I have always loved tattoos. I loved (and still love) the creativity that comes with many, what they look like and how they can change a whole look. Since I was 13 I actually wanted a tattoo for myself, but there were a few problems. I was too young, I didn't know where to get a tattoo (what place on my body), and I didn't know what to get tattooed.
My tattoo is pretty visible in this photograph. It's completely black and it are two symmetrical birds facing each other. Some people say it looks like two wings and others think it's a mustache (☹) but it are two little birds (swallows).
Some time ago (October 2013, to be exact), I finally decided I really wanted a tattoo and I also came up with a design, together with my mother. I decided I wanted the tattoo to be on my inner wrist, so if I wanted to see it I could always look at it, and if I had to I could easily disguise it with a bracelet or watch. I wanted to get a tattoo with a personal meaning (which we'll keep personal, too) and the idea was there, I only had to find a tattoo shop.
After finding a tattoo shop I made the appointment and now the waiting came - I didn't have to wait for too long, though, because my tattoo isn't the hardest or most complicated tattoo to make. When the waiting was finally over, I walked into the tattoo shop and the fun got started!
I don't know all the exact names, but I'm going to describe my personal experience as perfect as possible. It's quite a long time ago so don't be mad if I get a few things wrong!
My tattoo artist wiped my inner arm with some alcohol (I don't know what it actually was - something to sterilize my arm) and he shaved the part that was going to get tattooed (yes, little hairs grow there too!). When he got the needle I was quite shocked (it looked so scary!) - and many people told me getting a tattoo on that specific spot really hurts - but when the needle finally touched my arm, I was surprised because it barely hurt. Yes, I could definitely feel it and I'd be a liar if I told you it didn't hurt at all, but the pain wasn't as intense as I'd ever expected it to be.
The artist first tattooed the outer lines of the two birds I have tattooed and after he'd finished that (I think that took about 10 minutes), he started filling the lines (that took another 10/15 minutes). It didn't take that long after all. We paid, left, and that was the time when my tattoo really started to hurt. My arm got red and swollen and I had to work the day after, so I wrapped it with some bandage. The bump on my arm got a little bit bigger but after some time it started to fade away, including the pain.
I am now left with a drawing on my arm that will be there for the rest of my life and I have never regretted my choice of getting a tattoo - I've looked down at my arm for over 300 days now and I've never thought 'I shouldn't have done that'.
I really want to get another tattoo - a more colorful and a bigger one - but I'm going to wait for that. I don't know what design I'd like to get, and where I'd like to get my new tattoo - and I want to be able to swim this summer!
This was quite a long story, that's why I have a little list for you with questions I get asked regularly which may not be in the story.
Does it hurt?
My tattoo didn't hurt as much as I thought it would, but some people's tattoos really hurt - this just really depends on a) if your pain tolerence is high and b) what place on your body you're getting a tattoo. I have heard that the closer you're to your bones, the more it hurts, which would make sense because there are no bones in my inner wrist.
How much do tattoos cost?
This also depends on a few things (many things, actually). It depends on what place of your body you're getting tattooed, what shop you're visiting, how big the tattoo is, how complicated et cetera et cetera. There' just nothing to say about how much it'll cost. If you're seriously thinking about getting a tattoo, you should visit the tattoo shop you're getting it and ask the artists, and even then, sometimes, they are not sure yet. If you're really serious you will just got to have money, because it will be there for the rest of your life so it's worth investing in.
What should I get tattooed? And where should I get my tattoo?
This is a personal thing - do you want a big, or a small tattoo? A meaningless tattoo or a tattoo which will make you remember specific things when you're looking at it? It's personal. As you can see, many things are personal.
The placement on your body depends on how visible you want your tattoo to be. Mine is on my inner wrist (like I said a million times already) which is visible, but I can disguise it with a bracelet if I want to. If you have your complete arm tattooed it's a bit harder (but not impossible). Any tattoo is easy to cover up, but it just depends on how easy you want it to be.
My parents won't let me get a tattoo!
In my opinion, you should respect their choice and either wait until you're old enough or just not get a tattoo. They probably have their reasons!
If you have any other questions which I left unanswered, don't be shy and leave a comment - I'll answer every question. Have a lovely day - x Sjoukje