Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Moy! Moy!

With all things in life, there's always such a massive difference when you deal with professionals - People who know how to do their job, and to do it really well. When I got my first tattoo, I walked into a tattoo shop in Newtown, showed my ID and had it done pretty dang quickly. I walked out with a not-so-good blue rose.

When I got my second tattoo, I didn't do any research either. I picked something I liked and had it done by a random guy. He did a good job, but it was just inking in a big dragon. Not much detail involved. Plus, there were people walking in and out of the tattoo room while I was there sitting in my bra.
Random guy: "What's that?"
Tattooist: "Tribal dragon" (d’uh)
Random guy: "Cooool maaan..."

Not the most confidence inspiring experience.

This time round, I did my research. I wanted someone good, and I wanted it done in a style which suited me. So I started looking up A LOT of tattooists. I looked through Needled. I tried looking through BME (NSFW), that was too hard. Finally, I looked through the London Tattoo Convention website. That's where I found Rob Admiraal :) Unfortunately, Rob's a busy man, and even though I tried back in January to get an appointment, he was already booked out till 2008! I met Rob on the weekend, and he's hilarious :) He's the Karaoke tattooist who bursts out into song while tattooing! I saw Rob at work, and his work, is seriously beautiful. Lekker! Lekker!

So Rob recommended Lina as the tattooist for me since he couldn't do it. Lina is Rob's "right hand" girl, as in, I think Lina did the tattoos on his right arm *grin* I'm glad he recommended Lina, because her style was exactly what I wanted :)

What did I want? A koi!

I met with Lina on Saturday to discuss size, position and colours. She talked me through my options and made me feel a lot more confident about it. We were ready to go. On Sunday, I arrived half an hour early for the appointment, and had time to contemplate what I was about to do. I felt like throwing up into the idyllic Dutch canal. I knew I wanted it. I also knew that it was going to hurt.

When Lina arrived, she prepped infront of me. It was comforting to see her prep. Everything was cleaned down and wrapped, from the lamp, to the squeeze bottles. She brought her inks out, inspected her equipment. I knew things were clean. She transferred the design onto my skin and had a discussion with Rob about... well, the discussion was in Dutch *grin* It was apparently about the placement of water. I trusted them.

I think I said it with the dragon, but this time I mean it - this is the absolute last tattoo for me. I can see how tattooing is addictive, such a large amount of space to fill! But, the pain, holy fcking cow, the pain.

Yes, it hurt. A lot. Worse than what I remember with the dragon. The first hour was the hardest. Lina placed me in different positions throughout the experience, and it was only appropriate that the first position was the foetal position. I felt like I needed my Mum! (Hrm, which reminds me, how on earth am I going to tell my Mum?!?) The pain's a funny thing. It's not consistent, and it's not something I got used to. Sometimes, I barely felt a ticklish tingle. Sometimes, it felt like someone was stabbing me through my back and carving a chunk of me out. Sometimes, I could feel the vibrations from the tattoo gun all the way down my left leg, and I had to clench and unclench my toes to make the pain bearable. When Lina started tattooing, I could literally feel my skin shrinking away from the needle as it got closer. I had to remind myself to keep breathing. It took a lot of energy for me to stay still at times.
After ONE hour, the outline is complete. Long way to go yet:

So, have I talked you out of having a tattoo yet? :) If you want to test your pain threshold, tattoos are a good way to start. By the way, the pain has nothing to do with Lina's skill. She was awesome and honestly, there were times I could've fallen asleep. The pain has to do with my body's reaction to needles stabbing certain parts of me :P Certain parts of everyone's body are just extremely sensitive. Nothing you can do about it.

The shading in, was surprisingly more bearable than the outlining. I was okay for most of it. In the remaining 3.5 hours, I had one more break, then we ploughed on. Lina started tattooing at 12PM, and finally stopped at 4:30PM. By that time, I was about ready to cry out, "STOP! I'll come back tomorrow!". I think my flesh was beyond sore at that point. The last half hour, I was wincing, making fists and muffling some whimpers. But it was over! :D And here is my koi:

So here's my plug for Lina - the BEST tattooist I've ever had :) I trusted Lina as a talented tattoo artist who knew what she was doing, and she made me feel good about getting the tattoo. I LOVE my happy koi. Moy! Moy! I saw some of Lina's tattoo photos, and she's done some amazing sleeves. If you want a tattoo you're never going to regret, make an appointment with Lina Stigsson at Admiraal Studio. Or see Lina in Rondon at this year's tattoo convention in October :)

Lina working on my tattoo:

Lina's website: www.myspace.com/linastigsson
Rob Admiraal Tattoo Studio

Marnixstraat 151
1015 VM Amsterdam
The Netherlands
phone: +31 (0)20 622 32 18
email: info@admiraaltattoo.com

Rob Admiraal, the talented Singing Tattooist!


Anonymous said...

Wow....that's beautiful Shireen :o) When you said that you were gonna cover the rose, I hadn't realised that you were putting in a massive tatt. Very nice....looked like it would have been very painful....

Anonymous said...

wow - that is f*cking huge!! very impressive - forever may you be lucky and filled with love and affection - :)

wished i was there to teach you how to roll before your ordeal!


Niall said...

Wow, that looks pretty cool. I'm mucho impressed! How long will it sore for?

reenie said...

*lol* This is actually _smaller_ than what Lina had originally shown me. First time round, I was like, "WOW, that's HUGE!". So she made it a bit smaller :) I think the tricky part with black tattoos is that you can't have them too small. Black ink tends to spread over time. If the white spaces are too narrow, the black ink will eventually spread over it.

It doesn't hurt at all now. Pain stops as soon as the tattooing stopped. Now, it's a matter of waiting for it to heal and scab over. It's like a normal wound. Hopefully, the scab doesn't pick off the colour when it flakes off :(

Anonymous said...

REENIE WAS STABBED APPROX 800,000 times with the tattoo needle (according to the 3,000 times a minute stat)... looks great tho!

millimilli said...

Is that a tantalising hint of butt cleavage I see there?! The tatt looks great.. and so does your butt. heheh.