The time is nigh and as promised I am embarking on a “Two Sleeves, Two Cities, One Week” journey of pure craziness. All you fellow tattoo collectors out there know how exciting it is when you have ink scheduled and you are counting down the hours. Many of you also know the thrill of victory (and the agony of defeat) when you are chasing down a favorite artist and trying to make it onto their packed schedule. My two sleeves are being inked by two different artists in two different cities 5 days apart from one another.
I know that is crazy, believe me I know. The cost of travel – which involves flying mind you, cost of hotel and food and whatnot NOT to mention the ink itself?…. If I stop to think about it too much my mind vapor-locks so I am aggressively NOT thinking about it. How did I manage to work myself into this position? It wasn’t easy. My first artist I contacted over 8 months ago through phone, begging emails and finally a manila envelope packed with images and scribbled notes of ideas and so much randomness I am still surprised she called me back – but she did 🙂
I wasn’t a big dater in high school and college – more of a nerdy bookworm/ artsy chic -so I never went through the whole “he called me he called me” thing but I’m guessing this is what it felt like – pure elation and an irrational feeling of specialness; She picked me! Yay!! So my Seattle-based artist (I know I am being coy about naming names…I will reveal ALL soon…) had a solid waiting list and after much configuring of schedules we landed on February 20th & 21st. So I have been waiting for this appointment since July.
Then the plot thickens….I don’t know what YOU do when you are noodling around on the internet…well I probably do…
But when I dive into the great online void I like to check out ink and tattoo artists. I especially like to ask google things like, ” who is the very best tattoo artist in the world?” or “who is the very best tattoo artist in my living room?” As you may know, google has NO sense of humor – truly, none. But it does know a bunch of shit (Thanks NSA!) and it’s fun to see what random searches cough up.
As I searched I came up with my own criteria for artists I hoped to work with; They Must Be:
- Amazing artists – just jaw dropping
2. Still alive and still tattooing – both important
- Tattooing in the style I wanted to collect. There are many incredible artists that I really admire but their work is not personally for me; luckily there are tattoo artists of merit for every style out there.
In the USA – I don’t make a lot of money – mostly I’m a mom and it doesn’t pay that well, which is lame. Seriously – my kids need to get jobs or something and put me on salary…I should look into that…
( ahem ) Anyways – flying overseas was out of the question for me so I needed someone closer to home.
- And Finally – A Woman. No groans or chest thumps please. I have NOTHING against the fellas – I’m quite a fan of the fellas actually. Ok let me rephrase that – I’m quite a fan of one fella – my husband – and a fan in general of all talented tattoo artists of either gender – dude or lady or even dude looks like a lady. It’s all about the talent for me. So why only female artists? It just sort of happened that way. My first big ink was to cover double mastectomy scars and I wanted that done by a woman. Then my shoulder piece- which was a memorial tattoo for my sister was also done by a woman. Then this artist in Seattle? Also a woman. I thought it would be cool to collect ink from the top female tattoo artists in the USA
So after much searching around I compiled my “short list” of 5 artists I hoped to work with. Luckily I already had an apt. with one. I started emailing (and maybe a little cyber stalking) the other artists I hoped to make contact with. My results? (insert sound of crickets chirping here) – nothing. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that a lot of artists maybe don’t check their email all that much? Or if they do…they delete a whole bunch of requests from desperate souls like me.
How many times should you email your favorite artist before you give up and move on? I say 5. It’s just enough to show how sincere (and desperate) you are but not enough to require a restraining order. If you don’t get any response after 5 – move on. Oh, and spread em out too – don’t email someone 5 times in one day – that’s crazy. I know because I have done it AND I’m crazy.
So Long story short my biggest long shot as in NO WAY will she ever email me back – got back to me! I went from that guy I liked calling me back to being nominated fucking Prom Queen! I assume that would be cool? It always looks cool in the movies – at least until they dump the blood on you, then, not so cool.
And because the tattoo gods are cruel this incredible artist who usually has a waiting list a year or two (or more) long said she could squeak me in on February 27 – 5 days after I get back from Seattle. Now I could have said “can’t do it , maybe later in the year etc.” but I was unwilling to take that chance. To get to the point where I had an actual apt. with this artist required in the neighborhood of 30 emails – 26 of which were mine. Many of which began with “Sorry to be so annoying again…” There was NO WAY I was going to let this chance slip through my fingers so I am in. And next Thursday I will have a sore left arm, jet lag and be in an entirely different city getting my right arm done. I can not believe my husband went for all this – thanks honey!
Stay tuned for lots of pics and of course the Big Name Reveals – I think you will be impressed- I know I am!