My First Tattoo, My Experience
If you had asked me as a kid growing up whether I would ever get a tattoo, I would have certainly said no. Yet, here I stand as a 22 year old with my first tattoo happily grinning away and planning my next one. I didn't grow up in a family of tattoo enthusiasts, but my grandpa did have one big one on his shoulder (which inspired part of my first tattoo, so keep reading to find out more about it).
The idea, wasn't a rash one. In fact it was actually around 1-2 years in the making. My parents weren't too pleased about the idea. But I know them well enough that, the more I talk about something the more they will warm up to the idea. (Guess what, it works - hint hint, if you ever want to get on your parents good side). So when I went in to see my tattoo artist, I knew exactly what I wanted but I was also open to interpretation. I've got prints out of the example that I wanted and even some failed drawings of some of my ideas. (Guys, there's a reason why I never became a tattoo artist).
meet the artist
Jay Craig is tattoo artist for Tora Sumi in Balmain, NSW. I have been following his work on his Instagram for a while now (Something I highly recommend you check out and is a good place to start looking for tattoo inspo.) I sent an email to the store about my tattoo ideas including photos, position and size of the tattoo along with my availability.
They offer a free 15-minute consultation depending on the type of tattoo you want. (They also do walk-ins for more simpler tattoos, if you're feeling more spontaneous). I actually loved that I got to do this. I gave me the opportunity to meet my artist, get a quote and see if it was a right fit. (It was!) From there I made my deposit and locked in my tattoo date. I got my tattoo on a quiet Monday afternoon, (which I actually loved). The whole process took about 2 hours. Hour one was spent talking more about our ideas for the tattoo, getting the stencils made and getting the perfect positioning right. Hour two was spent getting myself permanently inked.
Even though I had prepped my mind for moment for such a long time, I think Jay could sense my slight nervousness about the whole process. He even started by giving me an example of what the process would feel like without the ink. (What a great lad!) The way I would describe it, is a cat scratch and an uncomfortableness, nothing more. (I have gotten a touch up about a month later and that did hurt more (THAT is what I expected my tattoo to initially feel like!) We had a great time chatting and he made the whole process a relaxing and exciting experience, like chatting to old friends. He's also known for having a soft tattooing touch. Which was great for a newbie like me!
The first two weeks I used half a pea size of Bepanthen twice a day (morning and night). It's initially used for nappy rashes but it has healing, moisturising and soothing properties and it's so easy to get a hold of.
I then moved onto using the Peggy Sue Tattoo Salve it has great antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties helping the tattoo heal in the long run. It also helps to keep the tattoo nice and vibrant. It's hand crafted and locally made so I love supporting local businesses. It's what I continue to use today and a little goes a long way with this product. (I still have so much of it left!)
Stay away from heavily scented products, loofahs and scrubs. Oh and make sure you stay away from baths, but don't be afraid to shower and let the water run down, your tattoo needs to breathe, be cleaned and moisturised regularly.
behind the tattoo
Before getting my own, I never really understood why people got tattoos with no meaning. But honestly I don't think that matters anymore. I've grown an appreciation for people who get tattoos that they just simply like. I think, the most important thing, is that you like it. Everything doesn't need to have some sort of deep meaning. Unfortunately, I am one of those sappy roll your eyes type of people.
I appreciate fine line, simple tattoos. So I got a line/ dot work anklet with the idea that I will add charms as the years go on.
The first thing you see linking the whole anklet together is a planet. It doesn't just represent my love of all things space themed, but it stems from the fact that all the charms orbit and are linked by this planet. They're all little by-products of what the world has to offer.
The first charm decided to ad without question is a cross. I'm not particularly whole heartedly attached to religion but it's a reminder of my grandad. (Remember the one I was telling you about earlier!) He passed away a while back and I greatly admired him and how he nurtured my love and appreciation for music. He played such a huge part in my life, so I wanted to have a little piece of him. (Unfortunately, I couldn't manage find any pictures of what the tattoo looked like, so I spent a lot of time talking to my grandmother, my dad gain a recollection of what it looked like, and of course Jay helped bring it to life, he nailed the replication on the first go. What a champ!)
the guitar pick
I gave up music, a while back, but down in my core, it's still a strong part of who I am. I still go to concerts regularly, have friends who are pursuing music and it's the initial reason I started this blog! (For my initial followers, who are reading, I do have plans to make it a regular topic.) I have a huge appreciation of music and the power it has to influence us and it is something that is still important to me today. This charm also happens to be the logo of one of my fave YouTube musicians Christina Grimmie.
the graduation cap
For me going to university, was quite a big deal, and it was quite a rocky road to get there, but in the end, I eventually made it! So I like to think that this helps to remind me of how hard work pays off. This whole tattoo was also kind of a present for myself for graduating. (You gotta reward your self for time to time!)
So have I enticed you to get a tattoo? Or have you already got one? What do you have? Who are your fave tattoo artists? If, you've got tattoos, let me know your best tips for aftercare and share your experience.