Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My first tattoo

Passionflower side/back tattoo by Ash Timlin

About half a year ago, during a full day meeting at work about corporate culture, we were asked a lot of personal questions about ourselves. In order to understand what was maybe holding us back from success, we needed to find out what held us back in our personal lives as well. (nb: Perhaps strange in a traditional workplace but not so much for a fashion/tech start-up.) This session was emotionally difficult but at the same time it was cathartic and there were a lot of revelations.

At the start of the day, we began with a question that was tough to answer, "What do you want to achieve in your life but haven't yet?" What was on my list?
- pay off my student debt
- get a dog
- get a tattoo

As inane as that list sounds-- those were my honest expectations of my life (I'm baring my soul here ok?) And then the question that followed was, "And what's your excuse?... Money or time are not allowed to be your answers." So I had no excuses. With my 30th birthday just months away, it seemed like the perfect timeline to just do it. Shit, I was finally going to be decisive about at least one of the above goals.

When I was younger, I was always intrigued with tattoos and piercings. As soon as I was legally allowed to get piercings without parental consent, I went out to get my first "bod mod" with a belly button ring. Piercings were always somewhat temporary compared to tattoos though-- they could always be taken out. If you stretched them, they could shrink back. That's why tattoos were always much more of a commitment and I had never had the nerve to take the leap.

My friend M, recommended Ash Timlin at Imperial Tattoo (and now at Passage Tattoo)-- her portfolio was filled with animals, skeletons and botanicals in beautiful clean black and grey, so I knew that I wanted her to design my tattoo.

I asked for Passion flowers and asked her to design whatever she felt was right; any number or combination of flowers, buds, leaves and climbing vines. Her sketch was so gorgeous, I had no changes at all & wanted to go with it exactly.
passionflower tattoo sketch and outline by tattoo artist Ash Timlin
the sketch & the tattooed outline

She told me that the size and placement of my first tattoo was definitely ambitious. And she was totally right because it was so incredibly painful being tattooed on my side. Strangely enough, it wasn't as bad on my ribs as it was on the small of my waist. That part really had me squirmy. It took a total of 3 hours on two separate sittings and I'm so happy that it healed so quickly for me.

Passion Flower Tattoo by Ash Timlin and Burgundy Wine Sakura Dress from Henkaa.com
wearing: henkaa sakura midi convertible dress in burgundy wine. after the first session healed

I love my finished tattoo so much and I really owe it to Ash's amazing art and the beautiful placement. I'll save the story of why I chose passion flowers for another post because this is getting quite long.

Do you have any ink? What's the story of your first tattoo? I'd love to hear about it!

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