So I have a rather large backpiece tattoo. It's stem to stern peacock feather angel wings. I think I did about 30 hours total on it, over two years ago, going in 1-2 times a month for a whole year. I think the whole thing took 13 months. During that time, I was basically always on deck -- since it was so large, there was always something she could be working on. Any time other people canceled, she called me up to fill in. She took me to shows to be the tattooing model. I'm pretty sure I made mortgage payment or two on her house. But it was worth it for me, it was the design of my dreams, that I'd been waiting years to get.
At the end of it though, once we were through, I breathed a sigh of relief. It didn't go down as far as it had in my head, but that was OK. After being a pincushion for a year, the fact that I could say we were done -- it was good for the both of us.
Fast forward to a month ago, when I get a request to be a fan of hers on facebook. I normally ignore those sorts of things, but this time I clicked through, and found out she was going on walkabout come August.
My tat isn't the type of thing other people could jump in on, and finish for me. It's her art. So it was hurry up and get in now, or not get it finished at all. Prior to today, it came down to my waist. But I always wanted the feathers to flow beyond.
So I went in for an art consult. Luckily, she loves me, and she's only finishing work on existing clients right now, of which I am one. So she booked me for today, and another session in June.
The thing with knowing she's leaving town though is that we have to really commit. We don't take breaks (and boy was it amusing to see while I was there back in the day, college guys getting little palm sized emblems, and them having to walk around the studio all macho with their shirt off to take breaks from the pain while I was having a 8''x24'' area completely filled) and she's working flat out to save money for her trip. There used to be some wiggle room, where we could have a bad day and stop after an hour because she was tired or I was PMSy. (My hormones really determine my pain level for some reason.) But not so anymore.
Going back for the art consult was interesting. Of course the studio's filled with the sound of tattoo guns. And just that noise -- a year's worth of fight or flight came up and strangled me. Even if I'd forgotten the pain consciously, my body knew what it was getting into. As recently as yesterday, I was thinking, I could just pay her a kill fee and walk away.
But I've always wanted these. And not just kinda sorta wanted them -- i wanted them huge and awesome. So I went back in today. Now, I've got the outlines and shading and centers of the feathers from the top of my waist to the middle of my ass. I still wanted to stop -- the parts close to my spine hurt so bad -- but by then it was too late, I'd have been lopsided ;).
We were talking while I was there about seeing if I could get a cover-up done, on another tattoo I have higher up, in the middle of my back. (It's a matching tattoo with my ex-husband. Yes, I was once white trash. No, with the hindsight of wisdom I really don't recommend doing that for or with anyone.) For the life of me, I couldn't think of anything that would cover it up without getting in the way of the wings. (Ideas entertained: Maleficent with arms out stretched or Mickey Mouse ears -- images that were large and dark and would occupy space.) Talking with her today though, we came upon an idea, and we were going to book a time for it when the receptionist got a call. One of her appointments for tomorrow canceled. So, I'm in ;).
2.5 hrs today, and probably an hour tomorrow. And another three hours in June. Then I'll be all done with tattoos, for a really long time.
I'll wait and post wing pix when they're done. I'll try to remember to do a before and after on the cover-up tomorrow. Yeehaw, another spine tattoo ;P ;).
(On other fronts, I am exactly halfway in Moonshifted. Wooooooooo!)