I CURRENTLY have five tattoos, all flower or insect related, a theme I never intended but seems to have developed naturally.
It was time to get another one recently, and this time it was to be my second largest. I contacted my favourite tattoo Artist, Jade Chanel (https://www.instagram.com/jadechanelp/), asked for two large delicate, peonies, and booked an appointment.
Jade’s work is perfect for the female body, she has worked on men, but most of her clients are women due to her feminine style and precision to detail, exactly what I was looking for.
When you enter a tattoo shop for your booking, you will be handed a form to write in your details, tattoo, cost and any health issues you may have. You’re also asked how long it is since you last ate, which is extremely important. Not only may you be sat in pain AND hungry, but if you may feel a bit faint if your body is going through this distressing process with no energy in your belly.
The next step is the stencil. A word of warning, most reputable artists with a style tend not to show you the design till you meet them on the day. If you’re going to an artist, you should trust their style, however it is understandable to be anxious, especially for your first tattoo.
5:45pm: Jade scanned through her design on transfer paper and placed it on my bicep. I wanted the flowers to peek around the front a little and wrap around my arm, perfect! It was at this point when we both realised how close the design was to the delicate skin of my armpit, I was not prepared for this.
Time to begin! Jade started with the outline of the bottom peony. Every time I get a tattoo I forget the pain, it definitely depends on where you get it done on your body. The outline was bearable, yet still pretty painful on my scrawny arms.
The atmosphere in the studio helped take my mind off the pain, loud music, people watching outside, and speaking with Jade.
6:45: Once the entire outline was done (basically all the purple areas of the stencil), Jade changed her needle for a thinner one to work on the detail. Now this is where I am going to be brutally honest, the pain was pretty bad, especially as she got closer to my armpit. I tried a lot of things to take my mind off the pain including:
- Waggling my toes
- Rubbing my feet together
- Digging my left hand thumbnail into my finger to confuse my brain on the pain (this worked!)
- Counting the ceiling tiles
- Moaning to Jade about the pain (this didn’t work)
During this painful session I had to keep remembering Jade’s attention to detail is why I absolutely adore her work and want it on my skin. Every tiny painful stroke of the needle was worth it, I really am so honoured to have such a beautiful design on me.
8:30: Fini! We both took some pictures of the finished tattoo, and I literally couldn’t hide how ecstatic I was with it. Jade put a vitamin gel over my tattoo and then loosely wrapped my arm in clingfilm to protect it.
I got three sachets of the vitamin gel to apply myself, whenever my tattoo looks or feels slightly dry. I have been lazy in the past with aftercare, and so the dry tattoo has scabbed over and unfortunately some ink does fall out. But I refuse to let anything ruin this beautiful work so I will make sure she is all goo’d up 24/7!
Before I went to bed that evening, I washed, applied my vitamin goo and wore a loose t – shirt to bed to ensure my arm got all the air it needed.
Middle of the night: Unfortunately sleeping Shannon has no perception of her new tattoo and rolled onto it, resulting in a painful wake up.
Morning: Goo’ed up, time to swagger into work and show off my tattoo…and slightly swollen arm. It looked a little red in the morning, but I did receive a lot of compliments from my colleagues who noticed the addition.
Someone said it looked slightly purple, at that point I felt like Violet Beauregarde and shuffled back to my desk.
Two days into my new tattoo, the lines are 3D ridges as they scab and heal. Still painful when it is touched with fingers, but it no longer hurts wearing something long sleeves.
To see more from Jade: https://www.instagram.com/jadechanelp/