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New to this forum and about to get my first tattoo...! :-)


xcatcatx
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At the ripe age of 32, I find myself on the cusp of getting my first tattoo :)

Thus far my body modifications have been limited to multiple body piercings. I now want to give myself something more permanent, to symbolise the hardships I have conquered and the fact that I have come through it all and emerged at the other side, relatively unscathed but a much wiser, stronger and all around more independent individual.

The image of a phoenix appeals to me greatly – a symbol of survival, strength and perseverance. I also like mythological creatures as they hold a certain mystical, fairy-tale-like appeal to me. As I am a working professional, I'm looking at an area that is not immediately visible but can be shown off in the summer - I wouldn't want to hide it away completely – the first thought that came to me was at the back of my shoulder / down the back. Something sizeable enough - I am not squeamish, shy or retiring in the slightest so I would much rather have something with a 'wow' effect, rather than a half-hearted attempt of a tattoo. I am tall (5’10’’ without heels) , with a rather muscular figure and I feel like a small tattoo would just be lost on me (hope that makes sense). :confused:

I have been quite busy with research (looking into artists and their ‘handwriting’, reading about people’s experiences, pain levels, the actual procedure, parlour etiquette and what to expect / look out for on the day). You can tell I’m one of those types who, once deciding on a project gets immersed in it fully! Then again, I suppose what it boils down to is that you can do all the research in the world but there is no way of knowing how you will get on once sitting in that chair. Since I've been looking at this forum for a little while, I thought it might be worth signing up – it’ll be interesting to hear (read) from everyone about their experiences, fears and thoughts before the plunge and after their tattoos had healed.

In the end, at some point you simply have to take the plunge – if we didn't there wouldn't be anyone to tattoo – I am feeling very excited, a little bit nervous and best of all: READY. I have met The Artist. I have booked my appointment. I am nearly there!

xccx

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Welcome! A large phoenix on your back sounds like a great tattoo idea, and you're definitely in the right place for doing research on the tattoo experience. What artist have you chosen, if you don't mind sharing?

Thank you for the welcome graybones - gone for Danny Rossiter at the Rain City Tattoo Collective in Manchester, UK. Have heard good things about him and really like the sharpness of his designs and the superclean lines he creates :) Not seen the design yet (got another 3 weeks to go till the actual appointment!) but am certain he will nail it (pardon the pun!) - I'm veering towards black and gray at the moment but will wait and see what he comes up with first :) can't wait!!! :)

xccx

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Cheers graybones. I will most definitely post some photos up - considering how cold and wet it is in Manchester, using a forum is probably my best bet for sharing it with people - I suspect I won't be going out in low back tops for a while after (which is a good thing as it should give it good time to heal)! :)

xccx

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Thank you for the welcome graybones - gone for Danny Rossiter at the Rain City Tattoo Collective in Manchester, UK. Have heard good things about him and really like the sharpness of his designs and the superclean lines he creates :) Not seen the design yet (got another 3 weeks to go till the actual appointment!) but am certain he will nail it (pardon the pun!) - I'm veering towards black and gray at the moment but will wait and see what he comes up with first :) can't wait!!! :)

welcome! I hadn't heard of Danny Rossiter before, but he definitely does some nice work. As far as black and gray vs color... I feel like that should be discussed before the artist starts their drawing, no? I feel like that could have an impact on certain design elements. I guess it's not absolutely critical.

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Thanks Hands On :) I went in and had a chat to Danny and kind of gave him free reign. I did mention I wasn't too sure whether to go for color or not but he recommended that I went for color and look up pieces I liked and send them through via email. I have since then pulled together 2 large files - some of the work is in grayscale and some is in colour (and I then used the document to comment on the photos and said what I liked / didn't like about them - I'm hoping it will aid the process) :) I do not want to pester him too much - I do trust him to create an amazing piece of work and I think the fact that I have recently been looking at grayscale more than colour might be completely unimportant once I see the design (which at that point is still editable, I'll go down to the studio for a catch up before my appointment anyhow so might just do that sooner rather than later). Based on your comment though, I feel it would probably be a wise move for me to ring the shop and update him on my thought process - I just feel that I am way too new to all this and perhaps my decision as to what I would veer towards is not as well informed as his (as he knows what looks good, is talking from experience and has my interest at heart). I am humbled by the art and appreciate beauty - cooperating with a great tattooist means I'm happy to keep it as flexible as possible until I have an inkling on the design (sorry for another pun!) :) I know I'm not his only client so am trying to keep a healthy balance in our communication (although what I really-really want is to go to the studio again and again and again to pick his brain on my design till the cows come home!) :p

Hope my thought process makes sense?

xccx

- - - Updated - - -

I assume you are going for a Japanese style? Just checked out his work and his Japanese is as good as any work I have seen! Great choice.

Funnily enough, no. Although his Japanese style is very strong, he is also a very good classical tattooist (he's got quite a bit of work on Instagram - see: http://instagram.com/dannyrossitertattoo). I mentioned to him that I didn't want to go too intricate but again, I'm happy to see what he comes up with. He has a certain quirkiness to his work that I enjoy and I'm sure that will still come across.

:)

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makes sense. artists definitely love free reign with a balance of direction. not sure how detailed Danny is, but it would be a bummer for any artist to draw up a color study only to hear that the client wants black and gray.

there is definitely a method to design line work so it can be turned into color OR black and gray, but I feel like designing for one or the other from the get go allows them to use different techniques or tricks. then again, if he didn't insist, you could probably trust he knows what he's doing... whether it's creating a flexible design or a color piece that's so good you can't say no.

some artists definitely prefer either color or black and gray, but I don't think that should play into your decision... you should wear what you want! think hard, make the right decision (hopefully sooner than later), and as you said... don't pester your artist. =)

can't wait to see how it turns out!

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makes sense. artists definitely love free reign with a balance of direction. not sure how detailed Danny is, but it would be a bummer for any artist to draw up a color study only to hear that the client wants black and gray.

there is definitely a method to design line work so it can be turned into color OR black and gray, but I feel like designing for one or the other from the get go allows them to use different techniques or tricks. then again, if he didn't insist, you could probably trust he knows what he's doing... whether it's creating a flexible design or a color piece that's so good you can't say no.

some artists definitely prefer either color or black and gray, but I don't think that should play into your decision... you should wear what you want! think hard, make the right decision (hopefully sooner than later), and as you said... don't pester your artist. =)

can't wait to see how it turns out!

You are right. I will bite the bullet and email the salon this morning. Better to be safe than sorry. I think black and gray is more me - the striking lines and a graphic style appeals to me greatly. I'm a strong personality so I think going for a strong look is more appropriate and in line with who I am.

This discussion is very helpful you know! :)

xccx

- - - Updated - - -

Sounds like you are on the right track, look forward to seeing the tattoo. Nothing to fear, it's all very exciting!

Thank you TrixieFaux :) Can't wait!

cxxc

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Have you considered that the phoenix was generally thought of as very colorful and vibrant in the mythology?

Also, a color tattoo will be just as strong looking and striking as black and grey - they'll both have bold line work and plenty of black to provide depth.

Just a few thoughts - either way will end up looking great since you've picked a very talented artist, so you've really got nothing to worry about, except maybe the anguish of waiting!

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Have you considered that the phoenix was generally thought of as very colorful and vibrant in the mythology?

Also, a color tattoo will be just as strong looking and striking as black and grey - they'll both have bold line work and plenty of black to provide depth.

Just a few thoughts - either way will end up looking great since you've picked a very talented artist, so you've really got nothing to worry about, except maybe the anguish of waiting!

hey bugxjuice - thank for the advice and the kind words! :)

Yes, I did think about that - I suppose in my head a phoenix is a bit less colorful than the bird-of-paradise for example so am happy to cut down on the color (1-3 max) and vamp up on the texture. I also seem to be under the impression that black and grey generally tends to age better (not just from the 'fading of the ink' point of view but also from the angle of longevity of the design itself - and here I refer to it's flexibility, how it ages with you and how appropriate it will feel to you years down the line). I'm not sure if I am explaining myself very well here, but for some reason I think a black and grey one is more me and therefore I think it is more likely to be pleasing to my eye later on in life?

xccx

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I also seem to be under the impression that black and grey generally tends to age better (not just from the 'fading of the ink' point of view but also from the angle of longevity of the design itself - and here I refer to it's flexibility, how it ages with you and how appropriate it will feel to you years down the line).

I've never heard that before. That said, I like black and gray tattoos.

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I've never heard that before. That said, I like black and gray tattoos.

Hey CultExciter - nice to meet you! I am very new to all this so please don't take my word for it - I think the biggest reason I'm going for black and gray is because I like it - at least from what I have seen on people. I am hoping that my tattooist will chip in with his thoughts about maximising his design when I go see him a few days before Tattoo Day - I'll trust his opinions as he's the professional out of the two of us :-p That said, if the worst thing should happen (that I don't like the way it looks for some reason), we can always adjust it before we move onto my skin. I really hope that won't be the case - I have full respect for the art and the tattoo artist - I just need to be 100% comfortable with the way it'll look - as I'll be the one living with it :-p x

xccx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all

So I've been looking at a whole lot of stuff and wanted to share some of it with you. I am still to see my tattoo design - it's not been drawn up yet - but I have sent a lot of references over to the artist, in the hopes they will give him an overview of my thought process. Here's the link to my tattoo inspiration board:

Tattoo inspiration! | Pinterest

Let me know what you think!

xccx

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  • 9 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you Mush, SeeSea and pidjones - am so very happy with it! - it is amazing how it becomes a part of you very quickly :) Unfortunately, as it is on my back I don't see it myself most the time but it is always a nice surprise when someone says something appreciative about it - the tattoo feels so 'me' I almost forget it is there (so when some stranger or other comments about it it is almost like it makes me jump up and go 'oh, yeah...') ;)

It is addictive though, isn't it? I am already planning my next one but will give it plenty of time - I want to let this settle a bit, give the next one time to develop in my head and go from there - I think a lot of people go from one to the next very quickly and I really like the other, slower approach - letting the ideas develop like a fine wine :)

Thanks again guys - all the kudos goes to Danny Rossiter :)

xccx

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