My First Tattoo

Today was a pretty big milestone because I got my first tattoo! I know, I know. You’re probably freaking out right now and you must be thinking that I’ve acted upon this impulsively. To be honest though, I’ve always wanted a tattoo and the idea of this particular one came to me about a month ago.

You may also be asking how much it cost, who I went to, etc. I get it, the in’s and the out’s of getting a tattoo can be quite tricky. But luckily for me, I went to an old friend from elementary school  who lives fairly close to me and who is actually an independent tattoo artist. Check her out on Instagram – her handle is @silvana_art!

Below I will share with you my personal experience of getting my first tattoo. I’ll also share the meaning behind this tattoo. If any of you tattoo artists are out there reading this, please correct me if I’m explaining the process incorrectly, ha ha. Anyways, moving on.

To begin, Silvana is an amazing artist. We grew up together actually, as mentioned above. It was so nice to have her as my tattoo artist because we were able to catch up with one another and just reminisce about the good ol’ care free days. I knew what I wanted my tattoo to be so I gave her the piece of paper and she immediately went to work. This is her home studio, but you can also find her at Puncture Tattoo Studio in Brooklyn, NY. Here she is tracing the piece of paper with the words that I wanted onto the transfer paper in which she can apply on my wrist afterwards.

After she finished tracing and after she transferred the traced words onto my wrist (and after letting it dry for ten minutes), she went straight into action! She set up all the equipment, got the inks out, put on her gloves, etc. I love how she was able to explain the whole process to me step by step and told me exactly what she was going to do before she was going to do it. At first, Sil went over the lettering in black ink. The pain kind of felt like a sharp (but dull at the same time) needle that was constantly moving. I mean, that’s exactly what tattoo-ing basically is; a vibrating pen on your body. After going over the lettering slowly and surely, Silvana moved onto the next step.

Here, Sil is going over the tattoo with blue ink to create shading. Towards the end of my session, the pain became more prevalent since she had to constantly go over the lettering. But, overall, the pain for me was about a 6.5/10 because I’d like to believe that I have a high tolerance for pain.

Voila! This is the end product. As you can see, the tattoo reads “Stay humble” and I purposefully wanted it facing towards me so that I could read it. This tattoo is special to me because it is written in my mother’s handwriting. Oftentimes, there are instances where I become overconfident (especially when I have a manic episode). Now, I have something to look at and remind me to stay grounded, to stay humble. This tattoo also reminds me of my mother, and how I have drawn my strength from such a beautiful human being who I have the privilege of calling mom.

My experience: 10/10
Pain: 6.5/10
Cost: $80 w/o tip

Now that I’ve gotten my first tattoo, I’m already thinking of the other tattoos that I want already, ha ha. We shall see what happens. But yeah, I can definitely see why people usually don’t stop at just one. Tattoos are a literal form of art – hats off to all you tattoo artists who are able to do this line of work. Y’all are amazing.

Again, don’t forget to check out Silvana’s instagram: @silvana_art

I highly recommend her.

Speak soon!

– B. T.

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