Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tattoo You

While I am (very) far from an expert on tattooing (although I did write some papers on body modification in university) I wanted to throw together a quick post about the process to get my new tattoo, mostly as a way to shout out to my artist and the great studio.  I've had enough people ask about the process that I figured it might be at least semi-interesting.

So I've wanted to get another tattoo for years.  It was just one of those things that always seemed like I didn't have the money to drop on one at the time.  I got the bug real bad this time though and made an appointment for a consultation at True Love Tattoo before I could talk myself out of it.  It can be quite the waiting list to get to one of their top artists, but because my design was going to be fairly small and simple I went with one of the newer artists.

My artist was Garth Stone, and I really enjoyed working with him.  He's been tattooing less than a year, but I really love what he came up with and he was super nice.  I went in with a few different hawk designs that I liked.  Mom has always wanted us kids to get a hawk tattoo, so I figured I would start there.  I had a bunch of different images, but wasn't totally sold on any one design.  I wanted something that was graphic and modern, but retro at the same time.  Nothing too realistic, and nothing too tribal.  I really liked the look of some Charley Harper designs, but we settled on this Brendan Wenzel illustration.

We both really liked the idea of it, but wanted to clean up the design a bit - taking out the exaggerated talons and eyeball.

It only took a week between the consult and the appointment, and we were set to go.  Although I had been quoted 2-2.5 hours of tattooing, it ended up only taking just under an hour.  Garth was awesome - I'm a fainter, so he was really good about making sure I was feeling okay, but didn't feel the need to talk the entire time.  If I was quiet, then he was too.  

While I had originally envisioned it with some colour, Garth thought it would work better in blacks and greys and making use of negative space instead.  I really went in trusting my artist.  I didn't want a tattooer, I wanted a tattoo artist.  And I wanted him to feel comfortable with what he was putting on me.  My theory was that he's the artist, not me.  He knows his capabilities and his limitations.  So why not put him in charge of what he's doing so I can get the best result possible?  He seemed really grateful that I was so secure about the process and really just trusted him to do his thing.

I'm really happy with it - and now that it's through the peeling and the itching phase, it's looking better than ever.  There's one spot on the eye that took a little bit longer to heal than the rest, but I think that's just because of how deep it went there.

I went with my inner left forearm.  No particular reason, it really just felt right.  I like that it's easy enough to cover if I really wanted to (I wear a lot of 3/4 sleeve tops anyway) but I can see it too.  My other "I was dumb and 19" tattoo is on my back, and I always forget that it's even there.  It's nice to be able to look down at my arm and see this funny little guy hanging out there.  And I love how his feet will stick out from the sleeve of my shirt.

Up next?  I'm thinking a typewriter, as you can probably guess from my Pinterest board.  Now that I'm comfortable with an artist, I will definitely be going back to Garth and will feel more at ease just throwing out the idea of a typewriter and seeing what he comes up with.  If you're looking to get tattooed this summer (and really, why wouldn't you?  It's awesome.) give True Love a call, and be sure to tell me all about it.

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