The Girl with the Phoenix Tattoo

(Featured photo credit: Martial World Fandom)

Hello, hello!

I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo. I mean, yes, I get it, a Muslim Malay girl shouldn’t even consider anything like this, but I just thought, “Oh, well, if I’m gonna live my life to the fullest and do one thing that I will regret forever, just might as well be this!” 

So, my Bae, Els set an appointment at Dan’s Ink Studio at Plaza Pudu. We couldn’t be anymore excited. 

After my Saturday class (yes, I will post about this eventually), I made my way to Plaza Pudu and went to Dan’s Ink Studio on the first floor. It might be a little confusing because the studio’s signboard says ‘AEE Tattoo, Body Piercing & Jewellery’. 

When you go to Plaza Pudu, take the escalator and you’ll find this shop on the first floor.

Anyway, I stepped in and met Dan, the tattoo artist. Oh, my God! He was nothing like the tattoo artists you always see on TV or in the movies! He was probably the cleanest tattoo artist I’ve ever seen! I mean, he didn’t have any visible tattoos on his body. So being the curious ex-journalist that I was, I asked him. 

Dan laughed and explained that he has a big tattoo across his back. He said, “I actually have one on my back. I know, it appears strange but I’m different from most tattoo artists. It’s not like I can do tattoo arts on myself”. 

Dan has been a tattoo artist for almost 20 years. He used to have a few tattoo studios in KL, but sold them off and only retained the shop in Plaza Pudu. When he knew that I was getting my ink done for the first time, he explained that he would first print out the design that I wanted in the correct size before tracing it on a stencil paper to prepare the outline.

Meet the ‘cleanest’ tattoo artist ever, Dan!
Hello, Dark Phoenix!

As for the design, yes, I’ve always believed that getting a phoenix would best represent my personality. A phoenix has always been associated with the concept of rebirth or the start of a new beginning. I have been feeling rather unhappy lately and I feel the need to get back on track. I need to be happy again. So, getting a tattoo is one of the RMCO Bucketlist that I need to cross off ASAP.

And just when Dan was preparing for my tattooing session, my Bae walked in. Els teaches over the weekend so we usually plan for brunch or dinner around her schedule. As for me, now my Saturday is filled with gym and the other class that I’ve yet to announce and Sunday is my weekly movie treat with Oliver. 

Oh, and please don’t ask me, why my weekend dates are with Sarawakians! It’s like physics! Wait until you meet my other Sarawakian posse! 

Anyway, Bae wanted to record my first ink experience on her vlog and I told her, “Go crazy!” She has always been so passionate about her video works, you should subscribe to her Youtube channel and see all of her light and easy travels and mukbang videos! 

Els and her 5th tattoo, me and my first ever!

So, yeah, Bae and I agreed that my tattoo would be somewhere fleshy because it would hurt less and she also comforted me that most of the time, she just felt like dozing off while getting her tattoo done. And we decided to get it done on the area just under the rib cage on my left. She thought it would be sexy, while I thought it would be easier to hide, haha!

And the cutting and slicing begins!

No, there was nothing of that sort. Dan just applied some sort of salve on my skin before the stencil transfer. Voila! There’s a little birdie on my not-so-flat abs!

Pre-stencil transer.
Post stencil transfer. If you’re not happy with the position, Dan can always erase this and reapply at a different spot.

Then, I took a deep breath and lied on the bed while Dan showed me the packets of new needles that he’d use to cut incisions and insert the pigment to bring my phoenix to life. My Bae, my ever so huggable Bae was sitting next to me, as if I was going to undergo a surgery, haha! 

So, Dan tried making some incisions and asked me if I felt okay. 

While Bae was shouting, “Was it painful? Did you feel the needles already?”

And I just replied with another question, “Has it poked through my skin yet?”

Bae laughed and said something in Mandarin to Dan. Then, she turned to me and said, “Wahhh, you really didn’t feel it? Then that’s good, it means you can go through this just fine”. 

Always keep your mask on during MCO, even when getting your tattoo done!

So, while Dan worked his magic onto my skin, Bae and I chatted happily. Just to be clear, it was not excruciatingly painful at all. If I had to compare the pain, it was still bearable compared to getting bitten by fire ants. I still felt the light poking on my skin but like I said, it was still better than fire ants bite. 

Two hours later… 

Dannggg, Dan was not kidding when he said that my tattoo would take about 2 hours to complete! And the result was amazing!

Of course, it doesn’t look that amazing because my tummy is no longer amazingly flat like it used to. So, now I have to do extra situps and crunches just to show off my tattoo. 

This was taken 2 days after the inking session! The pigment may peel off a little, just like it would when you go for microblading treatment for your eyebrows.

Once I was finished, it was Bae’s turn to get her tattoo done. She told me, the design that she wanted was a surprise and it really surprised me! It was so beautiful, it kinda reminded me of Sailor Moon! 

Sailor Moon! With the power of the Moon, I’ll punish you! —> 50 Shades much?
Els and her 5th tattoo!

Anyway, it has been a few days since I have that phoenix branded on my body. So far, I’ve been very careful not to scratch or scrub it. Yes, the excess tint peeled off after a couple of days, something that Dan has warned me about so I can schedule for touchup when needed. 

Every time I look at the phoenix, I just think of the things that I’ve regretted in life. I mean, let’s face it, we all have regretful memories throughout the years. For example, I regretted having some friends whom I later deemed as unworthy of my friendship. Yes, the manipulative, conniving type that chameleons as the sweet, innocent type. Also, some worthless relationships that got me wasting my time and energy to recover from the post breakup pain. And many, many other mistakes that today, when looking back, I realise that I can do better. 

So, the phoenix shall rise again… stronger than ever!


Paris Ashiqin

Sorry, Sophie T, Famke Janssen was a more memorable Phoenix!
Photo credit: Business Insider


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