9 November 2015

My New Tattoo!!

I finally had the opportunity to add another little piece of art to my body last Friday and I am so excited to share my experience with you guys!

I already have one tattoo on my right foot, which I got done around 3 years ago now. My first tattoo as you can see below, was a silhouette of Tinkerbell sprinkling fairy dust around the word "Believe". I had this done in Summer 2012. 

My first tattoo. Done at Wildcat Ink Dublin. 
Back in September of this year, my hubby gave me a voucher to get a new tattoo for my birthday. I have always been talking about wanting another and was fairly sure that for my next tattoo I was going to be getting the little red cardinal from Sleeping Beauty (my favourite Disney movie) on the back of my neck. Now that I had a voucher, and the reality set in that I was actually in a position to be able to get a new one done, I was suddenly unsure about what I wanted. 

The exact same thing happened when I got my Tinkerbell tattoo! Originally Tinkerbell was Mickey Mouse and supposed to be on my ankle. The day before my appointment I decided that I wanted to change the tattoo and that night we printed out a bunch of reference material to take to the studio. When I met my tattoo artist he suggested placing Tink on my foot as opposed to my ankle, the tattoo took a painful 40 minutes to complete (nothing compared to my husbands 3 1/2 hour session on his back which you can see below!) - but I was thrilled with the results! 

My hubby's Native American inspired tattoo. Done at Wildcat Ink Dublin in 2010.
My husband kept encouraging me to book my tattoo, but despite being anxious to get a new one I wasn't overly excited about it. While I do still really want the little cardinal, my uncertainty was putting me off making any decisions until I was 100% sure. A local tattoo studio near our home then posted a few weeks ago that they would be running a promotional week with massive discounts on tattoos! I had been there before with my brother when he had his amazing lion tattooed on his forearm for his birthday this past summer.

My brother's tattoo. Done at Spider Tattoo Lucan. 
I am very apprehensive about approaching just any tattoo studio. Not only do I research them heavily in terms of reviews and feedback, but I also like to visit them before and get a feel for the staff and the general operation of the studio. Wildcat is of course incredibly professional and I never had any issues with them. I was intending to return, but I also found myself fond of getting something done at Spider Tattoo in Lucan after sitting in with my brother. The studio itself is cozy and welcoming. The artists are incredibly professional and talented and the place is spotless from head to toe! The perfect atmosphere to get tattooed!

With the promotional week coming up, Shane was encouraging me more and more to decide on a design and possibly use my voucher for one big or two small tattoos with the discounted rate! I won't lie, I was really fond of the idea, but I was still having issue with deciding what I wanted. A tattoo after all is for life, and not exactly an easy decision for someone as indecisive as I am. I knew I wanted the little bird but I just couldn't commit for some reason. So the week before the promotion started, I took to the internet looking at various designs and that was when I came across the little elephant. 

Elephants have huge significance not just for me but as a symbol for my relationship. One of the first gifts I ever bought Shane was a little elephant stuffed toy called "Elliot". He was part of a Hallmark style collection called Elliot and Buttons and I picked him up around Valentines day with a little "Boyfriend" cushion attached to him. Over the years, we removed the cushion and Elliot became our little mascot travelling everywhere with us. Whenever Shane went away or we couldn't see each other for a while, I would keep Elliot with me to remind me of him and vice versa.

Aside from our little Elliot, elephants also happen to be my favourite animal! I have a massive collection of "lucky" elephants. So called for their upright trunks. We make a point of collecting a "lucky" elephant if we see one whenever we travel somewhere and keep them as memento's of our trips. It's our little hint at the infamous phrase "elephants never forget", and so we keep each elephant to remind us of places we've travelled and things we have done together. 

I have also been a proud supporter of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a number of years, adopting and donating towards the care of many baby elephants orphaned by poaching in Kenya. A good friend of mine often gifts me annually with Care for the Wild elephant adoptions going back almost ten years now. So as you can see, elephants and their conservation are massively important to me. 

Aside from this, I am hugely drawn to their personalities. They are loyal and travel in large family units. They are honest and trustworthy, confident, compassionate and embody important social and leadership skills. Spiritually elephants are considered to be movers of obstacles, and considering everything I've went through with my diagnosis, foot surgery and recovery these past two years , I am all too familiar with obstacles and how they have been holding me back. Before even considering all of these many reasons among so many more as to why I love elephants so much - I had already made my decision about this tattoo - and THAT is how I knew that I was meant to get this done! 

I booked the tattoo for a Friday afternoon. I decided to go to Spider Tattoo in Lucan, not just because of the promotional week - but because that is where I had my heart set to go anyway. So the promotional week was really a bonus. My tattoo artist was Matheus who was more than happy to work from my printed image. 

As always the first part of any tattoo, is laying down the guidelines. 

I decided to get my little Ellie tattooed on my forearm. My husband actually filmed the entire process, and we will be compiling a little video very soon. I will link the video here once it's all done.

Pain wise - I won't lie - it was quite painful, but nothing unbearable. After everything I have been through I was more than happy to sit for the mere hour that it took to complete my little elephant. 

Matheus was excellent, so professional and focused on detail. I was so happy in my decision to use Spider Tattoo. 

After completing the outlines of my Ellie - he shaded using mixtures of black / grey / pink / blue and purple. The original image was actually an image I found on Pinterest and was much more "sketchy", but I was really happy with Matheus' decision to do a lot more shading then sketchy lines. I particularly loved the watercolour effect around the elephant and once he began adding the bright blues and purple, the piece took on a whole new personality. 

After just over an hour, my new tattoo was finished! 

By that night the redness had calmed down, and my Ellie was looking adorable!

I can't wait for the healing process to finish so I can properly enjoy it and show it off. The healing process is always the most nerve wracking! As I write this today, I no longer have to keep my tattoo covered which always makes me nervous, since a new tattoo is essentially an open wound. It has already started to scab over though so hopefully my healing won't be too drawn out. Once it is completely done, I will pop back with some updated pictures for you guys!

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