Mami Ink: The Outline

The deed is done. And by deed I mean outline. I drove over tonight wondering if I was really going to go through with it. I had a rough day today. So much so that I thought about maybe not heading over to check out my boy Jorge. As I had the outline put on me I thought "what the hell am I thinking?". It reminded me of labor in that way. It also reminded me of labor in that I thought it would hurt more (don't judge me, the mami brain has tricked me into thinking it didn't hurt so that I can spit out another one. You know how it is!). I'd like to personally thank my girl Not Blessed Mama for telling me it would hurt like hell. And my chick Amanda for telling me it would hurt but just breathe through it (yes, she's the yoga maven). I'll be honest, it didn't NOT hurt. But it hurt a lot less than I expected. Jorge told me that it would feel different on different parts of my back and he was right. As he got closer to my spine the threshold did increase. I was surprised at the fact that when he got to the soft spot closer to my arm it probably ached the most. I can't say it was way painful. Perhaps I'll change my mind with the color. When I got my first tattoo I described it as having someone rubbing their nail on one spot for a long time. I still stand by that description.

I can't describe how I feel right now. I'm still in shock over the fact that I actually did it. Isn't that always the case? In anything you do. It's that first step that scares us the most. You know me, always looking for the lesson. I'll sit on these thoughts and get back to you with a more in-depth analysis.

I have to leave the tattoo covered for another hour and then I must wash it and lotion it up. So, who's coming over to help? If you don't, it's cool. I have plans of taking a spatula, throwing some Aquaphor on it and going to town on the tattoo! It is VERY important that I keep this bad boy moist. In a few weeks, I go back for the color. But tonight, I am in awe at the canvas that my body has become and grateful that I waited to find the right guy at the right shop to get this done.

Oh and, I can't forget this: my girl Jeannie stopped by to check up on me while I was in the chair. It made me feel like a celebrity. I'm thinking that when I get my color done, we need to throw a 'hood party at the shop while some of you get tattoos of your own. What do you say?

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll numb the slight after-tattoo ache with a glass of wine.

If you want to read about how this artwork came to be, check out the first installment of Mami Ink.

If you want to look ahead to the finished piece, check this out.

Mami Ink: The Art

Many of you who follow me on The Twitter and Pinterest know that I have been diligently trying to get my thoughts in order so that I can get inked in memory of my mami. This has been a longtime in coming. From the moment shortly after she passed away last February I knew I would do this. After thinking about it, I spoke to my brother who is not only an awesome guitar player with the band A Dying Regime but he is a very talented artist and soon to be professional graphic designer. In typical "us" fashion, he set out to do some research and delivered the devastating news that the tattoo that I originally thought about getting would not be a good choice.

I wanted a gardenia. It was one of mom's favorite flowers and my grandma used to actually call her that. But, after researching it, my bro explained that my skin probably would absorb the white in and then I'd be left with a crappy tattoo. So off to the drawing board I went.

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that the thought hit me. Birds of paradise. Mom loved the flower because it was unique. She was all about things that were different, never wanting to just go with the crowd. I started researching and created my cool Ink board on Pinterest. The same day I decided that I would work with this particular flower, I went to the backyard and realized I was being sent a message. By the gazebo, mami had planted birds of paradise. Last year, after a couple of freezes, the plant died. Or so I thought. On the same day that I made the decision I step outside and find this:

So off I went to try and put things together. Let me start by saying that I am talented at many things! Art and music are not on that list (much to my chagrin and disappointment). I guess God knew what He was doing because if I did have those talents, I would be too big for my britches (question: what are britches and, why don't I have any in my closet?).

So I did what a creative person would do. I printed then cut and paste stuff the way I thought it might look. I like to call this the "concept" stage:

Following that I sent it to one of my very talented friends who wanted to show me what the quotes would look like in the tattoo (except she didn't have anything good to go off of):

Upon the recommendation of a friend, I sought out Jorge from Trinity Tattoo Company in town. I walked in after a play date and gave him my rendering. He told me he'd draw something up and get back to me. After a little back and forth (and some Pinterest references and viewing some of Jorge's awesome work) he got it beautifully:

Once the man had it right, I had no more excuses other than a few thoughts on fonts. Which of course meant I had to send him two pages worth of my quotes in a variety of fonts for inspection. Well, are all set to go. I'm out of excuses other than a lingering fear that this is going to hurt. But, I went through 40 hours of labor so, this is going to be cake, right?

If you are in town and want some ink, go check out the boys at The Trinity Tattoo Company. Be sure to tell them Mami sent you (who knows, they might take it easy on me). Now that I've shared, got any ink you want to tell me about?