One of my favourite forms of procrastination is Pinterest – short hair styles, nail art designs and, more recently, tattoos are my pins of choice. I could easily spend hours stuck in the loop of aesthetically pleasing image after image getting ideas and inspiration from, let’s face it, quite unrealistic and heavily edited representations of life. On top of this, I began following local tattoo artists and studios to get more ideas. For a while, however, actually getting the tattoo seemed a far-off fantasy; something I’d always thought about but would never follow through with.
Then, one night about a month ago, I emailed one of the artists on Instagram about a design of hers I liked. After a few emails on the subject of pain, cost and more design ideas, I rather impulsively booked an appointment. After reading up on the studio, reviews and her previous work, I was pretty content so paid the £50 deposit the next day. You would think at this point the gravity of what I had just booked would have hit me – in reality, I kind of forgot about the whole thing. The appointment was over a month away and still seemed unreal in my head, so I went by with life like I wasn’t getting something inked onto my body forever in a few weeks. There was also perhaps the biggest issue at hand: my parents not particularly liking tattoos. Instead of talking to them about it straight away, this fuelled my denial more and all of sudden, the tattoo day came, and they still didn’t know anything about it… (as I’m writing this, I still haven’t told them)
On the day, I woke up not as nervous as I thought I would be. I’d read stuff online about getting a good night’s sleep before, limiting caffeine and alcohol because of blood thinning and wearing loose clothes – so I felt pretty ready. The only thing was the pain. I’d heard different opinions, but mostly that it wouldn’t be as bad as we all think. I arrived at the Good Tattoo Studio (located at the end of Goose Gate in the Lace Market) pretty calm and collected, and excited to see the rose design that Maiko had sketched out the night before.
I was in and out in under half an hour. First, after cleaning the skin, I’d opted for my lower leg for the placement, an ink outline of the design was transferred so I could see what my future tattoo would look like and importantly, make sure I was completely satisfied. Then anxiety did kick in when I was waiting for the stencil outline to dry and for Maiko to set up the equipment, especially due to the importance of staying still throughout. What if I accidentally moved, leaving a huge, ever-lasting, mistake on my body? What came next was a strange sensation that I wouldn’t necessarily call painful. It felt like pins and needles you get from cramp on an extreme level as the vibration was dragged across the skin and it actually stung more after the tattoo was finished. It wasn’t pleasant but was definitely bearable and I’ve been in worse pain (the pain does, however, change from person to person and depends a lot on the placement and design.) After applying a dressing that I have to keep on for two days and discussing aftercare, I was outside walking about town with my new inky companion. There was a huge adrenaline rush and I had to call one of my friends to tell him what I’d just done as it seemed so out of my character! The little rose doesn’t have much significance or personal meaning; however, I’m looking forward having her around.
4/5 – I definitely recommend Maiko for any floral designs or intricate colour work and would trust her again if I get the tattoo addiction! I’ve only deducted a star as I’m about to embark on the healing process that I know isn’t that fun!