. I got my navel pierced in September around 5 years ago, but again some people might need some in sight on what it's like to get one. Believe me that story is more amusing that this one because at that time I was scared to death.
See ya all later!