What is with this weather!?! It might be pretty... but it's getting really boring now...
A lot has gone down in the past few weeks! We'll start with the shop news... We have a new artist in the house, the lovely Ross Duncan, formerly of Caledonia Sun in Stirling. Ross has joined the team on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. His work is lovely, and for now he'll be doing walk ins as well as appointments. You can see some of his work on our Facebook page.
We're getting all geared up for Christmas... we've got plenty of gift vouchers, which make the perfect presents! So get hinting to your nearest and dearest ;)
In the land of Frenchie, it's been pretty full on! I was buzzing after I did the butterfly tattoo on Dawn, and wanted to keep up the momentum. The fabulous Katie, one of Kev's regular clients donated some flesh to me, and we tattooed a pretty purple bow. Katie's covered in zombie art, all in greens and pinks and purples, so this fitted in nicely. It was a challenge. Lots of long lines and it was the first time I'd done any proper shading.
I was disappointed with my lines. After the high of pretty much knocking out a perfect tattoo just days before, I wanted this one to be just as good. I suppose when you're learning you can't get it right every time, but it was frustrating none the less. After having practised previously on materials like pig skin and silicone, which you don't have to stretch, I find stretching the skin a bit of a challenge, and I think this contributed to the wobbly lines. Kev had given me a thinner liner than I had used previously, which he says is a bit harder to control. However, Kev was pretty impressed with the shading, which was what I had been worrying about. When you're lining, you have something to follow. When you're shading, that's a different story. You're effectively freehanding, which is quite scary when you think about it! I make sure that before every tattoo I make a copy of my stencil and shade it in, so that I have a guide to follow which takes some of the pressure off. I did get myself a wee bit down, but I just had to get over it, get back on the horse, and carry on! I'll go back over the lines soon with a thicker liner and get it looking tip top!
Then I tattooed my mummy! She didn't have any tattoos, but kindly offered. I worked on a design to go on her shoulder; a swallow, a heart and some roses. We added a scroll with the text "Mes Filles". I wanted to wait until this piece is finished to post a picture. We worked on the lines and black shading, which helped me to sort out a couple of wobbles. Overall, my lines were much better, but still not the standard that I wanted them to be. Mummy loves it, of course! I'm looking forward to getting the colour in, we want it nice and bright and beautiful!
Next on the calendar was some Chinese lettering. Graham, who I work with in my other job, had asked for me to do these a while ago, his sons' names in Chinese on his forearms.
These were good fun to do. It was a challenge getting the placement right, having to measure and make sure that they were even. But I got it right first time! My first couple of lines were a bit wobbly, but the design allowed me to sort these without any problems. As I progressed they were getting better, and doing something quite simple like this really helped my confidence. Graham loves them, and I'm really happy with the end result. I felt like I was back in the game after finishing this one.
Next up I did a heart on an old school friend, Laura. She's studying in Glasgow now too, and it was good to have a catch up! First of all she wanted an anchor in a heart, simple outlines. However she couldn't make up her mind between the anchor and getting a heart shaped locket. She settled for just the outline of a heart, as she knew that she definitely wanted the shape, and can always add to it in the future. It's on her thigh, and we got it positioned so you can just spot it when you're looking from the front.
The top curves I found a bit tricky and had to thicken it up, which was a real shame as the other edges I'd done really well. Laura will be coming back when she's made up her mind where she wants to take it. So, I was getting there, I could see a definite improvement and found myself getting less nervous and worked up with every tattoo I did.
My friend from college, Karina, had asked me to design her an old school crow. I was SO excited about this one, it was right up my street. Old school is my absolute favourite, and it was quite a challenge to turn the crow into something properly old school. I added a rose, and found online a really cool crow tattoo which had some bright blue in the shading. Making something old school is all in the shading, so decided to go with that.
This is a work in progress, next time we'll be shading the rose and adding the colour to the bird. I had the best time doing this! I made sure I took my time and tried my hardest to get the lines perfect using a nice chunky liner. I am uber happy with how it turned out, and so is Karina! I think this was the longest that I'd tattooed for at any one time, and was wiped out afterwards. You don't realise how much you're concentrating, and it does fry your brain!
Alexis, Katie's girlfriend, asked me to do some bats for her on her side. Although they look quite simple, it was quite challenging, with so many sharp points, which aren't the easiest to do. I just got my head down and tried really hard. It really is all about focussing and making sure you get it right.
I'm really chuffed with these! Alexis sat really well, even though she said that it was quite sore, and let me get on with it. She's already offered herself up for more! I'm getting much better at using the shader, my shading is becoming more solid, without the patchiness of my first couple of tattoos.
This week I also learned how to set up my own machines, which I was quite nervous about! I am not a fan of technology and have no idea how anything in the world works, and there was something quite daunting about it! Kev sat me down, gave me the machine, nozzle and needle and left me to sit, put it together and take it apart again, over and over. I don't know what I've been so scared about! So, I've been setting up for myself, which is nice. I feel a bit more self sufficient and not quite so reliant on Daddy Kev for everything, but I still get him to check them over before I get started, just to make sure.
Before I tattoo, Kev gives me a little pep talk, and some pointers on how to do the tattoo, always finished with, "Are we going to do a great tattoo today?", and I'm starting to feel like, "Yes I am!"
As always, I'm on the lookout for more clients. If you have some skin to offer me, I'm charging £20 per session, just get in touch with us at the shop and we'll see if it's something that I can do!
Until next time,