I have several tattoos, a few of them done by a close friend of mine (I know, I know, they were from a few years ago) and surprisingly, they’re pretty good. I like them, at least.
This story, oddly enough, isn’t about his work though but a shop in my area that actually has a great reputation. I got my first tattoo there, right when I turned 18. Its a goofy looking skull that looks more like Jack Skellington than anything else, and took about 20 minutes. I was a bit confused as to why that cost me 70$ but I figured hell, I’m happy with it, no reason to really complain.
About a year later my boyfriend offered to pay for my second tattoo, ‘Live Before You Die’ on my left forearm. I’d wanted it for about a year, contemplated it and when I still wanted it, he offered as a birthday gift. I went back to the same shop, set a date, saw the lettering he drew up and felt pretty confident.
Everything was normal at first, I was incredibly shocked how painless it was though, an about 20 minutes in he went to wipe the ink off and all of the lettering went with it.
He just kinda stared at my arm and the needle, shrugged and went back to it. Next time he wiped the ink, the same thing happened. Apparently the needle was in BACkWARDS.
So he effectively tenderized the shit out of my arm before actually getting the ink in. Halfway through he switched to a bigger needle and at that point I was outright sobbing because it was so sore.
About four years later, I’m amazed how well it healed, but it wasn’t easy. Out of the seven I have, its the ONLY one that ever scabbed and got horribly sore. There are a few weird bubbly spots on it still, and while I’m happy with how it looks in spite of that, I can’t imagine ever going back there again.