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Thursday, 11 November 2010


What a proper HUGE monumental week in the land of Frenchie!

Like I said in my last blog, I was to be tattooing myself again. To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of tattooing myself, but I felt I needed to do it again before starting on other people... Just to make sure I could do it! I'd been thinking about what I could do for ages, and it seemed that I was going to have to sacrifice some skin I already had plans for. Kev wasn't keen on that idea, obviously, so he suggested adding to the one I'd already done. What do you add to an 'F'!?!

Eight is my favourite number. It's one of those things that appears in my life all the time. From my date of birth, to the time I was born, the house I grew up in... 8, and multiples of 8, seem to follow me around. So, taking inspiration from the photography course I studied at college last year, I decided to make it like a camera aperture; f.8. It also reads as 'fate'! Magnifique.

I think doing this one was even harder than doing the original F, purely for the position of it. I was working over onto my shin. Firstly, ouch. Secondly, how on earth do you make your leg bend and twist that way for any length of time!? I was wriggling about all over the place trying to get comfy, in the right position. I could tell that my lines were much more solid and were where they should be. The ink was going in, and I was applying the correct amount of pressure. I could do it!

Then my leg went numb, and I got the worst pins and needles I've ever felt! I couldn't even move my leg! Patsy had to come over and move it for me, resulting in lots of squealing from me. Five minutes, regained feeling and got back to work. My shading was much better than my first attempt, I stayed in the lines and it seemed more solid.

And here's the result... I really need to invest in a camera...

It's still a bit scabby, but it's healing much quicker than the first time round, which I think is a good sign! I reshaded the F which had turned out very patchy, and it's healed nicely this time, properly filled in. The 8 is how the F should have been. You can see that it's in the typewriter font I'd chosen, it's not just a wobbly letter like the F. It left me feeling positive, and more ready to take on my next challenge! Kev said it was very strange hearing me tattoo skin, instead of the artificial stuff I'd been practising on.

So Saturday came, and it was time to tattoo Patsy. We were covering up a faded tattoo behind her ear with a pretty red love heart. I wish everything I got to tattoo had red in it! I was quite nervous, it's a tricky bit to tattoo. But when I think back to the first time I ever tattooed, I had no idea what I was doing. Although now I'm still learning about the various parts of the body, and how to tattoo actual flesh, there's so much more now that I don't have to think about. I'm used to the machines, I'm used to the process of tattooing. So I could really focus my attention on the tattoo. And look, I'm getting muscles!!!!

It was tricky, and it was strange being so close to the bone. My first line or two weren't fabulous, but I'd started as close to the ear, anticipating that I might not be great at first, and then the visible part would be better. I had to thicken near the ear, which is a shame, because I'd managed some nice line work later in the tattoo, which I had to thicken up to match. I used a deep red and a brighter red to shade, but should have used something darker, maybe adding some black in the shading, as there are still traces of the tattoo underneath.

It's not perfect, but it's heart shaped, as intended. We'll see how it heals. I asked Kev what he made of it, and his criticisms were what I already knew; I should have used a darker colour, my lines needed to be crisper, and I needed to press harder. All fixable though! Huge thank you to Patsy for having the faith!

After that, Kev wanted me to arrange for clients to tattoo. My step-mum kindly offered as she was going to her mammy's for dinner in Glasgow on the Tuesday. I hadn't imagined it'd be as soon, but it left me little time to freak out about the whole thing! I've designed tattoos for Dawn before (she has a really cute Dodo that I'd drawn for her!) and she asked me for a "butterfly concoction". This was a good design to get stuck into, because the lines could be a little wobbly if they needed to be, but it also made me concentrate on making it as symmetrical as possible.

Something changed in my attitude over that weekend. I don't quite know what or why, but I realised that the only person stopping me from being able to do what I want to do, is me. I was looking at the pig skins I'd done before, and I could see that yeah, I can tattoo. So the problem I'm having is all in my head. I can tattoo a solid line. So there should be no difference between tattooing the skins than tattooing someone else. My mum told me to grow a pair of balls, and I think over the weekend I did! I went in with a gung ho attitude; the least nerves I've had when faced with tattooing, and just got the job done.

Dawn sat like a trooper. I was tattooing on her side, which isn't the most pleasant place to be tattooed, she giggled a bit when it was tickly, tisk tisk! But it was great fun. I was tattooing alongside Kev and he just left me to it. Every line I did, the ink when in first time, I was following the lines, I was confident and chatting away. It was unbelievable! Kev took a look at it once I'd done the outlines, and laughed. He was impressed. I cracked on with the shading, black and red (yay!) and within an hour and a half it was done!

Dawn loves it. I love it! I am so happy! It went so much better than I could ever have imagined, and I've had incredible feedback from it! Thank you Dawn for believing in me, and letting me do a tattoo that means so much to you!

I was BUZZING afterwards, as was Kev! It feels amazing now that everything is coming together. I have clients lined up for the next couple of weeks, I'm trying to fit in as many as I can so that I'm tattooing as frequently as possible. If I keep going, keep getting better and stay focussed, hopefully it won't be long before I'm doing it properly, full time! Imagine! I can leave my other job, stop working 7 days a week, and earn some proper money!

I'm saving up all the money I'm making from my tattoos until I have enough to buy those Vivienne Westwood pearls I've had my eyes on for ever and ever! Living the dream!

If you want to book some time in with me, get in touch with us at the studio!

For now, adieu!

Frenchie xxx

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