Time, as Albert Einstein pointed out, is relative. For example, I tattooed on a nice lady from Detroit today for about 5 and a half hours to make this. . .
Now to me that 5 hours went by amazingly fast. In fact if it wasnt for the fact that I stopped from time to time to get water or change colors or glance at the clock im sure that my perception ofthat 5 or so hours would have felt like 3 hours. After a decade of tattooing, my hands and back don’t get sore anymore and as long as the customer isnt a complete goober Im there mentally as well. On the othe rhand, and this is something I try to never forget, the person sitting IN the chair has a whole different view of the same time.
Im sure it felt like 10 hours to her, though she never really showed it, I was acutely aware of her discomfort. In the tattoos i have recieved (and there are many, but none took longer than 4 hours) it has always seemed to take much longer than i thought it would. Pain seems to bring the issue of relativity into crystal clarity. In a tattoo, even a big one, the needle is seldom actually in the skin for more than a few seconds at a time, and yet those tiny bursts of discomfort serve to pull your attention diretly back to the moment the needle is in the skin. Without drugs or other chemical distraction the customers attention is focused, few can read or write coherently while getting a tattoo.
Anyway, I also tend to think that the acts that go along with getting a tattoo seem to make the whole process take longer than it does really. If someone told you to relax for an hour, I would bet that during that hour you would sit in a variety of positions. legs up, legs crossed, on the floor, lying back, basically any time you felt the tiniest twinge of uncomfortableness you would move. Now suppose instead of relaxing for an hour you had to sit still for an hour? No figeting, no drastic changes in position, no twirling feet or swinging arms, wouldnt that hour seem so much longer? Well that goes on in a tattoo for many hours! Im sure that even without the needle and its discomfort simply being forced to sit still for hour upon hour would drag the minutes out.
But you should just forget all this and come get tattooed by me.
Its fun. really.