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In The End (The Effects of Causality and Ink)

My tattoo experience doesn't start the day I got the tattoo, or as something I have wanted since I was a little girl, it actually starts when I moved to Medicine Hat. Before I moved here I had done all my homework, picked out the perfect artist around where I used to live and was stoked for the day I turned 18 so that he could put this beautiful and extremely large piece of art across both sides of my ribs.

That all changed less than a month before my birthday, we moved to Medicine Hat and from there I knew it wouldn't be easy to find someone reputable to do my tattoo, but I was determined. I started working and made a few friends who gave me some advice on where to go.

Now, I am a very pensive person, sometimes I think way too much , but I went to one of the shops 2 months later and was surprised to be able to get in right away that day...I had heard lots of good things about this shop so I didn't really think anything of it. The tattoo was over in about 20 minutes.

I had chosen this small skull from one of my school notebooks, not very big, but I didn't want to walk into any old shop in a strange city, give them the largest tattoo I ever intended to get, and regret it later.

My adventure became something I would never regret, but I wasn't impressed with the artist. He was very heavy handed and it left a really bad ache through the entire healing.

Again, I spent months, this time another 5 months and I had actually seen some very impressive art on many people I knew by now and ii went in three different times before considering making an appointment. It really sucked to find out that it was closing . Once more I spent 4 months before I finally went to Lucky Squid and met Olie. I had seen some of his work and thought it was good.

I paid my deposit and handed over a picture that was printed off... similar to what I wanted. I had talked to my original artist (from back home) so I knew that if I walked in to get the tattoo, and he was ready to plaster the printout on me before tattooing me, that the deposit wouldn't be a horrible loss, as I had come to know any good artist would customize an un-original tattoo.

When I walked in 3 weeks later and I was stoked that the image had been changed and re-drawn, It was a good sign, I was really excited. The tattoo itself was to be old school traditional swallows on either shoulder, a bit cliché, but what overruled the cliché was the meaning.

My grandma lived on the edge of my hometown, right by a large field behind the school where there was a cattle fence and along that fence there were birdhouses on some of the posts and every summer they would be occupied by swallows and my grandma always told me that those swallows would always come back every summer.

I never understood until I moved away , I thought I would never go back there because I had hated it there, but it would always be Home. A very cheesy explanation, but the inspiration for my tattoo. Olie asked me if I had any other tattoos and I showed him my previous one and mentioned I wasn't that happy with the work, he asked who did it and when I told him he kind of scoffed.

He placed the first stencil and I didn't like how low and close it was to the center , but when he replaced it and I still wanted it higher, he 'suggested' not to go any higher. When he placed the second stencil it was off a bit, but he complained how hard it was to get them symmetrical and that it was nearly impossible. He had not even drawn any lines on my chest to aid in placement which I now regret not persisting, though I didn't want to piss him off.

The tattoo began and he was really quiet, I had watched my friend gat tattooed over and over and not once had the artist remained quiet and not involved my friend and most of the time myself in their conversations. And I too am a talkative person.

The swallows hurt a lot less than the skull, even though they were over top of a protruding bone, my legs are fleshy, but my collarbones aren't. This one was less painful and a bit 'tingly' as I felt the vibration more than the pain(for the most part), and wherever the needle went over, I felt it all the way across my collarbone. It was a bit of an annoying feel like a stray hair hanging down on my skin, moving back and forth (oh, come on you know that feeling).

As the tattoo went on, the other artist in the shop made some comments to Olie, that were very bad-mannered along the lines of "I guess if you're doing swallows we should play some typical punk music for you."

After all the silence, the only questions he asked were of my other tattoo, they were making fun of the artist who had done it which I thought was not a good thing to show respect at all.

After the tattoo was finished, he doted on his own work, how great it looked in black and white (I have very pale skin and was terrified of color) and how good of a job the shading was done. He seemed very impressed with his own work, but when I got the chance to look in the mirror I wasn't impressed.

The swallows were uneven, something that was too late to be fixed, but it was more visible with them filled in. That didn't bother me quite as much as the fact that the one on my right shoulder had a flattened head and a point where its head met its back while the left one was completely rounded and the line was one uniform line, not divided.

This was not an easy fix and as I looked at them I knew it wasn't me just being picky, it was both my serious bad judgement and his shoddy workmanship likely to the result of his disinterest in the piece itself. I knew I didn't trust him to not make excuses and simply fix the lines of the bird. The ill-symmetry was something I knew would take a professional to make look appropriate so I said it was fine, paid and walked out.

Safe to say it actually didn't take me long this last time to find someone else here in Medicine Hat, though I considered the 5 hour drive to go get it all fixed by my original pick.

I met the artist I currently still go to in August of '07 and he spent a good 20 minutes discussing with me what I wanted and telling me that making such a big choice as a chest piece had to be something I was sure of, and something I really liked because It would be very visible, and in the end I still went home with no appointment and only the advice to come back with a good sketch of what I want (not something from my computer, as this artist had found out that I have a passion to draw) and we would then think about an appointment.

Safe to say it turned out really well, I now have a nearly-full chest piece, currently still in progress (after being put on a 2 month waiting list just to start the outline) and have gone back a few times to the same artist since, with no plans to change at all.

P.s. when drawing... Think In Ink... do all your drawings in pen or marker. It helps the idea of permanence and knowing lines are much harder and more painful to be erased from skin and makes one more liable to carefully think before going ahead with something so permanent. Maybe its just me :]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Olie
Studio: Lucky+Squid
Location: Medicine+Hat%2C+AB

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