Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flowers in January

It still surprises me how much I love tattooing. It's an entire experience, from the idea, to the drawing, then the stencil, to the ink. I've watched the tattoo shows and so much of the process is edited out. One thing I'm sure of, I could never bust out a piece, ready to go, in a half hour. And I truly admire people who can. In a traditional tattoo studio, there is a support network in place and tasks can overlap. While the paperwork is being filled out, the needles and ink are being set up as the drawing is being tweaked and the stencil made. If I have an appointment, I have the drawing done, but not necessarily scaled. Sometimes I luck out and it's perfect, as is. But I never count on that, so I don't get stencil-printing deep until after the client arrives. As it turns out, this makes it a much more personal experience, even though it takes a little longer.

Another note about the drawings...they are original. I use reference, of course, but the chrysanthemum above is the only one exactly like it. My friend, shown above, preferred a flower that was a little spinier, and is going for strong, yet earth-toned hues. And being a control-freak-perfectionist-type, all of the petals HAVE to make sense! That takes me longer than a half hour to draw up, but don't ask how long, I get completely lost in the details. Then again, if I worked in a busy shop, maybe after the 100th chrysanthemum, I'd be able to bust one out in five minutes, like I do with black and white caricatures. Who knows. No two flowers are alike.

'Flowers in January' also references another obsession I have...gardening. My seeds for this spring just arrived today, and my shade annuals are in the cloning phase. My house is overflowing with houseplants as it is, but that doesn't even come close to stopping me. I fantasize about a greenhouse the way a little girl wants a pony. The countdown to daffodils begins...

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