After saving for what felt like forever, I finally got my first tattoo back in October of last year. I was super nervous because I am a baby when it comes to needles or pain in general really. I thought it would be neat to share my experiences and maybe you could tell me yours. *Disclaimer: Not everyone's experiences are identical. It all depends on the situation, the artist, and the person. I can only speak from my own experiences.*
Deciding on a DesignI knew I wanted a Sailor Moon tattoo because I have been a moonie since I was 6 years old. I started by looking up Sailor Moon tattoos on Tumblr, but I was dissapointed because I did not find a whole lot with Luna in the design. I ended up finding this amazing tattoo and falling in love. I saved it as well as multiple other reference images to my Pinterest board.
Picking an Artist
I knew I wanted an artist who would be able to capture that bubbliness of anime style without elongating the characters and making them look stretched and skinny. I am not a huge fan of that style personally so I wanted to avoid it. I found Kadee by searching Disney tattoos in Michigan. She does some phenomal Disney inspired work. I knew if she could do Disney, she could do my Luna. If only I would have known she would do such a stellar job, I would not have been nearly as nervous!
How I Prepared
I brought a friend who was also getting tattooed by my artist and I am so glad I did. She really helped to ease the tension and I was less nervous having someone there who was getting a tattoo as well.
I researched a lot before I got my tattoo done. I read about different opinions for care, style, before-care, etc. One source I really valued (and still do!) is QCKND. I love her Youtube channel. She seems very knowledgeable when it comes to tattoos and what you should do beforehand as well as after.
I saved extra money than I thought my tattoo would cost. My tattoo artist quoted me an estimate, but you also have to factor in tip. I also wanted to have extra in case it did end up costing more than anticipated. You never know when you might want to add another little something to the design, or if you might want it bigger. It is always better safe than sorry, and if you do not need the money than treat yo self to some "congrats you were brave and got a tattoo" dinner.
How it Felt
I am not going to lie to you, it did not feel like happiness and sunshine. When asked to describe how the outline felt, I like to compare it to a steak knife being dragged across your skin. However, I will say that the shading and color did not hurt as bad as the outline for me. I think that was because my skin was so numb from the hour of outlining. The entire process was pretty uncomfortable, but that is reasonable because there are a bunch of needles going into your skin. During the whole tattooing process, I clenched my muscles in my arms and legs so I was extremely sore for a couple days after. The area where my tattoo is was very sore for about a week afterwards.
I had a wonderful first experience. I read so many horror stories online before I went, and I was relieved after I went in for my consultation. My tattoo artist, Kadee Spangler, was super sweet and awesome. We watched Studio Ghibli movies while she worked on my friend and I and she made us feel more at home and relaxed.
Chroma Tattoo was a very clean and nice tattoo shop. The other artists who were working were very friendly and joked around with one another. They bought my friend and I Middle Eastern food for lunch, and declined our offers to pay for ourselves. I thought that was super sweet, plus I was starving because we got there at 10am and did not get done until about 5pm.
What I Would Do Differently
I would definitely wear extra comfy clothes. I think I wore leggings and a tank top, but I would bring fuzzy socks and the comfiest pants I can find next time. Honestly, next time I will probably go out and buy special comfy clothes just for the occasion. I was comfortable, but I definitely will need to do something so that I am not so tense. I also think it may have helped if I brought juice. I read online that some people always bring candy and juice to raise their sugar levels and to help distract them from the pain.
I kept my tattoo wrapped in cling-wrap for about 2 weeks. That was such a bad idea because it needed air and I ended up breaking out in a gross rash. I think I also may have been allergic to the Aquaphor I used. Next time I am going to watch it very closely and only wrap it when I am going to sleep.
I'd love to see some of your tattoos! If you can, link me to some photos. Also, please share your experiences with me, good or bad. I am always looking to learn more about tattoos!