I just got my first tattoo. I can’t believe I finally did it. There are a few tattoos that I’ve always wanted to get, but I had so many questions first, and unfortunately not a lot of satisfactory answers. I definitely had some preconceived notions about the whole experience (most of which were not quite on the mark), and in the end I went into it blindly. So anyone who is thinking of getting a tattoo, let my experience help prepare you.
The first thing I recommend is to research the place you are going to be getting your tattoo. I looked at the reviews of tons of places, and then I went out and asked people I knew and some I didn’t about who had done their tattoos. A tattoo is fairly permanent and I really didn’t want it to end up lopsided and discolored. Even when I settled on a place and made the appointment, to my surprise I was refused because the design apparently went again the artist’s principles. I did not anticipate that happening, so there’s something else to consider!
When I showed my new tattoo artist the design, the picture was on my Kindle. I had no idea how this guy was going to take it from that image to my flesh. He took my kindle, placed it on a copier and made a photo copy, which then went to an employee in the back who drew out the design on what was apparently temporary tattoo paper. Once she had it drawn out, my tattoo artist stuck it on where I said I wanted it to go, and then was kind enough to move it around several times until I got it where I wanted it.
My sister and I got matching tattoos, and I don’t think I could have gone through with it if I had watched my sister get hers first. If you are nervous, go first. The tattoo artist sanitized the chair, I got into as comfortable a position as I could with one arm dangling over the side, and he got started. Regardless of what other people say about the pain of getting a tattoo, I promise you it is utterly painful (some locations more than others). The feeling is almost indescribable. Expect the first 15 minutes, at least, to hurt. After that, at least for me, the endorphins kick in and it’s fine. My design was about 3 inches in diameter and only one color so it only took about 45 minutes. Obviously anything bigger or with more colors will take longer.
I had a really great experience getting my first tattoo. I know that everyone does not. What I learned was that you find an artist who makes you comfortable, who is truly an artist, and an environment that you think is sanitary. Then, kick back, ignore the pain, and enjoy the reward.