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Hiya from North Carolina


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Salutations y'all,

New to the crew. I've got some idears regarding two or three new pieces, but I have hesitated for several reasons (and given my first experience, such hesitation is probably warranted). I hope with all of the collective knowledge on this site, you'll be able to help me keep an open mind and choose the right pieces and artists. Before I go into any further detail, let me regale you with the story of my first tattoo:

Like any regrettable tattoo story, it begins with a (slightly) inebriated eighteen year-old. My grandmother, also slightly inebriated, had insisted for years that if I really wanted a tattoo when I came of age, that she would not only take me to get it done, but she would also get one herself. In her pre-AA days, grandma was a fucking riot. So one fall day, I google'd around and found a decent shop and took her up on her offer. We were both a little "toasted", (the sort of distinctly grandmotherly euphemism she was of course fond of) but we managed to find this shop in the metric middle of nowhere. Context: rural South Carolina. If you are the betting types, you might wager that the shop we came upon was a biker tattoo shop. You'd be correct. While I myself drive a motorcycle, I am not a part of the bike club culture at all, and to this day still find it strange, alien, and somewhere between whimsical and intimidating. I don't even know if grandma knew what crystal meth was.

I chose a Cheshire cat with my mother's name on it. My grandmother chose a Tweety bird holding a martini glass. I wanted mine above my right shoulder blade. She wanted hers on her right ankle. The tattoo artist handed me a traced google image of a Cheshire cat from the Disney adaptation, with my mother's name written on one of the stripes. I looked it over and pointed out that "Ellissabeth" was, as far as I knew, very rarely the correct spelling of my mother's name. Adrenaline levels: spiked.

So as you might imagine, it's not a great tattoo. The lines are rough, the coloring is dull, and one of his eyes appears to be much more focused on my left shoulder blade than I had intended. Perhaps surprisingly, the inevitable cover-up is not my primary reason for seeking your guidance (though dear god, if anyone has any advice or suggestions, sock it to me). I want to get a half-sleeve based on a painting that my friend's father did. It's a bit abstract, and not only do I not know if it would work (especially as a half-sleeve), I don't even know how to begin to find the right artist for it. I've scoured the internet, and there are a couple shops that might work, but I just don't get a great feeling. I don't even know what "genre" of tattoo it could be considered, as abstract and new school don't exactly seem accurate? Help a brotha out! I'll post a picture of my first tattoo at some point, and I'll post a couple of the inspiration paintings.

OH, and one more idea... I have a particular scene from a movie that I've thought might make a great tattoo, but it's a) a black and white movie and b) a night scene. Is there any precedent for such a tattoo? Does anybody know of any artists that could excel with something like this? Thanks for having me, y'all. Drop a line!



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Shword! Thanks for your response, CultExciter. I've always wanted to meet a hero, online or not. I'm in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. Outside of Raleigh, for the unfamiliar.

As far as I know, regionally there's good stuff in Raleigh, Asheville, Richmond, and Atlanta, but I'd probably be willing to head up as far as Baltimore/DC if I found the right artist for the right price. I know there's good stuff here locally, but most artists I find are pretty much exclusively into flash, old school, sailor jerry sorta stuff or Japanese stuff.

I think eventually I'd like to have my left side in black only, with Henna/Indian influenced stuff meets abstract lines and circles, with colorful stuff maybe veering on abstract Japanese on the right? So in the long run, I do want multiple styles, but right now I want to focus on an artist who could do something similar to those paintings. Any specific ideas for artists?

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I personally like Glenn's Tattoo Service and Legacy Irons in Greensboro, but I think I like different styles of tattoos than you do.

A friend of mine got some great lettering done at Glenn's. It's definitely a great shop, and it's nice that it's so close, but it's just not what I'm looking for right now.

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For the painting these artists will do a good job..


Instagram did a tattoo that looks like that painting in the 2nd row.

Body Art by Hayley. Mark Evans « Anything's Possible Tattoo

Candace & Steve@ mad-ethels

Instagram does nice Japanese work.


Instagram would do a good job on that painting.

Instagram has some examples of good henna tattoos.

Joe Shit, thanks for your responses. I think there are at least three potential artists there I could easily work with. Have you, or anyone you know, gotten any work done personally with any of the artists you sent me?

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