Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Second Tattoo: Angel Wings!

So I really have NOT been good about posting lately! However, with the New Year, I am planning a new blogging schedule and am hoping to get a new article up every week! Bear with me but let’s hope I can make it happen!

Thought I’d start off by writing about something that I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time… my new tattoo!

I got my new tattoo on 1st November… so a couple of months ago now haha, oops! I’m big on celebrating monthiversaries (of everything….!), and this timing actually worked out pretty funnily because my partner and my anniversary falls on the 30th, and my first tattoo was done on the 31st! I originally wanted Tattoo Number 2 done on the 6th or 7th of November, just to mix it up a bit, but this didn’t end up happening… More on that later!

So as mentioned, this tattoo is my second tattoo. It was two years since I got my first one and I was starting to get really keen to go through the whole process again, having had a tonne of fun getting my first one. Obviously I didn’t want to get tattooed till you have something you really want though, so when I started itching to get this tattoo, I knew it was time.

The idea actually came to me the day I moved to America and it was all I could think about for the whole day, so I just knew I had to do it, because it was such a profound desire. I moved on 6th September and had the tattoo done on 1st November – so yes, less than two months after I thought it up! I wanted my first tattoo for FOUR YEARS before I got it and had always thought this length of time was only appropriate – but when you know you know, and I knew I wanted this tattoo, and shortly after my move too, as that is in part what it commemorates, in addition to just this stage of my life in general.

So what is this new tattoo? It is – dun dun dun – black and grey angel wings! My first tattoo is also black and grey with beautiful shading, so that is what I wanted (and what I got!) for this one too. I like other styles of tattoos on other people, but think this is the style for me, at least for any I get on my arms.

My tattoo was inspired by many things:

1)     My move to Los Angeles aka the City of Angels.
2)     For this reason, I gave my family and friends all angel-winged theme presents before I left, so it was in honour of them too.
3)     I am a Christian and I thought it was a great subtle way to pay homage to this and the feeling of being blessed that my religion gives me.
4)     I listened to this song by my favourite musical artist, Joseph Poole, a tonne before moving to LA and I think it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Every time I look at my tattoo it reminds me of the music I love and what that means to me.

5)     I love how it’s something pretty and girly, which is such a huge part of me, even though I present myself so masculine-ly. I like how it is a little reminder of that... and that it still looks pretty masculine at the same time.

My tattoo was done by Zoey Taylor, who runs a small tattoo business called Zoey Taylor Tattoo Shop. My last tattoo was done in London and although I love it, I didn’t have the greatest customer experience, so I didn’t mind looking for someone new. I found Zoey through Time Out’s list of best places to get tattooed in LA and I was excited to have my new tattoo done by a woman: when I had my seahorse done, I originally wanted to get him done by a woman, but then found my artist (who was a man) whose style I really liked so I went to him instead. I was impressed by her black and grey gallery and felt like she could give me what I wanted. The other artist I seriously considered was Derrek at Broken Art, but they actually never replied to my email – so that was the end of that!

My original image I gave Zoey - I requested they look "less fluffy" though!!!

I was really impressed by Zoey’s professional attitude to running her business: she has a PA and all the communication with her is very timely and polite. Zoey squeezed me in on 1st November despite being booked till February (!!!!!!!), which was really sweet of her. The tattoo ended up only taking about twenty-five minutes which I am still pretty amazed by – my first one, which is about half the size, took an hour and forty-five minutes!!!

Zoey at work on me!

I guess it is good it didn’t take so long though because this one really did hurt! I have always been quite smug as I found my first one shockingly un-painful, but this one was definitely ouch-worthy. It felt like having a cheese grater run down my arm, and though I think I dealt with the pain pretty well – there was no crying or screaming from my end! – it definitely was an uncomfortable experience!!

Brand new baby! (And me looking a little worse for wear!)

It continued to hurt for a couple of days after, too. The first day it was done it felt incredibly swollen and aching, and the ache stayed for the next couple of days, and made even activities like washing up a challenge. I think I noticed this pain less with my first one because it was in a less moveable area but this was really obvious to me! Still no itching though, which everyone always claims happens! I’ve never had much of a problem healing tattoos though and it was looking fully healed about four days after it was done – which is a good thing, as they’re pretty embarrassing to walk round with at first!

I had another new experience with my second tattoo in that unfortunately I had to go and get it altered. If someone had told me I’d ever have to go back and get one of my tattoos altered, I think I would have freaked out! Unfortunately, I absolutely hated an aspect of Zoey’s design. I tried really hard to deal with it but about a week after having the tattoo done I admitted to myself that I simply could not stand it and I would have to go and get it changed. I didn’t like how Zoey left a gap in the outline at the top of each of my wings – not only did I dislike it from another person’s vantage point but from my perspective, looking down at the tattoo, it just looked terrible.

The holes at the top..... :O

Originally I planned to go into another shop and ask them to do it for me but my partner said I should go back to Zoey and ask her to do it for free. My partner thought it wouldn’t be an issue, and I have to admit I kind of agreed with her! Disappointingly, Zoey wasn’t initially forthcoming about doing this tiny touch-up. However, she did eventually do it for me, for free, which I appreciated in the end.

I'm much much happier with the altered version!

I’m really really proud of this one, although it still feels very weird that I now have a tattoo which I hadn’t even imagined this time last year!! Considering how long I thought about my first one, this is slightly trippy but I kind of love it for that. It is also a new feeling as my seahorse is really not very visible, either to me or to others, despite being on my arm. This one, however, is basically all up in everyone’s face ALL THE FUCKING TIME, not least mine. I was worried about this aspect of the lower arm before I had the tattoo done. Having a tattoo on your lower arm, or another body part you see often, is a life sentence you will never have a day off from and you will be looking at that tattoo day in and day out forever. So far it doesn’t bother me at all, however – let’s hope it stays this way!

It can even be visible when I'm wearing a long-sleeve shirt - bit
different from Sid, who is only ever really out when I'm in a tank top!

I enjoy having others be able to see this one as much as they can too. My problem with Sid was always that people couldn’t see him enough. If I don’t want people to look at my new one, it is relatively easy to cover with long sleeves or a jumper, so that hasn’t been a problem. The change is that I do definitely see people looking at it A LOT though. This especially happened when I first had it done as it was such a dark black. I also find it hard to point at anything or reach out for something with that arm without people just looking at my tattoo! So that’s a new experience.

Overall, I’m super duper happy with it, and I’m excited to have welcomed it to my body… and finally to my blog!!!!

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