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Tattoo Day: My custom chest piece! (Pt. 1)

The Body Image Tattoo studio's cool lounge waiting area. I love all the artist's fine art as decor.

March 26 was tattoo day for my custom chest piece cover up design. It has been over 14 years since I've stepped foot into a tattoo studio and I couldn't be happier about it. Unlike my teenage tattoo experiences, this one was going to be completed by an artist who actually knows what she is doing.

I have been searching online for a long time for the right artist who can custom create cover-up designs for my poor excuse of current tattoos. I came across Kayla Fay from Body Images Tattoo Studio, via Instagram. It was a miracle she was local; a lot of artist work that I resonate with is located out of state (or even in other countries). I wasted no time in contacting the shop and inquiring about a cover-up for my scorpion tattoo. I received a response 24-hours later that was met with enthusiasm as the artist was excited to be a part of such a fun project. I was overjoyed! Reserving a time and date was fairly easy and secured with a deposit.

After some adjustments, my custom chest piece design is made into a stencil and put in place!.It's go time, baby!

Tattoo Day arrives and I've prepared myself for a six-hour session. Luckily, the artist was able to work quickly and precisely due to me being still and not needing several breaks. We finished the linework process in record time; three hours. I had full intent to stay the six hours to start on the shading portion of the tattoo, but my body had other ideas. Halfway the tattoo process I started to feel discomfort and by the end I was all but tapped out with pain. I ate breakfast that morning but was faint with nerves and hunger by the end. Next time, I'll be prepared with snacks and drinks. I'll also take advantage of breaks and not attempt being a gangster with bravery. The shading process is said to be longer, but I know it varies.

On a scale of 1-10 of pain level, this was definitely a 9 in comparison to the other three locations I have received tattoos (the shoulder blade area, forearm and arm). I also think because this one covered triple the area my others have, the pain was higher due to taking longer. The sternum area was definitely 10+ easily. A searing vibrating pain that felt like a hot blade slicing through my skin. A sensation so strong, the nerves in my left leg made it twitch off the table. I felt every leaf vein and flower petal of this design, honey! It was totally worth it though. So long you old crawfish looking scorpion. XD

My omamori tattoo design linework. I love the variation in line widths for added depth. Kayla Fay did a fantastic job with the design and the tatoo work.

I am in love with my new forever art piece. I felt so beautiful when I looked in the mirror at the end. This one actually has meaning to me. I chose the Japanase omamori for it's good fortunte symbolism. The florals, blossoming peonies and roses, represent prosperity and growth. Poppies are often given as a flower of mourning for a lost loved one; a representation of eternal sleep. I am at a point in life where my blessings do not go uncounted and I am grateful for the mercy and good fortune/health God has given me, even through rough times. I feel this tattoo represents everything I love and the people I love. :)

I am looking forward to returning to the studio mid-April to get the shading in and completed. The artist encourages a period of one month for healing time in between sessions for large projects. It's a good rule of thumb (and what you'd expect from a pro!)

On another note, it's been a real flex showing this baddie tattoo off =P

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