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Vita

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Hi there folks. I'm called Vita, and am working on a forearm half-sleeve. I have a total of 6 (left shoulder, wrist, back, right shoulder blade, inner forearm) tattoos. Most of them I got when I was much younger, with the forearm work being the most recent. I had somewhat of a mishap with my recent tattoo, here's the story on it:

My tattoo was extremely painful for 4 days after I received it, and I was very worried it was infected. Well, it turns out it was! So I got meds, and things are getting better. But I am concerned about how the infection will affect my tattoo. I also fear it may not be healing properly?

It is now day 8, and it is very dry and peeling, with little to no pain. My worry is that there are still some hard scabs on certain areas. I suspect the artist may have caused some scarring, overworked my skin, etc? 

Also, any advice on what to apply to keep it moisturized?Lubriderm dries out within 5 minutes. Aquaphor is good but I'm not sure I should still be using it at this point? 

Here are some progress pics.

NOTE:  The tattoo is not finished yet, and that's why it looks imbalanced. 

Description of the 4 photos:

Day 2: What stands out to me here is the shading...i think it looks muddy. It is fading now, but I'm not sure I like it at all. Could be due to the fact it isn't finished yet, possibly?

Day 4: The infection started at my elbow. :( 

Day 8 (today): The peeling/scabbing. You can see the black ink around the edges of the hair are hard scabs...kind of worried about those...

Progress Pic (the 3 stages of the tattoo, still needing one more session to complete it all!) 

I'm sure i may be a little overly-worried. But tattoos are costly and permanent, so I do have anxiety on how it's going to end up! Any thoughts?

Thanks! 
 

girls2.jpg

girls9.jpg

 

girls10.jpg

girls7.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Vita
Misspelling

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The old saying of "Time heals all wounds" seems like it was meant for tattoos. We all want them to heal instantly...but they obviously wont. Keep an eye on the infection, follow your aftercare guidance and let it heal. I look forward to seeing it in a few months!

Edited by Devious6

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I know it is a year later, but I wanted to revisit this post as my tattoo journey continues with this piece. I've had it worked on two more times, and I still can't seem to get it where I want it. The last session I had on it was yesterday, which is reflected in the most recent picture. I have tattoo anxiety over this piece all the time, and am starting to think I should just let it be, remove it altogether one day, or accept it for what it is. At least I can say this last round of tattooing was a bit easier, and the healing is already much less painful than when I got my infection! 

 

tattoo progression.jpeg

tattoo.jpeg

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It is based off of this picture. I did not want an exact replica, but something illustrative yet cohesive. I initially wanted it to be simple, without too much color, shading or added items. Maybe my expectations were too uninformed and the piece is just too difficult 

 

3797D84A-C30A-4162-8079-EA742EE2CECD.jpeg

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1 hour ago, SStu said:

That's a very tough image to pull off as a tattoo. You would've needed an exceptional (and specialized) artist to pull it off. 

I appreciate the input. I will sit with it for awhile before considering if removal is what I truly need to do, and if it is even possible for this tattoo anyways. 

Edited by Vita
grammar

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And I would like to add some additional thoughts I have about all of this...

Admittedly, I don't have a lot of experience with major tattoos (i have a few from the distant past) or a regular artist. I followed all the advice I could (go to a reputable shop, look at the person's art and portfolio first, ask around about the artist) and each time, everything was fine. Each tattoo artist knew what I was looking for and were excited and wholeheartedly optimistic that they could give me what I wanted, which in turn made me optimistic as well.

There are an abundance of tattoo shops in my area...so many that it can seem hard to choose one. I have had work done by 3 different artists, so I feel I've done my part in trying to ensure a good outcome. So I guess it didn't turn out that way...why do I feel like this is my fault? If an artist is not up to the task, do they ever admit that? No one once told me I had a very difficult piece, or tried to caution me away from getting this tattoo and now I feel I am stuck with something insanely shitty 

 

/rant. 

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There is a trick there, because a good artist will tell you if they're not up to the task, but a bad one won't necessarily. The best defense is to spend a lot of time learning how to recognize average work from great work. 

Your tattoo isn't shitty - but it isn't world class, either. We've all had or have those, too. If you really want to commit to world class results you could laser at least the hair places a couple of times and lighten up everything. That would open up your world to infinite cover options with the right artist. 

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It's discouraging, because it seems like a lot of artists out there want to get more experience, and will go any length to gain it. It seems hard for someone who isn't basically immersed in art/the tattoo world for years and years to know who to trust. It is sad that some artists would knowingly take advantage of people.

I have spent the last few days horribly depressed and anxious to the point where I feel physically ill. I want to hide my arm constantly and am severely insecure overall. I know I have options to rework + laser...but I don't know how much my arm can take? I've had 4 sessions on it so far, and it became infected once. I also have already spent more money than I anticipated on it, and am now looking at potentially needing $1-$2k on this, when I have other work I want to get done. 

Sorry to rant - I do appreciate your input, thank you. 

 

 

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Take it easy. Relax. Breath. No reason to be depressed, for sure. 

Let your arm heal for a few months. Also a historical infection doesn't mean your arm or skin is any weaker, once healed. 

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It isn't the past infection I am concerned about. It is day 5, and the tattoo is healing quick and easy this time around. My concern is over how much trauma an area of skin can take. I've had it worked on 4 times already, so I fear lasering and reworking more will eventually cause some sort of permanent damage or trauma. 
I will give it time to heal yes, but the depression and anxiety over this persists. I feel like I've just made some kind of big stupid mistake. I never want to show my arm to anyone let alone explain it. Maybe with time this will alleviate, but it is hard to let go with something permanent that I made the choice to do. I don't want to sound ungrateful because I know you're being helpful. But the consequences for something that was supposed to be aweosme have seemed so heavy 

 

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