By: Valentina Caballero
You often encounter some of the most interesting people at 24-hour Walmarts during road trips to the US. I had one of those moments in the summer of 2016. It was 3 a.m. and I stopped by a Walmart somewhere in Philadelphia with my parents to get a bite to eat. I was walking down the cereal aisle when I laid my eyes on the most questionable pieces of body art I’ve ever seen on an old woman. I wish I could’ve taken a photo, but to give you an idea, the tattoo looked like a distorted portrait of what I presume was this woman’s son or maybe even possibly her grandson on her thigh.
I don’t think I’ll ever get that image erased from my memory, but needless to say, that 3 a.m.
Walmart lady encounter taught me three important lessons:
1.) Don’t go to Walmart at 3 a.m.
2.) Never get your loved ones’ faces tattooed onto your body
3.) Find a skilled tattoo artist that can actually recreate your ideas before committing to a lifetime of a scary demon child portrait looking at you every time you sit down.
With all of that in mind, when it came to getting my first tattoo, I was extremely wary about
finding a tattoo artist that could accurately ink my design. Luckily, I found out about this
awesome Toronto-based tattoo artist called Mayflower Ink through Instagram.
Even though this was my first time getting something inked on me, Aram was very
understanding and walked me through the entire process. A couple of weeks prior to getting the tattoo, we did a brief consultation via email about stylization I was looking for. I sent Aram a sketch I drew for the tattoo, we scheduled an appointment and she took the rest from there.
I always thought the process behind getting a tattoo would be much more convoluted, but when it came to the day of finally getting it done, things were pretty
I arrived at Aram’s place and we talked for a bit while she transferred my design to a drawing through an app called Procreate. This allowed her to easily scale the drawing to the size I wanted.
Once that was finished, she printed the sketch in order to confirm with me the positioning of
it on my arm.
It took a couple of reprintings until we got the right size, but when we did, we moved onto the final stages of the tattoo prep. In order to get the tattoo outline on my bicep, Aram printed the design on a thermal copier– a special printer which basically creates a stencil of your design on an adhesive paper that can be placed on your skin so it leaves a traceable imprint of your tattoo.
Following this, came the actual tattoo.
I honestly thought it was going to hurt a lot more, but it wasn't all that bad. I’m sure
it depends on the area where you get the tattoo done and the intricacy of the design influences the level of pain, but for a first tattoo, it was actually pretty decent. On top of that, I was talking with Aram about music and concerts for most of the process that I didn’t fully register the sting from the tattoo gun when it was happening.
Needless to say, I’m super happy with how the tattoo ended up. Aram did an awesome job
transferring the design and making sure it looked like what I originally drew.
If you’re in Toronto looking to get a tattoo, I 1000% recommend Mayflower Ink. DM, or email 𝕒𝕣𝕒𝕞𝕙𝕖𝕪𝕕𝕒𝕣𝕚𝕒𝕟𝟛@𝕘𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕝.𝕔𝕠𝕞 for an appointment.
Photos by Bella Caballero (@frombellawithlove)
Photos Edited by Valentina Caballero (@val.ntina.c)
Tattoo Design by Valentina Caballero
Inked by Aram Heydarian (@mayflowerink)