Day 13 & 14

Day 13, I drew a tiny comic that didn't seem worth its own solo post, but here ye go

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Today, I did some color- and black-fill on a tattoo I lineworked out for my mom before I retired the ol' rotary. (Photos at the bottom of this post)

I loved today--turns out, I kinda missed tattooing, which surprised me. It's pretty client-dependent, whether it's fun or not (unless you're one of those hardass artists who DGAF about the client, which I could never actually do but can totally understand some days). Which is dumb, and a thing I don't like. Bad clients suck. BUT! Despite my fun time, my back and shoulders hurt like hell. They haven't been this bad since before I did physical therapy. So that was a good reminder that I didn't just stop because people were annoying. It's a really physical job, and my current, loosey-goosey-jointed body can't cope. So I'm glad I've (mostly, generally) made peace with quitting. Having my pain rocket from a few weeks at a glorious, nearly-unprecedented 2 to a definite-5-bordering-on-6 is not super fun. (I even took stretching breaks like three times! UGH.) I really hope I didn't undo all that PT work. *cries*

Before the tattoo photo, a few things (that I thought might be interesting):

1. The few noticeable blowouts on the head of the left chicken are really interesting (since I filled the rest, the other blow-outs aren't visible. There were none on the right bird, though, which is what makes me think it's healing-related; you can't really avoid exerting the back of the arm in day-to-day activities, and my mom is notoriously active). The line work is from about a year and a half ago. I'm glad it really doesn't seem to impact the finished piece, because I was fairly disappointed. Blow-outs suck. But they happen, and sometimes it's a skin-to-needle depth or pressure thing, and sometimes it's a healing thing. Not sure which it was here, because it could honestly be either. I distinctly remember that we didn't do the black fill that first day because I was quite sick, so I could have been more heavy-handed than usual. Either way, it's ok! Even a perfect tattoo won't look perfect for long. Everything could be done *just right*--the body doesn't care. Your body knows that ink is an invader in its personal space, so your cells are slowly breaking it down from day one. Even people who use sunscreen every day are going to see fading and blurring over time. Don't panic! It looks badass (and you can always get it touched up if you want). Also, in this case, my mom thought it was totally perfect and gorgeous, and if my mama is happy, then I am extra happy.

2. "Why does the yellow look like there's red/orange in it?" you ask. That's blood. Some colors take more repeated effort to take (see: any color that has white pigment in it) and, additionally, light colors show off the blood. The blood won't mess with the color, especially if the tattoo is kept clean and moisturized while it's healing (and there's NO SCAB-PICKING).

3. "Why does the chicken on the right have a little unshaded area on its head?" Great question! My mom has a mole there, and you should always tattoo around moles. Even if they aren't super raised, it's smart to give them space because (a) they bleed A LOT and (b) the client's dermatologist will thank you.

4. Even though I don't really tattoo anymore, if anyone has a question about the science (or social/etiquette) aspects of it, I'd be happy to do some more detailed blog posts. The science was a big part of why I got into it in the first place (light chemistry, dermatology, virology, hematology--all paired with art! Pretty rad). I also know some very cool, very smart doctors--including one who does tattoo removal in Portland--and I'd be happy to ask them questions when I don't have the answers. You can hit me up on twitter or send me a message. I'll keep any inquiries that I blog about anonymous, because this is a SHAME-FREE ZONE.

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