Old stencils pinned up on the wall of the studio
The tattoo has begun
2 months old and all healed
Straight after tattoo number two
2 weeks later
I had wanted a tattoo for quite a few years, but as I'm so indecisive and an over thinker I hadn't done anything about it, except look at lots of pictures, pin them like mad and change my mind about what I wanted. My husband had his first one a few years ago, and last year I had planned to get my first, but the appointment fell through, so I ended up getting one the first few days into January.
I got tattooed by a very talented guy, Darren McDonald, we were on the same course at University, and since leaving I had seen his awesome tattoos on Facebook, he has a very distinctive style, and a great sense of colour. Finding out he was only based about 40 minutes away, I decided I wanted him to be the one to do it, and I finally decided what I would have, a bird based on the work of the amazing illustrator Charley Harper who is one of my favourite illustrators of all time. Before hand I was extremely excited, but very nervous. Obviously I knew it would hurt, and the main thing I was worried about was if I twitched while he was doing it, or what if I couldn't cope with the pain, and I couldn't let him finish it (as I said I'm an over thinker!)
The stencil was placed several times, until we were both happy then the buzzing of the tattoo gun started, and as it hovered above my skin, I held my breath waiting for the needle to make contact. There was pain, a stinging, scratching sensation, similar to what I had expected to be honest, and a relief really, as I thought, "OK, it hurts, but I can deal with this"
I watched the whole thing, and was fascinated. The needle moves so fast, you can't see it going in and out, it just looks like your being drawn on. I watched as the image built up, and got really excited as the colour went in, as any one that knows me, knows I love colour. As Darren finished the bird, he suggested a few circles might look awesome, I didn't really want any more pain, but agreed with him that they would look good, and I'm really glad I let him go with it, as I think they work really well, and make the whole think come to life.
I was a little alarmed to find that I'm a bleeder when it comes to being tattooed, some people hardly bleed at all, but I'm not one of them!
When I went in to get my bird I really believed it would be the only tattoo I would ever get, but now I understand what people mean when they say it's addictive! Less than 2 months later I was back to get a squirrel on my thigh, based on the artwork of Andrew Pavitt. Once you have one, it's so much easier thinking of others you want, and the excitement of seeing a piece of artwork on your body is something you want to feel again.
Again, as my second one was happening, I was lying there thinking, "two will be enough, it's a nice amount, I don't really want to go through this again", but the day after, my mind was firing away, thinking about what I could have next! Oh dear!
A massive thanks to Darren for doing such an awesome job! Find his work on Instagram as @magicmutant