Yesterday I did something I’ve been planning for years – accompanied by my lovely daughter I had a tattoo done. I’ve been waiting for the time to be right and over the years my ideas have changed. It was going to be cherry blossom. Then an acorn. Both of these ideas had meaning for me. And then, a couple of years ago, I was ill and learnt a lot about Buddhism. Finally I knew what I wanted – a pastel, pink lotus flower on my wrist.
I went to a reputable tattoo parlour, recommended to me by my daughter and a friend. I *spoke* to them a few times on Facebook, about what I wanted, before going in. The artist was very patient whilst we discussed my ideas and changed designs. I wanted it small and natural looking. So here’s the process.
It’s best to go into a parlour having looked online and chosen a couple of examples of the sort of design you want. My artist then traced one and altered the size on her scanner. We fiddled with the shape of the petals. I wanted it just right. You can’t go really small as you’ll lose the detail and certain places, like the palms of your hands, are no good as the ink will eventually wear off. You’ll then go into the inking room. The artist will have drawn out the design onto paper and will press this where you want. It will leave a drawn outline of the tattoo for the artist to fill in with colour.
And then they’ll begin!
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I knew that inkings on certain areas – um, like the wrist – are more painful and so is white ink. However it was fine and just felt like hot stinging. In fact it was almost – and this is going to sound strange – pleasurable, no doubt due to the effect of my endorphins being released.
Mine only took about fifteen minutes, then it was wrapped in cling film. This had to be kept on for a couple of hours, as the tattoo is at its most vulnerable then in terms of catching germs and getting infected. Different artists give different advice on how long you must wrap your tatt, so follow your own’s advice.
So the aftercare? Every few hours I must wash it with plain soap and hot water. Three or four times a day I have to cover it with special aftercare cream. This process must continue for ten to fourteen days – during which time the tattoo might scab, peel, flake and itch. Smaller ones aren’t as such a risk of this. Also, you must time your tattoo well – mine was weeks ahead of a spa weekend. If you are going on a beach holiday make sure you have it done at least a few of weeks in advance and take advice on this.
And the result? I couldn’t be more pleased. It is exactly what I wanted – delicate, natural, pretty and pastel, small – and after a difficult time personally, it has great meaning for me.
The cost? Mine was £40. One customer there had a biggish thigh one done for £180. It will depend on your tattoo’s size and detail.
People always say getting tattoos done is addictive and I can see why! The whole experience left me on a real high 🙂