Browsing around I stumbled upon a great tattoo inspiration blog. There are a wide variety of tattoos and well taken photographs. Please enjoy Confessions of a Tattoo Needle
While getting a tattoo, big or small, it can be difficult to find things to distract your mind from the constant sting. Many people suggest reading or watching a movie, but I have found these to be a bit too complicated for my mind to handle after sitting for a few hours.
The solution: Music, Conversation, and Food.
A fully charged IPod or Smart Phone with a special playlist for your session can be the difference between cringing in pain or singing your favorite song in the middle of the tattoo parlor (trust me, your artist won’t mind your singing if it means you are sitting still).
Having someone new to talk to about your tattoo helps, but only for about an hour until the relevant topics run out. During my exceptionally long sessions I told friends and family to come at 1 hour intervals. This gave them the chance to feel involved in my inking and me the opportunity to have fresh, distracting discussions every hour or so. Parents, Grandparents, close friends, neighbors, almost anyone would be interested to see your tattoo process and design (Be sure to ask your artist if they are okay with visitors, they may find them distracting while putting permanent ink in your skin… we wouldn’t want that).
Finally, the fail safe means of distraction and means of avoiding boredom: Food. Candy, crackers, cookies, sandwiches; almost anything will work, as long as it doesn’t take a lot of movement to enjoy it. Things like carrots, celery, cut up apples, and oranges are a perfect healthy alternative, especially if you have a tattoo buddy to help you. My personal saving grace was Vitamin Water. With the aid of a straw I drank away my pain with Strawberry Kiwi goodness (of course I had to take a few extra breaks after doing so). Hydration drinks like Vitamin Water or Gatorade are perfect, but try to stay away from caffeine, which could induce more shaking or wincing during your session.
If you smoke, don’t be afraid to ask for a smoke break if you need it. (Just three minutes of standing and smoking a Prime Time helped me get through the rough patches along my spine in my last session). The key is distraction, but the kind that a simple mind in pain can handle for a couple or more hours.
When I first turned 18, I knew I wanted a tattoo. Regardless of what some family and society told me, I knew I was ready for the commitment of a large back piece.
After searching around for the right shop and artist, I finally found Curtis at Tribal Rites in Fort Collins, CO. He had an incredible portfolio and many people eager to recommend him. I went for a consult, gave the $100 deposit, and made an appointment.
All of this was back in November 2011. As a gifted tattoo artist, Curtis was booked out for several months, leaving me to wait for my turn over the course of almost 5 months. My appointment is set for noon on March 29th, a mere 3 days away from today. Having already sat down for a final consult a few days ago, he is drawing up my design, and I am left wondering what amazing design he will come up with. The design I gave him for a reference is here, a silhouetted black tree, very similar to what I will be getting.
There is nothing better or worse than the anticipation of a life and body-altering event. Tattoo #3, here I come.
UPDATE: April 2, 2012
The first session for this tattoo went wonderfully. The progress so far can be found on the My Ink page under “Inner Beauty”
The anticipation of pain before a tattoo can be overwhelming, especially if it’s going to be your first one.
The quick “solution” to this problem is usually to get drunk to dull that pain. As effective as that might be, having alcohol in your system thins your blood, making bleeding a for sure problem during your ink session. Excessive bleeding can make the ink difficult to control, leading to a not-so-perfect tattoo (now we wouldn’t want that!)
The correct solution? Ibuprofen. Or Advil. Helping to keep swelling down and ease the pain, taking a noninflammatory half an hour before your ink session is the sure fire way to help with the tattoo burn and tingle.
(If you are getting ready for a long tattoo session, 3-6 hours, make sure to take ibuprofen when time allows to avoid a sudden on-come of pain)
Good Luck and Happy Inking!