My First Tattoo

Hello, everyone. It has been a little while since I last posted and I really want to start posting more. I can’t believe it is March already!

For the past couple of years, I have been thinking about getting a tattoo. I knew I wanted something travel-related and had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted. I can be quite indecisive and I often doubt my choices so I knew I would have to be really sure of a tattoo idea to go ahead with it. It’s not like a piercing that you can remove if you change your mind. Anyway, at the start of the year, I decided to pluck up the courage to book my first ever tattoo and I thought I would share my experience.

I started by searching for local tattoo artists and asking people I know for recommendations. I ended up messaging Factotum – a body modification studio based in Norwich – who said that they had availability on 29th February. I sent off my tattoo ideas and was quoted £50-£70 and told that it would take about an hour. If you’re in Norwich, I’d definitely check out Factotum as their shop is super cool and they do piercings as well as tattoos.

The morning before my tattoo, I was so nervous – mostly because I am terrible with pain but also because I didn’t know the exact design of what I was getting. I didn’t know what to expect during the appointment and was terrified that I would end up hating the design. My boyfriend, David came with me which I am extremely grateful for. I don’t think I would have coped well on my own.

My appointment was with Nelson (click here to check out his insta) and I cannot say a single negative thing about the whole experience. When I first met him, I told him that this was my first tattoo so he made sure that he talked through everything he was doing in detail and did everything that he could to make sure that I was comfortable. The original design was drawn in sharpie so that I could make sure I was happy with the placement and the style of it. Nelson explained that he would be drawing “freehand” which means that he wouldn’t be using a stencil. Honestly, I think what I am most impressed with is the fact that he managed to draw a perfectly round circle. He spent about 20 minutes drawing the design to make sure it was perfect.


Now we get to the actual tattoo. I was very nervous at this point and Nelson did a great job of explaining what it will feel like and giving me tips to make it hurt less. He started with a small line so I knew what it was like before going straight in on the main design. The sound of the tattoo needles is so loud that I think it makes the situation seem worse than it is. Honestly, once Nelson started the tattoo, it didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as I thought it would. If I had to describe the sensation, I would say that it feels like a really hot scratch. I know that the feeling will be different if you get a bigger tattoo or if you get one in a different place. But you sort of have to just deal with it if you want to get a tattoo. The actual tattoo only took about 25 minutes and the time went so quickly. I think it is probably a good idea to get a small tattoo for your first tattoo so then you know what to expect next time.


Once the tattoo was finished, I was able to look at it in the mirror and I was absolutely in love with it. I could not stop smiling and was so pleased with how it turned out. The detail is incredible and I am obsessed with the little plane. I was expecting my arm to hurt more afterwards but it was actually fine. My arm was a bit sore and red but nothing major. Because it is quite a small tattoo, it should only take about a week to heal but I’m making sure I look after it properly. I cannot stop showing off my tattoo, I don’t think it could have turned out any better and I am so pleased that I pushed myself to do this.

Once Nelson had finished my tattoo, he shared some aftercare tips with me which I have included down below in case anyone is thinking of getting a tattoo:

  • Clean your tattoo around 5 times a day
  • Make sure you moisturise
  • Use unscented soap and moisturiser to avoid irritation
  • Do not rub your tattoo, pat it instead
  • Wrap your tattoo in cling film for the first night so you don’t get ink on your bed sheets
  • Do not scratch your tattoo

So that’s my experience of getting a tattoo. Do you have any tattoos? Let me know how many you have down below. If anyone has any questions about the process of getting a tattoo, feel free to ask.

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