I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a really long time. I almost got one after I graduated college, but I couldn’t really convince myself that it was something I was willing to live with for the rest of my life. I also have a serious scarring problem whenever my skin is pierced or cut too deeply. I knew that I would be taking a chance of scarring myself with getting ink done.
Since moving to Korea, I’ve really pushed myself to experience as much as possible and to face anything that makes me feel awkward or nervous. As cliche as it may sound, you should make the most of your youth. Sometimes you should stop preparing for something that may happen later and revel in the fact that you can do something now. At the end of the day, I was willing to take the risk and see where it would lead me.
With that said, here’s my tattoo experience!
This is the design I picked out! Do you ever just stare at money? I was laying on my bed one day and I had a blue Korean won bill next to me. I started to look at it and see all the little details on that one bill. On the back of the bill, I saw that there was a circular symbol on top. I instantly fell in love with it! I knew that the tattoo was going to happen by then. I’ve been playing around with so many different ideas of what I might want, and then I finally found it.
The design incorporates two important symbols of Korea. The Taegeuki (태극기) and the Mugunghwa (무궁화) are both national symbols of Korea. You can find more information on this website.
I wanted a tattoo to reflect a change in my life and a time in my life where I was greatly affected by the events that occurred within that period. I used to think that going to college and moving out of my parents’ home was a large change in my life. I guess that sounds silly now and why the move to Seoul will always be such a greater influence on my life.
In this city, I am completely functional as an individual. I can’t run to mom and dad when I run out of money or I want to escape the hardships of reality. This is my reality. Not only did I embrace my experience here, but I really pushed myself to make the most of it by traveling, making new friends, learning to be by myself, and more importantly, learning about Korea. By learning about Korea, I was also learning more about a part of myself that I’ve ignored for a major part of my life by trying to convince myself that I was more American. I have done so many things on my own that I was able to slowly gain the confidence that yes, I think I can do anything I want. For so long I felt really insecure without other people to help me see myself as a strong individual and now, I have learned to do that on my own. Which is one of the reasons I placed the tattoo on near my hands – I shape who I am.
Alright, tell me where to sign! hahaha To be honest, I didn’t even really read it. Who does?
Inside Inkholic! The place was really clean, a little dark though, but great view of the city! It’s on the 6th floor and it was great getting ink down with the city as your backdrop. Perfect.
So, this is my tattoo lady! She was great for working with first timers. Hahaha. I liked her more when she made fun of me for being squirming when there was a dude getting a sleeve done on the next table. No peep from him. Uhh… sorry??
She ended up telling me to flip over because it was easier on both of us. Oh, no problem! I’d love to lay down.
Does it hurt? Yes. Will you cry? No. Will you squeal? Yes. Does it hurt enough to never get another tat? Hell no.
With my tattoo artist! I never got her name, but if you go to inkholic, I’m sure you can find her. She’s the girl with the Che Guevara (um…side eye) tattoo on her right arm.
Finished! The only time I regretted it was when I told my mom and she called me from the states to yell at me. Whatever mom! I do what I want!
You can find everything you need on their website http://www.inkholic.kr/
Don’t worry, it’s in English as well. The only part that is hard is that there’s no sign outside. It’s on the 6th floor of this random building. We ended up having to call them, but they are super helpful! My tattoo artist sat there and drew/resized the image until I approved of it.
I also know that this is my first time at a tattoo shop, but from what I saw, everything was exceptionally clean and well maintained. Try them out!