Getting My First Tattoo

Sunday, 2 September 2018
It's taken years for me to pluck up the courage (and the money) but I finally did it; I got my first tattoo!

All finished

I've always had it in my head that one day I'd get one but, in all honesty, I've always been too scared. Even the thought of walking into a tattoo parlour brought me out in a cold sweat, let alone actually getting one. The turning point for me was when one of my close friends got one; although hers was a lot smaller than mine the fact that she was able to get one without passing out gave me a small amount of courage. It also helped that she liked the parlour she went to, and if she was happy to go there - so was I. Although I did make her come with me to book it AND to my actual appointment. I did say a small amount of courage, not enough to go it alone.

The first break after finishing the outline of the design

When booking my appointment I printed off pictures of the kind of thing I was going for and they booked me in with the artist that they thought would be the best for that. After looking at the artist's instagram page I definitely agreed that he would be perfect for the design I wanted. It is very important to research the artists beforehand and make sure you are happy with their style. Taking their advice is important but don't be afraid to be vocal about what you want, at the end of the day this tattoo is going on YOUR body. You have to be 100% happy with it.

First Session Finished and Wrapped (apologies for the small amounts of blood in this picture)

When it came to choosing the design it was actually pretty simple, I'd had this idea in my head for years that I wanted a phoenix tattoo. The main reason being because not only am I a huge lover of fantasy and birds; but from looking at other pictures I loved how they can be drawn so beautifully. What I really wanted from my tattoo was for the phoenix to look majestic, powerful and strong and I really think that has been captured. I really liked the idea of having it on the outside of my calf. Not sure what made me choose there, but I'm glad I did as it fit really well in that space. The funny thing is, originally, I thought it would be a lot smaller. But after speaking with the artist we agreed that to have the detail that it does it needed to be that size, otherwise it just wouldn't have looked that good. As soon as I saw the stencil on my leg I knew it was the right choice.

The morning after before removing the wrapping

Yes, the above picture looks pretty disgusting. But I thought I would include it for anyone out there who hasn't been tattooed before as this is what you can look forward to. Before they wrap it up in cling film they put this vaseline like substance over it, and basically over time it absorbs any excess ink to create this black gloop. Do not panic though, this is meant to happen and it washes straight off. It may not be as bad as this for some people; on this particular day it was quite hot and unfotunately being wrapped in cling film does make you sweat a bit more. Gross I know, soz.

All healed after the first session

I'm not going to say it didn't hurt, because of course it hurts. However, not as much as people might think. For me, it just felt like someone was scratching me really hard for a few hours, there was also a bit of bleeding here and there. In my head I thought I was going to be screaming in pain, in truth, I was able to sit through it without many complaints. Honestly, I'm the kind of girl who puts a plaster on a paper cut. If I can sit through a tattoo - anyone can! The entire tattoo took around 4 hours to complete and this was split over two sessions. I did have the odd break to stand up, stretch my legs and have a sneak peak of the progress in the mirror. I could have stopped after the outline of the design was completed; however I wanted a bit more detail with shading which meant the process would be a bit longer. I also wanted to keep it black and grey. Although I think some colourful tattoos can look incredible; I'm not sure that's really my style and not the look I was going for. It also would have extended the whole process thus increasing the price.

Wrapped up after the second session

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out and to be honest I'm glad the pain is done now, but it was definitley worth it!



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