Getting Inked

I got my first tattoo when I was 20.

I went to the first tattooist I found and picked a flash piece from the wall. The place wasn’t exactly clean and the tattooist, who was smoking when I arrived, stopped for a fag half way through the 30mins that it took. He dropped ash on to my skin at one point, resulting in a lumpy section of outline and when I began feeling faint during the shading, he just carried on. (NB: for those interested, It was a pink star with thick black outline and is at the base of my spine. That’s right. I’ve got a “tramp stamp”)

Two years later and I was in the chair again. This time the tattoos were on my shoulder blades, the tattooist was a friend, the design carefully considered and I took someone with me to keep me distracted. It took 30mins (again) and I giggled the whole time. Turns out, shoulder tattoos can be quite tickly.

 This is what I got…                                                                These are the snails they’re based on..   


I used to own Giant African Land Snails and am in love with the art work of Jeff Thomas, especially Pon and Zi. It all made sense.

I wasn’t disappointed at the time and have loved them fiercely since day one. For the money that I had at the time, they were perfect. However, it’s now 9yrs later, I have more disposable income and I’m ready to get my snails fixed.

I’ve done a LOT of research and chose Physical Graffiti on City Road in Cardiff. I’m a huge fan of Tasha Pollendine’s work and was really hoping that I’d manage to snag a spot with her. To say I was excited when I found out she was to be my tattooist is an understatement. I was giddy!

The initial consultation was easy and I felt that they understood exactly what I wanted. I showed them the above picture of how the snail is meant to look as well as how my tattoos actually look. We agreed a date and a time, I handed over my £20 deposit and went away happy.

On the Saturday, I showed up waaaaay too early for the appointment and spent an anxious 20mins listening to the buzz of the tattoo gun. At a little after 2pm, Tasha appeared and led me upstairs to her studio space. While downstairs at PG looks like your run of the mill tattoo studio, upstairs is like a nerds wet dream. The one wall was covered with a HUGE Avengers mural, the other with shelves upon shelves of Star Wars figurines. Tasha’s section was full of adorable kitsch objects: Maneki Neko figurines, little owl teapots, a couple of Funko My Little Pony Statues and a lot of Boston Terrier figures.

I immediately felt at ease as she talked through exactly what she would do to the original tattoos as well as the additions I wanted.

Tasha happily chatted during the whole process, checking that I was happy with her colour choices and making sure I wasn’t in any discomfort. Happily I can report that shoulder tattoos still tickle.

Forty-five minutes later and it was all done. She gave me detailed instructions for after care as well as recommending a cream to keep them from getting too scabby (Hustle Butter). After a final check in the mirror, I went away ridiculously happy.

Here’s a before and after showing the finished result ^_^


Aren’t they beautiful? Her work is incredible and I’m already looking to get another tattoo by Tasha as a 30th Birthday present to myself.

Maybe you have tattoos or plans for some in the future – Tell me aaaaallll about them in the comments below.

Laters xx


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