Start of an Addiction
After wobbling back and forth for a decade, my husband sealed the decision. Four weeks and I was to see Julie at New Moon for my first tattoo. The art was custom done (I'm a graphics designer) - a dragon (one of my totems) curled around my bass, which was rendered beautifully by Julie.
When I showed up at New Moon, the staff was very professional, and one of them noted the band t-shirt I was wearing that day - it turned out that Julie was two degrees of separation between their guitarist - knowing a vocalist he had worked with in a prior project.
Julie showed me the finalized drawing, we discussed changes - which amounted to a differing color than the initial drawing - and placement. Then it came time to actually do the tattoo. Can we say I was scared witless? Oh, yes we can. I was asked, as this was an image of a brand of instrument that is played by several well known musicians, if this were a band logo or album cover it isn't, but she was told since she'd mentioned it, I may consider it for my own use now.
Once I was on the table, prepped and laid out, the standard things done -- different pots of ink, changing gloves, all the usual health related things -- Julie let me know she was going to start, and we'd judge my tolerance as we went, just to let her know if I was going to need to move as best as I could. Everyone who had told me Getting a tattoo hurts like hell!, was wrong. She started with an inch long line, giving me a chance to "run" as I put it. It felt like someone was gently dragging a fingernail across my skin. Fifteen minutes into it and I was sound asleep. Honestly, the worst part was the shading and that I feel was likely due to the fact it was close to the cervical vertebra (where your neck meets your shoulders and the rest of your spine), and even there that was something easily bared with proper breathing technique (holding your breath when you're in pain makes it worse, the trick is to breathe through it).
Three hours later (which honestly felt like a half hour, but then again, I was sleeping during large chunks of it, so I'm not one who should be judging time), we were done, and my husband had come in at some point. The man is completely terrified of needles, but was utterly interested in what Julie was doing, and was amazed at the quality and beauty of it, as well as the size - the finished tattoo is almost a foot long, and six inches wide at its widest point.
Patching me up, with the standard aftercare instructions, I got a comment of "These bastards are addictive. I'll see you in six months!" with a wink. Sure enough, I'm headed back again in a few weeks for my second one, and Mister Needle Phobic is having me do up his artwork for his first tattoo later this summer. Yes, Julie will be doing it. If she can take a complete and utter baby to pain like me and have me sleeping within a half hour I'm sure she can walk him through it without much problem.
It's a great thing - to have something that I can show off or hide as I see fit, and Julie's art skill is second to none. I've taken several friends to New Moon, since then and the attitude of the staff and professionalism has made impressions as far away as West Virginia and Colorado in my network of friends. It's also fun to have coworkers who would never have thought me the type to have any type of body mod beyond the standard ear lobes see it and witness their reactions.
Yes, Julie and crew are expensive, but with body art, as in graphic design, bargain basement isn't something you're looking for. You're having a work of art placed permanently on your body you don't want Joe Schlub doing it for ten bucks. Tattoo artists are just that artists, and they charge for their time and materials, as well as their creativity custom tattoos are the artist's interpretation of your images, and rarely will you go wrong with a custom piece.
The only negative things I can say about my entire experience was the placement made for an interesting time healing you can't scratch between your shoulder blades well and that stretching to reach something while shopping hurt like the dickens. Both of these things were my issue, and in the very end, everything put together, I'm ecstatic to have the artwork I've had done created by someone who is professional and talented. This is something that when I'm eighty I'll be happy to tell the tale of the bass dragon getting her bass dragon.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 May 2008