This post is dedicated to my longest sitting to date, and my most colourful, exciting and fun piece as well. This tattoo is still healing, as it was done only a week ago, on Tuesday the 15th of February in my beautiful hometown of Dudsville. Tony at Dig A Tattoo and I had this appointment lined up since about October 2010, and the piece is a sweet zombie pinup girl that he had drawn awhile back for some idiot that had never gotten it tattooed. Well the yolks on him cos its mine now and it rulzzz! We were originally going to put it on my lower left forearm, but when I got there, decided it would definitely look better as a bigger piece, and so whacked it on the upper left bicep. Tony had left the day open so that we could have as long as it took and this was truly rad of him, so I got him some duty-free scotch to say thanks, because I reckon that saying “thank you” or “sorry” never seems all that sincere unless you back it up with some hard liquor innit.
Booze aside, I got into Dunedin late Monday night and turned up to Dig A Tattoo at 11am on Tuesday morning. While Tony sized up the picture accordingly, I went to get some breakfast at Mojo over the road… $11 for 3 pieces of rye toast with mini vegemites? fuck off.
I only ate one of the pieces, more out of protest than out of hangover. I asked Tony if it would hurt (I always ask, I honestly don’t know why, you’d think I’d be used to it by now haha) and the tattoo began. My “monthly pain threshold” theory came through for me again, as it was only a couple of days after my last session on Dad’s portrait, so I was still in a “non-sore” week. Tony was as gentle as a lamb, he really put Uncle Bully to shame. I got given some hella good advice on clawing my way into an apprenticeship (or even, y’know, just walking into one) and also had quite a few larffs – whilst trying not to shake too much. The session went for around 7 hours and went really fast, but probably not for Tony, who was getting a bit sore in the back and probably a bit long in the tooth.
Being there for most of the day, I got to meet the two other artists there, Aja and Brendan, which was good as I had only met them by way of looking at their work online. They were friendly and really nice to talk to, there was none of the “too cool for a chat” shit that you often see in many studios. Which in my opinion, makes for the best tattoo experience. Brendan was tattooing a guy’s arm, a really standout oriental sleeve with a dragon which had a royal purple tone in the ears and mouth, looked fucking awesome. The guy with said sleevework was a bit of a hottie too, but you didn’t hear that from me. shhhh. The 3 artists seemed to have a good rapport and family vibe which was awesome, hopefully more studios start leaning that way in the future.
The piece itself was originally a zombie pin-up girl, who resembles Elvira. I gave Tony full artistic licence on my arm and in the end, Elvira became a rad cross between a pin up girl, zombie, go-go dancer, tiki mystical girl, voodoo sacrifice, and perhaps even a whore. But an honest whore. Despite her huge mixture of personalities, it all works in a way that I can’t really describe… but thats quite typical of Tony’s artwork, for lack of a better term I like to call it Clusterfuck art, whereby at times there is so much going on that you don’t know what to call it, or where to look, but you like it and it works. Check out Tonys work here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=192543409614&aid=146867
At the end of the session, I was so damn stoked. I had a good look at the black ink when it was done and hell liked it, very old comic style, just what I love, and then when I saw the colour finished, I was thrilled. It was way better than the pic, and the flames ended up being a bit of a last minute decision, but definitely the right one. Here are pics of the tattoo on the day in black, and then with colour:
I was out on the Friday night at the Crown, where Tony’s band was playing and quite a few people recognised the tattoo and came up to compliment it. One guy was apparently going to lick it, however I said I would bash him if he tried. Fuck yeah go me, “independent woman” “sassy bitch” n all that.
So I am the happiest camper right now, and am already digging out my old comic books for some inspiration to show Tony because I plan on getting his original work on the rest of that arm and probably a leg and chestplate. Aja and Brendan are also two seriously awesome artists, check out their work here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dig-A-Tattoo/192543409614 I also think it is worthwhile to mention that my Zombettie got lots of meaningful stares from people that were trying to control their erections during the rest of my trip, and there were some days that I just had to cover her up because I didn’t want people to think she was “asking for it”, by looking all hot and stuff. Do yourselves a favour and get a big colourful tattoo, run don’t walk.
Love Chelle xoxoxoxooxox