My bloody good good, it’s been SOME time. I do have my reasons- absolutely NO excuses for having been away for so long!
Looking back, the last time I posted was in Summer! Oh my, oh my!
So very much has happened since I last spoke to all of you, and I think I can say it was because I jut didn’t have the heart- the news seemed so much like bad news.
We were informed one morning that it was the last few months that our other apprentice would be working with us, and that I was to be the only one training. This was a heartbreaking turn of events and my first thought was- what good was I alone..? A clumsy, quiet, self doubting, ever pondeting Brit! Unfortunately this situation was one that was necessary, but it left me in a daunting place. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, but we had spent the past months envisioning what our training would hold, and more than anything else, as whimsical as it seems, it held each other..
Still, we had three months to train together and learn all that we could, and I was also informed that my own training would soon intensify and I was iminently to do my first tattoo. Exciting stuff, and all moving so fast! It doesn’t leave you time to fear though, I can say that much for it!
I spent a long time thinking on what my first tattoo would be, and I was certain that it should at least be based on something that I had drawn myself. I had been told that it is important to be familiar with the designs that you are tattooing so I promptly dedicated myself to the creation of flash sheets..
The more I look at these now, the more I see fault in them- more and more small bits and pieces to be improved, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. I love improving my designs, and at the time I was happy with these. They were where I thought that my designs should stylistically venture, and they were small enough to not take TOO long, should I tattoo them on someone..
I posted them on the page for our shop and implored kind souls to let me tattoo them. In days previously my friends had asked about the prospect of using fake hands or pig skin, but there was to be no pissing about with that sort of thing! It was to be straight onto a moving, breathing, bleeding person! As scary as this may seem, i’m more confused as to the way a fake hand would work.. With tattoos, the ink sits under a certain layer of skin, but what happens with a hand made of latex..? It doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t move or even heal.. I can understand painting on them to display a design, but actually tattooing them is an alien concept to me.. Still, I was determined to do a good job and after a few tiny hitches with arranging customers it progressed that my first tattoo was to be chosen from my flash and done on a volunteer.
They say that there is a different dynamic to tattooing a stranger to someone you know. With a loved one you agonize needlessly over every line and pain over each movement, rather than just getting the job done well and without picking. My first tattoo was on a stranger, but they may as well have been my soul mate for the amount of care I took! The first design I did was meant to be a rose, something with lines easy to hide and disguise in case of shaking or slipping, but what was picked frofwasm my flash was certainly not a rose!
It was so so exciting! Also very scary, but while I was doing it all I could think was that I had finally made it!
I’d worked my whole life to be ready for that event and being there after everything.. college, university, all the hardship, wavering hope, jobs I was unhappy in, the thousands of hours spent drawing and how much I missed it when I had no time to pick up a pencil.. it was wonderful! I remember thinking, “I will do my absolute best, but even if I do not succeed, this has been amazing!”
Considering it was my first ever time with a needle, I was proud of how it turned out- not very shaky, clear lines and a design I was happy with! There was some bleeding but it didn’t put me off as some were worried it might, and the entire process gave me a wonderful focus and concentration. Colouring this will be fun, but for another time! I’m still slow with my lines, even now, and we’d have been there forever if we’d coloured. My teacher and Boss was so very supportive, and I couldn’t have asked for more! The fact that he was there to lean on throughout made it a calm and straightforward experience, I couldn’t thank him enough.
I won’t leave it so long between posts anymore, now that I can update on my phone! Yes!! I have finally joined the realm of the 21st century! I hope you all enjoy this little story! I’ll update more on other tattoos I have done since, even with colour!
Until next time!