I booked this tattoo appointment about 6 weeks ago. I'd discussed having a rose on my neck, but both me and my tattooist acknowledged that this is a b.i.g d.e.a.l and he said we could always test the stencil out, and then change our mind on the day, and tattoo elsewhere. He had a neck tattoo, but there were certainly others tattooing in the shop who did not.
I was definitely a little more anxious today than other tattoo appointments. I've been a heavily tattooed person for about 7 years I'd say, and I've got my legs, arms and hands covered. But there is something about a tattoo that people look at constantly when talking to you. Anyhoo, here I was.
I'd spotted Dani Queipo's work years ago, and I'd always known when I was ready to get an important tattoo again (e.g hand or neck), he'd be my guy. Over the last ten years the world of tattooing has been improved vastly by the world of social media. I remember being limited to the tattoo shops I happened to live near, and Tumblr. Thank the lord for Tumblr. Social media has allowed people to discover how good tattoos can really be, and it has raised the bar. And the bar needed raising.
You get a great tattoo by finding an artist where you just love everything they do, even if you wouldn't have the exact design yourself. I knew Dani would deliver something I loved, even if I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted. He also works in a shop I love and trust, so winning all round.
I'm writing this, just a couple of hours afterwards, so I don't forget what it really felt like. Because fuck me, it was intense. The first 10 minutes of a tattoo always hurts a lot as your body is shocked, and in fear. Your brain is sending all of the signals to run away or fight for your life. It's in pain and thinks something terrible is happening. There was an extra element to this, with my neck, and that was having your windpipe pushed upon while this was happening.
I was trying to think of way to describe it, and the best I could come up with was "Triggering". I can imagine that having a man pushing down on your neck for two hours could well be triggering. It's hard to get the skin taut enough to tattoo well, so your face gets smushed and your windpipe gets smushed. And it hurts. Some areas more than others, but the pain being so close to your face, seems to intensify it.
I focused on breathing. Having my neck pushed made me a little stressed at first about oxgyen levels, so I just tried to breathe a lot. Ha. Great life advice from me. For the outline, my knees knocked for most of it, which felt weird and was vaguely hilarious! Like fear and adrenaline. I kept topping up my sugar levels, and it seemed to settled once the outline was finished.
Obviously it is bearable or I wouldn't have finished it. Not being able to distract yourself was hard, I couldn't browse my phone, or read a book, due to the position of it all. But here we are. All done.
It's sore, bruised and will be swollen soon. I had to go a lovely event straight after, but all of the blood was pretty embarrassing so I left after a while. But here are my instant thoughts, it's pretty exhausting having all of that adrenaline pumping round your body, and its late, so I'm off to bed, and see how this bad boy sleeps.
Oh and P.S - Of course they fucking hurt. Stop asking the internet stupid questions.