Friday, November 25, 2016

first tattoo at 27


my teenage rebellion came quite late.


I was always interested in body art and modification, but - let's be totally honest - I have always been such a "good girl". I was intimidated by the commitment and very unsure about what I could do to show & embrace myself.


my outlook on my own body shifted last year however, after I got out of counseling, I was more aware of my body as part of my identity, that I could let my personality show - and that I could basically do whatever the F### I wanted! so when my friend got her nose pierced last christmas, I tagged along and even went in before her.

that didn't heal as planned though and I ended up taking it out - what brings me to the real purpose of this post: the tattoo.

THE IDEA
long story short, it's a robin bird. it's one of my first memories ever, my grandma showing this particular bird outside our window. my grandma was the most important person in my childhood and she sadly passed away when I was only eleven. so I had a classic, timeless image with a personal meaning - bingo.

THE ARTIST
I was soooo close to almost impulsively getting it done at a tattoo convention a few years back, in a realistic style. nowadays, this does not appeal to me at all anymore, so I'm eternally glad I waited. at another convention, I met and started following a female artist, and there was a girl working at her studio who specialised in new-school-animal tattoos. while checking out her work, I simply KNEW she could do no wrong, even though there wasn't a similar tattoo in her collection (yet).

THE POSITION
this was by far the hardest part. I know, people have tons of ideas, but I'm a believer that tattoos shouldn't just be sketches slapped on somewhere randomly, it should compliment the body as a canvas, if you know what I mean. plus, I wasn't sure how I would react if the tattoo was in my face at all time. and I also took notice of the fact, that I wasn't yet planning more tattoos, meaning the placement could be a disadvantage for future pieces, or alternatively make one tattoo look "lost" on my body by itself.
I ended up getting it on the back of my upper arm. this way, I can't see it on me at all, and if you look at me face on, you won't spot it either. and it's easily covered by most t-shirt sleeves.

THE PAIN
the best description I've heard so far was scratching a sunburn. it's an interesting experience, but I was very anxious about it before. at the beginning, I started my calm-down-routine of counting in french to get used to it, after the first ten minutes it was smooth sailing. the thin lines hurt more, and the closer she got to the inner part of my arm. it was relatively quickly done as well, only 1,5 hours, and the placement let me lie on my stomache the entire time, big plus.

THE HEALING
the internet is full of smart asses, and many myths surround the healing of tattoos. even though most of my friends are tattooed, I decided to stick to what my artist told me. after cleaning and drying, she put a waterproof foil on top that I could leave on for up to 5 days, yay! this way, the tattoo was sealed off, I could shower and it basically skipped 95 % of the scabbing process. the following weeks went by with cleaning and putting on antibacterial lotion 2-3 times a day. it's been a month now and it's almost completely smooth, except for a few lines!

THE VERDICT
a week prior to getting it done, my insecurities caught up with me.. what's gonna happen when I'm old? what will my family say? what will my boss think? I should have just gotten an art print done... (lol). but then I thought to myself: in a week's time, you'll be tattooed. and that thought felt good. now, even though I don't see it all the time, it's nice to have this piece of art so close all the time, forever actually. the artwork was designed for me, and only for me - my artist does not tattoo the exact same thing twice!

THE RECEPTION
my friends all love it, one of them got an appointment with the same artist just a month later! my boyfriend thinks it's a bit large, but that's ok - I didn't let him influence me, after all: I should love it, and he's got time to get used to it. I haven't shown my parents yet - keep in mind, my older brother hid his tattoos from them until he was past 40! so I'll leave that for a little bit... I wore a sheer shirt to work once, and nobody noticed it, haha. so most worries were for nothing!

the time is now, so I'm glad I waited.
for anyone interested, the artist is daniela sagel, currently on tour in mid-europe.

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