Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Having spent months in research and reflection, I have finally booked in for my ship tattoo, 3 full day sessions to start with. The design has evolved from where it was some months ago and will probably change a little more before the first sitting. More to the point, I am going to a new tattooist to have the work done.  A couple of my friends have been tattooed by the guy who will become my new artist and his work is incredible but the decision did cause more than a little conflict.

 A number of people that I know have travelled interstate on a number of occasions to be tattooed by the same artist. The relationship that you build with your tattooist is an odd one, not something that you can really explain to someone who has never been tattooed, not one that all people who are tattooed experience.

Its not like you automatically become best friends and as with any person you meet, you won't necessarily click with your tattoo artist, I didn't with my first one, but when you do you start recommending them to anyone who is in the market for new ink, particularly first timers going to anyone else would be cheating.

After a few sittings with a tattoo artist you  click with, the idea of going to someone else feels like a breach of the silent and largely non-existent treaty that you have made  with each other (only you are aware of this). Its like a feeling of loyalty and there is some comfort in the knowledge that this person is already aware of the way that your body and skin reacts to tattooing, different people handle it differently, some people can sit for 8 hours while others can sit for only one or two, its not a reflection of anything other than different bodies ability to withstand the trauma of tattooing. When you find someone who comes to not only understand your skin but adjusts their usual tattooing style to suit it, going somewhere else seems alien.

To have different tattooists work on your body is like hanging paintings from different artists in your house. Not only is it fine, its good. Different artists are capable of presenting the same idea in a plethora of different ways and you'll be hard pressed to find any tattoo artist who has been inked exclusively by one artist. As with all things, you find that sometimes one option is more suitable than the other. The same is true for tattoo artists.

In conclusion, it isn't cheating. Try that new artist. The old one isn't going to take you for half your assets if he finds out about your indiscretion.

Although you may may be riddled with such guilt that you end up getting two more from him. Just to make up for it.
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