A modbloggable tattoo
I recently decided to move away from trying to hide my tattoos and to start the summer I made a decision to get a tattoo that I had planned on getting when I was older. The piece was to be a Death's Head Hawkmoth, on my throat/neck. I talked to my artist that did my chest piece and when I told her the idea, she suggested that I ask this other artist that worked at the same shop that she was working at. I added him on myspace and sent him a message about the tattoo. In my down time I checked out his extensive portfolio (he had been tattooed for 17 years, starting at the early age of 15). After hearing back and finally having some time to go in, I drove out to the new shop that he is working at and had a discussion with him about the size, price, etc of the piece. I put down a deposit and left very happy (Greg D, Monarch tattoo, New Jersey).
Over the next week I found out that my new tattoo idea was the main focus in almost every conversation I had. My parents were very disappointed (as they are in all of my modifications) and were also very scared. They feel that with such a visible tattoo, I will never be able to be a success. My father one day got so worked up that he threatened almost everything short of disownment if I were to get the tattoo. I remained steadfast in my conviction and on Friday when I was scheduled and arrived early. I waited around for a bit while my artist set everything up and when I got into the room he had a computer set up behind his table so that I could watch movies (upside down though, because my neck had to be tilted back to stretch the skin). I chose something to really get me in the 'manly' mood, the movie '300'. My artist put the stencil on me and impressively it was about perfectly centered. Then he did something even more impressive, he set up the pictures I had brought
in of the moth for reference, and then also took out a real, mounted, death's head moth. Now, the death's head moth is not a very common moth so I wasn't exactly expecting the shop to just have one lying around to use for reference.
I jumped up on the table, got my neck comfortable and started the movie. I looked up at my artist and told him I was ready and he got to work. After about an hour of relatively painless outlining we took a break and I got my first glimpse at it. The piece was huge, spanning about as much of my neck as it could. I was really impressed with how gentle of a touch my artist used and I had definitely been expecting a lot worse pain. I spent the majority of the time trying to be silent and not move. I took slow breaths and only swallowed when the machine wasn't to my neck. I had been pondering bringing some cotton balls to stuff in my mouth so that I would have a dry mouth and not need to swallow but that hadn't been necessary.
After another 2 hours of coloring and shading, my artist informed me I was done and I could get up and look. It was an incredible sight. We immediately started taking a few pictures to make sure I would have something to show before it scabbed and all. The more amazing thing was that there was hardly any blood or swelling or redness. The color had set in really well extremely fast. We cleaned the tattoo up and lotioned it, leaving it uncovered because there really was no way to wrap this tattoo.
The drive home (as all of my drives while the tattoo was healing did) sort of sucked. I had to do the "batman look" as my friends put it. This involved turning my entire body to look to the side instead of just my head (as turning my head would have twisted my neck and hurt the tattoo).
When I returned home, my parents did not follow through on any of their previous threats and just hung their heads low. The tattoo took about a week to heal and it was the most hindering healing I have ever had to go through. I would wake up every morning with a stiff neck and it required constant lotioning due to how much I move my neck and the skin would crack if it got too dry.
What has been great has been how much attention this tattoo has received. Everywhere I would go, people would stop and stare as I walked by. Sometimes I think they were actually wondering if it was a tattoo or a real moth on my neck. As the counter girl at the shop had predicted, I now know what everyone will say when I meet them for the first time. "Did that hurt?" I try to come up with a different answer each time I'm asked.
I decided to send the original pictures of the tattoo into Modblog and soon after I received a message from my friend that it had been featured. I thought it was quite possibly one of the coolest things that could happen. Seeing my neck featured on modblog made my day. I turned several of my 'normal' friends onto checking modblog and they all were proud to see me featured on it.
All in all, even though it has not been a long time since I got the tattoo, this is one tattoo I'm sure I won't regret. Whenever I see myself in the mirror, I see it as a part of me. Some people ask why I got a moth, an insect, tattooed on my neck. I ask them, why not?
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 June 2008