Jun 8, 2011
The story behind my tats!
I just got back from getting my tattoos fixed up! One touched up and the other basically redone.
I got my first tattoo in 2001. It was on a total whim. I went over to my aunts house to hang out and she said, "let's go get tattoos. Today. Right now!" She had a package of fake tattoos and one of the designs was a fairy on a half moon with a couple little stars in light pastel tones. She told me that was the one she would get as a real tattoo. I thought what the hell? And we went downtown, into a shop and got our appointments for later that same day.
We got matching tats. She went first and got the fairy on her ankle. I was glad she went first so I could A.) Make sure she survived and B.) Make sure I liked the results. The tat artist was cool, we had fun with him. He did add a constellation around her fairy, which was like swirly color around the tat. That part I wasn't crazy about so I told him I didn't want that.
I don't remember how or why I picked my left shoulder blade, I guess it seemed like the only spot that I could still conceal and wouldn't hurt too much.
My aunt gave me a half of a pain pill and I guess it affected me because it didn't hurt a bit. I actually liked it. In all the pics of me being tatted I am laughing and smiling.
I'll have to scan a pic a little later.
I was so proud of that tattoo. I felt like such a badass. I was instantly addicted. I knew then that I would love to have more, but would never be able to get all that I'd want because of acting.
My second tattoo came a few years later. I was engaged and we decided to get something to represent each other. We didn't want names, and even signs seemed too common. We decided on each others constellations. So I was to get his aquarius and he my aries.
We went to the same tattoo place but I honestly can't remember if it was the same artist that time?
I wanted mine on my opposite shoulder blade. I insisted it be done as simply as possible. It was small, just purple lines and very small black dots. I knew deep down it was a bad idea and that someday I'd want to cover it up. I figured the simpler I kept it the easier it would be to tattoo over it. I was also aware it made an all around bad tattoo, but at the time it "meant something".
He was much more creative with his design. It was in between his shoulder blades and the constellation was almost disguised in a sphere design. He would say he had me tattooed on "the back of his heart". But I also knew at the time he was smart to get a cool design, because it would still look good and wouldn't have to be explained long after we'd broken up.
So of course we did break up and I kind of forgot about my tattoos. I don't often see them, so it's easy not to think about them. When I started to seriously date the man who would later become my husband, I felt it was time to cover that thing up.
I decided on a flower. A daffodil, or narcissus. Yellow was my favorite color, but more importantly it was a clever reminder to me (not to behave narcissistically) but to make my tattoos all about me. My body, what I want, where I want and to never tattoo something representing another person on my body. Not ever. I'll always advise against it. Unless, maybe it's a child or a pet, just don't do it. I liked my choice for the cover up because not only was it an uncommon idea, but I found it partly ironic, part punishment and a little humorous.
My fairy wasn't looking so good after all theses years and I was a little bummed I'd ever gotten it. I have little space in which to tat on (like I said, due to acting I need to have them easily covered up) and it didn't mean anything to me. The imbalance of the small fairy and larger flower was also really starting to bother me. If theses are going to be on me forever, I wanted them to look like they went together more. In size and in color.
I tracked down the artist who'd done my flower, now in a new location and went in to show him and discuss what I wanted done. I was also wanting to add a couple of lines of text on my ribcage. A line from a poem and a line from my favorite book.
Fast forward to today. The ribs didn't work out. I still want it and really appreciate his expert opinion and artistry but the drawings weren't coming up like I'd envisioned. I decided to skip that today and give it more thought. But we did completely fix up my fairy. Oh man, it's life changing. I went from not liking it to loving it and being proud of it. It's now something I gladly want to show off, all over again. We added to the size with stars, and gave her a second wing. He re-outlined her and now she's so defined and bright and in new colors. I've always loved stars and for a long time considered putting a few somewhere. Now I've got them surrounding her!
We also touched up the yellow of my flower and I'm feeling a million times better about them. They look beautiful to me and feeling that they're balanced gives me such a sigh of relief.
I am so glad I took care of it. To me it was like fixing a tooth, or getting a corrective surgery. They're a part of me forever and in making them look the way I wanted them to, I can be glad they're a part of me.
Pain. My fairy did not hurt at all. I always assumed it was the pain pill. I don't remember the constellation, but I don't remember it hurting so I'm gonna guess that it was easy. My daffodil hurt more than the previous tats. It took about two hours and I remember I didn't want to take any breaks, just get it done. It was harder to get through than I remembered but I did just fine. Today I took with me a lortab. A freaking lortab because I'd been told ribs are the most sensitive area. I took it and then was bummed when the ribs didn't happen, because I don't like taking pills. It's a struggle to get me to take an advil. But you know what? It hurt! Much more than I remember. It was rough to get through. I never felt the effects of the pill and I have no idea why it was as tough as it was today. It was never like that. I braved through it, I didn't stop, I didn't cry, I didn't complain about the pain. But I would like to know why it was such a different experience? It makes me really nervous for the day I do the ribs...but I still want to try. I think maybe then I'll need to be a little drunk. Definitely wanting to try the shots before tats method.
It wasn't until I got home that I could let myself relax...and thats when I started feeling the effects of the pill.
Oh man. Okay. Gotta go before I start typing something totally weird! :)
The moral of this story is to choose your tats carefully. Go with your instincts and when you truly know it's not right? Don't do it! Take your time choosing your artists. If you're local, I strongly recommend Cj Fishburn at Cathedral Tattoo in downtown SLC!
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One week later, here's what it looked like all healed!