I got another tattoo on my birthday. I had wanted one for some time- years in fact. Sure, I went back and forth thinking about it for sometime, but with the support of my wife, I took the plunge. Now, two weeks later, my skin art has healed and looks fantastic. I had a great experience with getting my arm inked, and I would like to share what I’ve learned.
First, my work was not a spur of the moment, wouldn’t it be cool kind of thing. I looked, considered, and thought about what I wanted. After all, this is going to be there permanently, and I sure don’t want to end up on a bad tattoo site. I spoke with many friends who share an enthusiam for skin art, and watched some of the “reality” shows to get ideas.
For my art, I wanted to express my relationship with my son, with whom I am close and do so much with. I considered many things that were reflective of this bond. This was my starting point, and from there, I began to consider what I wanted to get. I spoke with my wife, discussed my intent to get inked again, and emphasized the desired meaning of the artwork.
Over several months, as I began to find and discard ideas, I began to visit local studios. Some, I was not comfortable in, or did not like the “vibe”. Others were not what I was looking for. Some were super clean, but the artist lacking. Again, I turned to friends, who recommended a place to check. I was happy with what I found.
During my visits to the shops, I checked for health certificates and doctor backups. I looked at the cleanliness of the work area and lobby. I asked to see auroclaves, and looked at the sterilized objected such as barrels. I wanted to know if each needle was new, or were they reused after autoclaving? This place had it all, and I knew I would be back.
It took a few minutes to speak with and get to know the artist. I was nervous & told him first that I wanted to get a tattoo for him( Bryce is eleven). He replied that I would have to wait for a few years. That got a few laughs. I found out that he did not tattoo drop ins with out having them come back later for after considering what they are submitting thier body to.
The artist further asked me about my ideas and desires for my tattoo. Based on that he was able to draw up what I was looking for. Further, he allowed me to make suggestions as to color and size without making me feel foolish. I had to give my ID before any work would begin, and sign an form stating I was neither drunk, nor high, or anything else that could show that the tattoo I was having done was anything but the result of real consideration.
Things slowed down even more at that point. He was giving a last chance to back out, something I would not do at that point. It had been long coming. As the poster on the wall said… “Its a Tattoo, sure it hurts!” I smiled, and showed my son that. I wanted him to see this, so he would realize that a tattoo is not something to just jump into. Rather, it is an experience to be shared.
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