Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jessica the Tattooed Lady, part 1

Almost all of you are friends with me on facebook and/or instagram, so you've probably already seen the pictures of my new tattoo.  But just in case you haven't (or you want to see it again), here are more pictures...
I went to Anchor Tattoo in New Brunswick, right at the corner of Easton Ave and Hamilton.  The shop is three or four flights of stairs up, but it is one of the nicer tattoo shops I've been to.  It opened fairly recently and it still looks clean and brand new.  There is a lot of artwork on the walls -- tattoo or otherwise -- and a few corners of oddity collections, which is right up my alley.

This is the tattoo that I was covering up.  It is exactly what you think it is.  I know everyone knows that you shouldn't get someone's name or initials tattooed on you, but people do stupid things sometimes.  I tend to be pretty impulsive, so if I get an idea in my head that I want to do something, very little can stop me from doing it.  This works for good things sometimes, but there are several examples of when it has not worked out well.  Learn from my mistake.  Just don't do this.

My artist was Dave and it was a very special experience because he was as excited about the concept as I was.  In my consultation with him, I told him that I wanted a Mexican Day of the Dead skull but with 1920s flapper hair, with the hair covering the original tattoo.  I gave him a few other guidelines and he came up with something that was even better than I imagined it in my head.  I wish I had asked to take a photo of the sketch he did for the piece because it would show you how talented he is and how detailed his work was.  I expected to be made fun of for making such a stupid body art mistake in the first place, but Dave was so professional that he actually made me feel OK about it.  After he fit the drawing to my arm and his apprentice made a stencil, we were ready to begin.

His artwork was so detailed that just the black lines took about two hours.  In this image, you see the shading part of the hair, but before he did the shading, the entire thing was a series of tiny lines so that it would look like actual hair.  I sat pretty well during that part (and Dave was very sweet to tell me what a good job I was doing, not squirming or complaining about the pain), listening to Pantera and Tom Waits, but during the 20 minutes or so of shading, the area was getting pretty sensitive and we agreed to do the color another time.  Because I had to go into the city for a ballet that evening, I also didn't want to rush him.  He has some big ideas for the colors, so I can't wait to share that with you once it's finished.

the peacock feather headband, unseen in the picture above, is Dave's favorite part
It's healing pretty well right now, although I am impatient to see what it looks like when all of the peely parts are done peeling.  I'm going back for the color in two weeks, so it will be another one of my rewards for completing the zombie race.

As I said before, this is my eleventh tattoo (although I still only have ten).  I can't show you pictures of all of them without having someone else act as photographer, so I might have to wait to do that in another post.  After all of the other tattoo shops I've been to and artists I've worked with, I can honestly say that this has been my best tattoo experience.  I highly recommend Anchor Tattoo and Dave if you live in New Jersey.  They were knowledgeable without being condescending, friendly and comfortable without being unprofessional, and they had a positive attitude about the whole thing that made me feel like I could really trust them.

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