I Got A Tattoo!

I have loved the idea for a couple of decades, but never found anything that I loved consistently and specifically enough to have permanently incorporated into my flesh. The people that I love are (mostly – or at least the ones whose opinions I care about) not opposed to body art, and I have found some things that I really find beautiful. But, I always wanted whatever became a permanent part of me to be uniquely my own. Flash can obviously be an inspiration, but I would never use something that generic.

Becca, one of my best friends from high school, has always been an amazing artist, and took herself off to the U.K. to be an amazing tattoo artist over there where people in general tend to be more awesome. I described to her what I wanted and sent her the pathetic attempt I had made at drawing it out, and over the course of a couple months, she came up with something absolutely phenomenal. So, now I had a completely unique design that meant a whole lot to me; that reminded me of both the past and the future, the promise of redemption, and hope that God gives us when we allow him to.

I added Hebrew text to my tattoo design, which the internet says is a universally bad idea, but I try not to take the opinions of anonymous strangers too seriously. I did rather a lot of research in ensuring that I had it as correct as I possibly could for a non-speaker, and ended up using some new Photoshop-fu to add the phrase to the existing design. I love the look, the meaning, the significance and the original artist of the choice I made. Frankly, if there are errors (and after looking at the final design, I know there are) I probably deserve them, and no one I know is an extant Westminster Leningrad Hebrew grammar Nazi. (Which would be sort of ironic, all things considered… Bad joke, hah.)

Finding the ‘right’ place to have it done was almost as much of a project as perfecting the design. I live effectively in the middle of nowhere, and while most towns around here with a population over 5,000 have a tattoo shop in them, that in no way makes them good tattoo shops. After all the work I did to make the design right, I wanted someplace that I knew would do it cleanly and correctly. I ended up going all the way to Minneapolis, to Saint Sabrina’s in Uptown. I lived very briefly in Minneapolis while I went to school at North Central University, and spent quite a lot of time in and around Uptown, so I’d heard of the place before, though never been inside. They have a relatively well-known artist there whose “name” is Bleach, whose work has appeared in several magazines and who Becca recognized by his work. I booked with his apprentice, Taylor, who is a pretty great artist in her own right, and… Waited.

The actual experience was mostly waiting and staring at the walls in the waiting room while the artist fiddled with the design, then made up her stencil. I had a 3-hour appointment and about an hour of it was spent in the waiting room, twiddling my thumbs and getting progressively more impatient. The whole tattoo only took about an hour and 20 minutes, so I was done earlier than I expected.

The tattoo is on my left inner forearm, a bit above my wrist to just below my elbow. When I was talking to Becca about it, she suggested that the part by my wrist may be a little “sharp”, but the rest would just feel like pressure. That is absolute hooey. The whole thing hurt like a &@# #^*@ son of a 8!#$%. I did a lot of memorizing the tree out the window and trying not to make faces. The artist told me, “You have very sensitive skin.” Hah, I noticed, thanks.

Actually, my arm was excruciatingly sensitive for about 48 hours afterwards. It’s finally starting to calm down enough that I can brush it against my side without wanting to climb the walls, but now… The itching has started. Ahh, so much whining. Hey, it’s my blog. 😛

So, I’m not going to post pictures of it on the internet. It’s mine. 😛 I don’t want to discover some schmuck in Seoul or Seattle with the exact same thing. If you want to see, I’ll show you!

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