s winter break I finally got the tattoo I had been building up to a long time. I had wanted a new one to celebrate my Master's Degree but didn't have any cash at the time, so I waited.
I already have a tattoo on my shoulder, one on my ankle, a band around my big toe, and one on my ear. The shoulder and ankle are just tribal dragon flashes--I got them first--but the others are original. The band around my toe was drawn on by someone by hand and then tattooed over. On my ear I have a stylized bird of paradise flower and a black, tribal-looking vine design. That one was tattooed on freehand (it's a tough place to put a graph) by the artist who did this latest one, Mike Gardner of Enchanted Dragon.
I went into the parlor to get the tattoo on my ear touched up. But one thing led to another and I got into discussing this foot idea with my artist.
I wanted a tribal kind of design to pretty much cover the top of my right foot, and then curve around the back of my ankle and then to the other side. I already had a tribal ring around my big toe on that foot and I thought they'd look cool together.
So Mike drew a design on top of my foot. After just a few modifications, I knew that I had exactly what I wanted. It was beautiful!
My one issue was color. The rest of tats, except for the rather small one on my ear, are all black. I had seen some of what Mike has done with color, and it looks spectacular. But still, I wasn't sure. But after I looked at the graph some more and imagined it filled in, I realized color could wait for another design, this one would be perfect black.
I went to get money and eat dinner (a must, I think, for pierces and tattoos). My friend and I returned, and before I knew it, I was in the chair with the graph on my foot.
I knew going into it that this would probably be a tough one; my feet are sensitive, and there's just not too much meat there. A year or two ago I stepped barefoot on a bark scorpion. It made me delirious for about twelve hours and limping for four days; up until this foot tattoo, that had been the most painful experience of my life. But still, the tat wasn't unbearable--and certainly was worth it!
Anyway, the tattoo took almost four hours. (It basically covers the top of my right foot.) I was okay for most of it; my friend was there to talk to me and distract me. But I admit it: in the last half hour or so, for the first time in a tattoo or piercing venue, I cried! (Damn, how embarassing.) But then it was over.
Throughout (but especially toward the end) there was a LOT of plasma sort of leaking. Mike told me that I'd really have to scrub it, that it would really be sticky. As I limped out of the chair, I went to show Hoss, who is also excellent. He said it really looked cool. Mike made sure his camera was loaded and took some photos--I am immortalized in his book now.
At that point I was COMPLETELY exhausted, so I told Mike not to be surprised if I didn't come back in the morning to get my ear touched up. (I didn't!) He told me to not to be surprised when I got a lot of swelling, and to try to keep it elevated for a couple of days. He said that a woman there had done the same thing and it was tough on her, she had to stay home for a few days.
So did I! For about ten days I took 800mg of ibuprofen every four hours to help with the swelling. There was also a lot of plasma leaking for the first couple of days. That first wash took forever because every time I felt like it was no longer too slimy, it slimed up again. Man, that was tender! But I was so proud looking at it that it didn't matter so much. It sure was painful for awhile, though. I did linp around noticeably for a week or so. If you do a foot tattoo, it's good if you have some time off!
This is my favorite tattoo now, it looks fantastic. I plan to send in a photo of it soon. I recommend such a project to anyone. And as always, I recommend Enchanted Dragon Tattoo and Piercing, Tucson, Arizona. My tattoo artist is Mike Gardner and you can't do any better than him, I think.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1999