I'm a tattoo fanatic. I LOVE THEM.
Normally, I would stick with My shops in Everett, but I didn't really want to drive all the way up there to get ink, the time I was up there I found the shops to be less than appealing, and Several of my artists had moved on to greener pastures.
So, I started looking for a new shop closer to My neck of the woods. As I was scouring the Internet for information, I came across Burien Tattoo's digits and decided to stop in for a look-see. The shop itself is located on the second floor, and walking up the enclosed stairs give a decidedly creepy-cool feeling to the whole experience. Walking into the shop, I was greeted by hardwood floors and custom artwork on the walls. What's this? No flash art?? What kind of tattoo shop is this??? I posed this question to the owner and his wife, who both stated that they are a shop that specializes in CUSTOM artwork and they refuse to clutter it - and their customers - with cheap flash. I was immediately enthralled. I spent several more minutes speaking with them and the artists about their work, perusing through the portfolios and discussing costs, all the while assessing cleanliness, lighting, friendliness, the willingness of the artist to work with me AND to offer up their expertise. By the end of My time there, I was sold. I was more than willing to give them a shot.
Now, the original plan was to have Me and My boyfriend go in for some ink time. He was getting the beginning part of his chest piece done, and I was getting My angel-winged wolf across My shoulders.
Unfortunately, as with all great things, this too came to an end.
On the morning of our 27th month anniversary, we began planning a cruise to celebrate our 3-year. That same afternoon, he broke up with Me in a text message.
About a week later, I was in Burien Tattoo, angel-winged wolf concept in hand, and I was speaking to an artist from Vegas named Gravy about splashing it across My shoulders... with a few minor changes, of course. Let's change the wings... how about making it less smiley, more deadpan... what about fangs... change the medallion to an ankh... feathers coming off... tilt the wings as well... ideas rained down upon that poor concept like rain, and I was feeling on top of the world. I put down a deposit ($20), made an appointment, and went home to wait.
On the day of the appointment, I arrived, full of excitement to see what Gravy had thought up. I believe in allowing the artist a measure of freedom, understanding that this would allow for a more flowing and cohesive design in the long run. What I walked into was not what I expected. The owner (Angel) and his wife were there, and neither of them had any clue of the completed design. Nor did they know what was going on with Gravy. Angel made a quick phone call, found out what needed to be done, sat down with Me. sketched out a couple of things here and there, then set about closing off the lobby (THE LOBBY!!!) of the shop in order for Me to feel more comfortable and less "on display" while I was under the needle(s), While all of this happened, he still followed the proper guidelines when it came to sanitation and sterilization, which put My mind at ease immediately.
It was a 4-hour long session. The only breaks called were by Angel, for business matters. I giggled the entire time, like a Mad Hatter. Afterward, as he was cleaning and covering the finished piece, he explained that he had never seen anyone go through an upper back tattoo in one single shot, let alone giggle the entire time. At each stopping point, he took pictures for Me with My digital camera, especially at that cricial juncture where he as placing the tattoo and it was overlapping an old, home-done tattoo.
After all was said and done, I walked away with a bad-ass tattoo across My shoulders and upper back that covers something I wanted covered. Angel has a light hand, an awesome mind when it comes to concepts, and is great to work with, expecially on the fly. Sure the prices are a little on the steep side, however the adage is absolutely true: Cheap tattoos aren't good, and good tattoos aren't cheap. I plan on going back to have Angel put a quote somewhere near or around the wolf, a quote that will definitely fit the pitcture and the story behind it.
Maybe I will do that today...