I've designed dozens of tattoos for both friends and strangers over the years. But a little known fact is that on rare occasions I laid down the ink myself. This here is the first tattoo I ever did, back in Las Veags, 2003-ish. Did the sketch right there in the shop based on request for a "hot devil chick." After a few minor revisions requested from the guinea pi-- I mean brave and generous young man who henceforth would be branded for life-- out came the needle. I didn't even know the guy, and he was trusting me with my first tat! Of course the deal for him was that I'd do it for free, so maybe that had something to do with it :-)
The process took a bit to get used to, skin is a... unique medium, the needle a very specialized tool. But I found the zone without too much struggle. For me at least, it was all on the up-and-up, tattooing is kind of a strict profession. You have to get all kinds of health code certifications, take tests, inoculations, apprentice under someone... it's a long list. The dude who I apprenticed under was super cool, and he's still a sought after artisan today. I was lucky to know him!