Saturday, October 31, 2009
When I got home last night I re-read the whole TLC website, looked at everyone's tattoos. Found my mistakes and want to go back and fix them. The butterfly needs a little more black on the right bottom. The Screamer needs more purple, but that's understandable. I'd certainly never touch her again. I found I really like the devil's head with the flames I did the first week. I'd suggest some shading, some color in the drawing the Fainter came in with. There's a little mistake (I missed the orange under the robin's wing) in the wedding piece. Like the tree but could have done the coils more delicately. The minister's Kathy has a clunky A. Would like to dude up the old eyeball. The cover up on Jim worked okay but still hate the subject.
Would also like to fix up my own leaves a little bit. Maybe I'll try it when I get my supplies, which I will work on ordering tomorrow. Need to bathe Eli today. His ears are all oily from the medication. The house is a wreck from two weeks of neglect. And, I want to start drawing, subscribe to a couple of mags. Then, finish The Last Child and psych myself up to become a library person again.
Friday, October 30, 2009
We had a motivational speaker - Lisa, giving us the Final Pep Talk before giving us our "diplomas". I will probably have to call her for another injection of pep when I get complacent. Matt arrived in disguise, complete with glowing cigarette and gorgeous hair. Michael and John were anxious to get to work (on each other). Sandy had a new baby picture. We women were ready to buckle down and work. I had fun putting Diane's wedding date on her back with two flaming hearts and a robin. Maria put a duplicate on her partner's back. Sweet Maria carefully compared our colors to make sure we worked alike. I never thought of it.
Lunch was very good pizza and a root beer. Not many afternoon tattoos. Did a final clean up; I perfected the foot floor mop. John put the leaves that I had drawn on my hearts. I complimented John on his talent, his business acumen and his skills.
Everyone has done such a wonderful job. Sandy got his fingers tattooed with Love Life. John got mucho revenge on Michael with a excruciating piece on his neck - Lady Liberty and the Twin Towers. Michael was dying while the rest of us were kind of chuckling over his moans and groans, but only because he seems so determined to cover his whole self with ink, all black, of course, no color.
Maria's dad drove ten hours from Michigan to pick her up. She was the first to leave, reluctantly, shedding a few tears, for the ride home. John is driving to Ohio in the morning. Michael and Sandy are being picked up and Maria will be on a ten o'clock train. I am so glad to have gotten to know all of them, all special in their own unique way. I think we all loved it and nobody made me feel like the little old lady.
I can't believe it's over. I had so much friggin' fun. If I never do another tattoo, it was worth it just to go to tattoo school. I feel like a different woman than I was two weeks ago. I started out a 62-year-old poetry-writing grandmother who works in a library and I entered a whole new world. Goodbye, Jeff, and all.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Lauren came to the studio with me today and we put Eeyore on her leg. He looks like he has had a few because I goofed his eye up. Sorry, Laur. I felt awful. Not a great testimonial for the day before "graduation". The rest of him turned out good. She was entertained by meeting the tattoo crew. Michael and John were at it again, with John the victim. See picture.
Michael took his turn being tortured again with a koi on his hand. I suggested he stick his poor hands into the freezer for a few minutes. They have been taking a beating the last two days. The best news is that John is going to rip off his shirt tomorrow and sing us a chorus of How Great Thou Art, his and my favorite hymn.
Zach and Gabby stopped over, but it was pretty mobbed and they didn't stay long. We did find a good arrowhead which I will make into a bolo for him.
I drove L home at lunchtime and came back to do a really ugly piece that looked like a bad chunk of the Sistine Chapel on a guy named Jim. I'm not even posting the photo.
At ten to five, Mia whipped out the Chinese character for beauty on Maria's ankle. She will do one for me tomorrow. I will call Matt to have him put that orangy rose on my calf. I would like someone to dude up a few leaves on my arm if we have time.
I am having some thoughts about approaching a hair salon to rent me some space in the spring. Just a small spot I could drop in and out of, work by appointment. Here in V'ville would be nice, maybe a couple of days or nights a week, depending on how the winter goes. I'll get busy this weekend and start ordering supplies.
I cannot believe tomorrow is the end.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Lisa talked publicity this morning. Lots of good idea, recommended a good book, Guerilla Publicity, that I will get. Need new business cards. Saw some great samples.
See Chico's Kiss below.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
John and Michael were plotting today, resulting in an application of SELF MADE to Michael's fingers. Oooh, hurt. We've been coin tossing for designs. I beat out Maria for a great tree, which took me four hours to finish. A nice woman named Lee talked about her husband problems
while I was putting it on her calf. It looked good on her, I was happy, but photograph shows up the flaws. I could have worked longer touching it up. All those coils were confusing, (Lisa helped) but my magnum work is getting better and I found I like using the 3 liner. I would rather be delicate and having to widen lines than make mistakes with fat lines. Here it is:
We have taken the prize for the quietest class Lisa has ever had. Everyone is so pleasant and funny, and, yes, quiet. Maria tells me they went to the SUNY art gallery over the weekend. No bowling. I took a picture of Michael's kiss, but didn't get Chico's yet.
Matt talked about shop ambience this morn. I am envisioning mine. Sunny. It must be sunny. Female friendly. Plants and paintings. Lots of color. I wouldn't be comfortable in any of the existing shops I know of. And, I don't ever want to work for someone else. After 62 years of practice, I like making my own rules. I don't have money to redo this house to meet the health department regs, so I am puzzling what the best step would be. There is just no room here, even for supplies. After school is over, I must be able to keep in practice.
I am enjoying conversations at school. Fodder for a book.
Monday, October 26, 2009
...was not nearly long enough to do all the things that I had planned. It didn't help that I was dreaming about tattooing. Waking or sleeping, it was on my mind. Spent most of Saturday on this blog, then crammed laundry, groceries, and eating into Sunday. Didn't even take time to read the newspapers. Or bathe Eli who hides under the bed everytime I run the water in the sink. Feel worst about not working on all the drawings I have going on in my head. I think I could make great flash and I want to give it a try. Stayed up for Brothers & Sisters last night, then finished my Michael Connelly book, hated to waste time sleeping.
Cold, sunny Monday morning, coffee at Stewart's, then straight on to Neverland. The Lost Boys, Chico and Michael, arrived with wonderful kisses on their throats. Matt had done a gorgeous color portrait on John's leg. Mia found a fantastic red and black piece she wants Lisa to do on her. Said she got to go to Crossgates, and some of them tangled with a nasty waitress at the local pub over the weekend. Oh, yeah, Sandy had taken his cornrows out, banded his hair back like a hydrangea bush on the back of his head. I loved it - he has a huge amount of hair.
That reminds me, a very cute blonde came in today with pink hair extensions, also cute. Michael grabbed her up and fixed up the shamrocks behind her ear. Michael has been grabbing every piece that he can. The boy is a tattoo maniac. And he is good. He did a couple of repairs today that were excellent. And - he got to do a boob. Maria wasn't feeling well and left early. The rest of us got more boring stuff. I started out lousing up my first piece with ugly fat lines, but I recovered as I warmed up and by the afternoon, voila! My masterpiece!
I am so happy with this. 99% my own. Good lines, good color. Feeling much better.
Got all my weekend questions answered when Matt went over the machine details. And some interesting insights on pain from Lisa. Some people like it.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thank God for Matt. When I started my second tattoo it was going for 3 p.m. and I would have been there until 10 if he hadn't stepped in and cleaned me up when I wiped away half my pattern with the green soap. It was a fairly decent skull tat with flames which would allow me to work with the magnum (blending needles). The face however was complicated and that's the portion I obliterated. Basically, I ended up doing part of the outline and the flames. I'll include it here so you can see that it turned out okay (see above). Marshall was an older guy, quiet and patient.
I put a funny little spiked turtle on Ben in the morning. Benny is a regular, who turned out to be a real help to me. He could tell me when I had the needle at the right depth and pressure and speed. I am learning how to gauge my work by the sound of the machine (btw, never embarrass Lisa by calling it a gun - pros use "machines"). Tried out the rotary machine and the magnum.
I managed to stop at the Dunkin' this a.m. and got good coffee and brought donuts to school. Dropping off and picking up Lauren is getting bothersome and tonight Tristan asked me to drive him to Teen Night at the high school, so it was a long day. Tom called right at 5 o'clock so while I was waiting (thanks to Matt) for the others to finish up I caught up on his life story. Not a good week with Tara. No, I did not make it to poetry last night and didn't miss it. The library and the literary world are eons out of my sphere right now. I need this weekend to work on this blog, laundry, groceries, Eli time and reading. I have a monster stack of books I have not looked at.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Also, people are annoying me. Already. Jen who wanted butterflies on her foot: "It's awful hot in here, isn't it? Whew, let me take this shirt off. I gotta stand up fer a minute. This is bad. This really really hurts. This stool hurts my butt, too. Don'cha have cushions for these stools? This stool really hurts my butt. Oooh, ouch, close to the bone there. God, this hurts. If I had known how much this was going to hurt...." Well, duh.
Even worse, there was Nick: "That's okay, hon, I don't care if you hurt me. Don't you worry about hurting me. Do you see that white spot? I think I see a tiny white spot there. You'll have to go back over that spot near the line. Anytime you wanna stop, hon, I wouldn't mind a cigarette break. Don't worry, you're doing a great job, Barb." Hon? Hon? I probably had my first grandchild before he was born. I wanted to smack him. And I wanted a cigarette break, too. Nick took my business card. Please don't call me, Nick.
Lisa dragged out the chart to show us that Thursdays are not smiley face days. Next week: all smiles. Yeah.
Fell asleep on a wet head last night for quite a hair disaster this morning. $170 vet visit for Eli before I even went to work. I wanted to stab Jen's foot into the stool and duct tape Nick's mouth shut. Peanut butter and jelly in the car for lunch. Everyone there had problems. Work went very slowly, didn't leave until 5:30, then had to go back out to pick up Lauren at work. Drove aimlessly around Atria, washed two days' dishes, ate Stouffer's mac and cheese. Should have gone to bed early but here I am, watching a repeat of Barack on Letterman.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tristan loves the skull tattoo. He was very impressed when he saw my photo of it. I told him that he can't be tattooed until he's 18, so he wanted to know if there was a law about him being the tattooer; I could teach him and he'd open his own shop. Tomorrow we're supposed to get our own machines. T-rex will be very impressed, I'm sure.
Brainless Tim called in the middle of everything to see if I was going to poetry tomorrow night. Of course I didn't answer the call. Poetry is in a different universe than where I am right now. The only constant is how annoying Tim can be.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
His name was Gary and he has a big orange Buddha on his big pinkish belly. There is not much free space left on his considerable body, but he was a friendly soul. After assuring me that he was wearing shorts, he eagerly dropped his pants to show me his leg tats. I think he meant that they were boxers, not shorts, 'cause they were pretty colorful, but I didn't look too closely. I did look closely at a portrait of Willie Nelson that Gary was warming under his right armpit. It was truly wonderful and done by our very own Matt. I forgot to tell you about Matt, who is the other instructor. He is cute as a bug and reminds me of my nephew Shawn. He is also an amazing artist.
The tattooing part is more complicated than I anticipated. Lisa and Matt share the teaching. and they are both great. The sterilization and disinfecting procedures are very strict. Those old air borne/blood borne pathogens are deadly. It takes a while to set up and clean up. Mennon deodorant, shaving, green soap. Setting the machines with the correct needles. I'll have to get faster. And remember, NEVER to leave my cubicle with dirty gloves. Anyway, after a morning of class and lunch at Wendy's again, we all got our first victim. My victim Gary, for some strange reason, wanted to add a hideous little green frog to the melee already crowding his arms. It was a little scary to start, but Gary was very good natured. I'm gonna have a hard time hurting people. That was a really stupid frog picture. I included the finished product in the collage at the bottom of this page.
I'm thrilled. If someone gets good at this, they can make a ton of money. Lisa will post all our work every afternoon. Google Tattoo Learning Center to see pictures of all of us and our tattoos. In the group photo, I am hiding behind the tall guy with the corn rows. That's Sandy, who can't possibly be really named Sandy, but I haven't had a chance to ask him why he has that implausible name.
Checked out Jody Bergsma and others online tonight. I like many of Bergsma's drawings, but, boy, there is a ton of bad flash out there.
I think I really like this.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The day started out with a frosty windshield and not enough coffee, but only about twelve miles of back roads and little traffic was a bonus. The big purple 1301 sign made the Tattoo Learning Center easy to spot and it had lots of parking. In fact, I was the first one there except for Jeff, a laid back guy who plays the rugged biker receptionist and jack-of-all-trades.
Lisa, in charge of all things tattoo and business, collected kids at the house in her big yellow truck: John, Michael, Sandy, Mia and Maria. We have a Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, Yonkers and a Joisey. And me. Nobody looked at me strangely. I was dressed okay in black and jeans. (Black is always reliable.) We sat in our assigned cubicles, did our paperwork, and received our big white binders full of info. I am sitting between Mia and Michael. Mia is beautiful, the other older student (in her late 40's, I'm guessing, because she has a 25-year-old son). Michael on the other hand is a ripe old nineteen and has already tattooed his own arms very successfully without instruction. John and Sandy are in their twenties, John a solid-looking marketing man who seems to have done lots of research on tattooing. Sandy is a tall, thin new daddy with a baby named Samantha in New Jersey and a head full of cornrows. Maria, who has her hair cropped like my Amy's, at nineteen has already run her own coffeeshop for three years. Maria and Sandy and Michael are very quiet, but they all have beautiful smiles.
This leaves me to be the talkative one, which is okay because I already know and love Lisa and don't mind asking questions, of which I will have many. The pattern of the day is set up for nine o'clock arrival, screwing around until 9:30, then morning instruction (all day on Monday) and then lunch and real tattooing until 5 or, as it turns out, whenever we get done. The first two days TLC buys lunch at Wendy's, then we are on our own, as we won't all have the same schedule, depending on how the tattooing goes.
Monday was pretty much of a brain cram. Oh, yeah, we all got TLC t-shirts. Black, of course.