Saturday, May 20, 2006

Getting My First Tattoo

I finally got my tattoo done today. It is a tribal one just on my lower waist back. I wanted to have a tattoo done when I was in London but it was just too pricey and I finally met a cool tattoo artist in Prangin Mall Penang and just had to checked it out of my to do lists. It took me a while to find the right design and remembered spending two days in Camden Town looking for the right one. I was fortunate to find the design I wanted a week ago while accompanying my sister and her friend. I made an appointment for it to be done a week later which brings us to today.

As this was my first tattoo, I was very anxious as I am getting something that will stay with me for life. It will also make me easily identifiable if they were to find my body after a plane crash or accident. The tattoo artist started by tracing the design onto a piece of paper before applying some alcohol and transferring the imprint on to my back. He suggested that it was a good height for my tattoo to be on my lower waist and I just simply agreed. Arguably most people would say that only the ladies get their tattoos there but it is common for surfer dudes to have tattoos on their lower waist back.

My Tribal Tattoo


I usually wear my jeans low cut just because I feel comfy and at times reveal my butt crack which can be sometimes an unpleasant view. Now, with the tattoo there, hopefully it will distract them and make it something pleasing.

The moment the needle first pierced into my skin, it felt exactly like an injection or an ant bite but when he was carrying on with the outline, it felt like he was slowly slicing my skin apart as he drag the needle. As the design consists of mostly curves, he tried to drag it as smoothly as possible each time which was torturing. Remember, no pain, no gain. The most painful moments was when he was working near my tail bone as I believe it is close to where my central nervous system is. The sides of the waist were painful as well and I was imagining myself going for a liposuction. The stinging feeling while he was working on the outline was not something unbearable. Try to think about something happy and not focusing on the needle movements. It was exactly what I was doing the whole time.

When the outline was done, he promised that the shading would not hurt as much but to me, it was all the same. The shading process is adding the color into the drawn outline. Using the same needle, he would slowly fill up the whole area meant to be shaded. It took a while as it was a large space to cover. The shading process did not require the needle to pierce in as deep as when drawing the outline.

I always assume that it will be very bloody while getting a tattoo and one might even suffer major blood loss but it wasn’t the case. Throughout the entire approximately an hour and half process, I chatted with the tattooist and kept bugging him about the progress. He would kindly give it to me in percentages like 10% left.

I was in joy when the whole gruesome process came to an end and saw the final work on the mirror. All I have to do from that moment on is to wait for it to heal and was warned not to swim or go for sauna. I will most definitely keep you periodically updated with the healing process.

Someone asked me whether I would consider a second tattoo. My answer is when the time is right.

According to my friend, I can’t donate blood for a year which is something I am planning to do as I am O positive, the universal donator. My blood type is rare and most wanted.

That’s all for today as I need to go to bed now after a long day and deserve some rest I guess for my sore sore.. back.

Take care.

Benny Ong

P/S: If you really want a tattoo and can’t take the pain, try an airbrush one or a henna tattoo.

3 comments:

bennyong.com » Tattoo Has Healed said...

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Song Yia said...

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john wong said...

I'm an ABC (Australian born Chinese) working\living in Singapore now.

I chance upon your blog about your first tattoo - and how we should get an airbrush tattoo if we are afraid of the pain. Can you let me know where I can get an airbrush tattoo in Penang or KL - I will be up in Malaysia next month for a holiday with my girlfriend. Would like to try some airbrush tattoos to see how it look before I do the REAL thing.

Regards,

John