All I was thinking about was if this needle was going to hurt.
For my birthday, I was surprised with a very special gift. My mom told me to go with her because we had to go somewhere. Getting a tattoo was the last thing on my mind that day. I would have never thought I was going to get a tattoo on my 16th birthday.
We arrived at the Salty Siren tattoo shop. Since I did not know I was going to get a tattoo, I did not really know what I wanted or where I wanted it.
Then, I remembered my mom has a tattoo of a lock on her chest, so I asked to get a tattoo of a key. But, I needed something to represent my father as well. That is when I start putting a few ideas together. I decided to get a cross shape as the handle part of the key for my dad. Then, I had the key to my mother’s heart and also the key to heaven’s gates for my father.
Andrew Hale was the man who sketched my idea and actually gave me my tattoo. When he showed me my sketch, I realized I was in good hands. Andrew supported me the whole time and kept me comfortable even through the pain.
First, he started the outline of my tattoo. The outline part was so painful because it was my first tattoo I did not know what to expect at all. The pain was unbearable at first. Thankfully, my brother-in law was there and put on some music for me so I could stay calm. The music also helped take my attention away from the pain. While I was suffering through my outline, my big sister, my mom and my brother- in-law are all laughing and taking videos of me. They all thought it was funny. The outline took about 25 minutes. These were the worst 25 minutes of my life.
After Andrew finished the outline, I thought everything was over and was ready to go. Everyone started looking at me like I was stupid. I was so confused. I said, “Let’s go guys,” and everyone in the tattoo parlor started laughing at me.
“We still have to get through the shading stage,” Andrew explained.
I sit back down in the chair, and he sprayed my forearm with some sort of numbing agent so the shading would nont hurt. I almost got up and hugged him because this spray saved my life.
This numbing spray made the shading part go by so fast. I did not feel anything too much. Sometimes, I would feel pain, but for the most part, I did not feel much. The shading stage took approximately 15 minutes. I got the colors white and gray for the shading, and they turned out so much better than what I had imagined.
After the entire tattoo was finished, I received a small container of tattoo lubricant and aftercare. The healing process was by far the hardest part of the whole tattoo experience. When the tattoo was healing, I had use antibacterial soap that was fragrance free and apply the aftercare cream.
It took about a week and a half to heal completely. Now, it looks great and it does not feel like a big scab.
The total cost, including the $50 tip, was $200.