Thursday, September 6, 2012

M-Dot Tattoo Investigation

I decided I needed to spend today seeing how the other side lives. I spent an eye opening afternoon visiting two local tattoo parlors. Let's just say it was very interesting to say the least.

I've never thought I'd be interested in getting a tattoo...unless it was an extreme circumstance. For instance, my sister, Sus, has a tattoo with the Star of David on the inside of her ankle which represents her son, David, who died of a massive heart attack in 2001 at the age of 27. That I can understand.

What I don't understand is the gentleman at the front desk of one of the tattoo parlors who had his entire arm tattooed black from his shoulder to his knuckles. I am trying not to judge, but what does that express? Oh well, it's not my concern and he really was a very friendly, informative young man if you could get past the ear lobes which hung down to his chin, the plug piercings in his upper lip and the 5 hoops in his nose. But again....I am not judging. I just don't understand. Call me old? OK fine. I'm old. Old-fashioned.

BUT - here I am. Discussing the idea of permanently altering my body in some fashion. I do have some reservations. I tend to get bored very quickly. I mean I don't keep my hairstyle the same for more than 2 appointments let alone permanently inking my body. So why do it?

As I emailed a friend earlier today, I've poured myself into this for 8+ months. I had an epic fail in the Gateway Olympic Triathlon swim. I suffered through 103 degree weather and a bad nutrition plan during a training ride in L'ville. All of the lessons, all of the training, all of the blood, sweat and tears.....and there was plenty of each.... helped me prepare for a wonderful day that I don't ever want to forget.
American Inkwell, Pekin, IL
So I took my basic tattoo design to visit two parlors which were both highly recommended. Because I am a bit of a nervous ninny, I did ask my dear friend, Gene, aka The Legend, to go with me. I just wanted someone else to remind me to ask the right questions and make sure I got the answers I needed to hear. Luckily, Gene was available to go with me to American Inkwell in Pekin.

I received some really good feedback from one of the tattoo artists at American Inkwell. We discussed how to alter my tattoo design into reality. I realize I know nothing about the techniques involved in creating body art. So I knew something was going to need to change. Gene asked about getting a proof before they permanently changed my body and, of course, they said they would sit down with me and make sure I was happy with the final design before starting. As luck would have it, they also had an opening for next Friday, September 14th. Eeekkk!!! However, I need to see if I can get a sub for my Friday Zumba class before taking the appointment. So I held off for now.

Gene & I met his wife, Teri, for lunch and discussed how interesting the people at the tattoo parlor were. I mean how often do you see someone with white ink in the shape of a sword on their forehead? After lunch, I traveled to Peoria by myself to investigate Freedom Ink. I met with tattoo artist, Frank, who looked at my design and expressed some concerns over the details of the fleur de lis getting lost since it wasn't going to be a very large tattoo. Hmm, maybe I should just get it over my entire back. Ha, hell no. Not happening. Frank recommended going with a straight M-dot and keeping it simple. Not only would it eliminate the concern over the details, but also keep the focus on the Ironman logo. Frank said his favorite tattoos from the wide selection he had on his own body were the simple ones.

Yah, I get that, but really? A plain M-dot? Not super excited about spending an hour and $200 for a plain M-dot.

So now I am searching for a 3rd opinion. My nephew recommended a tattoo artist from Bloomington. I may drive over there tomorrow or maybe just give them a call and see if I can email them a copy of my design. I don't want the fleur de lis to just look like a blob for sure, but I felt as if Frank could have given me a few more suggestions on how to incorporate the pieces that I feel are important.

So more research is required, but again, I'm not in a hurry. If I'm permanently changing my body, I want to know exactly what I'm getting into.

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