I am back home after my epic session with Tina Bafaro – happy and tired and with a nice sore arm 🙂 I first learned about Tina when I saw an image of a bralet
she had done to cover a complete mastectomy. It was SO superlative I had to locate the artist and as I mentioned in my last post she graciously agreed to tattoo me.
Tina is unique in the tattoo world. She doesn’t advertise. At all. There is not even a sign in front of her shop. If she hadn’t told me which flight of stairs to head up I would still be wandering around Pioneer Square. Tina has been tattooing for over 22 years and has a solid list of clients (and a waiting list to match) but approaches her art with a relaxed yet professional attitude.
She is all about tattooing for the love of the craft and not necessarily the glory. She balances her intricate, time-consuming and detailed tattoo work with her family and an actual life outside tattooing – a balance she acquired after working heavy and hard for a long time. I could go on and on. I could exhaust my Thesaurus looking for new ways to say Tina is awesome. Instead I will show you a little scrap of what day 1 looked like:
Tina spent over 2 hours placing my image to make sure the fit and every detail was perfect.
Then we got down to business…
After about 5 hours of outlining I knew several things:
1. I was not nearly as tough as I thought I was. This shit hurt. For real.
2. I loved tequila and looked forward to drinking some.
3. Tina was an interesting, warm, funny person and if she wasn’t so busy stabbing me to death I would feel nothing but love for her.
Finally after 9 hours in the shop we finished for the day and I was free to hop off the chair and…immediately get light-headed and sit the fuck back down. Several glasses of water and a few deep breaths later Tina and my “Tattoo Wing Man” Jenny gently steered me out the door and down the stairs to…
Tequila could be found a mere block away (thank god) at the newly opened bratwurst bar Alstadt. Hot soup, heavy food and a little booze went a long way to making me feel better. Then Jenny and I went to bed… the end. No, not together and not right away. First I had to whine a little and be helped into my PJ”s by Jenny who literally has the patience of a saint. Then Jenny thought she would treat herself to some Skittles from the hotel vending machine. This was the result…
We spent the whole weekend walking by that fucking machine staring at Jenny’s would-be bag of Skittles. As soon as I got my strength back I made sure to give it a swift kick every time I passed it but sadly to no avail. The Skittles merely mocked our frustration from their precarious perch.
Tomorrow I will tell you about Pioneer Square and Seattle and Faeriecon. For now I will leave you with a picture of my dear Jenny enjoying an irish coffee at Fado’s Pub down the street from Tina’s shop. This way you’ll check back tomorrow I bet 🙂
Thank you again Tina for being SO patient, thorough, prepared and freakin talented! You made my first day a real pleasure and began something truly beautiful on my little ol left arm!