Reverb16 | December 17 | Beauty

Beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Show us a picture that is beautiful to you- the more unconventional the better. If you’d like to write about it, tell us why.

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I think this is one of the most beautiful things I did this year. Or rather, I let someone else do to me.

There’s a tattoo shop just about 2 blocks from our house that is 100% ladies– lady owners, lady artists. I dig that quite a bit. So when I decided I was finally ready to get a tattoo, I knew that’s where I would go. I scanned their portfolios and found an artist that had done a lot of work in the style I was looking for– a lean towards the strong outline of classic tattoos, but creative enough to apply that classic style to new imagery and scenes. I wanted to avoid some of the things that are trendy in tattoos right now to avoid a piece that looks dated.

I emailed her a few ideas; we chatted in a brief consultation. And then I waited. For seven months she was booked up. I decided that it was better to be seeing an artist that is in high demand than one that has a lot of free time on their calendar…

In May I went in for the first sitting– to do the outline and start the color on the bike. I was so nervous the day of that I threw up. I was terrified that as soon as I did it, I would have buyer’s remorse and would want my un-inked leg back.

Did I mention I had never seen the final design until the stencil was affixed?

I totally trusted her– I gave her some examples of the style I wanted, I listed some things that were important to be included (the mountain, the tent, obviously the bike, which I provided photos of), and a lot of it she brought to the design– the overall layout, the awesome oak leaves and acorns that provide the frame, the beautifully intense colors.

The first sitting was about 5 hours. Not until September did I go back to have the color finished in another 3-4 hour sitting.

Never once have I experience buyer’s remorse. In fact, maybe quite the opposite (which I hear is common after people get their first tattoo): I am always dreaming up what the next one could be.

Not only do I think the tattoo is beautiful, I think it makes me beautiful. I don’t know how to describe it, but it feels like it fits me and belongs with me. Not that my right thigh was ever lacking in any serious way, but that this artwork somehow adds so much. As I mentioned before, I feel like every year I am watching myself grow in a way that results in me becoming more unapologetically myself all the time and I consider this tattoo to be a part of that growth. It makes me feel strong and beautiful and reminds me that I have lived a great many of wonderful experiences so far.

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