A sailor without a tattoo is like a dog without a tail...
I'd been thinking about getting a tattoo for quite a while. Almost 6 years or so now. Hadn't gotten around to it though for any number of reasons. Mostly just not going ahead and doing it. I have had a bunch of ideas that I'd still love to have, so it's not for lack of creativity, just lack of commitment. I decided to change that.
So having seen my friend Jackie's work that she got done a week or two ago I decided I'd finally get off my ass and get the tattoo that I'd been wanting to get for a while. She told me that she had her stuff done at American Classic here in Athens and it was all really well done so I figured they'd be a good place to start. Went in last night and made an appointment for today after picking out the flash that I wanted to work with.
If it wasn't for the traditional aspect of the tattoo I wanted to get I probably would have had them draw something up, but I wanted a traditional "Sailor Jerry" style fouled anchor. It's something to commemorate my Navy service. Yeah, a bit cliched but it's what I wanted. I've always loved the traditional Navy tattoos since I was a lot younger. There's just something about them that appeals to me. Then again the tradition and heritage is also something that appealed to me about the Navy itself. I'll probably end up with some sparrows once I've sailed/steamed far enough. But I'll wait til I've earned them.
Well anyways, today I showed up a bit early and ended up talking with one of the other artists at the shop for a bit as my guy was running a bit late. It also gave me a chance to fill out the forms and everything. Turns out Mark had seen my classic Mini around town (1973 Innocenti baby!) and he was also working on an old '70s Honda bike. Given that I'd learned on a 1980 Honda about the same size it was good talking with him about it. Then Morgan showed up and took care of setting up everything.
After double checking the design and placement he put the stencil on my upper shoulder and then let me wait so it could dry. It looked a bit small to me, but he had gauged the size for my friend Jackie's dragon tattoo perfectly so I figured I'd just trust his judgment.
We sat down and he started to work on the outline. It hurt, but less than I expected so it was definitely alright. We talked about random stuff, mostly motorcycles and cars for the hour and a half that it took. It definitely started to hurt a bit more when we started doing the fill areas and the colors. But again, nothing too bad. And it was painful in kind of a good way. I'm sure that makes sense to a lot of you.
Finally we finished after a break or two and he cleaned it up. I was definitely thrilled with the end result, the size and the colors he recommended were perfect. Trusting his judgment was definitely the right decision. As I left the shop after they gave me care and cleaning instructions he told me "See you in a few weeks." Something tells me he's right, as I'm already thinking about some other ideas. Makes more sense to me why it seems like my friends either have no ink or a ton of it. This next one will probably be a back/shoulder piece on my other shoulder of a large compass rose, though I am trying to figure out how exactly it'll be set up. Probably should go back and talk to Morgan about some ideas.
Well before it got wrapped up I sent some quick cell phone pics of it to my Mom, sister, and one of my friends. They all loved it. Definitely cracked me up that my Mom's comment was that it was great, and that now my Dad is the only one in the family that doesn't have any tattoos (Mom and Sister both have at least four, haha). Now my mom just has to get her anchor since she's Navy too.
After getting some extra advice about how to help the healing process speed along from some friends I feel pretty good about it healing without scabbing up or anything. Also I know I can just go back into the shop with any questions as it's just 10-15 min from my house and even closer to where I work.
Once this heals up I'll be posting some pics up on here and then getting my next one figured out. I can't wait, though I probably didn't really need yet another thing to devour my disposable income. Eh, these last, that makes them investments right? ;)
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 June 2008