Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rite of Passage

As one of the only 20-somethings living in Brooklyn without a tattoo, I've always had a sort of ambivalent relationship with them. I've seen so many kids getting tattoos on a whim, when they were too young, without significant thought or consideration. I always thought this was sad. An exboyfriend of mine had once gotten a number 13 tattoo simply because it was Friday the 13th and a tattoo shop was running a $13 special. Then again, lots of people had such beautiful designs that really made a statement about who they were, and I always admired their guts. I knew I always wanted one, but went back and forth about where to put it or what to get. After several years of having the same design in mind, and after an evening of conversation with Megan over drinks at Roebling Tea Room, I decided it was high time to make it permanent. I don't know why now, perhaps because my life is sort of in a weird limbo period right now where I'm making lots of existential decisions, but for some reason my fear of permanence disappeared (hopefully not temporarily).

I did a lot of research on the internet to find an artist. Fortunately here in New York we have lots of talented artists with all different styles. I decided I would be more comfortable with a female artist since getting a tattoo is sort of an intimate experience and I wanted to be as calm as possible. I also wanted an artist that had a sort of "illustration-y" kind of style. I hate all those gothic devils and goblins like tattoos, and I also didn't want an artist who would have thought my design was kinda girly (it is, I admit it, what other kind would I get really?). It was this image, along with a number of positive reviews I read on the internet, that made me decide to see Joy Rumore at 1228 Tattoo on Havemeyer street:

Totally amazing. And the rest of her portfolio is great too. A couple of weeks ago I went down to her shop to consult with her about the tattoo. I brought in some images that I had found on the net (thanks, Google images!) and a rough idea of what I wanted. I put down a $50 deposit for the artwork and we made an appointment for Friday night the 27th.

And last night we made it permanent. Megan came with me as moral support (thanks Megan you are the best!). The tattoo took about an hour. After going over her drawing and fiddling with the stencil, I lay down in her chair on my side and she went to work. The first 15 minutes were the hardest. Part of this had to be the group of people hanging out in the shop and trying to talk to Joy while she was working on me which I found very distracting. She didn't, but it made it hard to try to calm down and distract myself from the pain. After they left it got easier. I stopped breathing so deeply and started chatting to Joy. She has herniated discs in her back so we talked about that a lot. Its a very hard career to have when you have back problems. Her problem seems to be a lot worse than mine and the surgery that she may have in the future a lot more serious. Once we got to talking I calmed down a lot and the tattoo went more quickly. I'm not sure I could have sat there for much more than an hour (my other foot completely fell asleep and I got drenched in sweat from being nervous) but it was totally not as bad as I thought it would be.

guess who joined the club

Ta da! The red part is not red shading but a bit of blood that will eventually go away. I am still totally sore and a little in shock but I am so happy with how it turned out and thankful to Joy for getting what I wanted to do.


Anonymous said...

Love it!
Also, when I saw this post in my google reader, it was just below this post:
and I think that means it was meant to be! xx

Rachel said...

haha random!

Lucy said...

Hehe wow it rele does match carries umbrella (wishwishwish)! (im lucy who told her about the brolly!!)
Its very pretty, i'd love that printed on letter paper or something! sell it hehe!