Petra Nagy, model from Miercurea Ciuc

There are a lot of rumors going around tattoos and piercings: it hurts a lot, it has to be meaningful, it gets infected…aren’t they just rumors though? If you ask someone about this topic, you may hear that tattooed people are bad, be careful with them. But today, getting inked is not connected to bad habits any more. It’s an art and a way of expressing ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, be brave and go ahead if that’s what you desire. Whether you use your body as a canvas or you leave it “blank”, the most important thing is to love it the way it is. There are so many things to do rather than complaining about yourself. Push your limits and try to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you end up being a model, just like Petra did.

When did you get your first tattoo and why?

I got my first tattoo when I was 16, without my parents’ consent. It’s on my back, 3 flying bird silhouettes. I had a friend, who made tattoos at his home, really cheap but also good so I went there and got my first tattoo. I didn’t have any ideas at first, because the idea of getting inked came out of nowhere, all of a sudden, so I just chose a pretty mainstream girlish tattoo which I’m planning to cover up soon.

How was it? How would you describe the feeling?

It seemed so long. At least it felt like 3 hours, but it was actually 30 minutes. It felt like flaming water, it burnt my skin for the 1st few minutes but after that, my skin was getting used to and it hurt less. I would say that for everyone is different –  what they feel or how they react. But for me, this kind of pain strangely pleasant. Somehow I like this sort of pain, it takes me out of my comfort zone.

Is that true, that after the first one you will be dependent on tattoos?

I think this is totally up to the person, who is getting tattooed but as far as I see, it’s kinda addictive. For some people, it is, because of the idea of getting a piece of art on your body for the rest of your life, for others it’s because of the pain they feel. For me, it was obvious, that I will cover up most of my body with tattoos, this is the lifestyle I chose.

What about the piercings, flashes?

I had several piercings over the past 5 years. They hurt, it’s a needle going through your skin and having a metal bar placed in the wound for a longer period. I put earplugs when I was 14 then I started stretching them because it looked interesting and cool. I stretched my ears to 20 mm each, but I had many problems with them. 1st of all, what no one tells you, is that they stink. The skin will develop pus-like substance sometimes, mostly when your ears sweat. I had to clean them almost every day. I had my ears ripped on the inside 2 times because I switched plugs too quickly and too big so I had to remove them to heal and I had to start over. It’s a long process, sometimes it hurts too, ears can easily swell up and get red. Proper cleaning will help the healing. I removed mine because I got tired of, after 7 years of wearing them but my ears never got back in their regular size. It’s quite expensive to get them sewed together, hurts a lot when it heals and also takes a few months because they cut the excess earlobe off and sew the remaining skin together so you will still have a hole in your ear for ordinary jewelry. I’m planning to put them back because I “grew up” with them and I kinda miss them.

Which part of the body is the most painful for these?

For tattoos, the most painful body part is the top of your feet and your lower abdomen. The skin on your feet is really thin and there are a lot of veins which are visible, there is not enough fat on that area to numb the process. At your lower abdomen, there are a lot of muscles which cause the same effect, there is not enough fat on that area.
For piercing, I would say the genitals and the nipples, although I have never experienced any of them.

How did you start modeling?

I started modeling when I was 15. It was for a photo camp with unknown newbies in the industry. I have been hating my face for a long time. Then someone told me that my face is so symmetric, my jawline is so definitive that he opened up my eyes and I began to love my body. I started shooting with as many people as I could so that I can make a portfolio in the future. Most of the time I’m the one who comes up with an idea and I choose the whole concept of the shooting. I’m not just a model but a stylist as well.

What is your favorite part of being a model?

I love arty stuff. I’m obsessed with being expressive and weirdo on shootings. I like how versatile this can be and this whole industry does not know limits. This is the beauty of it. You can go on 1 shooting but also you can have several different shots like you were on tons of shootings. I love to share my feelings through photos, outfits, makeup and also I love to work in a team. I like to communicate with people during the shooting so we can come up with the best shots and ideas as possible.

Top 5 go to tips when getting a first tattoo or piercing
  1. From my experience, it’s good to have an idea already. Make sure that you can imagine that piece on you for the rest of your life! I thought that every tattoo needs to be meaningful but that isn’t true. At least for me. My tattoos are just simply decorative, they were made for the purpose of art. I often give a meaning for them so people won’t ask it a 100 times that why, why there, why that etc. It’s just decoration on my body. That’s it. If you’re like me and you don’t have any idea, just go with the flow. If you have a trusted artist, just tell them to make something they think would be cool on you.
  2. Take your time. Your tattooer is an artist. They won’t rush a tattoo in 3 hours just because you have to go somewhere else. Find a day when you are free and take your time to sit there and get that perfect result.
  3. Save money. Tattooing is expensive, especially when you want a really good quality tattoo and not just wonky faded lines from someone who is tattooing with a self-made tattoo machine, from a newbie or simply an anti-talent. If you want a good tattoo, be aware that it will cost you some money. Many artists are charging per sessions so if you have a tattoo which has to be done in 2-3 sessions, they will charge you with just a few amount per session.
  4. Take care properly. Tattoos are basically ink in an open wound and they can get infected really easily. Been there done that. My hot-air balloon tattoo got infected really badly when I was just putting the ointment on and I hadn’t washed it before. I had huge scars over my tattoo and it was so bad, pus was coming out under my scars and it hurt so badly. Usually, tattoos heal within just a few weeks with proper caring but this had been healing for 3 months! It was a disaster and now some scars can be seen on my tattoo where the ink came out from my skin. It’s not the end of the world but it is really annoying to have such an issue. So always listen to your tattooer, she or he knows the best how to take care of a freshly made tattoo.
  5. The same with piercings, I had three piercings infected for different reasons. My medusa was infected because I went to a pool with chlorine water while it was still fresh. My lips swelled up, pus was coming out of it and I had to remove the piercing. My nostril got a blister on the external part, right at the hole where the piercing was. I didn’t know what it was so I just popped it like a pimple but it got worse. It was bleeding, red and swollen. Fortunately, the saline solution (from the pharmacy) helped a lot to heal. I cleaned it a few times a day until it healed completely. NEVER EVER USE TEA TREE OIL, that will make the piercing infected instantly.

I had experienced a few tattoos and piercings too, I can relate that the first one is like a never-ending, unpleasant story. But that’s just because you don’t know what to expect from. It’s the first time, you’re stressed and a bit frightened which is normal. I would add a 6th tip: when choosing your first tattoo, try to avoid those body parts which are painful zones. Don’t jump in, right in the middle. Take some baby steps instead. Piercings heal a lot slower, you will feel like that part of you is on fire, but that goes away in a few hours. Take care of them and of you too.