This tattoo is by far the largest tattoo I have ever gotten in one sitting. And my elbow is the most painful tattoo experience I’ve ever encountered. 0/10 do not recommend. I’m insanely proud of myself for sitting through it, though, and I love – love – the final product.
I’m not sure when I first discovered Yann Black…I feel like it was close to a decade ago. The earliest I could find where I had posted about it was April 2014, when I said this: “I don’t tend to keep up with names in the tattoo industry. But I would for real go to Canada and pay an embarrassing amount of money for a Yann Black tattoo.” At that point I was already pretty obsessed, though.
When that post popped up in my memories last year I went back to his website and was like “You know what…I still love this stuff. It’s been long enough – I’m going to do it.” So I reached out to him about scheduling an appointment. I had no idea how the next 6 months of my life were going to play out, or what a roller coaster my life would become, but I am SO GLAD I finally reached out to him and got this tattoo. Not only do I love his style in general, the entire experience was so cathartic after the past year….gah. I’m so happy.
I was nervous about meeting him, because I felt a little bit like a weirdo traveling so far to get a tattoo (maybe that’s normal for him, I dunno how famous he is). I had no idea how well I was going to sit. I’ve never gotten an arm tattoo before. I have never sat so long for a tattoo before. I don’t speak French. I dunno. There was a lot of “new” to the whole thing, and his personality could totally wreck the experience.
But y’all. Y’all. He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He was so welcoming and friendly. We talked about our kids – he made several movie recommendations, and even let me borrow one overnight so I could watch it. (Song of the Sea – made me cry like a baby, but was so good.) He fed me lunch the day of the tattoo. He let me borrow a towel to wrap my arm in overnight so I didn’t leak plasma or ink all over the sheet in my Air B&B. Gross, I know, but tattoos are actually pretty gross the first week or two. That’s important to know before getting your first one!
Every other tattoo artist I have known prior to getting tattooed. They were all coworkers of my ex-husband, so even if we weren’t friends we were at least acquaintances. Some of them have been more intimidating than he was. lol! By the end of it I seriously wanted to be his friend and hang out with him and his family and watch movies together. Maybe it was the adrenaline from the pain, I don’t know. But for real – I told him if he ever came to Nashville to let me know so we could meet up, and I 100% mean that.
I’ll ramble about the actual road trip in another post, I feel like this one is long enough just covering the tattoo. But the road trip was also amazing, and empowering, and utterly terrifying. I’m glad I did it…I don’t ever want to do it again. I got back to my Air B&B the evening after I got the tattoo and as I was laying in bed I thought about everything that has happened in the past couple of years, and what I had done over the past week, and just…cried a little. But in a good way. (Okay, maybe more than a little.)