Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old School Rose Experience

A little backstory first...

There's another tattoo shop that I've been stalking for a while. I believe I've mentioned them in here before. I found them on Yelp and they had tons of really positive reviews. They're the shop that does the Tribute to Tradition on the 4th of July among other things. Russ (the owner) opened the shop about 2 years ago. I figured it couldn't have been long because I went to college less than a mile away and if there was a tattoo shop within walking distance, I would've known about it. Anyway, Russ' big thing is to cater to the "collectors" in the tattoo world. As a result, he has a ton of visiting artists come through the shop. I browsed their portfolios and never really connected to any of them except Russ. Finally, I found one I liked. On impulse, I called the shop the day he arrived for a consult. I wasn't really sure what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to be tattooed by Dustin. I decided on something simple that suited my tastes, an old school inspired rose on the back of my left upper arm right above my elbow. Dustin was up for it and we set the time for yesterday (Saturday) afternoon.

I arrived at about 1:30 and the shop was pretty quiet. Dustin came out and introduced himself. He was sporting a handlebar mustache and a prominent Wisconsin accent. I knew things were going to work out just fine. He showed me the sketch, matched it to my arm, and went back to get started. I went through the usual ritual of paperwork and checking ID. We went back to the tattooing room and he put the stencil on. It was bigger than I'd envisioned but still great placement. Jason (one of the other tattooists) called it weird, but it suits me just fine. Once he got started, I was glad I'd decided against a matching set. He was incredibly meticulous and it took a total of 2.5 hours for just the one. I even impressed the two other guys being tattooed. In the time it took Dustin just to work on me, they were both almost done.

We talked about all manner of things including the differences between weather in Georgia and Wisconsin, our families, rednecks, and various trends in the tattooing world. He was a really cool guy and I liked him a lot. It almost makes me a bit sad that he'll be headed back north and I may or may not see him again. I think I'm going to swing by on Thursday and let him check up on me which brings me to...

My antibiotics are attacking the new tattoo. As Shane predicted, they're pretty vicious. My left upper arm is swollen and sore. I've been taking Advil like it's my job and I'm in the process of icing it to take away some of the heat and swelling. It's already trying to scab. I'm upset, but not hugely concerned. I've had tattoos scab really badly before and turn out just fine. Britney and Christina were scabby as hell and turned out totally fine. They're maybe not as vibrant as I'd like, but still look good. So I figure if I keep the rose moist and clean, it should be okay. I've come out on top of scabbing before and I can do it again.

I do have a picture, but I'm afraid it's not a very good one. Dustin took several for his portfolio (yay!) and I had his permission to take them when he posted them. So for those who are curious, here's the one I do have:


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