So, you finally decided it was time to nut up or shut up about getting your first tattoo. Welcome to the family. Getting your first tattoo can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you don’t know someone who already has a tattoo to guide you through the process. As you sit down with the tattoo artist and they show you what your tattoo is going to be, you begin to wonder whether this is really something you want to do.
You’ve probably already thought of where on your body you want your tattoo to be, and as the artist prepares the stencil, you will probably feel a mixture of nervousness and excitement. This tattoo went from being just an idea to something real very quickly. It is okay to feel a little scared when the artist breaks out a fresh needle and you hear the whirring of the machine for the first time. Some questions might race through your mind like, “Do I really trust this person?” or “What if they do a bad job?” or the good ol’ classic, “What if the tattoo gets infected and I die?” If you’ve done your research before walking into the tattoo parlour, odds are everything is going to be alright, and you’re going to walk out with a piece of gorgeous art, unique to you.
As the needle comes within centimetres of your skin, a wave of fear takes over. “Is this going to hurt?”, “What if I scream, what if I cry?”. Then the needle hits your skin and you’re taken aback for a second, because it doesn’t really hurt, it just kind of stings and it isn’t too bad. In a little while, you don’t even really notice the needle and its stinging anymore and your mind begins to wander. Once the outline of your tattoo is done, you’ll probably take a break to go admire your personal art-piece in the mirror. The ink is much darker than you thought it would be, but other than that, it looks pretty much exactly as you imagined it.
You return to your seat as the machine begins to whir again, as you choose a spot to stare at on the ceiling. As the clock ticks by, time becomes kind of irrelevant, it’s just you and the needle, everything else can just wait for a little while. Before you know, it’s done, almost too soon. You return to the mirror and admire your brand new tattoo. As the numbness fades away, it starts to sting. Don’t worry, it’s normal. The artist covers your tattoo up in cling wrap, as they begin to give you instructions on tattoo after-care, and the only thing you can think about is the possibility of infection. But again, there’s no need to worry, the artist is a professional, just listen to them and you’ll be absolutely fine. If you’re particularly neurotic, you can always return and show them your tattoo to make sure it’s healing the way it should.
You pay your bill and step out of the tattoo parlour. There’s only one thought on your mind, “What should my next tattoo be?”