I recently got my second tattoo and took a completely different approach to the whole process. There was a lot of thought put into what type of design I wanted for my first tattoo, but the actual process was rushed.
I got the Buddhist symbol of an unalome as I love their significance of reaching enlightenment. I took the idea to the nearest tattoo parlour and got it done on the day. Whereas with this new tat, I had a random idea what I thought would look cool. A skeleton hand holding flowers. Then I checked out some different tattoo artists, and once I found someone with a style I really liked, I sent them my idea.
I think it’s important to find a good artist that you feel comfortable with, and who is enthusiastic about your idea. It gives you a lot more confidence going into get the tattoo.
We begin with the outline.
Of course it hurts a little when you’re being poked with a needle hundreds of times. I was just focusing on all the artwork and funky little things on the walls. Honestly, I could probably recite everything that was in the room…
I’d planned to not take a look until it was finished, to have a sort of Tattoo Fixers-esque big reveal. But this was a dumb idea as I hate surprises and kept peeking every time there was a little pause. I’m glad I was too eager though. It was so cool to watch it coming along slowly – detail by detail.
The shading wasn’t a problem, at first.
The part that I always thought would hurt the most is filling in blocks of ink, but that was fairly easy. I think I even fell into a little daydream until the artist got higher up my arm. One jab hurt a bit too much and brought me back from wherever I was in my mind.
The further in on my arm, the more the pain. The few artists in the room said I sat really well, but by the end I was fidgeting like mad – my long left arm flapping about, even some little squeaks of pain.
But overall, the discomfort was so worth it. The tattoo is even better than I could’ve imagined!
Before I had tattoos, I thought they’d have to mean something really deep and personal. Now I realise that’s not all that important. If you really like a piece of art and want that on your body, why the hell not. That’s not me saying get your favourite meme inked, but you get the gist.
Every time I catch a glimpse of this tattoo, I’m like “wow, that looks awesome”. As vein and silly as it sounds, it makes me feel good. So if having interesting artwork tattooed will make you happy, I say do it.