Who would’ve thought that I’d actually end up with one? At least I didn’t. It’s like getting a candy you wanted really badly and you knew you won’t get it, but then your parents hand it to you unexpectedly.
Anyway, I had wanted a phoenix since I was 14. So yeah, I was pretty sure with what I wanted. So I started trying to convince mum when I was in 12th grade. Mum gave in and said, “Okay, get it in college.”. Then college happened and I tugged her t-shirt again.
“Now?”, I asked.
“Get it in second year.”
But I really wanted one. So this time, I went up to big daddy and asked him for one while mum was in Canada, visiting my elder sister. Surprisingly, he allowed me after about 3 weekends of convincing. (Weekends because we both would be busy and I’m in the hostel. So weekends don’t give much time for convincing.)
We planned it out and went to Devil’z Tattooz at Westgate mall, Rajouri Garden. After fixing an appointment, we all went and made a design having two parent designs. We got an appointment for 20th Oct morning which gave me a week to rethink my decision. I had it all sorted and decided in my head. So when I returned home on the 20th, mum served me brunch, wished me luck and dad went with me to the studio. He rechecked the equipment and everything before it started. Rahul, the artist asked me to remove the shirt and I suddenly went cold. Fear gripped me as I saw him unpack the needles and get ready.
So after reconfirming the design and location, I turned around and he put the stencil and got the impression of the tattoo. I twitched as I felt the vibrating gun in his hand. He asked me to relax as dad laughed. I got ready and he started etching. I thought to myself, “Is that it? it doesn’t hurt much!” So I sat and chatted with dad and listened to some music (while he was gone for lunch) and 3 hours got over so quickly with some water breaks in between.
He took about 15 minutes to finish it after which came the part when he used white ink and some more black to highlight the tattoo. Those 45 minutes were killing me. Maybe because he was etching over the wounds he had just made. I was tired and I was drained out of energy. That is why they had asked me to have a brunch instead of just breakfast and skip lunch. And that was where I learnt, never go to the studio to get inked on an empty stomach.
I stopped him thrice and kept asking how long would it take because I was too tired and the pain was getting on my nerves. He told me that it’s almost done and went on for 15 minutes as I held the chair tight in pain.
He finally got done and cleaned the ink and the finished tattoo. He clicked a couple of pictures, told me how to take care of the tattoo, applied a wax-like ointment and covered it with a plastic sheet and gave me an after care pamphlet.
Do’s and dont’s just before getting inked:
- Bathe. The artist needs a clean surface to work on. And you probably don’t want him to be in a hurry because you stink.
- Be on time for the appointment. Your artist might give your allotted time to someone else. And that won’t feel nice.
- Eat before you get inked. Your body needs energy to sit through the pain. Besides, food calms the nerves and passing out during the process won’t be nice.
- Check the equipment once again. Everything should be packed, disposable and fresh. Keep in mind the gloves, ink cups, ointment, water and needles MUST be disposed after every procedure. Check if they have an autoclave (a sterilization unit that sterilizes equipment).
- DO NOT have alcohol or pain killers before you get inked. They tend to make the blood thinner. You probably don’t want the artist to get distracted or even annoyed by a stream of blood (just exaggerating). It can cause the colour to bleed out or make the tattoo scab more, leaving you with either a dull tattoo or gaps in the colour. Excessive bleeding can also hamper the healing process.
- Please be calm.
- Wear something loose and comfortable and easily accessible to the area you’re having tattooed. Tattoo ink, stencils and blood can stain clothing. Wear something old, so you don’t have to worry about possibly getting it ruined.
- DO NOT move or annoy him by repeatedly asking how long it’ll take while he’s tattooing.
- Take a friend along. Studios usually allow at least one person during the procedure for moral support.
- Ask the artist to stop for a break if you’re hungry or thirsty.
- Pay attention to the instructions for after care of your fresh tattoo.
- Last, but very important: DO NOT FORGET YOUR WALLET AT HOME!