I Got My First Tattoo!

It feels like he’s carving into my skin with a knife.”

This was among my first—and last—thought as I was sitting in a chair at my tattoo artist’s studio. My tattoo artist’s name was Darren, and his studio was located in the basement of his house. I promise it’s not as sketchy as it sounds. The entire studio presented a very welcoming vibe, especially as he had a teddy bear dog running around that you could play with when you weren’t getting “tatted” up. 

For my first tattoo, I decided on getting a bundle of flowers that grow in the garden in my home. The flowers in the bundle were zinnias, lilacs, four o’clock and daisies. I had an idea of how I wanted it to look, but I didn’t have the ability to draw it myself. So, I got in contact with Darren, as my cousin recommended him earlier this year. He responded immediately and stayed in contact with me throughout the entire process. I really appreciated this as I felt quite nervous as this being my first tattoo. I told Darren what I wanted and where I wanted it, and he responded back with a drawing that I fell in love with. 

On the day of getting my tattoo, I felt nervous but not to the point of copping out of the appointment. I met up with my friend, who was also getting a tattoo, and we headed over to Darren’s house together. Darren made his house seem welcoming, and his dog definitely helped that atmosphere. He had his basement set up like a real tattoo studio, complete with an assortment of different styles of human skulls decorating his back wall. In addition, he also had a huge flat screen TV mounted on the opposite wall. He was watching the channel Investigation Discovery when we walked in. It was decided that I was going first, so I sat down in the chair, which was surprisingly comfy. We went over the design again, and he printed the outline out and placed it on my arm. I confirmed that it was what I wanted, and then Darren got to work.

The beginning hurt the most. I didn’t know what to expect for the feeling, but it definitely wasn’t what I imagined it would be. I knew it was going to feel unpleasant, and the best way I can describe it was it felt like he was taking a small, thin knife and tracing it into my skin. After he finished tracing the part closest to my wrist, he moved towards my inner arm. He kept the TV on so I just focused on watching the show the entire time. I eventually got used to the pain, and at times, I even forgot I was getting a tattoo. The best part of the process was when he would stop and wipe off the tattoo with wet water. I didn’t realize how hot my skin was and how much I was sweating until he would do that. 

After Darren finished my tattoo, he went over it with a finer needle and filled in places he thought needed more detail. He had me look at it in the mirror to confirm that I liked it all, and then he wrapped me up “like a casserole” as he said, putting saran wrap around my entire arm. I then sat down and waited until my friend’s tattoo was down. Whenever I would move my arm during that time, and even into that evening, it would send a flash of pain up my arm. 

Now, one month later, my tattoo just feels like another part of my skin. I love the way it looks on me, and I cannot wait until I set up my next one. As they say, once you get one tattoo, you’re addicted and need more!