My New Foot Tattoo
I'm in pain.
Yes, we know tattoos hurt. It's what gives the art much of its badassness. I used to think that the pain was absolutely necessary to be part of the tattoo tribe. That is, until I got my feet tattooed and all I wanted was a Vicodin. [I didn't get one.] There was a time when I would've said tattooing my ribs had to be the worst, but now I know that my freshly tattooed foot--all swollen and throbbing (and not in a good way)-- wins for the most suckage.
But I'll stop my whining here and give you the lowdown on my new pretty tootsie.
Yesterday, I was at Tattoo Culture in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where Dan DiMattia works as a guest artist when he's in town, away from his Liege, Belgium studio. Dan has done most of my tattoo work: my sleeves, backpiece, ribs, stomach, and small hand tattoo.
In advance of my appointment, I sent Dan an email with images of my other foot tattoo by Jacqueline Spoerle--which you can read about here--and told him I wanted a floral design as well with a shape symmetrical to the other. That's all I said.
When I got to Tattoo Culture, he had a bunch of designs he drew up for me to choose from for the top of my foot; I picked my fave and then he freehanded the side up by my ankle and added a few extra touches all around. Perfecto.
Now the hard part.
The needles went it, the endorphins kicked, and all was cool for a hot minute until my foot then wanted to twitch and do a little dance. I kept it steady but it caused my body to tense up, so it took a while to relax and get into the shop banter. And there was plenty of it.
Loic from France is also guesting at the shop along with Noon--two of my absolutely favorite artists of the French Avante Garde/Art Brut style. The same way he needles humor into his tattoos, Loic offered comic relief. Or maybe it was just easy to make fun of him. Or maybe it was easy to make fun of both he and his client, a young girl who wanted a French sentence on her wrist that didn't make much sense but still insisted on getting it even after two native Francophones advised against it. [In the end, Loic did word it in a way that was understandable, albeit still retaining its desired idiocy.] Beyond that, I think the dude has a foot fetish, but I'll leave it at that.
It makes such a difference to get tattooed in a friendly and relaxed shop where the art is serious but the people are goofy. Or at least my own goofiness was allowed to flourish and shine.
The downside of being in a friendly shop, is that the guys are too friendly. When a woman walked in with a stroller asking if she could calm her screaming baby down inside the shop instead of outside, they said Ok. She didn't stay long but I was more annoyed by the audacity than the wailing. If there was ever a final nail in the coffin of tattoo studio intimidation, this was it. Again, a trade-off.
While Dan takes his time in designing, he is really fast at tattooing, which is pretty amazing considering he's meticulous in his line and dotwork. The actual tattooing took less than an hour. *phew*
We wrapped my puffy foot up, and I managed to stuff it into my over-sized rain boots. Today, it's nestled comfortably in monkey slippers. [sexy time!] The big question, however, is what to wear when I'm on my feet all tomorrow and through the weekend at the NYC Tattoo Convention.
As I ponder the great footwear debate, I'll end in all caps: I LOVE MY TATTOOED FEET.