Being a proud owner of ink was something I’ve always wanted since my teenage years. I saw it as a form of self expression, a form of wearing your heart on your sleeves. And to be truthful, I enjoy going against the grain in my own (not so) subtle way. Being my younger-self, I wanted just about everything under the sun tattooed on my flesh. I was deep into the anime, manga, and video game scenes back then and they all had a heavy influence on my tattoo ideas. One day I’d want every Sailor Scouts’ symbols, the next day I’d die for Revy’s tribal shoulder piece, and later on I thought I wanted a giant Shenron scaling down my back. I was young, easily impressionable, but luckily patient enough to wait on a design that would truly age with me. To be honest, I’d probably still get the sailor scouts symbols lol….along with chakras…but that’s for another story.
I started off by searching the internet for ideas and inspirations. I searched through tumblr, pinterest, google images, and other sites for things like, “rose lace”, “lace design”, ” or “dream catcher”. For the most part, I didn’t want to end up with a “cookie cutter” type of design where it looks like another generic flower and rose tattoo….so I decided to draw it myself. I figured it would mean a lot more to me that way since I made the original design.
As you can see, I fancy a little lace, so I went with a dream catcher inspired design. It’s in no way an actual dream catcher, I just wanted something to symbolize the catching and letting go of adverse thoughts and emotions. The three roses symbolize myself, my mother, and my younger brother, who are both very dear to me.
The sketch itself took just under an hour due to my indecisiveness regarding size and placement. I ended up getting rid of the feathers and replaced it with a larger “dangle”, as my tattoo artist called it. In the end, I gave the artist full reign of the design. I told her that she can change the style of lace and improve the roses as she sees fit, I just wanted it to resemble the original drawing. She surprised me by saying the sketch was fine and that she wouldn’t change much about it. All the sketch needed was to be cleaned up and detailed a bit more. To be honest, I was smiling like crazy inside. What a compliment!
And now for the process…
After going in for a consultation, estimate, and an appointment booking, I was ready for my first tattoo. I was nervous as hell y’all. Nervous. I did what every sensible person do AFTER booking a tattoo appointment and researched the process. I already knew that getting a tattoo basically involved repeatedly getting stabbed thousands of times by tiny needles…but knowing that didn’t calm my nerves at all.
To be honest, the outline was the easiest and least painful part of the whole process. A lot of people would disagree, but there were some parts of the outlining that I didn’t even feel. Here’s the result.
Pretty happy so far 😀 Two weeks later, after healing and gross peeling, I was back in the shop for some shading. Okay….on a scale of 1 to 10, black and white shading landed at about 6-7 in pain. Before coloring, she did some preliminary black and white shading to capture the values, or the difference between light and dark. She then went back over the shading with an overlay of color and adjusted hues from there. This part sucked y’all, it really did. Call me a pansy but the tattoo was on a pretty tender area of my body. And it turned out to be pretty damn big considering I’m only 5’2″.
The second session took around two hours. I tried sitting as long as I could but the pain became overwhelming once she started packing in the color. My friend who accompanied me said that I began to bleed but that’s to be expected when getting a colored tattoo. Another rescheduling, another healing and gross peeling process, and yet again I’m back in the shop. This time I’m going to finish it off and not bitch out. I think I’ve gained the title “bitch boy” at the shop thanks to my lovely friend.
Third session. Finished…sort of.
Tada! Here’s the somewhat completed piece. My skin became pretty raw during the last session and it turned out I bled quite a bit. Since I haven’t completely healed from the last session, the tattoo artist told me to wait another 2 to 3 weeks to schedule a touch up. During that time she’ll deepen the flowers and I’m thinking about asking her to fill in the lace with light shading just to tie everything together. The lace as it is sort of looks incomplete and just a little bit of grey filler will add just the right effect!
That’s it for now, will update after touch ups!