I’m Getting My First Tattoo! (Part 1)

Okay, so I’ve never had a tattoo before, but I’ve wanted one for a while. I finally  booked in an appointment for next Saturday, and since you guys seemed curious about what I would be getting since I mentioned it yesterday in The Blue Sky Tag, I thought I would make a post about it. (With lots of rambling, as usual!)

I made a pinterest board for tattoos around a year ago. I’d always joked with Rory that I’d get a tattoo if only I wasn’t such a chicken. He eventually started to question me whenever I brought it up. Questions like what tattoo I would want to get, where, had I looked at ideas online, maybe a small one wouldn’t be too bad, etc. So then my thought process about tattoos started to change, maybe it wouldn’t be too bad… I looked around online, like on pinterest, google images, I looked at site’s galleries. I started to look into artists and studios around Wellington. I also became incredibly aware of people that had tattoos, I would always check them out, looking at the picture or words, size, details, is it black and white or in colour, is that watercolour. I didn’t want to freak people out, so I tried to be subtle in my admiring of their tattoos. By doing all this, I began to get a clearer idea of what I would like as my first tattoo.

This is what I personally like in tattoos.

  • Mandala patterns (especially those like a lotus) – i’ve just always liked them
  • Black, no colour. I do think a watercolour tattoo would be nice, but for my first one I wanted to start off simple.

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After a lot of thought however, I realised how intricate and detailed these are, plys they’re quite big. They will probably be the next one I get, depending how I go with the first one.  So i downscaled and looked at lotus mandalas like these ones instead:

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All of these I found on either google images or pinterest. The images don’t belong to me.

The next step is where would I want it? I didn’t want it anywhere too sensitive, or where it would be impossible to cover up. This eliminated face, hands, neck, and feet. So this leaves arms, legs or back. I decided on upper left arm.

There are lots of places to get ink done, even in Wellington. Just google search and a whole list shows up. This is what I did, I clicked on every link and looked at each one.

I went with The Gallery Custom Tattoo on Bond Street. Just the studio itself looked beautiful.

Image result for the gallery custom tattoo studio

I emailed through my enquiry and pictures, and got matched up with Angie Dawn. We have the same name and she loves doing mandala patterns, off to a good start. We met and had a chat.

Here’s kinda how it went.

  • What kind of design do I want? I told her that I would like a smaller lotus design.
  • Where? I said my upper left arm. She advised me that for a smaller design like what I wanted it would be better on my upper back, inner arm, or ankle. More tapered areas, where a smaller design would fit better. An upper arm design should be bigger, like a full mandala (if this one goes well, that’ll probably be my next one). So now I’m thinking about my lower left leg, just above my ankle.
  • How much pain should I expect? She told me to just expect lots of pain, basically if I go in prepared for the worst, I might surprise myself that it’s not that bad. It’s more of a mental barrier than anything. You’ll know what you can handle. She also said that customers have told her that the closes similar feeling they’ve had is using an epilator. I had never used one, so I had no idea. She said that we can go as slow as needed, so taking a break once every 10 minutes is fine.
  • What cost am I looking at? For a small design like what I showed, she said she would allot two hours. That’s more than needed, but you don’t wanna rush, and I may need lots of breaks. They charge per hour, and her cost is $120. So I’m looking at $240 which is waaay less than what I thought I’d be in for.
  • Can I see the design? She will start working on a design, and asked me to continue to email through ideas and pictures. Attached to these, I should be specific about what parts I like. Like, I like how this curls this way, or I like the end of this pattern, to help with the design making process. I won’t see the design till the day, and she says to be incredibly picky about it. After all, it’s going on your body. The artist won’t be offended if you want to change things, or if you want to change it completely and come back another day.
  • When can we do this? I’ve been booked in on Sat 15 April in the afternoon. I paid $100 deposit to confirm my booking.

So I feel mentally prepared right now, but as the time gets closer, I’m sure I’ll get nervous. It’s just what I do. I will do my best to push past that, and hopefully be well-rested on the day. I also will do my best not to get sick (which happens quite often in my line of work), as that will make me feel worse.

So that’s it for part 1, next Sunday I’ll post about how it all went and maybe show some pictures. Or possibly wait a few days until its fully healed? I’m not sure yet.

 Anyone out there who has had a tattoo before? Any tips for first timers? It’s something I’ve never done, and I’m equal parts excited and anious about this!

Angela.

18 comments
  1. I can’t wait to see your tattoo and to hear about the whole experience!! Good luck, girl!!

    1. Thanks Cheila!

  2. Pack a sugary snack. I find the adrenaline makes me feel a bit shaky after like I need sugar☺ But other than that I’ve always felt fine x

    1. Thank you for the advice! I’ll definitely make sure to bring that sugary snack 😀

  3. That sounds fun and painful (I cannot abide needles near my skin!) but the end product shall be worth it 🙂 Good luck with the mandala tattoo x

    1. Thank you XD
      And yes I do expect some pain, but I’ve been wanting it for so long that it’ll be worth it 🙂

      1. Power to you, girl. Something has to give for the pain. Which will be that mandala 😉

  4. I love tattoos! I have 2 myself and always want more! I have mine on my upper thighs so a fleshy area. The less flesh the more its hurts I’ve heard. The pain was fine for me! I’d take that for 1 hour over bad period pains! My first one was 20 minutes and was over before I knew it. My second one, a wolf design, is much bigger and was over an hour. By the last 10 minutes I was ready to give up buts thats only as the lady was going over it and it hurts more the second time they go in. As long as you love the design and its in an area your happy with, your fine! I sometimes forget I have mine then see them and they make me smile! Just beware, once you get one…….. You’ll want more 🙂 Also if your really nervous for the pain, take a quick aspirin 10 minutes before you go in! I do this for waxing hahaha! Great tip I was told and works for me! The artist is right, expect the worse and you may be pleasantly surprised!! Dying to see it! Please put it up when you can! You’ve got me looking into my 3rd! xxxx

    1. I’ve already got a second tattoo idea in mind actually XD
      You’re right though, as long as it’s the design I want in the place I want, I’m happy to go through with it. Thanks for the tip with the aspirin! That’s a really good idea.
      I’m going to write a post about it next Sunday probably, as I’m getting it done late Saturday. I may post a picture on Instagram first though, as writing a blog takes a lot longer than just taking that first pic XD

      1. 🙂 Will be keeping an eye on it! Good luck!! Also, the first pic of it will always be the best as its raised! I lost both of mine when I changed phones….. devastating! It never looked as good after in pictures! Keep it clean and DONT pick! xx

  5. I’m so excited for you Angela! I can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’m sure you’ll love it!

    1. Thank you Natalie!

  6. YAY so exciting!!! I only have one and its small. I was so nervous leading up to it but the spot I chose isn’t one of the known spots to hurt much (thank goodness). I would just bring a squishy to squeeze or someone so that you can hold their hand during the spots that hurt lol otherwise it isn’t that bad. Can’t wait to see how it comes out!!!

    xo, JJ

    1. Ooh, a squishy! I have one somewhere, or maybe I’ll just ask Rory to come along for support lol
      And yeah, I made sure to choose a spot that wouldn’t hurt much XD

  7. […] and I couldn’t find a squishy ball. I reread all the comments and advice you guys left me on I’m Getting My First Tattoo! (Part 1), which helped ease nerves a little, so thank you! I took an aspirin before heading out, and also […]

  8. Cool! Mandala tattoos are very interesting because they go back to ancient civilizations, there’s something so beautiful and aesthetic about them. I’m getting a greek mythology sleeve this summer, he books 2 months in advance

    1. That sounds neat! I’ve always been quite intrigued by them, I love the patterns and intricacies of them 😀
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  9. […] which I’m very excited about! You can read about my experience if you’d like! I’m Getting My First Tattoo! (Part 1) and I’m Getting my First Tattoo! (Part […]

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