Try This! is going to be a little bit…unique today! Usually Try This! will be more of a Haul/Product Review piece, but today I’m going to be reviewing my experience getting a tattoo at Mainland Ink with my best friend Katie.
Disclaimer: Getting a tattoo is a HIGHLY!!!!! personal choice that requires thought & planning. I am in NO WAY saying that you should run out & get a tattoo at Mainland Ink or anywhere else. I am simply sharing my experience & the thought process behind our piece. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! Also below, check out a quick video of Katie & me in the tattoo process!
I’ve known Katie since high school where we caused much mayhem & mischief together as cheerleaders. Being on the same team, we obviously knew each other & were close, but my Junior year we were co-Captains of our team & the rest is Best Friend/Soul Sister history!
The tattoo is, from left to right, the Alchemical symbol for Air (Gemini is an Air sign), the Gemini symbol, & the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. Another best friend, Marcela, pointed out an alternative interpretation that Katie & I are equally happy with – it could be all Harry Potter related with the symbols standing for the Sorting Hat, the Time Turner, & the Deathly Hallows.
Katie has a few tattoos already, whereas I’m a novice to the game. I have one other tattoo which I’ve kept under wraps because it’s not finished yet. We had been talking for a bit about getting something matching but never seriously pursued the idea because I didn’t have any tattoos yet. However, after I got my first tattoo the idea of doing something together became way more real so we started planning. We’ve always bonded over the fact that we’re both Gemini, her birthday is June 1st & mine is the 7th. We also are both huge Harry Potter nerds. The piece is special because it appeals to us individually yet also references interests we share.
I’ve wanted a Gemini tattoo since I was in high school because I’ve always felt it was so spot on in describing my personality. Also, my dad had his sign tattooed on him, & in a weird turn of events, the tattoo artist was named David (my dad’s name) & we got the tattoo on the anniversary of my dad’s passing so it all felt very…spiritual & a way for me to connect with him.
We decided to place the tattoo on our foot for practical & “meaning” reasons.
Practical – We’re aware that tattoos in the workplace are still not totally welcome so we wanted to make sure it was something we could semi-easily hide. My other tattoo is on my side, so I couldn’t watch it being completed. Being able to watch was quite a different experience! The pain is about the same, at worst it’s like a sharp pinch. One weird thing that happened was when the needle hit a certain…nerve/muscle/tendon…? my foot would twitch. I was holding my leg down because I was afraid the motion would ruin the lines, but it turned out basically perfect. There are a couple minuscule wiggles but they are SO hard to notice, you literally have to be nose to foot. David asked if I wanted him to go over the lines again, but I said no because its hardly noticeable & we were both concerned that more touch ups would run the risk of more twitching & henceforth more wiggles.
“Meaning” – Being a Gemini, our connection to HP, & our connection to each other are what makes us who we are, it’s our roots. Placing the piece on our foot symbolized that roots/ground idea.
About Mainland Ink
Positives: The shop was clean, comfortable, has a great rating on Yelp, & they were able to work us into the schedule, even staying late two nights in a row. Everyone we talked to (Ozzy, David, & another guy but I didn’t get his name – sorry!) was really nice & willing to work on the design & placement with no attitude. They treated us with equal amounts of respect even though I’m a newbie & Katie has more tattoo experience. This is important to me because my first tattoo artist seemed annoyed by my questions or when I wanted to adjust the placement/stencil. I felt like she wanted me to just do what she wanted because I didn’t have any tattoos & she did. I’m still allowed to have an opinion about what goes on my body! This was not the case at MI & it was greatly appreciated. The shop minimum was on par with what I expected.
Negatives: Communication was a little weird. I emailed our design & inquired about pricing/availability. No answer. Later that night I called & we ended up stopping by. We were told Ozzy would call the next day to set up a firm appointment time, but by late afternoon we hadn’t heard anything. I called the shop & Ozzy said he was planning on calling when he had a bigger chunk of time between clients. I understand he’s busy but we were starting to stress & wonder if they even wanted our business. At the shop we’re eventually told David will be doing our tattoos – what?! Who?! He didn’t have any examples of his work to show which made me extremely nervous. Thankfully we had a pretty simple design because if we had been doing anything more complicated I wouldn’t have let him tattoo me.
Should YOU Try This!? – In regards to a tattoo in general – Maybe
In regards to Mainland Ink – If you’re looking for a Tattoo Parlor, yeah!
Like I said, tattoos are not for everyone & should be very carefully considered. I shouldn’t have to say this but THEY. ARE. FOREVER. I don’t advise getting a matching tattoo with anyone unless your relationship has stood the test of time & the piece means something to you individually as well as in regards to your friendship. Katie & I have been friends for over 10 years & had a really honest talk about the idea of doing a matching piece. Coincidentally, or maybe not too much of a coincidence considering we’re best friends & think alike, we both want another Harry Potter tattoo using the same quote & a mermaid themed tattoo, so someday we’ll have a couple similar pieces anyway. We figured we’d get the ball rolling with one that was an exact match 🙂
Mainland Ink was great! Other than the communication issues, everything was awesome & I would recommend this shop. I’m beyond obsessed with my tattoo, I can’t stop looking at it, & am so excited to show it off!
Do you have any tattoos? If so, tell me about them or send me a pic in the comments below! If you don’t have any tattoos, do you plan on getting one someday? I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was 15 & didn’t get one until I was 25. If you need a shoulder to cry on about your waiting struggle or someone to talk to about future plans – I’m all ears because I’ve been there too & I love hearing what people have planned! Remember to hit that FOLLOW button to stay updated on all the posts here. Thanks for reading & watching 🙂