My first tattoo…

Da da duhhhhhh…. I finally went and got my first tattoo!

I’m so excited to say that this Friday just gone, I went along to go and get my first tattoo! As you may have read in previous blog posts, I’m a very arty/creative person and I’ve always appreciated tattoos. I don’t know may friends that actually have them but i really do appreciate the artistry that goes into them, and this has always made me keen to have one of my own.

I thought I’d write a short blog post, to go through my experience of getting tattooed along with some tips before you say yes to the needle.

Research, Research Research

Nobody here needs me to tell you to do your research before hand, if you’re someone who goes through life doing everything on a whim then you may want to remind yourself that this is something that will be etched on your skin forever – and if you choose to cover it up with something else at a later date then that design will probably have to be bigger and darker … or you’ll have to go through the pain of getting it removed.

I chose to get a lotus flower outline with minimal dotwork shading. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while and I like what it represents.

I found my tattooist Rachel, on Instagram. I do a lot of my ‘service shopping’ through social media lately, (that’s how I found my hairdresser too). A good Instagram page, filled with a variety of great work is a top selling point for me! I searched for Cardiff tattooists and I chose Rachel because I liked her style and portfolio.

I had input on the final design and on the day, I asked to make it smaller and add a few things.

That’s the spot

Seriously… think about positioning, it’s almost as important as the artwork itself. Will it impact your future or any future jobs? Is it easily coverable if necessary?

I chose the inside of my foot, It’s easily coverable with shoes, but will also be slightly visible so I made sure I thought carefully about that! The tattooist will transfer the carbon stencil onto your skin before they tattoo you, so check you’re happy with the placement. I wasn’t  – so we moved it down a little.

Pain and gain

If you’re someone who doesn’t deal well with pain, then you may want to think about going for one of the least known painful spots. Any place where there are more bones, tendons and less fat will probably be more painful.

I was aware of this, but having not had a tattoo before I basically thought that I was in a good position with nothing else to compare it too

What does it actually feel like?

Personally, I was expecting it to either be very painful or not painful at all. I would say at times it was on the same scale as painful epilating and at other times I couldn’t feel a thing. My pain threshold definitely hit 10/10 once or twice but that literally lasted around 20 seconds each time.

Three days later…

It’s now three days on and my tattoo is still looking crisp and lovely. It’s still slightly raised and I’ve been following the aftercare instructions that were given to me. One thing Rachel the tattooist said to me was not to google aftercare. Follow my advice she said. Afterall I guess each needle, ink, the pressure used or process may be slightly different, so you should always follow the aftercare advice of your artist (not your friends… unless your friend is your tattoo artist?).

After my tattoo was all done, the sensation felt a bit like when you dry shave your legs and get that agonising afterburn which makes you think whyyyyyyyy did I do that?! And three days on, the spot feels rather stingy but not in a hard way. It feels like a mix between pins and needles and a bruise or papercut which is coming and going.. so I started this blog with a tingley/stingy foot and now I’m finishing it without. The healing process is supposed to take a few weeks and in that time the tattoo is supposed to itch, scab and peel a little bit – but I can’t see that happening at the mo? So time will tell. There is also no spray tans allowed for a month so that’s a bit of a shame, but I’m certain that definitely won’t change my love for the tattoo!

What they said

Everyone I’ve shown so far has really liked my new ink (or so they’ve said anyway) My Mum was grateful it’s girly and pretty … but told me not to have any more, and I don’t think my Dad is too impressed! But I really like it, and that’s the only real opinion that counts. I’m so impressed that Rachel did such a good job, and I feel like it looks like something I could have drawn myself. I even recommended her to my friend Gareth who is now booked in to have a tattoo with her tomorrow!

I know that I would actually like to have another one, but I think if I do have another tattoo in the future, it will be one that I design or draw up myself.



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