Gardenia

I started my tattoo journey August 11th with my consultation with my tattoo artist Rachell Peterson better known as Rache Page.

Miss Rache herself.
Miss Rache herself.

Me and my sister wanted matching tattoos of a gardenia flower. During our consultation we explained what our vision was and our personality. My sister wanted something classy in black and white, meanwhile I just wanted all the colors of the rainbow and the busiest tattoo ever. After all was said and done, we left Rache to design as she would and kept in contact a few times up until our tattoo date. The artist herself answered a few questions so you can get a feel of her style.

What inspired you to be a tattoo artist?

Growing up, art was always a big part of my life. However, I never thought I’d become a tattoo artist. It’s something that just happened.

How long have you been a tattoo artist?

I’ve only been tattooing for about 14 months.

What has made you so different from other tattoo artists?

We all have different styles of tattooing. I’m still developing my personal tattooing style and continue to learn and grow everyday.

There are a few things that go into getting a tattoo.
Prepping is very important.
The days leading up to the tattoo were nerve wracking. I had anxiety every night. I would dream about it going wrong, or me bleeding too much. Every time something touched me at work I would freak out, and I work at a farm/sanctuary with lots of plants. The day before I had to attend work and school and came home past 10 PM.
That’s when physical prepping started.

Getting Clean

You want to start off by exfoliating the area with a sea salt or sugar exfoliating scrub, these are the roughest scrubs and will remove the most amount of dead skin.

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From left to right; Olive oil, brown sugar and honey scrub. Skin after being exfoliated. Shaving.
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From left to right; Sea salt moisturizing scrub. Rubbing it in and removing dead skin. Shaving over my tattoo.

Once that was done, the whole exfoliating process, you want to exfoliate again. But more gently. I have a Tahitian black volcano sand exfoliating soap made with coconut and lavender oil. Scrub away all remaining residue and viola, Beautiful legs!

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From left to right; Tahitian black volcano sand soap. After wash.

I guess prepping for me is important because I have hypersensitive skin. That means if I were to get shaved by my tattoo artist and then get the tattoo immediately without being able to heal properly I would have gotten a baaaad reaction. I also just like the way I shave my legs. I do a pretty good job. Hit me up boys!

D-day

The morning of was tough, I had a lot of anxiety. I sort of hate needles. I always hated the feeling of getting a tattoo. When I woke up I stayed in bed for about an hour trying to figure out the right way to back out. When we were ready to leave the house, my mom announced she wanted to be present during the tattoo session, but we decided to go in separate cars. When we finally left, we went to the McDonalds drive thru so I could grab some breakfast. I could hardly swallow. We then went to pick up my friend. When we got to the shop we sat down and made a few small changes to our designs. She then set up all of her equipment and we ,the people, watched. As she took out every bottle of ink, put in needles in all three of my machines, anxiety was building.004

At some point, as I was ready to start crying, she told me “we’re ready for stenciling.” I was feeling a little nervous because my mother was present and had yet to see the design.

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She approves!

We all know what’s about to go down now. Actual tattooing. People always ask me “What’s the worst thing about tattoos?” and to be honest, It’s not the pain, or the duration, it’s the sound, as soon as you hear it, your heart drops, and you tense up.

I did about 10 minutes of thick outlining. And for me outlining is more painful than shading. We started with the falling leaf. And then the flower itself.

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I started feeling relieved because I thought it was over. Jokes on me. You can see my design already has a lot of outlining and we needed two tattoo guns to do different thicknesses of outlining. The thin one for the inner triangles hurt like a motherfucker. It really does feel like a knife cutting through your skin. The great thing about my team was, they were really entertained by my facial expressions and lucky for you guys, they took a lot of pictures.

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In the picture above you can see me patiently waiting as she’s preparing to do the small triangles. When she first started it wasn’t that bad, until she moved towards my inner thighs.

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I think the small triangles took about 20 minutes. The most painful 20 minute ever. as soon as outlining was done, we took a 10 minute break. Biggest mistake of my life. As soon as I stood up, it swelled up almost immediately. Worst part was I had to go to the bathroom and my friend had to assist me because I couldn’t pull my shorts down without touching the tattoo. Can you just imagine someone squatting over a toilet full vagina frontal shorts and underwear dangling at their ankles? Felt so bad for my friend.

So after about 10 minutes, we were ready for shading/coloring. With a super swollen tattoo, we started first with the darkest colors, making our way to the lightest colors. After every 3 colors we would take a break so I could go to the bathroom, I had 2 monsters and 2 waters, so there were a lot of fluids inside me.

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Took us around 3 hours to do all the coloring. When she thought she was done, we had to go back and fill in more colors to make it look more balanced. In total I had about 16 different colors.

But don’t you worry your pretty little head, with each color I made a new facial expression. And here they are.

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These may all seem staged but believe me, in one minute, I made around 8 faces. And yes, I’m very well aware that these pictures just killed my chances to get a boyfriend. Eventually, we were done.

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I would think this is where I breath a sigh of relief. BUT IT’S NOT. I’m the type of person that bruises, and swells up when I get pinched. So you can bet your bottom dollar that I was all kinds of swollen.

I had a tough time sleeping, and when I woke up I had to peel my leg from my bed sheets. There’s ink and blood stains your bed, plasma makes your sheets hard. Its horrible. When I woke up, I was more swollen than the day before.swollen 01

Walking that day was impossible. And my sister wanted to drive around and take pictures. The sun burned on my leg, Walking hurt. Sand on my tattoo hurt. Sitting hurt. Everything made it swell up more and more. Eventually, after 2 to 3 days it goes down. But then peeling begins. Peeling hurts, it itches, it’s uncomfortable. Most of all it’s disgusting. You have to put ointment on it, it sticks to everything. Ugh I hated it.

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After all that torture. It’s still not over, but I can finally deal. Right now I’m at the plastic phase of my tattoo, which is just really itchy but not painful. This is also the time you use a LOT of ointment. Your skin is absorbing a lot of moisture so you are constantly reapplying.

In the end me and my sister are happy campers and couldn’t have asked for a better artist.

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My tattoo and my sisters tattoo

From the wimpiest woman out there, Kamla.

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