Getting inked

If you’ve read my post titled “A little more about me – my bucket list, part II“, you’ll be excited to know that I just accomplished item number 41! Getting a tattoo was something I had been thinking of since the age of sixteen. Of course, being that young, my parents were strongly against it, sure that I’d get a tattoo of a skull, the devil, or (even worse) the name of some boy in my class.

I must start by stating that I’m not a punk. I’m not a druggie. I’m not a gangster wannabe. I’m not an ink/piercing junkie. I’m an average feminine girl who wanted a tattoo. No stereotypes apply here!

I wanted to get a tattoo of Tinkerbell, from Peter Pan. I always adored her as a kid – I thought she was the coolest thing ever. I’d gotten the process started by talking to the tattoo artists about what I wanted around two weeks ago, and last Saturday was my appointment at Kuala Lumpur’s Black Cat Studio. It is owned by three tattoo artists, all of which are related by family, and although all of them are vigorously tattooed from head to toe, there was something cosy and friendly about being with them in the studio. My tattoo artist, K, had already prepared my design after our talks, so we spent fifteen minutes or so modifying it until I was satisfied, and then got to work.

I took my friend M with me, and she was a sweetheart from the beginning til the end. She drove me to the studio (I’d had a couple of vodka shots at her place and knew driving myself was useless), with a large box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates to calm me down if I was in too much pain, and a lot of hilarious anecdotes from her past week to distract me from the needles.

In terms of the actual pain – the outlining hurt. I won’t lie. In fact, it hurt like a b*tch. Those were definitely the longest 20 minutes of my life, and I was cursing myself for choosing a design three inches big (three inches sounds tiny, but let me assure you, it isn’t!). My voice sounded feeble and weak when I spoke, like I had just undergone surgery.

At that point, a potential customer walked in – he didn’t look older than seventeen or eighteen – and started chatting M up. I probably had the most enjoyable fifteen minutes ever as he tried to figure out if there was a country in this world known as Sri Lanka (where M is originally from), while M was blatantly giving him hints that she wasn’t interested. At one time he refused to leave the shop until he got her phone number (or even her Facebook. Jesus). He finally left when his girlfriend walked in! On hindsight, it was probably not a good thing that both me and K were sniggering away the entire time (what if my tattoo turned out a mess?!) but it was a welcome distraction.

The shading was almost painless – I guess that’s because the needles are more spread out, as opposed to being concentrated on one point during an outline. I enjoyed myself immensely as both K and M treated me to more funny stories about previous customers at the studio.

And before I knew it, I was done! I sat up and gingerly walked to the mirror. I might be biased, but I think it looks fantastic (excuse the quality):

This was taken an hour or so after I got it done. It’s still in the healing stage, but I’ve stopped bleeding ink (which was quite disgusting, the ink would form as a sticky layer over the tattoo and I had to wash myself once every hour. You can see the shine of ink in the photo). It’s now at the stage where it starts scabbing a little bit, but within two weeks it should be all healed. This is today, almost one week later, and it looks a lot better:

I’m really glad I did this. Some people ask – why would you want to go through pain for that? There’s something thrilling about getting inked, thats for sure. I love how unique this makes me – everyone has a body, but now I have one that’s truly mine. I love how badass I feel, even though I know I haven’t really changed. The pain doesn’t last – the ink however does.

I’m already planning my next tattoo.

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9 responses to “Getting inked

  1. Jun 02, 2008· below are a few exclusive areas of the body to have tattooed ! as an alternative to compromising for the most common places where anyone will get inked, consider these choices for …tattoos

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