The Tattoo to Honor Her Friend Who Died of Cancer Didn’t Turn Out as Expected: VIDEO

Credit: Rodas Dechassa

It’s hard to forget your first tattoo. In our first My First Time video, Cruz reminisces on when she decided to dedicate her first tattoo to a classmate that passed away from cancer. Being 15 at the time, it was a little bit of a search for her to find an artist, let alone a credible one, that would tattoo her. While searching, a friend recommended an artist with the name Angel. Unconcerned that he tattooed out of his basement, Cruz was determined to arrange an appointment with him. There were some red flags—such as the artist insisting to pick Cruz and her girlfriend up at a local Tim Hortons coffee shop instead of providing his address to them—but when you’re fifteen and fearless you tend to ignore the warnings. (Can you blame her?!)

When it came time to actually getting tattooed, she provided him with the expected design concept, placement and size of the tattoo. The roman numerals indicated her friend’s birth date and death date were to be a fairly medium-sized tattoo, along the side of her ribs. But Angel was insistent and pushed her to go bigger with the tattoo since it was her first one—wherever that logic came from. After being promised that the price would remain at the agreed price of $120 despite the dramatic increase in size, she conceded.

If Cruz could change anything about her first tattoo experience, it would be thinking the placement through a bit more. Different placements have different pain levels, and rib tattoos can be on the more painful end of the spectrum. Knowing what to expect beforehand would have prepared Cruz for what was to come and might’ve even influenced her decision on where to get it. Despite the discomfort, she still mustered up the strength to mosh at Warped Tour the very next day.

Thinking about getting your first tattoo? Make sure you read up on these 13 key things-to-know so that you feel confident when deciding to commit. If you’re still wavering on your exact design choice or placement, consider test driving the tattoo with Inkbox. Browse Inkbox’s 2,500+ catalog designs created by artists around the world or use the custom platform to create any fresh design you have in mind. All of Inkbox’s tattoos look like permanent tattoos, but only last for one to two weeks, so they give you a chance to live with your prospective tattoo and placement of choice to see if it’s the right fit. Just a heads up, Inside Out is powered by the folks at Inkbox. It’s all part of our shared mission to empower you to tell your unique story, be it for now or forever.

Related: Why I Decided to Cover Up a Meaningful Tattoo

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