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I find myself in remarkable situations.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

You win some, you lose some...

Aghhh. Tattooing is the most frustrating thing in the world. I wish I was consistent. I can tattoo really well one minute, and then really struggle the next. It's a great feeling when something goes well, but when you know you could have done better, it can be really tough to pick yourself back up and get going again.

I got a couple of walk ins one day when Ross wasn't in, which was great. Two really nice guys with lots of stories to tell. The first was the Black Flag logo, which gave me good practice at solid black shading, which I'm still finding difficult.

Later that day, Jonny came in. He's a stage manager and drum tech who's been working with White Lies, and had just returned from New York. He had a cover up done while he was out there, a solid black band to cover an old Celtic one, with the Maori style detail around the edges. He wanted shading added to the triangles just to bring it alive a bit. He was really happy with the end result, and sat like a trooper, even when we got dangerously close to the arm pit. Ouch.

Anyone who knows me will know how PETRIFIED I am of dentists. It's actually ridiculous how scared I am. I still can't believe I tattooed a dentist... and she was lovely! Elinor got in touch about getting a unicorn tattoo. Having one myself, and a love for the fantastical creature, I was super excited to do it!

Having a tendency to go too deep, I was trying to be really really careful when doing this one. Ribs are sore, there's not much flesh, especially on Elinor! You really can't afford to go deep here. I think I was maybe too tentative at first, and had to go over a few lines. It's really hard finding that happy medium! Elinor loves it though, and came back with some cake, a card and a cute cat and unicorn necklace for me! Thank you!

Then it was my turn! Yay! I'm always gagging to get tattooed, and it just doesn't happen enough (hint hint!) I've wanted my hands done for ages, and Kev decided it was time! It took about 4 and a half hours to get it all done... but I love it! They healed so much quicker than I thought, and have turned out so well! I did have elephant hands for a few days and had to reschedule a few tattoos because the thought of even just putting on gloves made my stomach turn... The last 45 minutes or so really hurt, and my hands were tender for a good few days after. But it was worth it, my hands are so pretty!!

Kev's wife runs the Glasgow Roller Girls, and had a couple of visitors over from America to train with them. While they were over, they wanted their tattoos added to. They each had the world map tattooed on their thigh, but one in reverse, so that when they stood together it made up the entire map. It's a really cool idea. They travel a lot so wanted to get some little bits added wherever they go. Here's a couple of bits that I added:

I really really loved doing this next piece... Honor asked for some watercolour cherry blossoms, which were a challenge but really fun to do. There's so much to think about doing something like this, when there's no black outline, you're going from lining with the darker shade, and then shading with that, lining with the lighter colour, and then shading, and so on. It's not like your straight forward line the piece then shade it after. I love the way it's turned out! Honor is planning to come back for more, so that's always a good sign! (Oh, and thanks for the PILES of cake!)

Honor's friend Kerri came in with her, to have an Om symbol done. This was her first tattoo and she was quite nervous. I find tattooing wrists really difficult. First of all, they are creepy. Secondly, you have to be so delicate and I'm still having difficulty stretching the skin sometimes. This is why my lines have gone wobbly on this one. I got so annoyed at myself as I'd done so well earlier that day, and then what should have been fairly straight forward, I struggled with. I'd like to get Kerri back in and see about sorting those lines.

It really takes it out of me tattooing for longer lengths of time. Maybe doing the two tattoos back to back made me too tired...

Then Mama Fabulous came to the rescue! She was through visiting on her time off work, and saw the cherry blossoms I'd done and decided she wanted some too. She can't wait for summer now so she can show it off!

I added some more colour to Vonnie's owl & the pussycat piece. It's interesting getting to see some of my earlier pieces now that they've healed and are settled into the skin. It gives me a much better idea of what I've been doing right and what I've been doing wrong. I fixed up a couple of the older lines before shading, but I'll go back and retouch some more as we keep going with this piece.

And Katie was back again... Surprise surprise. Katie, is there a blog you haven't been in!?! She asked for a diamond to compliment the graffiti style piece she has on her leg. I was scared of the big long straight lines in this one, but she said she wanted big chunky lines, which made it easier for me! The colour worked really well in this I think, I'm being a bit more adventurous and trusting my instincts a bit more when it comes to shading, and it paid off in this tattoo!

Several blogs ago, I wrote about Laura coming in to have a heart tattooed. When we did it, she told me she had plans to add to it, but couldn't make up her mind whether to incorporate an anchor, or make it into a locket. She opted for the locket, and as a treat to herself for working hard on her dissertation (snore), she came in to have it extended. I really enjoyed this piece! We're going to add some colour to the roses, but leave the locket in the grey tones. I'm becoming more aware of my limitations, time wise. Of course it's worth pushing myself a little bit, but sometimes it's better to stop rather than forcing myself to continue and not doing it as well as I could.

Many many moons ago, Karen got in touch wanting some cherry blossoms on her wrist. Due to several complications on both my part and hers, it has taken till now to get this done! I had the fear before starting this, and it's not often I get that these days! I was scared to tattoo another wrist again, but after a pep talk from The Captain, and the promise of theee most fabulous GIANT cupcakes which Karen brought with her, I just sucked it up and got on with it. I lined the blossoms in grey, to make it a bit softer than a harsh black outline. Lining with grey is weird, you can't see what's going on as well as you can with black. Karen seems really happy with it, and I'm sure she'll be back for more!

I can see that I'm getting better. Slowly... Some days I feel great about it all, and others, not so great. I know that I have a long long way to go, and sometimes it bothers me. But I have all the time in the world to become a superstar ;) I know I'm so lucky to be where I am.

I'm always on the look out for people to tattoo, so if you're interested, drop me an email at: info@luckycattattoo.co.uk

Until next time,
Frenchie xx