Here is a diary I kept when I got my back piece. I'm not taking out the $ amounts. I'm too lazy to do that. Geisha Tattoo Diary 2014
1. 8/22/14 My appointment was at 3pm. Todd met me at the shop to help me decide if I liked what Matt D. had drawn up for me. I had my consultation about three months before. I told him I wanted a Geisha with a dragon tattoo on her shoulder or arm. I also wanted a temple in the back ground. He showed us what he had drawn up and I was very happy with it. It was exactly like I had envisioned. Todd stayed while Matt placed the stencil on my back. Then he left because he needed to pick up Logan and walker from the babysitters. Matt had me sit sideways in a chair and lean way over so he could start on my lower back. It was very uncomfortable and was very difficult to try and relax. (NOTE- next time bring a pillow). It was very painful and I even felt like telling him a few times I could not go on. But I wanted this tattoo so bad that I worked my way through the pain. Matt was great and made me feel very comfortable. We finished the outlining of the geisha, the fan, and some flowers by 8pm. He charged me $460 for four hours of work and I tipped him $80.
2. 9/12/14 My appointment was at 4 pm. I arrived and Matt said he thought it was at 5pm. No problem, I told him, go ahead and eat. I don’t want you shaking from hunger while you are tattooing me. I sat upright in the chair the three hours he worked on me. He hand drew some flowers on the sides of my back to fill in space. He did some outline. I can tell the sides of my back are going to be very tender when filling in color. Something I am not looking forward to. He also outlined the castle and started some color on it. He said he wanted the castle (Osaka Castle in Japan) to be perfect because when he returned to Japan he would be showing my back piece to those who lived there. He charged me $260. I tipped $60
3. 9/23/14Today he worked on the hair. Todd ad Emma came to visit me. I told them they could not stay because it is difficult for me to focus when I am in pain. It seems when I can’t focus the pain is more difficult to handle. I sat for 3 hours and was charged $240 .$60 tip.
4. 10/15/14 1:00 pm Today I got tattooed by Mel J. I have to say she has a very delicate touch and creates such a friendly atmosphere. She did the butterfly on my left foot. It did not hurt near as much as I thought it would. She charged me $100 and I tipped $40 My good friend Leigh Poast Nightser also got a butterfly tattoo. . 5:00 pm. Matt D. worked on my back. He finished the castle. and the trees around it. He also worked on the flowers directly under the castle. I tapped out about 7:30. It was very painful. Not sure if it was because of the earlier tattoo or not. I have to add that I had a horrible headache from having my hair pulled at work (I was attacked by a client) and also I was under a lot of work stress. I wonder if you handle pain better when you are in a “good place”. He charged me $200 for 2 hours and I tipped him $60
5. 11/9/14 Today we worked on her face neck and shoulder area. It was the most painful session yet. My vision blurred and I felt light headed . I can honestly say I asked if maybe we should use some numbing soap. Needless to say we did not. I don’t ever want to use numbing products. ( I had a weak moment today) It is a personal decision. I guess I believe it is cheating. But today was really painful because we did large area and the needle was on the skin at longer intervals. I don’t think I could have handled the pain if I did not want it so bad. We officially started around 3:20 and ended at 5:30 so about 2 hours. He charged me $200 and I tipped $60. I have to add that I just love how this is coming along. I think this is the most beautiful geisha tattoo I have come across. Matt Dinovo is a genius when it comes to art.
6. 11/25/14 Today we worked on the flowers along the Geisha’s back and the blue background. The pain was not as bad this time. I paid $250 and tipped $60. It was a 3 hour session.
7. 12/15/14- I got to lie down for the first time today. We put the tattoo on the geisha’s shoulder, and also touched up the skin. The hands were also done today. Not a bad session. I can relax better when lying down, but I am sure it is more difficult to stretch the skin. I am very happy with the tattoo on her shoulder. I am also thrilled with her hands. I was worried about the hands because I personally have never really seen a good set of tattooed hands. We worked for almost 3 hours and I was charged $250 and tipped $60.
8. 1/6/15 Today we worked on the kimono. There were times when it was pretty painful. But overall it was a pretty good session. The red is gorgeous but I know I will have issues with healing the red ink. It will take longer to heal and it will itch really bad. I had issues with the ribbon and flowers in the hair. I ended up using a VERY light layer of cortisone cream on it. ONLY after the peeling process was over. TI olny used this as a last resort. Benadryl is also suggested. That is usually 4-5 days. It was a 3 hour session. He charged $240. I tipped $60 as usual.
9. 1/27/15 Today we worked on the back ground. I have not even thought of the background. But Matt said if we did not do some type of background, it would look like the castle was just floating in the air. This is one reason I think you need to go to an artist you trust. I am not an artist and would not even think about that kind of thing. I have let Matt take the reins on a lot of the decisions of this tattoo. I just required that certain element be in it. I basically wanted a geisha with a beautiful face. I wanted her to have a tattoo of a dragon. I also wanted some type of Japanese architecture in the back ground. I was thinking a temple. Matt chose to do Osaka Castle. It is a beautiful place with a lot of history. Also, Matt has visited that place. I believe that is the only stipulations I gave him. He knows my favorite color is red.
He spent some time drawing the background. He gave me a beautiful waterfall. (I now catch myself singing that song “Don’t go chasing waterfalls”) I am just amazed at the vision he had for the background. VERY impressed with Matts talent. Overall this was a great session. Not a lot of pain so we were able to have some good conversation. It was a 3 hour session.He charged me $240 and I tipped $60, as usual.
10. 2/17/15 Today we started the fan (YAAY!) I have been up in arms about the fan. I have no idea what I wanted on it. So I just compiled a few examples of fans and Matt took the reins. We decided to go with a red fan( My body is not going to be happy) I forgot my pillow today. I usually sit upright and hug my pillow. It is just a lot more comfortable for me andI can relax more. I sat up for a while and then Matt wanted me to lay down with I like a lot more because I can relax. There were parts of this session that were extremely painful. But they were just short periods. When I have to go through that kind of pain, I just think about how beautiful this will be when it is done. We finished the red in the fan. He think he also did some shading over parts he had already done. I think that was the painful part. The fan is stunning. Matt is a master at shading. It was a 2 hour session He charged me $200 and I tipped $60.
11. 3/10/15 We worked on the flowers on the Kimono. I was bent over with my head almost on my lap because the Flower on the kimono is on the extreme lower part of my back. It was a pretty painful session and I forgot my pillow, which sucked. When I have my pillow I can clutch on to that. It helps me work through the pain. It was a little over a 2 hour session. He charged me $200, I tipped $60.
12. 3/31/15This is my last session. I feel different about this one than I did my other tattoos. I guess it is because I feel pretty complete at what I wanted to accomplish as far as tattooing goes. He filled in the flowers on the fan and the yellow lining on the Kimono. He also did the flowers on the lower bottom side, OUCH. The worst this time by far was the yellow lining. Not sure why, probably because it was such a random area. We did that part last. It was like a final reminder of the pain I endured through this back piece. When we worked on the fan today it felt numb. I wonder if that is because of my injury from the motorcycle accident I had 4 years ago? I’ll go back in a few weeks and have Matt take pictures of it. It was about a 2.5 hour session and he charged me $250. I tipped $60. m