Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

I got a Tattoo!

Two weeks ago, I got my first tattoo! There’s a story behind the design, but I’ll get to that a bit later as I really wanted to walk through my experience for anyone curious about getting a tattoo.

My first suggestion is to go with a tattoo artist your tattooed friends recommend, especially if you like their tattoos. I wound up getting my tattoo over 100 miles away in Middlesborough at Skins and Needles because my friend Jen had tattoos from there and she was going in to have colour added to hers and asked if I wanted to get mine at the same time. I also had recommendations for a place in Essex, but that was a little too far away. Plus, I see my friends in Middlesborough pretty regularly, so if I had any problems or it needed a touch up it would be easy to arrange.

We arrived for our appointment and the first thing the artist, Lotti, did was talk to me about my design. Placement, size, and even double checked with me that I knew my tattoo would look “upside down” to other people (but be right side up for me). She tweaked the design another friend had made and made sure I was ok with the new size, though she also explained her reason was so that the stars would stand out better. I Ok’ed the design, and she headed off to the printer and came back with the stencil – which was basically a rub-on version of my design. This was my last chance to change my mind on location and size.

I should also mention the sterilisation/cleanliness – The bed was completely sanitised and covered with plastic, the instruments were sanitised and covered in plastic, and she wore rubber gloves ever time she touched my arm. The entire shop was very clean, and I felt 100% comfortable.

She also shaved a bit of arm hair that might have been in the way of my tattoo and cleaned my arm with alcohol swabs before placing the pattern on.

Getting the actual ink took about 20-25 minutes because it was small and only one colour. It barely hurt – in fact, I could feel the heat of the needle more than any pain, except for the part right across my wrist tendons. That part was very tender and I said “Ouch!” a few times. Interesting, there was a man sitting at a chair across from me who seemed to be having more pain than me!

After she was finished, she wrapped me in clingfilm and gave me instructions to keep the plastic on for 2-3 hours (which I learned was VERY HOT since it was a hot day!), then it was fine to keep it uncovered. I also received a sheet of instructions on how to care for my new tattoo, and I have followed them to the letter.

I was told to use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter on it first, and once the shiny skin came through switch to E45. Because of the placement, I was advised not to submerge it in water for the first week or so, so rubber gloves were purchased. I also decided to cover it with plastic in the shower, but only because of the Hibiscrub that I need to use for my Hidradenitis. Once my tattoo is completely healed (which it almost is!) I won’t cover it in the shower.

It honestly has been a lot easier of a process than I thought – possibly because I got a small tattoo and a black tattoo. I don’t know what the recovery time for a coloured tattoo would be. It probably also helped that I am used to having blood drawn, and needles barely make an impact. I think if you were more sensitive to having blood drawn, getting a tattoo might hurt more.

So on to what my tattoo signifies, since it shocked a lot of my friends that it wasn’t Star Trek or Harry Potter related! I’ve wanted a tattoo for many years, probably since I was in my early 20s. I wanted to get something for my dad, who passed away when I was thirteen, and I knew I wanted it to incorporate the constellation Orion because when my dad died, Orion was the brightest star in the sky when my youth pastor took me outside to look at the stars. in Particular, Orion’s belt.

my facebook post about my tattoo.

I have LOADS of Orion images saved and even tattoo ideas. I thought about getting the stars as dots only on my arm, I thought about getting the constellation joined up, I had all sorts of ideas.

A friend on a cat page posted an elegant tattoo they got which was a cat’s body made to look like a treble clef. I really liked it and I was talking to my friend, Babs, about it and that I thought it would be neat to do and add Orion’s belt and maybe a leaf for the band, Carbon Leaf. To my great surprise, my friend sent me three drawings she did based on my idea and I sat on them for a further two more years before finally getting my tattoo!

I’m really glad I waited to make sure I really wanted a tattoo and this one in particular….but I’m already thinking about #2, and Babs is already drawing!


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1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Jassy December 27th, 2019 23:51

    This looks pretty amazing

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