Travis asked last week where we should get inked and you were very helpful! We ended up going to The Tattoo Lounge in Mar Vista as it was the better location (west side) for us on that day. Travis met me at my house and we called at 11am to see if they had time for us that afternoon. They did. (If they hadn’t had time, we would have just gone for pizza and lots of good conversation.)
As promised, we tweeted our plans and added a comment on the previous post then went to the Tattoo Lounge and worked with our artist, Owen, on our two very different designs. (No, we did not get matching Metblog logo tattoos….) We were met by Lynn a little later who also got inked.
More pictures and info after the jump.Both Travis and Lyn had been carrying potential tattoo images around with them for quite a while. I had been mulling some ideas but had not put the images together on paper until that morning. This was my fourth tattoo, Travis’ second tattoo and Lyn’s first.
The shop is a fairly typical tattoo place: all business, not very flashy, but tidy and clean. There were four artists working that day, all with quite a lot of ink themselves. There are tattoo magazines and photo albums galore to inspire you.
Travis was up first and she worked with Owen using the xeroxed drawings that had been in her purse for ages. She knew she wanted it between her shoulder blades, but discussed color and specific design elements. Owen went to work xeroxing what she had and sketching out the whole thing. They discussed and agreed and he went to set up in the other room.
When you get a tattoo, it starts with an outline on transfer paper that gets applied to the location on your body where you want the ink. This gives you a chance to decide on exact location, positioning and also gives you that last chance to back out (but you’ve come this far, you are not backing out now!). Here is the before portion for Travis:
Once you and the tattoo artist are agreed, then they set up the inks and needle and you go sit on a chair and begin. Travis’ work took about an hour and a half. Lyn and I sat and chatted, went down the block to Venice Grind to get coffees and came back.
While Travis got her work done, Swag, the bald british tattoo artist, then helped Lynn with her tattoo. Being her first, she was a little nervous. And though she had been carrying her design around for eight years, she wasn’t sure if she should get it on her hip or her ankle. I suggested ankle because (speaking from personal experience) once you get and love your tattoo, you want people to see it. I got my first on my butt and once I got over the novelty of it, I realized so few people would ever see it! She thought about it and decided on the ankle. Then Swag and I discussed with her the merits of having it be bigger than she wanted and after the test run, she agreed. We did not pressure her, understand, just discussed and let her think and decide. It’s permanent, after all, and has to be your choice. After about ten minutes in the chair, she was done and very please with the size and location.
Then it was my turn and Owen helped me come up with a design that brought together the three things I wanted. He did a test run on paper and I asked for a few minor changes, which he made, then he transfered the image to my skin as a line up:
Then Owen got to work. It took about one hour for my ink-art.
Then I was done.
It’s challenging to take a photo of your own ankle.
Once the tattoo is complete, Owen cleaned up any left over tracing paper lines and then covered the tattoo with saran wrap and medical tape. The easy instructions were to leave the saran wrap on for at least two hours, then remove it and wash your tattoo gently with soap and water. Then apply a tiny bit of unscented lotion to it to keep it moist. The tattoo will get a tiny bit scabby and flaky, but otherwise it looks great almost from the get go!
We are all very pleased with our tattoos. Thanks again for all the suggestions. And when you see us at the next Classic Eats — ask us to show you our beautiful new body art!