I had the most specific dream last night and I decided to finally make this post. I dreamt that I was getting a tattoo on my arm of Medusa (you know, the Gorgon) and it felt so real! I probably dreamt it because I have been thinking about getting another tattoo and I have been struggling on taking a decision.
I already have one tattoo and it is on the back of my neck. It says “Let it be” and it does not refer to the famous song, I should add. Although I do like that song, it has some sort of religious background and that is not for me. I thought I would share my experience on here so that people thinking about inking their skin will have a concrete example to reach to.
I got my tattoo done when I was 16, as a birthday gift from my parents. My dad was not very keen on the idea, but I used the fact that he had one done when he was in the army while drunk, along with his mates, to my advantage and he gave in. My mum was on board since the first time I told her, but she does not agree with me getting other tattoos, out of fear that I will not find a job (stupid, I know, but mothers worry).
I looked through many designs on Pinterest and settled on two : the one that I got and another one which consisted of small birds flying on the front of my shoulder. I was really keen on both of those and deciding to make my decision once I got to the tattoo shop.
We went to a shop about 30 minutes away from us, where about 3 artists worked and a lot of people guaranteed that they were very good. As soon as an artist finished with his client, he came up to us and we talked about what I wanted done. Turns out he was also Romanian and he helped me pick my tattoo and I must say I am very glad we picked this one. He made a very good point, saying that as it is my first tattoo, I should get used to having permanent art on my skin, and having it on my back instead of on my shoulder would have helped with the transition a bit more.
He was very, very right. Thinking about it, I probably would have gotten tired of the other one. I am barely aware of even having my tattoo, since I can only see it if I turn around in a mirror or if someone takes a picture of it. It is part of me, but it is not always on show.
I got the tattoo right then and there. He drew it right on my back and it took quite a long time to make sure that everything was symmetrical, but he took some pictures and showed me to make sure I liked it. Initially, I did not think that it would have been this big, but I am happy with the way it turned out. He then started tattooing and I was so relieved! It did not hurt.
Honestly, he did the first line and I said “Is that it?”. It was not painful at all. The outline was the least painful part, so for the first half an hour I was set. Then he had to make the shadows and that felt like cat scratches, so not very pleasant. The “L” was the most painful one, since it had the most shadows, but I think it was a cathartic experience : the pain was, somehow, very therapeutic and I felt great after leaving the shop. It took about an hour to finish and my friend, who also came with me, was disappointed since I did not shed one tear. It cost us €150 and it was worth it.
Price is very important since real artists know how much their work is worth and they are not scared of losing a client because the price is too high, since they know they have other clients. Tattoos cost because they are art.
Aftercare was very annoying, since it was hard cleaning that part of my back with care, and someone else had to put the aftercare lotion on my back, but it did not hurt. Was it uncomfortable to sleep on? Yes, but I generally sleep on my stomach, so that made it easier. It took about a week for it to fully heal and the final result is great. It has been 2 years and there is not fading. Below you have the freshly healed tattoo.
One piece of advice I can give you is to get your tattoo done in either early spring or late autumn. Why? Because sun rays should never be in contact with the tattoo, since it would make it fade faster. I got mine done in early spring and everything went great.
If you think about getting a tattoo, think it through. Pick some designs or guidelines and put them in a folder and look at them in 3 months, to make sure that you still like them. If it is so, then go ahead and book an appointment with an established tattoo artist and get it done.
That is all the advice that I can give you and if you have questions, ask below.
Thank you for reading.