Do you know since when have I wanted a tattoo? Since I was 15 years old. But I feared needles too much to actually consider entertaining my fantasy.
Fast forward many years and just as I was about to turn 30, I decided to do things that I always wanted but did not do because either I was afraid or simply didn’t get around to it.
Quit a job that doesn’t serve my ambition. Check.
Be the healthiest version of myself. In progress.
Get inked. Check.
I had to prepare myself mentally before progressing forward. I had to remind myself that this is forever, and there will be no turning back. Once I was ready, I began the legwork for getting my first tattoo.
First thing I did was to decide what I want. I have also associated myself to the Taurus bull, so it seemed like the perfect choice. I researched on body parts that hurt the least and wrist was one of the options. I would have opted for collarbone if my pain threshold was higher.
Then, finding the right artist. I asked around on social media and got a few suggestions. Mister, who neither has a tattoo nor is interested in getting one, suggested Norma Jean. I messaged her, along with few others, and instantly liked her. We fixed an appointment for consultation and that was it.
Now that I am done with the deed, I can confirm that it is very important that you are comfortable with your artist. I met Norma, and told her what I had in mind. I was also very vocal about my embarrassingly low pain endurance levels, and she seemed sympathetic. We decided on a day, and off I went.
The Big Day:
If I were any more dramatic than I already am, I would have probably dreamed about needles the night before. I was getting cold feet as the time neared. Pain is not something I look forward to, regardless of its purpose. This includes blood tests, threading, waxing, cleaning, cooking…you get the drift, right?
Mister offered to join me to offer moral support. My appointment was at 3PM. I arrived four minutes late; we discussed the design as Norma had some suggestions. Listen to the expert, boys and girls. The design I chose was awfully basic. She showed me alternatives for the same design with a little more depth and style.
Next, she printed out the design so we can ascertain the size. Once we agreed on one, she applied a cream that was meant to work as anaesthesia. Norma told me that it would numb the area to an extent, so I won’t feel the prick fully. She did advise that as it is a small tattoo and my first experience, I should feel it to fully experience getting inked. I threatened to cry. She gave up convincing me to enjoy the pain.
She applied the cream, wrapped it with cling wrap and secured it with an adhesive. We had to wait 30 minutes for it to work – she started with her tools and I went to nearby DM to shop for travel size shampoo and hair spray.
We started “inking” around 4PM. She suggested that I lie down as keeping still is important and keeping my wrist twisted for extended time period might become troublesome for me.
Mister had arrived by that time as well.
I lied down on my stomach, and looked the other way. The sight of needle was making me anxious, and I was ready to bolt. Mister held my hand as I started getting fidgety once the apparatus was set to motion. The sound alone was enough to freak me out.
After screaming ‘stoopppp’ twice, I buried my face in the pillow to stifle the scream that was bound to escape as soon as needle made contact with my skin.
Norma informed that she will first draw the outline and then fill it in. Remember the pain and scream that I had anticipated? They never came! My wrist was so perfectly numb that while I could feel the buzz, there was no pain whatsoever during outline-drawing process.
Confident and proud, I started to enjoy the procedure. She changed the needle for filling, and I felt some pain – similar to a prick – every now and then. She told me that is because the outlining head had three needles whereas filling head has nine. But overall, it hurt much less than waxing, threading or using an epilator.
In about 20 minutes, we were done. She gave my skin another five minutes to calm down and covered it with plastic. She called it the “second skin”. It is extremely flimsy but is firmly glued to my skin. It is meant to protect and allow uninterrupted healing. Ideally, I should keep it for five days.
They say that once you have get a tattoo, you can’t stop. Like Pringles. And I fully agree. I think I might be back sooner than later. Would I recommend it? Hell yeah!
Good to know:
Cost: It depends on the size, complexity and time required. I paid 110 Euros for mine.
Contact details: Norma Jean – you can get in touch with her via Instagram (www.instagram.com/normajeantattoo)
Lastly, the coffee at the tattoo studio is pretty alright and can help calm your nerves.