So the other night at the tattoo shop I was helping Scott with setups and cleanups while Candace did a tattoo on the other side of the room. The lady she was tattooing looked like your typical Habersham County soccer mom, (she very well may have been wearing a Simply Southern tshirt) and seemed like one of those people that could be described as “sweet.” That impression only lasted until she started talking and revealed that she has a mouth like a sailor. She had a friend with her and they were cutting up with Candace while getting a lotus blossom and some words tattooed on her forearm. I really was not paying much attention until her friend asked her what the saying was supposed to mean. With no hesitation, and in a voice that carried through out the whole shop she exclaimed “True love ain’t for pussies!” Everybody laughed and then changed their focus to the fact that the word “such” is over the lotus blossom point in such a way that it looks rather like “suck.” Candace was bothered by it but no one else seemed to think it was too bad. I see “suck” but I just keep thinking about what she said. It was a crude way of putting it but I think she may be absolutely right.
One of the things that has been very strange for me as I spend more time in the tattoo shop is the difference in how people approach getting tattooed. There are people who come in with designs that they have been working on for years, trying to get them absolutely perfect before committing to having them on their bodies forever. But there are many more who come in with just a general idea and with what appears to be very little thought at all get on the artists to quickly draw something up and then immediately get them inked. But nothing has been as shocking to me as what Stephen and I did to his leg last Sunday afternoon. He had told me I could give him a tattoo and that I could use his pen, which is very different from the machines I am used to. When I expressed some hesitation he told me we could practice some first. I was not sure what he meant at first but he showed me his leg where he had the beginning of a rather poorly rendered tree trunk he had started on himself when he was first starting out. He said he was going to get it covered up so we could use the area to practice. He then went to the computer and printed the words “Your Mom”, stenciled them, shaved that portion of this leg, and stuck them on there. I just stared at him in disbelief as he setup the pen and handed it to me. It felt incredibly irresponsible and well, just plain stupid, but it was his leg, and he kept urging me to just go ahead and do it. So I did. He did about half the horizontal lines showing me differences in speed and depth and he even purposefully gave himself a “blow out” dot to show me how bad that could look. I did a few lines and some swirls and then his next appointment arrived. We cleaned it and put some A&D on it and he continued on with his day. I am still pretty horrified.
Before I ever started going to the tattoo shop or thought all that seriously about learning the art I had an idea that I would like to have subtle swirls that were just barely visible hidden around different places on my body. I imagined they would be a light color, just barely darker than my skin, so that if someone noticed them they would not be sure if it was just a trick of the light. I actually thought about the idea quite a bit and would sometimes doodle on myself thinking about where they would look the coolest peeking out. This weekend I did my first ones. I put little swirls on a couple toes, near the crease of my shoulder and the crease of my leg. I used an ink color called “light flesh” which turned out to be a little lighter than my skin rather than a little darker. I only did a couple small places because I want to see how they look when they heal before doing more. Right now the welts and bloodlines are more obvious than the actual ink but I am hoping in a week or two they will look cool. If they do I will do more. (It is kind of funny that I was worried that the one at the top of my leg would really hurt as it healed and be a bad distraction, but when I went hiking Saturday afternoon I got either a spider or ant bite behind my knee that hurts worse than all my new little tattoos combined.)
It’s about to get real…
The little piece I did on Carl’s calf last night is not very exciting. It hardly deserves its own post. Looking at the picture now as I write this I see more than a few places I should have done better, so maybe I should have kept this one to myself. However it seems like an important milestone to have tattooed my first skull. One cannot really be a true tattoo artist without some skulls in their portfolio right?And really my plan is to photograph and keep track of each one I do. If nothing else this can serve as a marker to show how I have improved in the future.
I did not do any tattooing yesterday. There was a Christian Ed meeting after church that went long and Scott had to leave early to travel for his other job. We just had a brief visit during the little time we crossed over. I am anxious to have the machine in my hand again but in the mean time I have been drawing a lot with tattoo designs in mind. Since the main place I can tattoo myself is my leg I have been thinking a lot about designs that would look good when I sat and looked at my own leg from above but would also make sense when someone else looked at my leg straight on. I think I will stick to swirls and flora on myself for that reason, but it seems like most people are more interested in a more clear rendition of something, so they have to pick whether they want their design “right-side-up” for themselves or for the rest of the world.
So, today’s waiting-for-my-SQL-query-to-run doodle is an answer to that dilemma. I really really hope I can convince one of my future meth-head clients to get an Octopus Monster/Medusa Head hybrid tattoo on their leg or forearm.
This has nothing to do with tattooing, but is just something I feel like sharing that doesn’t seem to warrant it’s own whole post. Today, after almost four months working at the bank, I discovered that there is very cool, very steep, spiral staircase right by my office. I guess now I will be always trying to come up with reasons why I need to go upstairs..
This page does not usually get any views because there are no links to it from the rest of the site. In order to find it someone would need to using the search feature on the site to look for a word that is used somewhere on this page. No one has done that in a while, but apparently the page has been indexed by the search engines, because over the weekend the page was viewed by someone in Prague looking for some intimate tattoo designs…