Getting tattooed is not too much of a big deal nowadays; almost every other person has one – either elaborate or just a momento. I’ve been wanting to have a tattoo since I was 16, but due to my indecisiveness and constantly changing ideas, I didn’t find the right time to do it. I told myself to get it only when I have the feeling of “this is it”. And it didn not come to me until very recently. In case you’re a tattoo newbie like I am, maybe some of this information will help you sort out your thoughts – so let’s talk ink!
You have your idea, now you only need someone who can tattoo, right? Well, not exactly. To paraphrase what my lovely tattoo artist said: you wouldn’t want to get a realistic portrait tattoo from someone who specialises in traditional dragon tattoos.
Of course, as long as a tattooer can tattoo, it might be sufficient. But in many cases you need to look for someone who’s artwork you admire overall. Not just like one or two tattoos they’ve done, but their whole grasp on the style they’re most efficient in. Let’s look at this analogy – you’d want your car engine fixed by someone who knows engines, not by someone who knows cars.
I think that for me it took this long because I wasn’t aware of the fact that I not only need to get inspired by an idea, but by a tattoo artist as well. The moment I saw Ruutattoo’s work, I thought “this is it!” I knew that she’s the best fit for me, even though I admire many other artists as well.
Hooo boy, that was a close one. At that time me and my family were visiting relatives in Canada, my cousin worked at a really cool tattoo shop, and long story short – my mom was getting tattooed. I wanted to get a tattoo really bad, but thank the heavens above and saint Buddha – they didn’t allow getting inked if you’re not 18, even with parents present. If that was not the case… I would have ended with stars on my hips MY GOD. So embarrassing. I will now enter the corner of shame, brb.
Even my tattoo artist said the same thing, mentioning that thank goodness her mom didn’t allow some things she wanted when she was that young. Kids. Do listen to your parents, at least just think about it. A piercing you can take out, but a tat is a bit more painful to get rid of. And we’ve seen a lot of those tattoo shows where they cover up bad decision tats – trust me, you do not want to be a star of an episode.
Obviously, anything. The thing is, you want it to be something you want. Not the idea of getting a tattoo. When I was brainstorming mine during last year, I thought it has to be this elaborate something, this intricate artwork, masterful piece of some holy grail! But not entirely. You see, that was me wanting to realize the idea of a tattoo. With no substance.
You want your tattoo to be you, not someone else’s absolutely cool looking idea you saw on tumblr. Even if you’re not an artist yourself, maybe sit down, write down some keywords, draw some little, lame sketches, try to figure out where your mind is going. If you are already disinterested, then scrap it. Try again when you feel like you’ve finally really gotten to something specific and once you really think “this is it!” then it is going to be it.
Sometimes having your own sketch (even if it looks like a preschooler high on Koolaid did it) might be great, so your tattoo artist can build the tattoo for you based on your own thoughts, of course, adding the touch of a specialist with an eye for composition and detail.
I might have one of the most simplest tattoos on the planet. Look at me, after all this lecturing, I have one tiny paint brush? It’s not that “deep” and special at all! Right? For anyone else it definitely isn’t, but for me, it’s my praised possession. It literally defines me; I like when a tattoo is about the person who is carrying it.
I wanted something small, something lovely, something not hardcore tattoo, cause that’s not me. I took a piece of paper and sketched down what I wanted. But being me, I can’t just have it as it is, I drew many versions of the same thing, that may look the same to anyone else, but for me there were a million questions, starting with: which way should the bristles go? Should I leve it sketchy? Should it be black? Should I curve it? Should it be longer? Is it thick enough? Is it looking fat? How many highlights? …and so on.
It took at least a month of staring at it on and off, editing a bit, photoshopping it on my arm via the computer until I felt it’s finished. And I couldn’t be happier with it!
Two days before having it I was googlin’ and youtubin’ like mad; looking for other people’s experiences, how it feels, does it hurt, how long does it take, am I gonna die, you know, the usual stuff. I even had dreams and nightmares those nights!
But in the end, I guess for everyone it’s very different. I was most afraid of pain, but that definitely was the last thing to worry about; yes, there were ouchies, but it’s not the end of the world at all! It was very, very bearable, mostly cause of the placement and size. I can’t talk for large tattoos, of course there’s more and lengthy pain, but it’s nothing torturous, it just goes with the process like it should. Oh and the buzzzing of the tat gun against skin made it hurt less, I think. The vibration somehow scatters it.
A short video of my first reaction, of course, exaggerated 🙂 It was more or less almost painless at first.
This was my first, definitely not my last tattoo. I will probably never be the one with tattoo sleeves or “Drake” tattooed across my forehead, but I will definitely do more in the future, it just feels right. This was probably one of the most exciting things I’ve ever gotten around to do, it’s just an awesome experience.
Bottom line, don’t get a tattoo when you just want to have a tattoo; it will feel a lot better when you actually want something for the idea of the specific it than the idea of getting inked.