Getting Inked in Melbourne

It took 36 years, but I finally got the nerve to get a tattoo. I had a vision in my head of what I wanted for ages…and then I saw a BuzzFeed article showing the fantastically quirky Big Boy Pinups from tattoo artist, Jamie August. His approach and edginess were spot-on! The trouble was – at the time I first saw the article, I was living in the U.S. and Jamie was based 10,000k away in Melbourne, Australia. So it was never going to happen…then by twist of fate, I moved to AU and voila – all of the pieces of the puzzle fit. When Daniel and I spent a weekend meandering through Melbourne about a month back, I took the opportunity to meet Jamie and become permanently inked.

We first popped over to visit Jamie at Blue Lady Tattoo on Saturday afternoon. We talked about the concept, where I wanted the tattoo placed, etc. and it was as simple as that. The following morning around 10am, we were back at the parlor and after a few very minor edits to the mock-up of the piece, it was time to feel the tattoo gun for the first time…and to my extreme surprise, IT WASN’T. THAT. BAD. Here’s the summary based on questions I’ve been asked a few times:

  • Was it painful? Not exactly. It’s more ‘bearably annoying’ I’d say.
  • Ok, so how annoying was it? Moderately. And it started to peak around the 1.5 hour mark. The outline is the toughest part to get through but the colouring was – by comparison – a breeze.
  • What did it feel like precisely? A friend described it as “being slowly scratched by a cat for hours at a time” which is profoundly descriptive of the experience. 
  • How long did it take? Just over two hours.
  • Would you do it again? HELL yes. In fact, I’m scheduling again with Jamie in just about 2 weeks and so is Daniel! 😉
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    And there you have it! The finished piece. My buff bearded merman riding a weedy sea dragon. Homage to beards, the ocean, CrossFit, SCUBA diving and Australia all at once. Can’t lie – now that I’ve lived through my first ink, I’m ready for #2, #3…and so on until who knows where it ends. I’m a bit obsessed and can completely understand (finally) why people get so many pieces of body art. Will keep you all posted on what gets imprinted next! XOXO -JW

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