My First Tattoo

For most of my life I never considered getting any tattoos. I was just not into doing permanent things that I might come to regret later and body ink was one of the things that fell into that category. However, when my daughter decided to start a career as a tattoo artist my position changed. After all, it’s one of the jobs of a father to support his daughter. It’s a rule.

So I had my first tattoo. It’s a fairly simple and straightforward one, a Valknut done on my inner left forearm. In retrospect the inner forearm may not have been the best choice for a first tattoo. I suspect that area is more sensitive than some other areas would be. Still, I have plans for shoulder and back pieces once my daughter gets more experience. They’re a little more complicated and would involve color, which her mentor isn’t ready to try her with just yet.

So…pictures.

The stencil applied to my arm. The linedrawn at the elbow and wrist are guides to center the tattoo.
Setting up her equipment.
She’s got two machines, one a “liner” an one a “shader” used for filling in larger areas.
She’s beginning to work with the liner. Note the plastic wrapped over the arm rest. They are extremely careful about infection and cross-contamination here. i watched the preparations and they are very thorough.
Continuing on the line work.
Line work done, she starts working with the shader. The streaking is ink on the surface of the skin being wiped away.
Continuing the filling in. Somewhere around here she told me to relax my arm. Tensing up makes it hurt more.
Nearly done. There are a few touchups yet to be done.
The final result about a half hour after, once I’ve removed the wrap they put over it after it’s finished but before I ha a chance to wash the area. The red discoloration, I am told, is plasma leakage and normal at this stage. It washed away once I cleaned up the area according to the instructions given by the shop.

And that was my experience with my first tattoo. Yes, it hurt. They are, after all, stabbing you thousands of times with needles. However, it was far from unbearable. It stung a little bit for an hour or so afterward and now is only a little tender. I’m told that it will take about two weeks for the area to fully heal and they gave me care instructions to keep from damaging the area and protecting against infection.

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