Red has been a gorgeous edition to Marry Me Ink this first year, it’s been great having her whilst the blog grows and gains glorious readers. Seriously, I cannot wait for her wedding this year. I’m counting down the weeks and days with her!
“If tattoos are the body’s way of flowering, then I’m officially in bloom! You may remember back in February I filled you in on my most recent quest for inkiness, in the form of a glorious wedding-inspired design dedicated to my betrothed…
Wellllll *cue awesome drum roll, Travis Barker stylee*….BEHOLD, my marvellous magnum opus….
Pretty magnificent, isn’t it? Kev at Lucky Cat Tattoo Parlour did a stellar job during my second stint in the chair to finish off this bad boy. And, despite my pain-induced ramblings (I whittered a serious amount of sh*te that day…) I even got a free half hour thrown in by the kind Captain just to get the job done to perfection.
His mission? To try and incorporate as best as possible an existing tattoo from my teenage years – the ten (slightly pointless, but I was going through a phase) pink and black stars in the middle – and to add some ‘pretty colour’. Yep, that’s all he got from me, and he STILL managed to produce a tattoo that went so far beyond my expectations, I’m still a little in shock.
Because great tattoos just don’t happen to me. I had six mediocre etchings before I found my tattopia in Lucky Cat, and it got me thinking – if I knew then, what I know now, would I have had them done differently? I don’t ‘regret’ any one of my tattoos as they are all the most personal souvenirs from certain times in my slightly kooky life, but as I mature (ahem) it’s easier to reflect on better ways to approach adding to my ever-growing collection.
Soooo, I’ve come up with my top 10 tat tips (can you tell I have a thing for alliteration?) which will be my personal reminder for future, and hopefully help you over that fence if you’re still on it….
- Research! Whittle away hours online, blissfully devouring everything the world wide web has to offer. My favourite free sites include The Tattoo Page, my latest obsession, Pinterest, Marry Me Ink (of course!) and Rock n Roll Bride, which regularly features gorgeously inked brides that never fail to inspire me.
- Try not to get too carried away with a fleeting trend. Just because you totally and utterly adore that new emo band now, and they have such a cool logo, doesn’t mean you’ll still love em’ in a decade. Think very, very carefully about your choice of design, and whether you truly want that image/those words to always be a part of your life. Forever’s a long time after all!
- In addition to talent, pick a tattoo parlour that values the three C’s – cleanliness, creativity and customer care. Basic stuff, but super important in practice.
- Book a consultation. It may cost, but ask yourself what you value more – £10 today or a lifetime of regret everytime you look in the mirror? (deep, but true)
- It’s often tricky, as the client, to articulate the masterpiece you’ve concocted in your head. If you, like me, possess the drawing skills of Edward Scissorhands, then you need to bring your ideas to life with visual aids – print-outs from t’internet, pictures from magazines, a collage, instagram photos, calligraphy/fonts you like. It’s worth taking the time to build up your collection before your consultation, and it’ll serve a double purpose to reinforce exactly what you’re looking for. My own tatspiration Pinterest Board always helps focus my mind onto what it is I really want in a tattoo.
- For the same reason as above make sure you feel 100% comfortable with, and trust, the tattoo artist you choose. You don’t want to put your precious skin in the hands of someone you’re unsure of, and you really don’t want to be spending hours on end with a complete bell-end!
- If you’re going for a larger piece and don’t have wads of cash to splash make the process work for you by booking appointments around pay day. This was a god-send when I got mine.
- Make sure you aren’t jetting off anywhere exotic for at least a month after getting your tat finished. To preserve your little piece of art in all its glory it’s always safer to keep it out of direct sunshine for fade-avoidance.
- I’m no expert in after-care as a self-confessed lazy lump (sometimes I only brush my teeth once a day because I just can’t be bothered) but my very decorated friend Caz swears by a three day ritual of washing with warm water, gently drying, applying bepanthan cream and covering in cling film, repeating three times a day (her tattoos sure do look gorgeous even after years of having them!).
- Add to your wardrobe with a few key pieces that flash your tat in all its glory, and enjoy! :)”