I made up some stencils of some "cool stuff" (said Kev) to practice line work on the skin, making sure I had designs that would allow me to try out straight and curved lines; the obligatory anchor, some roses (I do love my roses), cherries, and the Vivienne Westwood orb. I collected my pig from the butchers, which thankfully this time, he didn't wave it about in front of my face, unlike when I went to ask if I could maybe kindly please have some... I'm a recovering vegetarian, so the thought of, let alone the sight of the skin made me feel a bit queasy, but needs must... as long as it wasn't flapping about in my face, and I had gloves on.
It was hairy. Boke. Really creepy wiry white hair. That crunched. Shredded tissue when you wiped it. Disgusting. It slopped about a bit when you were tattooing it too. Gross.
We covered Mr. Pork in stencils, and Kev tattooed first. I didn't think I was going to get a shot! He was loving it! He did a little bit of one of the roses and handed it over to me.
I get really really nervous, in general life, and when it comes to tattoos. But with the pig skin it was totally fine. After all, it's not as if you're going to ruin his life by branding him with a hideous tattoo... If it goes wrong, it's alright, it can go in the bin and no one will know!
Having little experience with tattooing real people, I asked Kev how the pig skin compared. He told me he found it tougher, a bit like someone who had used the sun beds too often. It was a bit strange not being able to, or having to, stretch out the skin, and I could feel the hairs crunching under the needle, euch! I started off going a bit too deep, but then managed to pull back a bit. Kev was showing me the difference between his fabulously wonderful fine lines, and my not so fabulous, not so wonderful, not so fine lines. But I'm glad he's encouraging me to get to grips with the fine line style of tattooing. After all, I might as well learn that now, and not have to retrain myself later. I was trying to just use the tip of the needle to get them as fine as I could, and I could see them getting better as I progressed.
I was quite surprised at how well I did, especially after being so wobbly when I tattooed myself. I suppose the pressure was off and I was more relaxed. After I'd done my first few lines and saw that they weren't so bad, my confidence was boosted a wee bit, and I started really enjoying it! It was great to practice on, and right now it really is all about building my confidence, because that's what I'm having trouble with. I think it comes with being a RIDICULOUS perfectionist, I don't do not being fabulous, and I don't do making mistakes.
It was good doing two roses. I did one first, and then the second rose I did as my last tattoo on the skin. You could then see the difference between the two, and you can tell. People who hadn't known which I'd done first could tell. So that's encouraging, if I keep improving every time, things can only get better!
So I'm feeling good about things, better than I did before. I surprised myself, and Kev too. I'm going to tattoo some more pig skin tomorrow, practice shading, I have some artificial practice skin too which I want to try. Then I'm going to tattoo myself again, and then, if Kev thinks I'm ready, get some clients in to play with! I can't be shaking the way I did when tattooing myself in front of a client, so we gotta get that under control first!
Here is my piggy, which I've since dried out. I'm going to frame them all and track my progress. It'll be a nice thing to have kept!
I'm quite chuffed, so I am! And as a reward for being a very good girl and working hard, Kev tattooed a little French Bulldog on my arm. They are officially the cutest thing ever. When I'm earning and I have my own flat, I'm having one!
In other news, some of the sign writing has been done by the lovely Frank. The corners of the shop now have "TATTOO" in fabulous sparkly gold. Hopefully the main sign will be up within a week or so. I can't wait to see it! We're also getting some wonderful blinds made out of the most gorgeous Japanese fabric, we're getting all measured up for those this week. Maybe one day the shop will be completely finished!
Time to work on some artwork, so for now, adieu.