I'm getting a new tattoo this Sunday (but shhh don't tell my parents!), so I decided to chronicle the process here. I'm getting a small flock of birds on my back. There will be five birds in all, starting with one standing at the lower left corner (like at my waist) and the last one on the back of my right shoulder. I'm specifically using a royal tern for the breed, because their wings take on some very sharp angles when they fly and it looks really cool. (P.S. I'm not just getting this done for vanity; the image does have a meaning for me, but it's private :P )
Here are the photos I took from Google images as reference:
They'll be about three inches tall on my back, and will consist of a light black outline with all the inner shading and color having no black linework, and an overall painterly, wispy look.
I'm getting it done by Dave Wallin at Tattoo Culture in Williamsburg. At first I planned on going to Saved Tattoo, but they have turned out to be totally elitist and overpriced. My room mate has been trying to get an appointment with them for months and they won't even give her the time of day. When I went, they told me the tattooer I was interested in is currently in Copenhagen, and then told me to contact him through MySpace (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate MySpace?). I can't even get a real e-mail address?? Okaaay...
Anyways, Tattoo Culture is only a couple blocks away from Saved, and I stumbled upon it when I started walking in the wrong direction by accident. It is so much more welcoming. The guys there were friendly and warm, the studio was impeccably clean and organized, they have multiple artists who take walk-ins (not just appointments months in advance), and they have rotating art on the walls. (As an aside, the current art exhibit is cool enough that people should stop by just to see it. It's photographs of regular people in their conservative work clothing, then photos of the same people in their punked out, personal clothes, with their tattoos all showing. Very clever.) And, most importantly, the tattoo artists there do really excellent work, especially Dave and Gene, the two resident artists.
Dave Wallin was awsome. This will be my first really "big" piece, so I'm kinda nervous. But Dave discussed every detail of the tattoo with me--feather style, shadows, exact placement, even the amount and angle of "light" hitting the birds--so I feel 100% confident about being in his hands.
When I go back to get it done Sunday, I'll get Dave's original sketch and will take photos of the stencil, linework, and finished product. He estimated about 4 hours of actual tattooing, so here's hoping I can handle the pain long enough to get it all done in one sitting.