A year ago I started to work out with the hopes of losing weight and getting a better defined upper body. At the same time, I also have always had the infatuation with tattoos. I was really into watching “Miami Ink” for the last year. Watching the show really got me intrigued and eager to begin my pursuit of getting my own tattoo. As I began to see my body take a new form, I decided the time was right to get my first tattoo.
The first thing I did was to decide where I was going to go to get my new tattoo. I started to do some online research of local tattoo places and talked with friends who have gotten tattoos before. After researching for about a month I came across a local place in Canton called Suicide Kings, who had a good reputation. I decided one day to go in and talk with them about the possibility of getting a tattoo. As I walked into Suicide Kings, I got a feeling that this would be the place. It was a small store, located in a strip mall. The store was very welcoming. It was clean and well organized and had a clean sterile smell. The staff at the desk were very welcoming. I stated to admire all the examples and pictures on the walls of former clients. The art on the wall was simply amazing. It was full of color, great detail and done to perfection. A man came out and introduced himself as Karlos. He was a well-built male, with brown short hair and with well-defined arms. He had amazing ink on his arms that was exquisite, full of details and color, exactly what I was looking for. He greeted me with a warm and friendly hello. We had an immediate connection and he made me feel comfortable from the start. He showed me his portfolio of his work. His work was filled with great details, colors and amazing designs. I knew at that point that he would be the person to give me my first piece of art that would become a permanent fixture on my body. We then started discussing where I would get my tattoo. I showed him my arm and we decided that it would look great on my muscle below my shoulder as it was well defined. I had really worked hard to define this area and what I had in mind for it would stand out with a profound look. We also discussed how long it would take, the colors I wanted in it and the cost. We agreed on everything and set a time for me to come back in.
The day had come when my tattoo would finally come to life. It was a bright, sunny summer day. I was excited, as I drove to Suicide Kings to meet with Karlos. I was nervous as I drove but also feeling anxious and excited. My dream was finally going to come true. As I entered the shop, I could smell the cleanliness and sterile surroundings that I had experienced a week ago. I felt a calmness overcome my body. Karlos greeted me, offered me some bottled water, and asked me if I had gotten sleep and if I had eaten a good meal before I came. These were all the things we had discussed in our meeting a week before. I had followed them exactly and was ready to go. He then took me back to his workstation, which was prepped and ready to go. He sat me in a black, comfortable reclining table and I got situated comfortably. As I lay there and waited for the procedure to begin, my stomachs began to get queasy, I began to get sweaty, my stomach began to quiver and nervousness began to creep in. Carlos began to prep my upper arm; he shaved the area with a pink BIC razor and cleaned it with a strong smelling antiseptic solution, which brought me alert quickly. Once he prepped and cleaned it he was ready to begin. The next step was to apply the stencil design. I had chosen the Kanji symbol for strength, which was going to be in the middle of a design of muscle, making it look three dimensional, like the muscle was ripping muscle. The first glimpse of my tattoo was the purple outline from the stencil and I could only imagine what the final piece would