She's getting a tattoo, yeah she's getting ink done...

(Yup, I did absolutely just quote, incorrectly, Offspring lyrics for this post- whatchagondo)!

Let's talk all things ink (body wise that is, not calligraphy this time, folks). I've thought about getting a tattoo pretty much since I was about 16, and considered a Gloomy Bear/knuckle tattoos spelling something dark/and or meaningful and an elaborate chest piece my only viable option for body art. It probably would have been (and would have fully satisfied and legitmised my long-lasting goal to be part of the Audrey Kitching/Jak Vanek Myspace #squad), but alas it was only up until earlier this year that I bit the bullet and ticked off the number one check on my 25 before 25 list; the tattoo.

It's not that I'm afraid of committing to 'getting something on me for the rest of my life' and I'm not particularly squeamish of the whole process, but being possibly one of the most indecisive people around, it took about 5 years to fully appreciate and work out what it was I really wanted- and after talking to tattooed friends (lookin' at you Carrie, Dunya and Jen) I knew I was ready. I think there's a lot of pressure to have something extensively meaningful in a tattoo, but in the end what I opted for was mainly a simple floral design I adore, by an artist I love (with my favourite person holding my hand/laughing at me throughout the process)- and that was certainly enough to satisfy me. So, after seeing that Armelle was coming to London for a couple of weeks I was determined to have a spot with her, and emailed within minutes of spotting her Instagram post #fangirl and before I knew it I was Finsbury Park bound...


(and here's what I went for! It's a simple crossed floral branch design with Armelle's signature dotted blooms and delicate line work. It's pretty hidden away on the side of my body, but I love the fact it's visible when wearing low armed dresses/bikins too)

Now, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination (I know having one small inking doesn't make me a Noel-know-all) but I thought I'd share some tips on getting your first tattoo, in case any of you were thinking of diving on in any time soon!

So, you're getting a tattoo...

No pain, no gain?
Perhaps it was because I'd prepared myself for the absolute worst that I was actually relatively surprised by how pain free my tattoo was. Being near enough on my rib cage, I'd been told countless times how painful it could feel, but apart from 20 minutes of giggling and an annoying scratchy sensation- it was actually ok?! But saying that, Joe had his the day after on his arm and did feel the burn a little- so it's good to keep in mind everyone experiences different levels of pain (especially when lots of shading comes into the picture too)- but try not to worry too much, or let this put you off!

Getting it in the diary!
Planning ahead was something I knew I needed to do a lot of after booking my spot in- so getting lots of inspiration is key! After scouring Pinterest, looking at various flowers and floral designs (both illustrations and art work)- I had a clear idea of the shaping I wanted and was happy to let Armelle do the rest. Another thing to note is that it's important to not base your design on another too much (which can be easier said than done)- obviously this can be helpful, but most artists will be looking at completely totally original pieces not copying anything else (naturally)- so make sure you're not just bringing in tattoo photos and have a bit of an idea of what you're after.

Get talking! If necessary...
Before you go in, you might not see your final design until you arrive- which although is incredibly exciting can be nerve wracking too (particularly if you're not especially spontaneous)! Don't be afraid to vocalise any changes you'd like in your design (it's you who will be wearing it), but also be open to their suggestions and advice too- they're the experts after all. Most artists will allow you time to talk through anything beforehand, so it's a great chance to talk about what you're after and final placement (although this is often spoken about via email before).

Know your artists...
This isn't the be all and end all, but I think it's nice to have an idea of who you'd like doing your tattoo, especially if you're not sure of what you want. I'd been following Armelle on Instagram for a long time (as well as Nicola who owns Parliament Tattoo) so felt excited to pay a visit and get it done by her- as I knew I loved her style and work. Other women I love the work of include Tati, Rebecca and Olivia (sadly in the U.S)- but think it definitely helps to be following along the people you like (especially if any local residencies pop up near you too)!

x
She's getting a tattoo, yeah she's getting ink done...

(Yup, I did absolutely just quote, incorrectly, Offspring lyrics for this post- whatchagondo)!

Let's talk all things ink (body wise that is, not calligraphy this time, folks). I've thought about getting a tattoo pretty much since I was about 16, and considered a Gloomy Bear/knuckle tattoos spelling something dark/and or meaningful and an elaborate chest piece my only viable option for body art. It probably would have been (and would have fully satisfied and legitmised my long-lasting goal to be part of the Audrey Kitching/Jak Vanek Myspace #squad), but alas it was only up until earlier this year that I bit the bullet and ticked off the number one check on my 25 before 25 list; the tattoo.

It's not that I'm afraid of committing to 'getting something on me for the rest of my life' and I'm not particularly squeamish of the whole process, but being possibly one of the most indecisive people around, it took about 5 years to fully appreciate and work out what it was I really wanted- and after talking to tattooed friends (lookin' at you Carrie, Dunya and Jen) I knew I was ready. I think there's a lot of pressure to have something extensively meaningful in a tattoo, but in the end what I opted for was mainly a simple floral design I adore, by an artist I love (with my favourite person holding my hand/laughing at me throughout the process)- and that was certainly enough to satisfy me. So, after seeing that Armelle was coming to London for a couple of weeks I was determined to have a spot with her, and emailed within minutes of spotting her Instagram post #fangirl and before I knew it I was Finsbury Park bound...


(and here's what I went for! It's a simple crossed floral branch design with Armelle's signature dotted blooms and delicate line work. It's pretty hidden away on the side of my body, but I love the fact it's visible when wearing low armed dresses/bikins too)

Now, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination (I know having one small inking doesn't make me a Noel-know-all) but I thought I'd share some tips on getting your first tattoo, in case any of you were thinking of diving on in any time soon!

So, you're getting a tattoo...

No pain, no gain?
Perhaps it was because I'd prepared myself for the absolute worst that I was actually relatively surprised by how pain free my tattoo was. Being near enough on my rib cage, I'd been told countless times how painful it could feel, but apart from 20 minutes of giggling and an annoying scratchy sensation- it was actually ok?! But saying that, Joe had his the day after on his arm and did feel the burn a little- so it's good to keep in mind everyone experiences different levels of pain (especially when lots of shading comes into the picture too)- but try not to worry too much, or let this put you off!

Getting it in the diary!
Planning ahead was something I knew I needed to do a lot of after booking my spot in- so getting lots of inspiration is key! After scouring Pinterest, looking at various flowers and floral designs (both illustrations and art work)- I had a clear idea of the shaping I wanted and was happy to let Armelle do the rest. Another thing to note is that it's important to not base your design on another too much (which can be easier said than done)- obviously this can be helpful, but most artists will be looking at completely totally original pieces not copying anything else (naturally)- so make sure you're not just bringing in tattoo photos and have a bit of an idea of what you're after.

Get talking! If necessary...
Before you go in, you might not see your final design until you arrive- which although is incredibly exciting can be nerve wracking too (particularly if you're not especially spontaneous)! Don't be afraid to vocalise any changes you'd like in your design (it's you who will be wearing it), but also be open to their suggestions and advice too- they're the experts after all. Most artists will allow you time to talk through anything beforehand, so it's a great chance to talk about what you're after and final placement (although this is often spoken about via email before).

Know your artists...
This isn't the be all and end all, but I think it's nice to have an idea of who you'd like doing your tattoo, especially if you're not sure of what you want. I'd been following Armelle on Instagram for a long time (as well as Nicola who owns Parliament Tattoo) so felt excited to pay a visit and get it done by her- as I knew I loved her style and work. Other women I love the work of include Tati, Rebecca and Olivia (sadly in the U.S)- but think it definitely helps to be following along the people you like (especially if any local residencies pop up near you too)!

x

61 comments:

  1. Liv it's SO pretty! I love it - bold but delicate and so perfectly done.

    I also like how this post is about your 'first' tattoo - plans to get loads more have you? ;)

    Becky | accoohtrements life, travel + design blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it! I've never been a massive tattoo fan (like them on others, just not for me) but this one is so pretty and dainty I'm tempted to join the inked club!

    wendylovesblog.wordpress.com

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it so much Liv, its so pretty and suits you really well!

    www.wheresmylipstick.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. this is so pretty! i have a small one in a very similar area and it probably hurt the least of the ones i have, despite many people saying ribs are the worst! maybe for bigger ones.

    as predicted, this has only intensified my need for more tattoos! i have a few planned ..it's just saving the money and finding the right person. the wait is always worth it to get exactly what you want!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love it! The photo is gorgeous too, simple yet lovely.
    www.blondefoxes.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love it! I got my first (and so far only) tattoo a few years back after years of deliberating too. It's a little Eiffel tower at the back of my neck, that hurt quite a bit, but I absolutely love it. xx

    http://www.shakespeareandsparkle.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's beautiful! I will hopefully be getting my first tattoo soon (once I work up the courage!) and I can't wait!

    Rai | utterardour.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahh the Audrey Kitching/Jak Vanek MySpace days! I've always loved the idea of getting a tattoo but I've never wanted anything too bold and yours is so delicate and pretty! The photo is so lovely too :)

    Becki, xo
    www.beautyandthebrunette.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's so beautiful and delicate! I love it! I'm thinking of getting a tattoo too, but i can't decide which one!! haha kisses:D

    http://laurasavenue.blogspot.com.es/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I live in Paris and have been looking for an artist to do a rib tattoo for me so this is absolutely perfect!! Yours is just stunning and I'm so excited to drop Armelle and email now!

    Imii xx | www.nettleandblackberry.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I absolutely love your tattoo, it's so pretty! <3 I'm actually getting my first tattoo in a week and I'm so excited! I've been wanting to do it for nearly 2 years and now I feel like I'm 100% ready! :D

    xx
    ALINA ERMILOVA | BLOG

    ReplyDelete
  12. So sweet and simple!
    http://my--socalledlife.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your tattoo is so pretty! I love the design! I've been thinking about getting a tattoo and I've been on and off about it. Lovely post Olivia :)

    Kayleigh | anenthusiasmfor.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my gosh Liv its so pretty! I've never really considered a tattoo, I'm the most indecisive, but if I ever did take the plunge it would definitely be something pretty and girly and tiny just like this! xx

    Kate | katedruryy.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  15. You were so right to finally take the plunge! This tattoo does represent you so I think you did a great job choosing this design :) I'd love to get a small one but still not too sure about what I wanna get - like you said, better think a lot about it before getting one. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Margaux ∙ www.bonjourwhite.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is such an elegant tattoo! I've always wanted a tattoo... scratch that, I've always wanted to be the person who wants a tattoo, but I struggle with personal style so much that I'm sure it'd be a bad idea. Yours is lovely!

    www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

    ReplyDelete
  17. So beautiful Liv! I've been dreaming about a small, simple tattoo for a while so I can't wait to finally find what I'm looking for and book an appointment. The tattoo suits your style so perfectly and will look amazing with your summer wardrobe too, I'm sure!

    With love,
    x
    Emma » Paris by Friday

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's so beautiful! Maybe one day I'll get the courage and actually commit to one! :)
    -Lauren
    http://www.musingsofaflowerchild.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such a pretty Tattoo.

    Jess
    justthatgirlonline.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. It is so pretty! Simple, yet noticeable ^_^

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

    ReplyDelete
  21. I absolutely love this tattoo, it's so pretty and feminine! It's really rare that I come across something I like so much as well but this is gorgeous! xx

    Sam // What I Know Now

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's gorgeous! I've wanted to get one for years but I'm really indecisive too. I'm glad you got one that wasn't necessarily 'meaningful' because I feel like so many people say tattoos should mean something. I really want a design that I like and that describes me and my personality!

    Robyn / Phases Of Robyn

    ReplyDelete
  23. Its so pretty and I love the placement of it. I have a couple of tattoos planned I just need to be brave and book them in. X

    www.beautylifebecca.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  24. Looks so nice- really great post as someone who has thought about it on/off for a while now!

    moremindfulyou.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I always think your very first tattoo is such a big decision - I'm like you and have been thinking about it for years but I'm still not quite sure what I'd like!

    X

    Harriet Pattison | A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh wow this is absolutely gorgeous! I'm seriously considering getting my first tattoo too, but I promised my sister we would get one together

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is so stunning! I have been thinking about getting something similar on my leg for years now, the only reason I haven't is because of the cost x

    www.bisoushollyolivia.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've definitely considered getting a tattoo. I do want to get something that means something to me, but until something means so much to me that I can't help but think "wow I need this inked on me," I probably won't go for it! I don't really want to get a tattoo for the sake of getting a tattoo and try to think of something that I would want. But I also get that some people want tattoos just for the art of it! It looks beautiful! Is this too soon to ask: do you think you'll be getting any more tattoos in the future? -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to get some more for sure- but again, like you- don't want to get anything else for the sake of it! xx

      Delete
  29. Oh that is such a gorgeous ink. I love how subtle it is and how uncliché it is compared to other people's first tattoos. Love! x

    www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lolololol to Audrey Kitching squad. I soooo felt that and I recently found her instagram and tbh she is still just as amazing. Your tattoo looks lovely! I have one on my ribcage too and it definitely hurt the worst but I really don't think tattoos hurt that much. I would count regular stomach aches and headaches as worse, honestly. I have been wanting a tattoo of some simple little plants or maybe some hands for a while and yours looks gorgeous. I mostly have words and very simple designs but I would like some more "art" on my body you know?
    Anyways, congratulations! I'm sure it'll feel like a totally normal part of you very soon.

    xx
    scarlettandgiselle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your tattoo is so delicate and intricate, what a lovely design! I've always contemplated it but never known what to get - will have to check out the artists!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am also so indecisive and am pretty OCD so I don't know if I could ever get a tattoo. I am scared that I will change my mind later! I love what you chose though. It is super subtle and simple!

    http://www.melbeeblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I never really liked tattoos growing up but now I'm considering getting a small one maybe on my wrist or my ankle (I know, very cliché haha), but I want to choose something meaningful so that I never regret getting it! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm completely on par with your pre tattoo indecisiveness - I've been going through the same process in mind for a good few years now. However, seeing this simple yet stunning piece of art may have just persuaded me to go ahead and take the plunge! The only problem being, I can't say the detailing would be as pretty as yours as I'd no doubt find it difficult to track down a tattooist as talented up North *sigh*. So glad you're happy with your new ink, it really is so delicately lovely x

    Bridie | The Same Old Chic

    ReplyDelete
  35. very interesting, I want one soon!

    lu | Coco&Louis

    ReplyDelete
  36. It turned out so beautiful! I have a larger peony with delicate line work on my inner arm and have been wanting another simple line piece...somewhere. It really is such a journey getting a tattoo, not just with choosing the piece but working with the artist like you said and highlighting their talent. great post.

    Chelsey | www.chelseythornton.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. that is a nice looking tattoo, it's ok to be indecisive after all it's a tattoo.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is such a beautiful tattoo!! x

    www.abeautyromance.com
    www.abeautyromance.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Your tattoo is absolutely beautiful Carrie, so stunning! I love it x

    holljc.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  40. The tattoo looks stunning! Both the designs and the quality of it are amazing. x Alona

    gentleconfusion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gorgeous! Makes me want to go and get another one right away! My next tattoo is going to be on my rips for sure but I'm still considering different designs :) x

    Jess | Jess in Retrospect

    ReplyDelete
  42. Love this tattoo! I'm too scared to get one but your post has made me a little less uncertain..

    http://www.helloaurora.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  43. It's absolutely gorgeous! I really want a tattoo, too :) But I'm only 15, so that has time.

    ReplyDelete
  44. This is an absolutely stunning tattoo, I have never seen anything like it before! So beautiful and delicate!

    elwillmer.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your tattoo is lovely, what a simple but pretty design; and I the post is so helpful, I'm indecisive over what to get too! But hopefully will get my first one this year also. :)

    www.lynseysliberties.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Absolutely love it Liv! It really suits you :)

    hellomissjordan.com xx

    ReplyDelete
  47. Delicate and simple tattoos look really beautiful <3

    http://www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. A lovely tattoo, I really like the artwork! And I like the picture of how you are showing it!! :)

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is so pretty! I like how it can be hidden if you want it to x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  50. It's lovely! Excellent choice regarding the place and the design. I love it!
    I think I'd like to have a tattoo too but I'm quite indecisive myself and I'm afraid I would get bored with it eventually or don't like the design anymore :/ I'm also quite scared about the pain, I admit ^^ So, time will tell whether I should take the plunge :)

    www.morningcharlie.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. It suits you so well!
    http://wiltedxfaded.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh my gosh it's so beautiful! I really love tattoos, but to be honest I'm a little hesitant about getting one myself. I think it's the fear that after a while the ink would 'bleed' and kind of turn a bit manky?! I don't know, I guess you can get them topped up or whatever haha. I do think I'd like to get one at some point in my life, and right now I'd either like this quote: "we're all just stories in the end" or a small half moon crescent on my wrist. xxx

    http://www.lilyolivia.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  53. Its so cute! I remember my first tattoo I was so nervous thinking it was going to be extremely painful now they are nothing to me!

    www.tusksandtails.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Liv, this is so beautiful and delicate - I love it! It's SO you! <3

    Hayley x
    www.frockmeimfamous.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Your tattoo is so pretty!!
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

    ReplyDelete

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 22 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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