Part 1 HERE
Part 2 HERE
Number 9: I always liked the idea of having a pin-up tattoo, but wanted to incorporate my wife into it somehow. So I simply found a pin-up photo I liked and substituted Bunny’s face. Unfortunately, when dealing with facial features, it’s hard to represent what you’re trying to convey on a tattoo of the size I chose. Now, if I had gotten a pin-up tattoo covering my entire back, some of the smaller idiosyncrasies of Bunny’s face would make it clearer who I was trying to represent… but the artist who I chose to accept the challenge of permanently inking my wife’s face on the body of a pin-up did an acceptable job.
After dealing with the dragon lady, her mammoth husband and their fantastic double-wide trailer in getting my last name tattooed on the back of my arm… I decided to go elsewhere to get this more intricate tattoo. I came across this artist in the Paseo district of Oklahoma City who came with a fairly impressive resume known as “Rodney”.
He is probably the most slow-moving-yet-genuinely-interested-in-the-details artist I’ve ever gone to. It took him forever to complete the tattoo and the end result I felt was somewhat depleted by the aspect he was TOO careful in making it look real. The skin colored ink was exactly that: the color of my skin. So… with a tattoo of a girl in lingerie it looked like some red stockings, a teddy and some eyeballs. It wasn’t until my follow-up appointment that I convinced him to outline the body parts that were almost the same color as my skin.
If I had it to do over again, I would probably go with something a little more cartoonish that way the lines in her face would be a little more defined and so much detail wouldn’t have been spent making it look “real” as opposed to looking sharp and having it “jump” off my arm.
Tattoo before the outline was done around the flesh tone…
… and the tattoo after the outlining…
Total cost: $350
Number 10: I went back to the same artist for this one despite my concerns with the way the pin-up had turned out and I was glad I did.
Some artists deal better with certain bits of art over others and when it came to this tattoo, Rodney did not disappoint. The lines are harder, the colors are brighter, there’s not as much shadowing and the tattoo does indeed “jump” of my arm.
I always had a fascination with “Mom” tattoos. People have been giving props to their mom’s for years with tattoos and I thought my mother should be so honored. I decided to stray away from the typical heart that says “mom” on it with an arrow through the heart. But rather, have “mom” on a heart with wings on the heart… because my mom is indeed… an angel. Probably a saint in fact.
I added “dad” on a hammer because my father has worked by the sweat of his brow for everything in his life, built our childhood home and dedicated 35 years of his life to an oil company from which he is now retired. Aside from the work aspect… he is also a tireless man, hell-bent on having things his way and tries to control everything he’s involved with. I thought a hammer best represented him.
When Rodney was done with this especially tender area to get a tattoo, I was extremely pleased… elated in fact. It’s positioned on my arm perfectly and is completely symmetrical.
My mother didn’t know what to think.
Total cost: $250
Tattoos 11-16: Since I probably won’t be able to get an arm sleeve anytime soon due to the restraints most work environments put on you to keep tattoos covered… I decided I would begin the long and arduous process of getting a leg sleeve.
I’m a big fan of the Marvel superhero movies (Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc.) and started to become interested in the artwork of these characters. Despite not having a history behind any other these superheroes, I decided that having the coolest characters represented in my leg sleeve would make one damn cool tattoo.
Unfortunately, Rodney moved so I was left without an artist once again. Believe it or not, tattooing finally got completely legalized in Oklahoma around this time (Ridiculous? I know.) so I found a guy through a heavily tattooed friend of mine from the gym. His name was Curtis and he gladly accepted this challenge because a full leg sleeve means big money over a length of time since it takes a while and depends on the recipients’ cash flow.
I went with some of my more favorite characters and some that would translate the best into a tattoo. I finalized the first six as Spiderman, Human Torch, Gambit, Ms. Marvel, Nightcrawler and Emma Frost.
This sleeve is still a work in progress. Currently I number these tattoos as numbers “11-16” when in fact it will eventually all be “one” tattoo because once all the characters are complete… a background will blend them all together. While I have all my current characters completely finished I plan on getting at least two more superheroes (probably Hulk and Wolverine… maybe Iron Man) before beginning the background which will more than likely be a burning city.
Spiderman and Nightcrawler before color…
Spiderman after getting colored…
… and Nightcrawler after getting colored.
Gambit before coloring…
Gambit after coloring (hurt like a beeeeooottcch!!).
Ms. Marvel before color…
Ms. Marvel after color…
Emma Frost before color…
… and Emma Frost after color. Just so you know… this is Bunny’s least favorite tattoo.
But when you look at the stricking similarity between what I was going for and what he put on my knee… you have to admit he did good work.
Finally the Human Torch… I unfortunately don’t have a pre-color picture of him. He is really probably my favorite just because of how brilliant the colors are.
Total running cost to date: $1500
More recently, when Daddy’s Little Girl was born, I deviated from my superhero tattoos, dipped into the savings and shelled out $260 on her name over my heart. That would be tattoo number 17.
Now you know Daddy’s Little Girl’s real name… I’ll have to kill you now…
As having the “sickness” to believe that the ultimate form of respect is to get a symbol of someone close to you forever tattooed on yourself… it was the utmost logical thing to do in my mind. I didn’t give it a second thought. I even placed it a little closer to my collarbone so I’d have room to place more names under it… when that time comes.
Total running cost of all tattoos: $2900 which is equal to a nice 55” television or a new matching sofa and loveseat or about 1850 cans of AMP Energy Drink… however you wanna look at it.
I don’t spend money on a lot of things… but spending money set aside for myself usually involves getting myself bludgeoned with a tiny needle millions of times until the end result is something permanently placed into my epidermis.
So… that’s all my tattoos. They won’t be my last (sorry mom!). If there’s one thing I can tell you, don’t believe that you’re ever going to get “just one”… because it’s awfully hard to stop.
Happy tattooing folks!