Today I wanted to talk a little about firstly, my own tattoos and the experiences I have had and then secondly some tips and tricks to ensure you get the best tattoo possible that you’re 100% happy with.
So firstly, a little bit about my tattoo’s, altogether I have 7 now. I had my first one when I was 17 and my most recent was last month and I think I definitely want more. Most of the photos I include of my own tattoos were taken at the time or just after they were done so are swollen and a little bloody and bruised, just the reality of having tattoos!
Okay so my first tattoo that I got was a simple infinity sign, a typical girls tattoo you could probably say, where I incorporated a heart and my brothers names.
With this tattoo I was 17 and ridiculously nervous. My parents knew I wanted a tattoo so my dad took me and got me my first one, I got this because I had wanted it for as long as I could remember, purely for the fact I thought it looked cute and my brothers, no matter how much we argue, do mean the world to me. When getting the tattoo the pain wasn’t half as bad as I imagined it would be, in fact for me it wasn’t painful at all. Some people find them very painful but to me I didn’t really think this one in particular was painful at all. I remember getting this tattoo and saying I only wanted 1 and my tattoo artist replied with ‘you say that now but tattoos are more addictive than cocaine or heroine’ and now, 7 tattoos later, I truly do believe that. This tattoo is in the centre of my back just under my neck, in between my shoulder blades.
My second tattoo was a very on the spot one you could say. I was on the high street near my house and decided I wanted a tattoo. I already had a couple photos on my phone of tattoos I had planned and wanted so I decided just to go for it.
This photo was taken about 1 hour after it being finished, so very swollen and bruised. This tattoo is on my left collar bone and I love it. This tattoo means a lot to me as my family have gone through a lot of things throughout the past 18 months or so and sometimes it is easy to get down thinking about it and just wanting to cry, but to me this tattoo symbolises things will always get better as long as you never lose hope. I had the birds as the lyrics ‘you can’t fly unless you let yourself fall’ by Justin Bieber spring to mind, sometimes you have to let yourself fall and go through something awful to stand back up a million times stronger and know that things are going to get better. This to date is probably my favourite tattoo purely for the meaning. When getting this tattoo I had a new tattoo artist, he was really good at his job and I really do love the piece. I think parts of this tattoo were definitely painful, the parts near the bone were extremely painful however overall it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be that close to the bone.
My third tattoo, again very spontaneous, walking through town and I decided I wanted a new tattoo, so I got a mini one.
This tattoo has no meaning really, I just thought it would look cute when my hair is up. It’s just a black outline with a red centre. This tattoo wasn’t painful at all, it was just really annoying that close to my ear, but I like it so it was worth the 5 minutes it took.
My next tattoo is one that I will never regret having, however I do regret the timing of when I had it.
Last February, I was took into hospital for an operation, the day after I was released I decided to go and get a tattoo. So still in a lot of pain, a lot of drugs in my body and definitely the stupidest decision I have ever made. However I wouldn’t regret this tattoo for anything. Delboy was my dog who passed away in September 2014, he was my first real pet who I had had most of my life and I have never felt pain like it to lose him. People have always questioned why I had this tattoo for an animal, but if you have ever had a dog for a long time, you’ll understand that they become part of the family and losing them hurts just as much as losing a human. This tattoo is on the inside of my left bicep and it didn’t hurt, apart from the lower part of where it started hitting the muscle. This tattoo was done at Karma Collective who are absolutely incredible at what they do and I have had the majority of my tattoos done there since because I trust the two ladies there and their work is incredible, so if you’re in Birmingham looking for a reliable, talented artist definitely contact them. Also I am not saying at all that any other artist I have had has been bad, they’ve all been incredible however I just really trust the ladies at Karma.
My next tattoo is another sentimental one, do you see a pattern here?
This is on the back of my neck and it’s my mom and dad’s birthday’s in Roman numerals. They mean the absolute world to me and I just thought it would be a nice idea to somewhere add them into my tattoo collection, so that is what I did. Again this was done at Karma Collective and I absolutely love it. This one wasn’t really painful at all, sharp scratches here and there but nothing too bad. Within a week of me having this tattoo my brother copied me which was slightly annoying, but I love it all the same.
My next tattoo is the first tattoo I have had on show, the rest have been in places easily cover-able, however this one I had on show for the pure fact, I think if an employer isn’t willing to employ you due to a tattoo that’s their loss, we live in a generation where 75% of the population have tattoos, that’s the reality of life and employers need to bare that in mind. My employers are great and haven’t mentioned it to me so I’m happy about that.
This tattoo is dedicated to my grandad. He has always, for as long as I can remember, called me ‘princess’ so I got a tattoo representing that. He is like my best friend, always there for me, always on the phone and always just looking out for me and he means the world to me. So a tattoo dedicated him was definitely something I always wanted. This tattoo was definitely one of the most painful, not too bad, but definitely worse than the others. Again done at Karma Collective!
My final tattoo, I got last month and it was for a very good cause. A girl I went to school with tragically died in a car crash and her best friend had the idea of getting a tattoo that she had planned to get before her death and all the money raised would go to her funeral. A local tattoo artist kindly agreed to do that for her so of course I had to go and get one done.
Again a photo took 5 minutes after finishing so swollen and bruising however, I love it. This one is on my left hip/waist and honestly was the most painful one I have had. From start to finish I was in pain, I don’t know why really because I thought it would be the least painful but it was horrible!
So there you have all of my experiences, now onto some tips and tricks. I am not saying I’m a tattoo expert at all in any way, shape or form, however I do have a couple tips and tricks that might help you choose what to have, where to have it and who to have it done by.
1) Plan your tattoo in advance. I know I said some of mine were spontaneous, however I had planned what I wanted weeks in advance, I just didn’t know when to have it done. If you plan it, you know you’ll like it because it is what you want and have planned.
2) Find a tattoo artist you can trust. Look at tattoo artists work, pieces and reviews. Every tattoo artist has a different style and their style might not suit the piece you want done, so really study their work before making plans with them or booking anything.
3) Don’t just go for the cheapest tattoo artist you find. Yes, everyone loves something cheap, however a tattoo is on your body forever unless you pay to have it removed or covered, costing you a lot more in the long run anyway. With tattoo artists, the cheapest person you find might be incredible, however don’t assume they are. Look around and find someone you like and trust rather than just the prices. Sometimes it’s worth paying that little extra to know you’re going to be 100% happy with the final piece.
4) Have a tattoo you know you won’t regret later on. Don’t have a tattoo that relates to your life now, like a group you like or a singer or a friendship group or anything like that because in 10 years time somethings may have changed and you could completely regret it. Have a tattoo you know you’ll like now and in 10 years time, if you’re not 100% sure, don’t do it.
5) Nowadays 99% of tattoo artists do a template of your tattoo before starting it on your body, make sure you are 100% happy before the needle starts. If there’s something you don’t like or something you want changed, tell them. At the end of the day tattoos cost a lot of money and take a lot of time, don’t just say yes for convenience, the artist, if they’re a good one, would rather take their time and change it knowing that you’re walking away happy than sit and know that they’ve done a piece that isn’t really what you wanted.
6) Look after your tattoos. Aftercare is so important, I can’t emphasis it enough. I use bepanthen and have done on all of my tattoos and that suits me fine, but be sure to ask as many questions as needed to ensure you get the correct tips on keeping it clean and hydrated because it really is important you get the right aftercare routine in place, otherwise it can fade and look awful afterwards.
7) If you’re in pain, don’t be afraid to stop and take a break. I’m sure any tattoo artist you speak to can tell you a time where they’ve had to stop a session. You won’t be the first and I’m sure you won’t be the last. If you feel lightheaded or not quite right, just ask for a breather and then go again when you’re ready.
8) Placement is key. If your company don’t like tattoos or you want to go into an industry where tattoos can’t be on show, for example a teacher, really think the placement of your tattoo through. Once it’s there it can’t be moved about so really think before you get it done.
9) Another tip is definitely take a sugary drink with you. You’ll lose blood whilst getting a tattoo, it’s inevitable, so just have a sugary drink with you in case you feel light headed or not quite right afterwards. You may be completely fine, but better to be safe than sorry.
10) My final tip is to enjoy designing your tattoo, enjoy getting your tattoo and just enjoy the whole experience. As silly as it sounds, if you’re sitting watching your tattoo get drawn up and you’re not excited or enjoying seeing it happen, you probably don’t want it as much as you thought you did, so enjoy the experience, if you’re not then rethink it and maybe, if you can, rearrange. If you’re just nervous, try not to be, it isn’t as bad as you’re probably thinking it is.
I hope some of these tips and tricks help you in getting the best tattoo you possibly can. Remember, getting a tattoo is for life, unless you pay a considerable amount to get it covered or removed, so don’t do anything you’ll regret.
I love all of my tattoos because they all mean something to me, I’m not saying all tattoos need to have a meaning, but sometimes, specially for your first tattoo, it definitely does help because if it means something, chances are you won’t regret it.
Thank you for reading my blog, see you all in my next one!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I just truly love Karma Collective and genuinely recommend their work.