Monday, July 28, 2014

My floral tattoo! About the pain and aftercare

Exactly 3 months ago, on April 28th, I got my first tattoo. It was my own design and it has a special meaning for me. I had been wanting a tattoo for quite some time. I guess after watching too many episodes of LA ink it finally got to me - tattoos are art! I am an artist, ergo I should get a tattoo! haha Here is a quite long blog post about everything there is to know and think about before getting a tattoo.

Deciding on the design
I already knew I wanted something feminine and "classic", something I would not grow out of and get bored with. I decided on flowers, my favorite kind, carnation and the always so beautiful roses. I had already decided I wanted it in color since I think color tattoos are the prettiest, most feminine and the most fun! I started sketching and eventually came up with this:

A rough sketch done with a regular pen

Then I tried drawing the tattoo in color, to decide which one I liked the most. I used really old children's pencils, so it doesn't look that good ;) Anyhow, I decided on the white and pink one, since it was the most classic look. I made the white a little bit more yellow and though it would be ok. My tattoo artist disagrees because white rarely makes a good tattoo, so instead, I went with the pink and blue one.

Where to put it?
I didn't really think for too long before deciding. I knew I didn't want it somewhere it would be hard to hide (for jobs, or certain formal events). I was considerin the ribs, but then changed my mind because I didn't think the design would look good there. Therefore, I decided on my shoulderblade. Left one to be exact.

The pain - does it hurt?
The pain... People who say it doesn't hurt, or that it's just like someone pinching you - THEY ARE LYING! I wasn't even prepared for the pain, even though my boyfriend told me it feels like someone's cutting you with a scalpel. It hurt twice as bad as I thought! Especially outlines and highlights hurt like a b*tch! The good news is; because it's worth it in the end, you stick it out. Plus, during the first layer of coloring, it doesn't hurt much at all. Also, placement has a lot to do with how much it hurt. Generally speaking, the closer to bones the more it hurts.

Bring something to eat or drink, to keep your bloodsugar levels up. If not, you might faint or feel really dizzy. I had a coke and some caramels, which helped a lot. Unhealthy, yes, but it's only for this one time! ;)

The results
After 2,5 hours - actually, my tattoo artist was about an hour late because she was in a car accident (no one got hurt, luckily), so we had to wait a long time before I even got to come in and sit in the chair. I got 500 DKK off the price because of this, so it's ok! 2,5 hours for a first tattoo is a bit ambitious, but if you want a bigger tattoo then go for it! No use getting a smaller one first just o "get used to the pain" - you quickly forget how much it hurts, and that's probably why people tell you it's not that bad.

This is what my tattoo looked like after I got home. I was told to remove the plastic as soon as I got home, to let the skin under breathe so the tattoo would heal quicker. It was bleeding a bit, it actually bled through my top! But it wasn't that bad. The upper blue rose was bleeding the most, but I just cleaned the whole thing with the help of Mads, and then put my lotion on - having a good lotion is the most important thing with the healing process! You have to get a moisturising and healing lotion!

Healing process
It takes about 1-2 week for your tattoo to heal. Mine healed in less than a week. After just 2-3 days it started peeling. It peels a lot, the whole area of skin will be replaced. Do not peel it off! Simply rub it gently in the shower, and put your lotion on afterwards. Always keep your tattoo hydrated, never let it dry out! I had to get up once every night (well I woke up anyway) to put on more lotion. You also have to wash your tattoo with water or water and mild soap 1-2 times a day. Keep in mind that your tattoo is almost like an open wound - it will get stuck in your clothes when you sleep! I used an old T-shirt, which got colored from the tattoo, but it washed off. And remember, don't go out in the sun with your new tattoo exposed!

Here is the healed tattoo! The colors look pretty different from the earlier photo, especially the blue! Since the upper rose was bleeding so much, it lost some color and I will have it filled in in the near future. So yeah, my tattoo healed in less than a week, which also might be why it lost a bit of color (some say that the slower it heals, the better the results). After the first week, the tattoo will itch like crazy! Do not give in to the temptation to scratch it! Beat the crap out of it, or scratch with your knuckles with a layer of clothes inbetween, but never scratch with your nails - that will ruin the healing process! 

You might need to fill in the color/colors of you tattoo once it's completely healed. Most tattoo studios offer a "free refill", meaning you can go there after 3 months minimum to get the tattoos colored again if needed. You can often go there and ask if you aren't sure, and the tattoo artist will decide whether or not it's needed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will definitely want more tattoos in the future! I have at least two more planned for the near future! ;)

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