My First Tattoo (And Some Tips & Tricks to Remember for Yours)

By Christy Piña

I got my first tattoo on March 24, and I’ve honestly never felt more indestructible. Don’t ask me how or why some ink just below my left collarbone makes me feel so powerful, but I feel like I can literally take on anything.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a tattoo. I went back and forth when it came to which one I wanted to do first, but on that sunny Saturday afternoon at Euphoria Tattoos in Talla-nasty I went with the tattoo I knew I wanted the most.

I got three little birds flying across my upper body. I grew up traveling, and I’ve always admired a bird’s ability to go anywhere, anytime. I have two brothers, so I also feel like those three represent us each going where we’re meant to go.

As I write this almost a week later, I am through the roof with happiness and have never felt more able to take on whatever comes my way. If I can get a tattoo with my intense fear of needles, I can do anything.

Just a few things to keep in mind:

Before: Make sure you bring a picture of what you want exactly. The tattoo artist will ask you to email it to him or her to print out. The printout of the picture you show will be used as a stencil to test the placement of your tattoo and the size. Be as picky as you want. It may slightly annoy the artist, but it’s your body, and you’re the one that has to be happy with. It’s going to be there forever. With that being said, forever is forever, so if you’re not 100 percent I would say to hold off (even though I didn’t necessarily). Also, every parlor has a shop minimum, so if your tattoo is tiny, maybe get a couple small ones done on your first visit.

During: When the artist is about to start inking, breathe. I pinky promise it doesn’t hurt as much as you think. Trust me. I would know. I have the pain tolerance of a 4-year-old.

After: Don’t be afraid if your tattoo bleeds a bit the first couple of hours. It’s completely normal. Listen to everything your artist tells you to do after to ensure your new baby heals well and heals quickly.

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