I got my first tattoo for my birthday last year. I’d been thinking about tattoos for a really long time, but I had always been scared to actually go for it. Scared it would hurt. Scared to commit to something that permanent. But once I took the leap, I loved it so much…and I immediately started thinking about what I wanted to get next!
I’m sure it’s no surprise that I wanted my tattoos to reflect my vintage aesthetic. My swallow was a very traditional Sailor Jerry-style flash piece, but this time I was craving something soft and beautiful. I’ve really been exploring my ultra-femme side lately and feeling more and more connected to that side of my style.
Once I’d done plenty of Pinterest and Instagram trolling and had a good idea of what style of tattoo I wanted, I put out the call for recommendations. One of my friends recommended Private Stock, and when I saw Molly’s portfolio, I knew she was the artist I wanted to work with!
During my consult, I told Molly that I wanted something like vintage floral wallpaper. No point in beating around the bush, right? She was booking pretty far out, so I anxiously waited over a month before my appointment finally came around. When I got in, the sketch was just what I’d hoped for. She applied the template and away we went!
This one was definitely more painful than the last. It took 3 hours, and I was really sore by the end. I distracted myself by reading The Cursed Child, which was…a different kind of painful (any Potterheads want to talk about that??). But it was sooooo worth it.
I absolutely love it! The shading is so soft and delicate, it’s exactly what I wanted. I keep looking down at it and being surprised that something so beautiful is on me!
If you’re considering your first tattoo, here are my tips for first time tattoo-bies:
- Bring something to distract yourself. Some shops will let you have a friend with you (I brought a friend along for my first!), some won’t. You may not be able to focus enough to read/listen to music/whatever while you’re there, but it’s better to have something just in case!
- Make sure you pick an artist you can trust. I didn’t see either of my tattoos until I walked into my appointment, but I wasn’t nervous. In my opinion, if I trust someone enough to put something permanent on my body, I should be confident enough that they can design something I like. If an artist or shop gives you a bad feeling or seems sketchy, don’t be afraid to walk away!
- Look at a lot of tattoos while you’re deciding what you want. This is really obvious advice, but I think there is a big difference between just seeing a piece of art/a design and actually seeing it on a body. You can certainly take inspiration from art, but I’d recommend getting an idea of what that kind of piece might actually look like.
- Take the aftercare instructions seriously! After reading a lot of horror stories online prior to getting my tattoos, I was nervous! Thankfully, I’ve had two completely easy, drama-free healing processes. The aftercare isn’t difficult; just keep up with it so you can enjoy your beautiful art to the fullest!
- Have fun! And even if you tell yourself you only want one, prepare to develop an addiction 😉
Do you have any tattoos? What’s your favorite?