I got my first tattoo when I was 18. It was a dumb little thing which has long been covered up. I didn’t really find my love of body art until my oldest son, Cosmo was about two years old. Since then, I have gotten a myriad of pieces and it seems as though I am working my way to a sleeve. I thought it would be fun to walk through the experience with you. So, join me on my trip through my most recent inking!
Some of my pieces have deep emotional and sentimental meaning for me. I have a saying that my gramma always used to encourage me, along with her signature, I have a Marine Corps emblem that is a tribute to my Grandpa, I have an infinity sign that reads “Love Never Leaves” for my best friend that passed a few years ago. These are cathartic and they make me happy and sappy at times. I also have a bee with a crown because QUEEN BEE! Duh! This one is lighter and was just for me. Yesterday I got a fantastic crow. She’s so beautiful in her crown nest and her two little squawking fledglings… I’m REALLY feeling her.
My tattoo artist is Geo Rogers and he owns Quarter Horse Tattoo in my home town of Stockton. I like his work (obviously) and am comfortable with him. I can be honest with him about likes and dislikes and he is likewise honest with me about placement sizing or in an idea is just kinda stupid.
The process usually begins with me sending him a random text of a sort of wish list for my next visit. I always have at least a vague notion of what I want, at least the main elements that I’d like to have included. This time, I asked for a crow, and anatomical heart and a crown. I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted them and left it up to his interpretation. I come to my appointment and he’s got something drawn up for me. It was VERY cool… but it wasn’t right for me. He was gracious and came up with a new interpretation that we both liked better. After the art is agreed upon he shaves and prepares the area and applies the stencil. Once we decide on placement, it’s go time!
I’m an instant gratification kinda girl. I’d rather sit through hours of tattooing instead of doing it in two rounds. Geo once told me that I’m a soldier when it comes to getting work done. He’s also shared stories about grown men crying in the chair… Geeze. Get it together! Tattoos hurt, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s worth the permanent “badass” that you walk away with. He starts with the outline and as you can see, there were a lot of lines in this one! After the outline is done, he started adding the black and all the “grey” shading.
Next he added the color and as he went, I was getting more and more excited. Did I mention that I’m REALLY feeling this bitch, right now? Once complete, about 3.5 hours total, he let it bleed for a bit, cleaned me up, took some pictures and wrapped me up.
I really love the end result. I also want to share some after stuff too… The placement of this is on the soft fleshy part of my rather large upper arm. This is a bit of a milestone for me. I dislike my arms. They are large and flabby and even though I have lost weight, they do not reflect that! I have, in the past year, learned to love me and embrace me and be happy with the me that exists NOW. That’s not to say that I don’t want to improve myself but, there’s no reason to dislike me in the mean time… but I digress. The fleshy part of the arm is apparently susceptible to bruising and I’ve got a pretty gnarly one going on here. Still worth it, though! My beautiful forever art. My little slice of badassery.