One cover-up, five sessions, 13 hours...one sexy ass! Finally the piece is done. No more "L", just a curvy, wonderful, colorful cascade of sparrows and japanese flowers.
I've always thought that the traditional sparrows were very sexy and they seems to be the perfect mask for my first tattoo, which like most "first tattoos" felt ballsy and exciting but was poorly designed and badly placed. I also wanted to avoid the classic "long beach bumper sticker" lower back placement so it hit me to do a design that instead of coming together like the common lower back piece, cascaded down and followed my every curve. For flowers, I wanted something fun and light like my own personality, not too sophisicated and elegant--a book of japanese emblems and design had caught my interest a while back at the library so I dug that up and chose an array of sizes and styles. I proposed to Hawk that we tie together traditional americana with japanese using starbursts. The results were spectacular! I have always loved my waist being small and having wide "birthing hips" and this piece served to honor that shape and the hard work my body has done in raising these two darling babes.
Few things I learned about being in the chair: first, don't get too comfortable. The first time I sat was for the outline which after placement took 3 hours. True I was fine for the first two, since I was laying down. But when we took a break and I changed positions to sitting up, I went into shock--gave my adrenaline a chance to mellow out and for my body to realize what what going on. All I could do was put on my own head phones, squirt some rescue remedy and lay a blanket over me, but all-in-all I was ready to go back and get more! By the fourth visit though, I began to get too comfortable--I went with this attitude of "hey, getting ink is easy--I must be pretty darn tough." Well, with that mindset my body decided that I didn't need that natural painkiller to kick in--it was by far the most painful session and the last hour I had reverted to "labor breathing." Luckily, it put the fear in me for the last session and my body like I had hoped kicked in after about five minutes.
People ask "what does it feel like?" Well for one, it depends on where you get it. And the nerves from one centimeter of skin to the next can be very different--which I found to be so especially for the lower back which killed toward the "dimple" and toward the sides of my body on my roll or "muffin top." Another bad area, the "ass neck"--the sensitive skin between your butt cheek and leg...owwwwwww. That felt a bit like being burned on skin that has been sliced open. Yeah. Dude. Ow. But it always last for just a moment. Really once you start and your adrenaline gets pumping, the sensation just becomes annoying. It helps to shoot the shit with others in the room. And laughing. Afterwards, you are ravenously hungry--like you can eat twice what you normally would--and a pleasant giddy high envelops you for a little while. Then (after stuffing face) I get really sleepy, like burning allergy-eyeballs sleepy, and also I get really emotional. Honestly, it's a lot like smoking weed--without the paranoia!
The last two were taken obviously by myself while Blake laid tile in the bathroom before our three house showings tomorrow! After the last section heals I will take better photos of the whole piece.....