Tattoo perils

For about 6 months in 2013 – if not more – I have been orientating about what new tattoo I want. Ever since I did the tattoo around my left breast, I knew I would have another cover-up done. I have a very small butterfly on my right shoulder, and for years now I wanted that covered. In 2012 Master T and I started talking about what I would get. At first I thought a big butterfly to cover the small one would do it. But then again, I wanted flowers to go with it. That meant that the tattoo would be bigger, which I did not really mind.

For a couple of months I saved different pictures of tattoos. I loved all of them and I wanted all of them, but of course that wasn’t possible. I decided not to make a choice until something really struck me, no matter how long it would take. There was also something else that I had in the back of my mind. I love the tattoo on my leg, but somehow it was a ‘lonely’ tattoo. An idea started to form. What if the new tattoo could ‘incorporate’ the tattoo on my leg? I had no idea if this would even be possible, and if not, I was willing to accept it like this, but the idea just did not go out of my head.

Then the day come that I saw a drawing of a tattoo and I knew that would be the basis of my new tattoo.


Actually, at that moment I also knew exactly where my tattoo would be. I bounced it off Master T, as I wanted Him to approve it, and He did. My idea was to have my tattoo run from my right shoulder, down my shoulder blade toward my middle, then a bit towards my right hip and down towards the tattoo on my leg. I definitely wanted the tattoo on my leg to be part of the bigger picture.

My idea was to have three beautiful colored lilies in the tattoo and to combine that with cherry blossom, since the tattoo on my leg has cherry blossom in it. Do you see the leaves in the picture above? The stringy things? I wanted those in there too and then I want a subtle “T” in the tattoo. But, I wanted the “T” to be done the way I always do my “T”. And then I want a subtle lock hanging from the ‘curl’ in the “T”. It would more or less look like this:


At first I was planning to draw the tattoo myself, as said on my 101 things in 1001 days list. But watching Miami Ink, LA Ink and NY Ink and reading about tattoos (yes, I did my homework) I realized I should not restrict an artist to my design, but allow the artist to put some of himself (or herself) into it. Apparently when you restrict the artist, the design can turn out totally different from what you had in mind. I wanted the artist to have some freedom, but to use the elements I have given them.

And then the day came that we went to the city for the first time. I fully expected to discuss the design with the artist right there and then,but that’s not how it works over here. You see, they give you a lot of time to think carefully whether you really want the tattoo. The first time I went to the tattoos shop it was only to give them the pictures above, tell them more or less what I want, make an appointment with the artist (whom I did not see the first time I went there) and to pay a deposit of 50 euros. The first time I was there they decided who the artist would be, based on what I explained that I wanted.

A couple of days later, I met the artist…

By then I had already seen the first design he had drawn and I had suggested some changes. I missed some symbols that should have been in it. When I met him in person, I was overwhelmed. The man talked and talked and talked and actually at that moment I was very happy with what he suggested. He was going to use the same design, but turn it upside down. At first I felt a twinge of disappointment, but his enthusiasm pulled me in. More double feelings followed when the artist did not really make an effort to fit the symbol I wanted into the tattoo. Yes, he was going to add it, but he was not going to change the design or draw a new one. And, since I wanted the tattoo on my leg to be part of the new tattoo, I wanted cherry blossoms in the new tattoo too, but he did not like the idea. Once again his enthusiastic talking pulled me in, convinced me. For the moment.

Love, Submission & Commitment

I asked the artist what it was going to cost to have the tattoo done. He came to a price of 1350 euros. I knew it was not going to be cheap, but in a way this shocked me. Once it settled in, I was okay with it. At the moment I made the appointment, he explained, I had to pay 500 euros and this was to make sure that I keep my appointment for the tattoo as many times people just never appeared for their appointments. This of course only cost them money.

I am not the kind of person to just give out that much money. I always want Master T’s permission for it, so I told the artist that I would come back the next week to make the appointment. Once the excitement of the appointment with the artist settled down, I started having my doubts. And the more days passed, the more doubts I had. I did not like the fact that he did not redraw the design. I did not like the fact that he was going to use the design upside down. But what I doubted the most was when I followed the link on the business card he gave me: he was into old school tattoos and that just isn’t what I want. About a week after my appointment I knew for sure: this man was not going to lay a finger on my body.

Left: upside up
Right: upside down
(click to enlarge)

I was back to square one regarding this tattoo, but I was happy about that. Back to the drawing board, back to searching for a tattoo artist that can do what I really want… something feminine, something beautiful, something colorful and with the symbols I want in it.

The search continues… as this coming Saturday I will be visiting a new tattoo shop.

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday

19 thoughts on “Tattoo perils

  1. Phew so glad you didn’t go thru with it. If you had doubts beforehand you would have definitely regreted it after. I find that when I’ve designed my own tattoos they have come out looking like stickers whereas when the artist has free reign to do his/her own thing if they are good at what they do they work with the curves of your body and the tattoo looks much more like it belongs there. Personally I like upside up much better. In canada a tattoo is based on how long it takes to do not a flat rate. This could change depending in how long you are able to sit. I love that my artist allows me to sit as many times as I need for any tattoo no matter how small. If I can only sit for 1/2hr that day for whatever reason that my pain tolerance is down she is fine with it and she doesn’t take advantage of it and charge me up the arse even though it’s supposed to be a one hour minimum charge. This is permanent it should be perfect beforehand since you’ll have many many moods and most likely an ever changing opinion of it afterwards.

    1. It sounds like you have a great artist, being so kind!
      I wanted to design my own tattoo, but decided against it and now am just going to leave it to the artist to do, but I am telling him which elements I want in the tattoo.

  2. Just like you, I am looking to find someone that makes me feel good, that evokes confidence and that is a good artist. I hope to find someone like that 🙂

    Rebel xox

  3. I think it’s definitely better to wait and find the right artist; good luck in your search! I love the lock in the stem of the flower.

  4. Take your time, it will be worth the wait and ensuring you get what you want. I have an angel on my left shoulder I want to get covered with a tree tattoo. I have a collection of photos, from the internet and ones taken myself, to help show the artist what I want. It may be a while because, like you, it will be an expensive endeavor.

    1. I am definitely taking my time on this one, not only because I want to be very sure before I get the tattoo, but also because it definitely will be an expensive encounter.

  5. We have to drive four hours aware to get the tattoo artist that my husband needed for his cover. It’s an extensive, expensive cover from a tattoo he had across his entire back in Thailand when he first joined the military.
    Being happy with the artist is everything. Good decision, in my opinion.

  6. good on you for taking your time. Tattoos are technically forever, which is why I still don’t have one. It’s a mix of having a great artist and a great idea. Hope this new place works out better for you.

  7. Take your time! Before parting with any money at all you want to meet the tattoo artist (even just to say hello) and view his or her portfolio that way you can get a feel of them and see the type of work they do.

    As far as working the design take your ideas as you did, but as an artist they should be able to work your ideas in whichever orientation you want them and make suggestions as to how it may work better for a tattoo as not all pen/pencil/ink drawings will translate well to tattooing into the skin. A good tattooist will explain this aspect to you. This is especially important with a larger piece of work covering more skin.

    Keep looking and researching. A good tattoo magazine for artists in your country can be helpful and maybe consider artists in other countries who may be a better choice for your particular design!

    Hope all this helps! I have quite a number of tattoos (9 with another couple if ideas in the pipeline!) which are all ideas I took to the artist and then let them work their magic! I have only had 3 artists work on me and one of them has done the majority of the work on my body.

    You will know when you meet the right artist, you will click and they will be able to interpret your ideas and bring them to life on your skin and you will feel safe with them.

    ~Mia~ xx

    1. Even if I have to go to another 1000 shops, I will not have it done until I have found the right artist. I am very careful with whom I choose, but love your advice above 🙂

      Rebel xox

  8. My first tattoo sat as a drawing in my wallet for about three years before I was sure I wanted it on my body. I agree that waiting is worth it. I do have a piece of “flash” art on my stomach that was spur-of-the-moment and I regret getting it. After that, all my tattoos – including the piece that covers my back – were designed by my mom and tattooed by a man I trusted. Keep waiting and searching – the right person will come along.

    1. I will be wiping out the last piece of ‘flash’ art with this new tattoo I want, as it will partly be a cover up. And I remember that I have seen a photo of the tattoo on your back and really loved it 🙂
      I hope I find the right person on Saturday, and of not, the search will continue 🙂

  9. Its one of the reason why I haven’t got a tattoo yet; I don’t know exactly what I want, but not sure I would be happy with anything that isn’t exactly what I want when I do decide.

    I know, control freakery!

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