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Hi all. I have been lurking here for a long, long time, and decided to finally bite the bullet and join. I am based in Montreal (best city!), and while I got my first tattoo about nine years ago now, I was until recently not someone who thought she would ever get more than a couple in her lifetime. Somehow, though, during the past year or so both my husband and I recently got bit with the tattoo bug HARD, and so the rate of acquisition has started accelerating considerably. We have been absorbing as much as we can about tattoo history and culture, and we have been getting tattooed both locally and doing some travel. I am in a fairly straight-laced profession by day that involves my sometimes working with fairly conservative communities, so my own work is still largely confined to my back and my ribs, but I am looking at starting on my thighs and upper arms within the year or so. I have too many ideas that I am still fleshing out, so I feel like this will be a fun place to look at cool tattoos and get some awesome inspiration. With the exception of my partner, with whom I geek out about this shit constantly, I know very few people in real life who are really into tattoos, so I am looking forward to participating here and learning from all of you.

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Hey, thanks. I am not a boxer myself (I wish!), just a pretty huge boxing enthusiast (especially boxing history). I have tried it myself but gave up pretty quickly after a few sessions due to attempting to train with a team far beyond my own not-very-athletic abilities, which resulted in me not being able to lift my arms above my head for about a week. That said, at some point I would love to try it again.

And re: the supposed "tattoos", yeah, I hope it's alright if I work my way up to posting some of them; I still feel a bit shy about putting my skin all the way out there on the interwebz. But you guys post some beautiful work so I hope to contribute some soon too.

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Where are you getting your work done? I left Montreal 10 years ago, and it was starting to get more shops in by then. When I got my first piece 20 years ago in Montreal, there were only three real shops in town, all of them on Ontario street (Tatouage Artistique, Keith Stewart's place. Keith was *the* tattoo guy in Montreal, and the first one to bring the convention to town, Tatouage du Quebec...the owner had...issues, and Tatouage Iris, avoid (at least at the time)).

Now, just like in every big city, looks like there are hundreds of shops around. I met Oly Anger at the Vancouver tattoo show, and was really impressed with his stuff, if you are into the really dark/horror style (obviously, big Paul Booth influences there, but in his own style).

As far as Boxing, it's expected that you will die for the first several weeks, and 16 ounces is much heavier than most people think, specially when holding them up and boxing for over an hour. If you have time check out Tri-Star on Ferrier (near Decarie and Jean-Talon). You might run into GSP, etc. I haven't been there since Conrad sold it, but it has certainly made a name for itself in the MMA world now!

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Hi and thanks Phil! Are you from here? My partner is from Vancouver (ish) so we've spent a lot of time there and I really like it! We're headed there around Labour Day, in fact.

Re: Montreal shops, I have the same recollection of the 3-shop era, especially when they were all within a block or so of each other (now all three shops are still on Ontario, but much more spread out--I think only Iris is still in its original location). When I was a teenager you would definitely just go down to that strip and get tattooed wherever had availability first. I've never gotten any work at either of those three, but I held many hands in them back in the day (I remember my sister got her first tattoo at Iris, which was not a super fun experience)! Artistique is still one of the more popular street shops in town; I haven't been in since my teenage years, but I actually live pretty close to it so am friendly with their tattooers because I walk by them with my dog on a daily basis and they are big dog lovers (as most tattooers seem to be? Sign of a good people).

I myself have gotten tattooed at a crappy-ish shop that I won't name (although the tattooer did a good job and has since moved on to better things) and at POL Tattoo, which is a great little exuberant place. My mister has gotten work done at Tattoomania (who organize the convention) and PSC, where he'll also be starting a big piece in the next year. All three shops are fantastic and very friendly. There are definitely hundreds of shitty, shitty shops in Montreal, but the good ones are pretty awesome places.

And thanks for the boxing tip! I am nowhere near the kind of shape I'd want to be in if I were to give it another try anytime soon, but I will keep that place in mind for when I get there! Looked it up--they clearly work with some really good people, which makes it seem super intimidating, which is probably as it should be. :)

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I'm from Montreal originally, but left after 27 years of horrible, inhumane winters :p

As far as getting in shape, that is the most common argument: "I can't start training, because I'm not in shape enough." Know the best way to get in shape for boxing? Boxing!

I got my first tattoo at Iris, and was lucky enough not to get a horrible piece. You can see it, and how it got covered up this year in the gallery in my signature.

Edited by PhilB

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