A bird on my...thigh?
I actually tried to get this tattoo twice. I saw a girl with a tattoo of a cardinal sitting on a dogwood branch. I thought it was really beautiful and decided I wanted one like it. The first time I had scheduled to get it done, I broke my ankle and the money that was going to pay for the tattoo had to go toward the expenses for my injury. That was back in late April. Last week, the itch for a new tattoo finally got to me. I called up my old studio only to to discover that both my artists had left. Fortunately, they knew where one of them, Mark, had gone. I immediately got a hold of that number and called Mark. We set an appointment for that Saturday afternoon and he would draw something up for me.
Saturday came around and I was so excited. I felt like a kid on Christmas because I was finally going to get this tattoo. I'm very impulsive when it comes to tattoos. I usually get an idea and in less than a month, it's a reality. I got to the shop and he showed me the sketch. It looked even better than the tattoo I originally liked. I approve it and we got down to business. I decided to put it on the outside of my left thigh because it is a larger piece and my job wouldn't permit something that large to be visible. We tinkered with the placement a little and finally got it where I wanted it. I had to roll up my skirt for him to do the tattoo, which was quite humorous. There are no private tattoo rooms like in the old studio, so he gave me a towel to preserve my modesty. Then it was time for the actual tattooing. The pain wasn't bad for the first hour, which is about how long it took to do the outline. After that, we took a break and I walked around a bit. I've been told I'm
an excellent sitter and can sit for a while without need a break. However, it was good to just get up and move around. Then it was time for the shading. That also took a good chunk of time. Since I hadn't seen Mark in a while and he hadn't actually tattooed me in over a year, we had a lot to talk about. That helped take my mind off the pain, which was starting to get to me a little.
Then it was time for the color. I decided I wanted it in full color. I'm very fair, so it took quite well. That also meant my least favorite part of the process was going to be extended. He had at least 8 different cups of colors set out, some of them extremely bright. The neon pink that was in one of the cups ended up as a very mellow pink for the flowers. Dogwoods can come in both pink and white and we decided on pink because it would age better than the white. Ultimately, I was glad we went with the pink. I don't know how it is for others, but I find that the color always hurts more than the outline. I can only imagine some of the faces I made during that part. I don't tend to make a lot of noise when I'm in pain, which is probably fortunate as people going "OW!" isn't good for business. By this point in the process we were going on 3 hours. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but definitely not something that long. All my previous tattoos have taken less than an hour. I w as feeling the fatigue at that point. I couldn't wait to see it when he was finished.
It turned out even more beautiful than I'd envisioned. The color was amazing, the detail was incredible, and I was sad to have it in an easily covered place because it was so beautiful. One of the other artists (and possibly owner?) liked it so much, he took pictures and said he'd put it up on the wall. He had been watching the whole time because the shop was slow and I kept asking him what he thought of it. I was flattered that my Photoshopped thigh would be up as an example. Mark was ever modest of course, in spite of all our praise.
It's been about 4 and a half days and it's healing nicely. The peeling has already started, which is good. I'm a notoriously slow healer. I hope that most of the color stays intact. It was my seventh tattoo and certainly a lucky one. I found Mark, had a great experience, and now have a beautiful bird to keep me company.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008