So after many many tattoos in my seven year history of collecting, I’ve learnt a few tricks of the trade when it comes to sitting through some of the longer, tougher sessions.
I’m pretty much a complete wuss when it comes to tattoos. My pain threshold is pretty minimal. I mean indigestion has me in tears… I am a huge cry baby.
Anyway, in my time I have successfully sat for a number of tattoos lasting longer than three hours. In fact, I’m currently writing this post whilst sitting through a three hour tattoo. My longest tattoo session was six hours. I’m not going to lie to you.. it was f**king tough, and really hard work. I’ve also cried during two tattoos (I did keep going) and have come close a number of times to just stopping midway through a session (but I persevered through to the end!), so I do know what many of you will be thinking and going through.
So here’s some of my hints and tips for getting through a long session, or even a small session.
Seems simple and pretty obvious, but eating something a minimum of an hour or so beforehand will really help with keeping your sugar levels at a consistent level and help to stop you feeling sick or faint. It also helps to have some sugary foods for during your session if you’re going to be sat a while.
This goes with the above point. Again, something sugary will help you get through the sore patches. A lot of studios have a fridge filled with soft drinks for this very reason.
Fill your phone or Ipod with your favourite tunes and pop your headphones in. The music will help distract you which will take your mind off the pain, making it hurt less.
As I said previously, I’m writing this post (published later) whilst sat at Brighton Tattoo Convention being tattooed by Jenna Kerr. I find concentrating on writing really stops me focusing on the tattoo which makes the entire process so much easier. Admittedly this hasn’t, so far been particularly painful (I’m putting it down to a good pain day and light work from Jenna) but it’s still a useful technique.
If you can bring a film on your tablet or ipad.. do it. Again, it’s all about distraction techniques. If you give your brain something to focus on it won’t be able to focus on the pain as much so it will hurt less. Personally I’d recommend something funny like a comedy which will boost endorphins in your system to make you feel good, or Disney, because who doesn’t love Disney?!
Talk to your tattooists, people visiting or call your mum. Have a good chat about anything and everything.
Possibly the worst thing you can do, and definitely easier said than done. It’s not going to hurt that much, if it did no one would get tattoos, and no one would repeatedly get them done unless they really loved pain. Working up to be worse in your head is only going to make the session harder for yourself, and potentially your tattooist.
So that’s my tips, but what are yours?
Share them in the comments below…
*do not copy designs – these are one off designs by Dani Green, on myself.
*images from Dani’s Instagram