Okay, let's try a slightly more coherent entry, shall we?
Between my POS laptop freezing every few minutes and the fact I was watching TV while trying to blog last night, I feel like I made about as much sense as a hummingbird on cocaine. So let's rewind and try the whole thing again. *hits rewind button*
I had my consult with Russ last night, which turned into a totally different experience than I'd anticipated. As expected, he's a super nice guy. He was talking to someone when I arrived, but he didn't make me wait long. I began to explain my idea and he didn't seem that into it. He explained that if I ever decide to get my whole back tattooed, it might be better if it was something more cohesive as opposed to a mish mash of images. He showed me a picture in Prick (our local tattoo and piercing "lifestyle" rag) of a girl's back. Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was looking at. It was way too busy and just didn't make any sense. He said if I really wanted it, he could do it, but it was his professional opinion that I should either leave my back alone or save it for something much bigger and epic. So that led me to talk about my other ideas and through my babbling, I came to the puppet idea. I told him I'd contacted Malia about it, but hadn't heard back. He asked why I hadn't asked him. I told him if he thought he could get into it, as the idea of the Mucha was pretty much trashed, I was open to it as well. At that point, he told me to grab my stuff and "come on back".
I explained my vision as best I could and he helped me refine it a bit. First of all, he suggested she be larger than my original vision and take advantage of the natural articulation of my elbow. I could actually make her move when I moved my arm. I was intrigued and he began to sketch on my arm in Sharpie. It took a few rounds, but he finally found a basic outline that he was happy with. He also had me pose in a very awkward 4th position to see how it looked in 3D. He said he'd never done a puppet tattoo and that overall, they're pretty uncommon. I've been trying to search for puppet tattoos and haven't really found much. So apparently I've finally come up with an original tattoo idea. Go me!
From there, he transferred the sketch off my arm using his super secret technique, and made a few notes on it. We set up time for March 13 (a Friday...spooky) and I put down my deposit. I am concerned about his hourly rate, as I mentioned. I probably looked like a deer in headlights when he told me how much he charges. It's totally reasonable for the work you're getting and talent like his doesn't just grow on trees. However, I may have to call him closer to time and say "look, I can only pay you for about 2-2.5 hours". I don't think that's being rude or disrespectful of his pricing. If anything, I think it's being mature and up front with him. I really want to do this, but I don't want to be like "Oh by the way, I can't pay you for a 4 hour sitting". As I also mentioned previously, he said he only charges for actual tattooing time. If he's just sketching or we're taking a break or doing dance of the 7 veils or something that doesn't involve a needle in my skin, he doesn't charge. He also said he works pretty fast. So we could probably get a good bit done in 2-2.5 hours. Also, he wouldn't schedule any further sessions until a month or so later. By then, I'll probably have my tax return check in, so that will finance the rest of it with minimal stress on me. He actually wanted to start earlier, but I told him I wanted to get my peacock healed before I started another epic piece. Unfortunately Mark won't get to watch this session because it's on a Friday, but Russ said I should swing by and show him when we finish whatever we finish. Though after a quick number crunch, I think I might be able to afford 3 hours if I stick to my budget (which I haven't been doing, though some of it was beyond my control).
A few funny moments...
He called me "Em" at some point and he was like "I'm sorry, I'm nicknaming you and we just met half an hour ago". I told him it was fine and that people rarely call me by my given name and I've trained myself to respond to any variant of my full name. I think only Mark, Shane, and people at work call me Emily on a regular basis. Heck, even my manager calls me Em or M&M half the time.
He also couldn't get the Sharpie off my arm. He used a flesh color and brown and the brown absolutely refused to come off, even when he poured alcohol the paper towel and scrubbed my arm. He apologized profusely and it told him it was no big deal. When I got home I took some oil based make up remover to it and that got the worst of it off. Of course, my arm was sore from all the contorting it took to get it all off. I find myself regularly manhandled by tattooists. :)
So I think that made more sense and I hope gave a better overview of my latest adventure to becoming a true "collector". My parents are going to flip their shit, but at this point, there isn't much I can do about that.
Edit: I just checked Russ' site and he said he's willing to work with "limited budgets", just let him know in advance. So I guess I'll call a few days before and let him know the exact amount of time I can afford. That's certainly a relief. :)