Beautiful things come from disreputable places.
As currently stands, I'm 18 and have 15 piercings and two tattoos.
I've had all 15 piercings done in a Mall Piercing manner, and the worst was my nose and first cartilage piercing. The cartilage, they used too small a stud and I ended up ripping it out the back with a fork. The nose was... well, imagine a whole piercing gun up your nose. Yeah. Like that. I wish I'd gotten mine done with needles - all o' them. In essence, I was stupid, young, and had too much pocket money.
Like most people on here, I've always loved piercings and tattoos. Scarification makes me feel vaguely ill and corseting too. Tattoos though... are beautiful. I got my first tattoo in a very, very well reputed local parlour on the morning of my 18th birthday. I'd been in two weeks beforehand and handed over the design I'd wanted. I was nervous right up until the day, when I accepted that one way or another it was going to happen, and it would be worth it in every way. So in I went to get a beautiful koi on my right shoulder blade. My only annoyance was that the tattoo had to be done bigger than the original size I'd wanted it in because it was too detailed to be any smaller. The pain was there, but not anywhere nearly as bad as I'd imagined it to be. Outlining and shading stung, and that was about it. It was very clean, the people were friendly and they were reasonably priced for such amazing work - I'm planning on returning in the very near future to get my septum pierced professionally. Yay. Yum. Yahhoo.
Being newly inked, very happy and very enthusiastic, I decided I wanted more, but this time a little more personal. I wanted the next freehand and feminine - but the place in town didn't do freehand tattooing, and I'd only had my first a short while. A little put off, I waited (and thank god for that, because I had some ideas for ink that makes me gag to think back on), and I eventually heard talk (Eventually - it was a month later. Time drags for impatient people) of a newer tattoo parlour that specialised in freehand tattoos where you sat down with the artist and told her exactly what you wanted, and she'd draw it up then and there. The only drawbacks were that it was incredibly expensive (I know - good work costs a lot, and I was prepared to pay, but lacking funds) and it was also in the drug capital of Australia - Nimbin. Anyone who has heard of this place will probably understand. It's a little commune of hippies from the 70's that had a very keen longing for "alternative lifestyle" that went very wrong. To the point that almost every man and his dog has a secret pot stash somewhere. The entire town reeks of things best left unmentioned. So you can see why I was hesitant to eat something there, let alone get a tattoo done in the middle of nowhere.
I went in, met the tattoo artist - who wasn't seedy at all, she's quite lovely, and told her (Beki) what I wanted. She drew it up after I gave her an idea - it took about half an hour, in which I ate (again with the dubious food) and generally mulled around, without looking too closely at anyone in the streets or... well, in the town in general.
I've got to hand it to the Beki - she's a fantastic artist. The walls were covered, quite literally, with paintings she'd done in her spare time. A beautiful bright orange octopus dragging down a chocolate boat in turquoise waters. It blew my mind - and it was there that I knew I wanted an octopus, done by her. Annnyway, I got called into the studio which was tiny, though clean. She lightly drew the tattoo-to-be (a beautiful traditional-style Japanese winding cherry blossom stem) on my forearm and after a few adjustments and shavings, we were off. Being the first tattoo of mine that I could watch being done, I was a little shocked at how much it bled, and she was amazing with the tattooing. We kept up a light banter for the hour-and-a-bit it took, and she even gave me a lollipop for the "bitey" parts of the tattoo where it went into softer, paler skin.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Beki was genuinely kind and funny, she was quick and tidy without rushing, and the tattoo itself is mind-numbingly beautiful. Though the cost is more, I'm more satisfied with the cherry blossom, and I'm certainly going to return when I have sufficient funds to get her to do a bluebird or two and some petals. I get incredible comments from people, most being "It looks like a lovely airbrush." or "It's so soft and pretty... it just doesn't look real!"
I would recommend Beki at Nimbin Ink to anyone and everyone. The name of the place and it's location put a lot of people off, and it's more than likely dismissed more than considered, but it's well worth the drip down crazy country roads and through a hazy, seedy little town for the tattoos. The lasses in there are open, kind and living/working in the drug capital, they've literally seen it all, so no request is too strange for them.
submitted by: Koi
on: 27 Oct. 2011
in Asian Style Tattoos