I got my hand tattooed by Cassandra Frances

I've talked and written about hand tattoos before. That I feel they are 'a big deal' and I was waiting to feel ready. My wait felt somewhat odd, considering I got my knuckles and a duck tattooed on my hand a couple of years ago. Impulsively, this month, I felt ready. Part of the readiness came from an artist moving from up north, to London.

Cassandra Frances was such an obvious choice for me, and I actually ended up being her first London tattoo since she's moved down to work here. I knew what I wanted, but I'd never seen it before, so I just needed to find an artist I could trust 100%.

I emailed some vague ideas of what I wanted, and turned up hoping that Cassandra had somehow been able to make sense of my list of requirements. This tattoo has no meaning, the brief wasn't about certain details, more about the overall look, which must have been challenging to interpret. For example, I wanted to have gaps of skin, rather than a solid covering.

I arrived, and Cassandra showed me my stencil. She said she had time to change it, but of course, as I'd always known, it was exactly right.

Now, this is the importance of artist choice. If you don't have an exact idea of what you're after, you're really paying for their creative expertise, to create what you want, even when you don't know what you want.

More than other tattoos I've had, this tattoo seems to acquire the "Did it hurt?" question. Does a hand tattoo hurt? Yes of course it does. Is it bearable? Of course.