I recently got my first tattoo and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my small amount of time on this planet.
Like anyone semi-sane considering getting tattooed for the first time, I googled like I'd never googled before. I researched many tattoo studios far and wide across Melbourne, and even considered flying to LA after a particularly long stint of watching back to back LA Ink.
Finally after interrogating everyone I'd ever known to have been inked, I settled on Chapel Tattoo.
This was because of a few reasons. Firstly, because they are one of the oldest and most reputable studios in Melbourne. Having been working since 1993 (conveniently the year I was born) I figured they must have been doing something right. Secondly, on their website they have the option of previewing each individual artist's work (most studios have this option these days) so I was able to see the amazing caliber of talent this studio housed. As anyone perpetually afraid after laughing at 'bad' tattoos on the internet, seeing what your artist can do is paramount.
I chose my particular artist Jane because she had been working for 13 years (again, doing something right) and her line work was impeccable. My predominantly black design relied heavily on clean lines, so this aspect was one of the ones I carefully considered when choosing an artist.
On the day of I was incredibly nervous being a small girl in a waiting room full of muscled male tattoo aficionados. I had expected to have to wait at least a few months for an appointment but they managed to squeeze me in within a few weeks. I'll admit for a first timer the waiting room is a little scary, but the staff make you feel incredibly at ease. I was super early because I was terrified so I spent quite a bit of time there.
The actual tattooing process was nowhere as bad as I thought it would be. I know, I know, this seems to be the resounding cry of all people who have gotten their first tattoo. Nonetheless I'd expected to have to be strapped down while I writhed in agony. My artist was extremely friendly and gentle and we pretty much chatted through the whole thing.
As it was on my ribs the only time it began to be overly painful was towards my hip, the rest of the time it felt as though my ribs were being massaged and poked at the same time. Completely tolerable.
Overall the whole tattoo took around three and a half hours to complete and my only complaint was getting a tad bored towards the end.
Chapel Tattoo is one of the best yet also one of the priciest tattoo venues, but you really walk away with what you pay for. I could give you a free tattoo with a needle and some pen ink but it wouldn't be something you'd want forever.
For someone getting their first tattoo, or indeed any number of tattoos I definitely recommend both Chapel Tattoo and my artist Jane.
All bookings must be made in person and a deposit of around $50 is required depending on the size of the piece.