This is my first non website and product orientated blog, yet its about one of favourite things i have done and had done.
WARNING may contain ridiculousness, awesomeness and skill. DOUBLE WARNING if you are my Mother, i wouldn't read this.
This is all about my first tattoo. To set a little background it was something i had wanted for a long time but put off and off and off because i couldn't decide what i wanted. I was approaching 30 years old, was studying hard for a professional qualification, i wanted to commiserate and celebrate those two things, respectively. First thing i should say is that ink is for life and shouldn't be undertaken lightly, even with the recent progress in laser removal techniques you shouldn't jump into something like this. From what i have been told, laser removal is as arduous, more painful and more expensive than getting the tattoo in the first place.
There is so much to think about with a tatt: What to get? Where? What Size? What style? Inspiration? Grey? Colour? Trash polka? Hand Polked? However the last thing you should consider is cost. You get what you pay for, find the right artist and pay what he or she asks. I think the concept of haggling over a tattoo is bullshit, it's art and either you rate them or you don't.
I researched tonnes and tonnes of artists in the UK, talked to as many people i could for recommendations and instagram is an absolute must for tattoo research. There was only one place i wanted to go Northside Tattooz, a private room in newcastle with 25 years experiance tattooing, i went and had a chat with Low, the founder and booked up with him. Low has a following of people that are tattooed off him for life, there can't be a better reccomendation than that. I also stumbled across a feature in The Mammoth Book of Tattoos by Lal Hardy, where Lows pic is of a madman dangling bacon from his lobes, now if that didn't seal the deal I don't know what would. He had a 6 month waiting list, so i paid my deposit and used that time to research, design and work on the tattoo idea.
Another recommendation: if you are planning a large tattoo project, make sure you get along with your artist, you will be spending a lot of time with them. If you think they are a total C@&t, that time is gonna feel like hell.
Now, my idea was the sweety apocalypse, i love sweets, kets, lollies, whatever you call them i always have. My dream is to own a sweet shop one day. You could say i have a sweet fetish, minus the sexual stuff. So the concept was a lone survivor of a sweety civilisation invasion, i wanted it to be colourful, interesting and fun. When i first discussed this with Low he looked at me as though i was a total crack head. Eventually he got into it and his years of experience were invaluable in terms of design, placement, suggestions and overall quality. This leads me to another point, you might think you have your tattoo totally designed, but your artist is better than you, if you listen to them and work together to create something, the result will be outstanding. Also a good artist will not even start to tattoo you until they are sure you are 100% happy with what you have agreed and what they plan to do.
Due to my theme I knew this was never gonna be a superrealistic tatt. The first thing I needed was a focal point, a survivor, I wanted a rock chick. I love band posters, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave, Mark Lannegan, Eagles of Death Metal and I think some of the best tour posters have been coming out of australia. Check out Beyond the Pale in St kilda. However, I eventually stumbled on an artist from Germany, with one of the most German names ever, Lars P.Kraus. He'd made a black keys poster with the perfect survivor chick. I was up and running. The first piece of the jigsaw was lined up, I now had the focal point and also worked on a very rough sketch of what I wanted. You can see this above, at this stage i wanted two women, after much discussion we went for a single survivor.
i've been rambling for a while now, and my tatt gets more and more intricate and ridiculous so I'm gonna split this into 2 parts. If you are bored out of your mind, I'm sure you you wouldn't have gotten this far. If you have liked it then feel free to comment below.
if you have spare time check out Beyond the Pail,
Lars P.Kraus and
Northside Tattooz or their Instagram
Next in Part 2 i'll write about my first session and show a few progression snapshots and reveal the final piece. I'll upload this in a weeks time, enjoy.
Love n stuff,
Andy @ DesignUntapped