My First Tattoo Experience & Meanings

Hi Lovelies,

After revealing I had taken the plunge to go ahead and get inked, I have been flooded with requests for pictures. So here it is I guess. Thank you to everyone who has already showered me with compliments. You know who you are.

But this post isn't just about a reveal. I wanted to share my experience with you, in the hope that those who are deliberating the leap find comfort, but also to document how I felt myself. I can imagine looking back myself in 10 years time, laughing about how I made a such a big deal about this when I'm covered head-to-toe in tattoos.

On 29th April 2017, I got my first tattoo. And my second to be exact. I had actually spent years deliberating the subject. The style, the placement, the colours, the actual design. Everything. I initially was going to head to Berlin for my first tat. I am so particular with my tastes that that artist was the closest one that I liked. But a couple of months ago, by chance, I found an artist based in the UK that I loved. Granted it was still a fair distance - but not Berlin, thank God!
"I picked all my weeds, but kept the flowers"
Kelly Clarkson released a song in 2007 after her friend gave her the above line, and wrote the entire song around it. It's such a beautiful metaphor for survival. She said, "Sometimes you've got to pick the people out of your life that are cancerous, and go with the good ones." And that's what this is for me. Surrounding yourself with good people, who only give and never take. If you are really savvy, you will notice the two Daisies. These are a nod to my second favourite novel, The Great Gatsby. The character Daisy, just like the plant, appears to be a flower, beautiful and pure. But in fact, Daisies are a weed; a wild plant growing where it is not wanted, determined to ruin the good, no matter the consequences. So these are a reminder, that people are not always what they seem.
I decided to get the Lotus tattoo for its spiritual representation. In Ancient Egypt, the plant is known to be associated with rebirth; it retracts into the water at the night and emerging a fresh in the Sun the next day. The Egyptians, therefore, associated it with the sun which also disappeared in the night, only to re-emerge in the morning. Therefore the Lotus came to symbolise the Sun and the creation. In many hieroglyphics works the lotus is depicted as emerging from Nun (the primordial water) bearing the Sun God.

Similarly, in Buddhism, the Lotus is associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean. Therefore in common with Egyptian mythology, the lotus is seen as a sign of rebirth, but additionally, it is associated with purity. The breaking of the surface every morning is also suggestive of desire, this leads to it being associated with spiritual enlightenment.

 “As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of the water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.” – Buddhism

The lotus for me is a metaphor; it comes from the murkiest water but grows into the purest thing. Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” – Masaru Emoto

If you made it this far, congratulations! I'm an English student so I can go on a bit of a tangent when it comes to deeper meanings!

So I finally bit the bullet! It's not that I was scared of the "rest of your life" malarky, or even terribly squeamish, it was more that I am about the most indecisive person going. It took me a long time to have faith in myself. 
I understand this is a first for me, so I am by no means and expert, but I thought I would share some things I learnt with this experience, in the hope of helping other first-timers!

Research. Research. Research.
I think this is the most important thing. If you really want to appreciate this art form, it's important you look around for the style you are interested in and find an artist that wants to collaborate with your ideas - not just you take a picture in for them to copy (obviously).

It's A Date!
Personally, I think it's bet to plan ahead. Get it booked, and the date in your diary. This gives you time to process it, and the artist to create.

No Pain, No Gain!
Naturally, it's going to hurt. Some places more than others. And I also think it depends on your pain threshold. I know some people go for numbing cream, but that wasn't for me. Mine was pretty pain-free, apart from a few annoying scratches on my ankle piece. It's never as bad as you think it's going to be, so don't let it put you off.

Hydr8 M8
(I know, these headings get worse) The worst thing you can do is go in on an empty stomach - especially if you are having a bigger piece done. Make sure you drink lots and even take a sugary drink in with you to keep your blood sugar levels high.

When it come's to aftercare, everyone will tell you different things. But the person who truly knows best is your artist. They know what works for their style and their patients - so follow their advance. With mine being such delicate pieces, I was instructed to use cocoa butter. Strictly not Bepanthen! This is a thick viscous cream that would've just pulled the ink out for me. 

Emjay, my artist was lovely. I couldn't have asked for a friendlier lady to do my first tattoos. She immediately made me feel at welcome, and I enjoyed my experience so much. Thank you! 
Let me know your first tattoo experiences and your most useful tips below!

All My Love


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