Sunday, January 18, 2009

My First Tat

For about the past four years, I've been debating on what design I'd want emblazoned on my body for the rest of my life. From wings, to Celtic knotwork, to voodoo veves, my mind played with various designs until I was certain that I wanted to settle on something definite. So sometime around the beginning of November, I went in to Tattoo Marks of State College (by myself, no less) to acquire my first tat of the Felix the Cat variety.

The parlor is reputed to be the best in the city, and even one of the best in the northeast. Individuals from many miles around have flocked to this place to get a piece of art inked into their flesh, and I can see why. Newly relocated closer to the busier part of downtown, the interior is maintained in pristine conditions, while at the same time invoking a bit of an intimate atmosphere. The walls are obviously decked with hundreds of previous works done by the artists to give any spontaneous client ideas of what they would like. The staff is quite friendly and laid back, putting even the most jittery clients at ease.

While waiting to get called to the station, I handed over a print out of Felix's head to artist Lowercase J. On said paper there was the size I wanted and a much larger scaled version. For some bizarre reason, I thought the larger size was needed for reference...or something. I dunno, I'm an idiot.

Anywho, I was finally called behind the counter to get my outer left calf prepped. After sanitizing, J then squirted some kind of solvent to help scrape away the dead skin on my leg. The image was then transferred on the desired spot before I finally hopped onto the table. "Ready?" J asked, to which I replied, "Go for it."

I heard a buzz from the pen before I felt it. It was akin to being scratched hard by a vibrating mechanical pencil. It wasn't all that bad, really - sure, there were a couple of moments where the needle hurt a bit, but it was no more painful than someone pinching you. Then again, I've had lit cigarettes and hot lighters put out on me before (don't ask).

The entire procedure only took only forty minutes and it costed $200 (plus a $20 tip). A thin layer of foam padding held in place with some medical tape was all that was needed to protect my new tat from the elements on my way home. Over the course of the following few weeks, I cared for it religiously according to the given instructions. Because of the winter weather, said tat was dried out for a bit, but soon returned to its normal healed state. It was only up until now that I finally got off my lazy arse to take the picture and write about my experience.

Eventually, if my wallet permits it, I would like to get a second tattoo of Max's head (from Sam and Max) on my right calf, as well as a massive, full arm and shoulder inkjob of various japanese motifs. Better start saving my monies.

NOTE: Image taken with my MacBook Pro, so image is flipped.