FINALLY things are falling into place! I feel like in the past week or so everything has started to make sense! Hallelujah!
I've had some really fun pieces to work with which has been great. Things that have been a bit more challenging and time consuming.
An old family friend, Dave, had asked me to design a badger tattoo for his leg, based on a brewery logo. He wanted his birth year too. I photoshopped a design together for him, and got to work on it before New Year. I hadn't seen Dave for years, he was reminiscing about wetting my head when I was born, and telling me his wee boy is now seventeen... This is the result:
Getting neat points is really tricky, so this was great practice. I really enjoyed doing the numbers too, I was really pleased with the way they turned out. At this point I still wasn't feeling entirely in control when I was tattooing, so I was really happy that the numbers were as accurate as they are. It was good practice for shading as well, expanses of solid black aren't as easy as you'd think they'd be... You don't want to be going over areas too many times, but it is quite hard to tell if you've got it black enough. I used the liner to shade into the points and edges and used a larger shader to fill in the rest. It was Dave's first tattoo, but he sat like a pro, and was SO happy with the result! He kept telling me how amazing it was and I was... Thanks Dave! He's already planning more; we're going to add two little baby badgers to represent his kids. Oh I should mention, Dave's old rugby nickname was "Badger"... that's why!
Katie was back for more, surprise surprise! Katie's great, there's always something she wants done! She came back to get a matching rose like we'd done before on the other side of her tummy. This time in purple rather than red. We toyed with the idea of doing a zombie style rose, but using the purple and green was close enough. Unfortunately Katie had to dash off so we didn't get it finished, but will do in a couple of weeks! It was looking good!
I'm sure I've mentioned before how weird I think it is that people actually read this blog. I always feel like I'm just talking rubbish that no one will be interested in, but it was so nice to have Jim come in, who's been following my blog, and is looking for an apprenticeship himself. His artwork is amazing, and I was so excited to be tattooing it on him.
This was a tricky one to photograph, and to tattoo! The curve around the edge was a tricky one, but luckily the design had dark shading following the line, so it allowed me to fix up any wobbles in the curve. Luckily it didn't need too much fixing! Jim was really pleased with it, and so was I, I'm really enjoying using colour and shading. I hope he'll be back, I'd love to see more of his artwork! Kevin remarked on how funny he found that someone was asking ME questions about tattooing...
Then something remarkable happened. I got really busy! I had a tattoo booked for nearly every day. It was crazy, I still find it strange that people want me to tattoo them!! I started the week off tattooing the ever so lovely but ever so crazy Emma. We first encountered Emma after the Biffy Clyro gig, when she spied Kevin, and ran up excitedly shouting "You're Kev Younger. You're amazing!!" It was hilarious and we've been laughing about it for ages. Anyway, Emma got in touch and asked if I could do some lettering for her, and I need some practice at lettering, so said "Of course!". Then she told me what she wanted... "Amazing", to mark the most embarrassing moment of her life... Love it!
This was a bit of a sore one, a wee bit nippy! It was good practice for me, and Emma had picked a font that allowed me some leeway and although of course I aim to be as precise as possible, but should the worst happen, it allows some artistic license and lets me fix any errors. However, it went well, although I did find the stars quite difficult and I went a bit too heavy on the bony bits, sorry Emma! I'm starting to get to grips with how deep to go; a lot of it is confidence, and knowing that you're in control. If I feel that I'm not entirely in control, there's a tendency to feel that you need to take the needle deeper than it needs to be. I'm happy with it though, and I hope Emma is too! Here's to more sneaky tattoos on your lunch break ;)
Next! The lovely Nicole, also a bit of a nutter, is obsessed with the number 13. This was to be her 13th tattoo, so she wanted it done on the 13th. She came through from Fife for a nice three hour sitting (her longest and my longest time tattooing!) She'd sent me a Cheshire Cat design, and wanted it done about 8 inches high on her thigh. It's a super cool drawing, dead sketchy and looked like great fun to do, so we were all pretty excited about it! None more so than Nicole though!
I absolutely love it when someone is so happy with their tattoo, Nicole was jumping up and down exclaiming that it's her new favourite. Glad I could be of service! That day I felt like a proper tattooist. I felt like I knew what I was doing and my hands were doing what I told them to do. I've been doing exercises to make my hands stronger, and it seems to be working. I've been able to stretch the skin much better than before, and my hands aren't getting as tired as they did. Got to practice grey shading again, which I've not done much of, and got to use the shader in a more playful way!
Wednesday and Thursday out of the way, Friday was a killer. For both me and my customer. Nik's quite a skinny boy, and he asked me to tattoo his chest. I warned him, it'll hurt! But he insisted, and we were going to tattoo this really cute illustration by a guy called Scott C, you can see his blog here.
It was a difficult tattoo to do, but still had some artistic license too. It was really painful for Nik, so we just did the outline, and he'll be back in soon to have it finished... He hasn't been put off! It's a really colourful piece, so it'll be great to have it all finished. I love playing with the coloured inks!
Saturday, I had the lovely Elayne in. She's a friend of Henry's, who I tattooed the anchors on, and wanted a feather design on her shoulder. I LOVE THIS. A tattoo like this, the placement is really important, it makes the difference between an ok tattoo and an amazing tattoo. Luckily, I got it placed well the first time, and had a great time using really little thin lines, and grey inks. No black at all!
I think this is my best tattoo yet! I managed to go really softly, I've finally learned the right sort of pressure to apply, I stretched the skin well, and everything went swimmingly! Elayne's very happy and has given me our next project to work on, yay! Another happy lady!
The aforementioned Henry has asked me to do a pin up for him. Although I feel I'm progressing, that's wayyyy out of my depth. I could attempt it... but then Henry could end up with a terrible tattoo. It's all about knowing my limitations at the moment. Pushing them a little bit, but not too much. I can only imagine how terrible I would feel if I completely messed up someone's tattoo, especially on such a visible area like the forearm. So, Henry has decided to wait, but I'm totally up for it when the time comes!
I have quite a quiet week ahead, only one booking this week. At this time of year, it's expected that business will be quieter than usual, although of course, Kev's booked up! I'm working on some drawings at the moment to be made into prints, which is exciting! Hopefully have them ready in time for the Scottish Tattoo Convention where we will be working of course! The convention is being held at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on the 26th and 27th of March. We're working on some Lucky Cat merch too, for all those who've been pestering for some t-shirts etc! I'm looking forward to the convention, it's like my coming out into the tattoo world!
I really must make an effort to write blogs more often so they're not this long!! Again, my usual appeal, if you'd like something done, hit me up at the studio, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our Facebook page! It's always a pleasure to meet people who've been reading my blog!
Until next time,