March 7th, 2012

flying high

Tattoo or not tattoo?

So this is sort of a wool gathering post where I try to figure out what the hell I want to do.

Backstory: I really would like to get a tattoo on my back (left shoulder, in particualar) in a painted style similar to Amanda Wachob's.  I even briefly considered going to New York and spending $350 an hour for one of her pieces, but the timing and money didn't work before the wedding, especially since she books out six months.   As I've been working on the wedding, I've winnowed down the idea of the tattoo to a sort of stylized peacock feather similar to this bird, but you know, peacock.  If you check out my Pinterest on this subject, you'll see several peacock feathers, including a tattooed one by Ms. Wachob, above, that I really think would look cool.  I've really had a nice time playing with the peacock colors in my decor, and the diy stuff has been downright enjoyable.  I'd like to remember this happy time.

So I was in the studio on Friday getting the finishing touches done on my dog Crianza's memorial piece, (I have to differentiate because I have one for my dog Relampago, too) and I pulled up the images on my Pinterest and asked my tattoo artist if a painted style tattoo was something she could do.  I've seen her do some pretty awesome work with painted styles (also this). She took one look and said, "Oooh, painted style. I love doing painted style tattoos."  I said something about not being sure if I'd be able to do it before the wedding, with budgeting, but she said depending on the size, it could probably be done for a fairly reasonable price.  I got the impression that they don't take as long to do because they don't quite have the intricate line work that a lot of other tattoos require. It's a lot more shading and blending than it is drawing.

I am 95 percent certain that I will get this tattoo. The question is whether I'll get it before or after the wedding.

So I'm six weeks out from the wedding, and I have to make a decision pretty soon, so I can heal before the wedding if I get it.  It usually takes me about two weeks to heal from tattoos, so I do have some time (assuming that my tattoo artist also has time).

The factors:

  • Given where I want to put it, it will most definitely be visible with my wedding dress.  None of my other tattoos are visible with almost any clothing aside from short shorts or bathing suits (which I don't generally wear).  This is sort of by design, given that I'm a lawyer in fairly conservative organization.   I don't mind that this particular tattoo will be visible with some clothing, because it definitely won't be with most of the stuff I wear at work.   But I'm a little self-conscious about debuting my first visible tattoo on my wedding day.  Will focus be on the tattoo instead of me?

  • My fiance is pretty covered with tattoos--a good hunk of them skulls--and he is getting his forearm covered in fire in two weeks.  On our wedding day, his sleeves will be rolled up, and his ink will be out.  I like that he's getting ink for the wedding but not necessarily for me.  I like that he's expressing himself as himself.    I sorta would like to do the same....?

  • My parents aren't exactly pro-tattoo.  My parents have seen all of my tattoos. They're not exactly thrilled, but they also know that there's not much they can do about them. My sister has a potato and a chicken drumstick on her right bicep, and they've more or less accepted those, but my sister is also the quirky one that lives in San Francisco and dyes her hair black.  There was a lot of drama early on in our engagement with my parents, and I didn't speak to them for nearly three months.  Things appear to be fine now, but I'd like to avoid any additional drama as we head down the home stretch.  Would this be something that sends my parents over the edge?

  • My dress isn't here yet, and I don't quite know how things will fall on my back. I also don't know exactly how the colors are going to go. I have ordered a Wai-Ching bliss dress dip dyed in teal blue, but I have asked for straps instead of a halter.  If I'm going to do this, I might as well make sure that people can see it and that it goes with the dress.  But I'm not exactly sure where on my back the straps will go or how thick they are.   I ordered the dress about 10 weeks ago, so I imagine it should be ready pretty soon. How soon?  Also, I've lost about 15 pounds since I ordered the dress, so I'm certain it will need alternations, which may move the straps.   I probably could guess at the placement, but the color would be tricky to match without actually seeing it. I'm less interested in matching than I am in not clashing.

So I guess I'm sort of weighing towards getting it, but with a little hesitation.  Is that good?  My fist tattoo took me five years to plan out. The second, about the same.  The third was about six months, but really about two weeks because my original plan didn't work and the whole thing was redone.  This has been in the back of my head for awhile, but the reality of doing it didn't really sink in until I talked to my artist on Friday. I've never regretted a tattoo, and I trust my artist to do a really good job.  If I get it before the wedding, I'd be for the wedding, so I should probably get in touch with Chrissy and find out if she can send a picture of the color and a general idea of what the straps are like....