LIFE | Tattoos and My Experience

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

It's important to start out this post by saying that I'm a calculating person; impulsiveness is not in my nature. It's important to lead with this, because for the days I've had a tattoo, I've been met with more "how do your parents feel" than anything else. When people ask this, they're disregarding my tattoo and going straight to the "tattoos show you're a troubled person" ideology. Which doesn't apply and never will to me. I got my tattoo as a tribute to a show that has deeply effected and shaped my world, and subsequently, as a tribute to an important person in the world. To insinuate I got a tattoo for any other reason is insulting.

Tattoos aren't for everyone, and that's more apparent now than ever before.

While I was talking and planning my tattoo, most people would end their statement about it with, "as long as it means something to you, that's all that matters". And, while I agree that a tattoo, being that it is permanent, deserves more thought, I don't think you need to write an essay about the importance to you. And, this is why I don't believe tattoos are for everyone, because if you believe you have to have this huge connection to get one, you may not be the person to get one.

That being said, the process of seeing artists, portfolios and studios was seemingly painless. After getting recommendations from friends, and finally agreed on one lovely artist. My boyfriend actually got his tattoo from this artist, as well, so I know the recommendation was a good one. Our artist was young--my age--with the most intricate and detailed charcoal drawings on the walls, and while we were there checking out the studio, she was receiving phone calls for appointments and walk-ins, which is always great to see in an artist. After a little consultation, we set up an appointment for the next week. 

Since we discussed placement, and I loved the idea of a side wrist tattoo, I prepared an outfit that would be conducive. I chose a fun patterned blouse with rolled sleeves and my trusty anorak that the sleeves snap up on. It allowed room for her to work and wipe without staining my clothes.

My boyfriend and his friend joined me for moral support. It's good to bring a friend or something distracting while getting a tattoo because it keeps your mind off the pain.
Tattoos hurt. There is no getting around that. It's a needle jamming into your body at a high pace, and to expect it to be painless is foolish. It wasn't unbearable--just stingy--but you could definitely feel it. So, it's great to bring a friend or a distraction so you're not so focused on the pain.

The artist put a stencil on and made sure I liked the placement before she started tattooing. My tattoo took about 15 minutes, because of it's simplicity and size. After I was finished, my tattoo started oozing out ink and plasma, which is totally normal. The artist put ointment, and wrapped my wrist up to protect it for a few hours.

Healing isn't so bad, but it is the most important part. Before researching tattoos, I just thought tattoos were ink in the skin, and once you got one, you were done. But, there is a lot of maintenance.
I started out with washing my tattoo 4 times a day, and then lowering it to 2 once my tattoo was less sensitive.
I used A+D ointment for the first 2 days, then I went to Aquaphor for the next 3 days, while also using Eucerin unscented lotion to moisturize it. I applied the ointment and lotion with clean hands about 4 times a day, and even did some spot moisturizing with a tiny dab of Eucerin here and there when the tattoo became stiff and dry.

Another thing with the pain, it's a familiar pain. It feels like a cat scratch, and while it's healing, it feels like a sunburn. It's not too bad.

Day 2. No scabbing, still sore and glossy.

Day 7. Scabs have come and gone, and there is a later of fresh skin over some of the tattoo before it's first peel.

I'm still in the tail end of the healing process, but so far, so good!
I'm not a professional anything, and this is just my experience mixed with countless researching.
This isn't a guide but rather, a long anecdote about my tattoo experience. 

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