I finally did it, I got my first tattoo!
I’ve had friends getting tattoos since we were teenagers, but I’ve always been a bit unsure of it myself. What if I regretted getting it done, what if it never healed, what if, what if, WHAT IF? Yet, after two years of not having much control of my own life (operation waiting lists, national lockdowns), I thought it was a great time to book in my first tattoo. Finally, a way of gaining control of my body again – it felt empowering!
I had stumbled upon an all-woman tattoo team up country during the first lockdown (Carousel Custom Tattoos, check them out), and discovered the beauty of botany. After wading through Instagram feeds of peonies, roses and blackberries, I quickly knew it was exactly the style of design I wanted. Unable to justify a trip so far away, a friend recommended a local tattoo shop that did the same black line art I had become such a fan of, so I booked an appointment for December, the day after Lockdown 2 (phew).
I was so nervous before my appointment, and asked my friends constant questions about the process. Could I go to the bathroom during the appointment? (Yes). Could I take a break if it hurt too much? (Yes, though I didn’t need to!).
Turns out, it’s all so easy. You really do just have to sit chatting, scrolling Facebook, and tolerating pain while someone else does all the hard work. I’d liken it to getting your hair done, except it hurts, like hundreds of little wax strips being ripped off. The appointment was about three hours, and the tattooist made me feel so at ease, chatting with me and the other tattooists as she worked. She was a bookworm too (bonus!), so we talked about books and (of course) Covid.
Seeing her work, how she had drawn up this custom design for me, had listened to my input, willing to adjust it until I was happy, I realised how much work was required from her as an artist – not only drawing but executing the design as well on a body. I have a newfound respect for tattoo artists after this experience!
My healing worries were all for nothing too. It healed with not a single problem – I’d been anxious about scabbing or bleeding, but it did neither, and only itched for a day or two. I think it speaks volumes for the professional quality of the tattooing; my tattooist said technique has moved on since the days of big, awful scabs, which offers a lot of peace of mind for any future tattoos I want.
And… speaking of which, I’m already booking in my next two tattoos! You can see some of the designs I love on my Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/wanderingw0rds
Have you got any tattoos?