Practice Makes Painful

I got my second tattoo by an apprentice. This time, rather than not realizing it until halfway through when the artist admits it in a hushed tone, I knew going in last night that Audrey hadn’t done one before, other than a dot on a friend’s hand, and a deer silhouette on her own ankle. It’s an owl, in case you couldn’t tell.

Besides being incredibly painful (especially if you have massive, muscular calves like I do), and taking quite a bit of time (because she wanted Trevor to watch her every move), and besides her being pretty nervous at first, it all went very well. It’s a great tattoo, an Audrey original, drawn up at my request, and quite large for something so cheap. It was free, actually. And she already has plans for coloring it in. She showed me last night and it looks pretty badass.

Tattoo apprentices aren’t supposed to be paid for practice work. Instead, I bought a work of her art: an old mannequin arm drawn up to look like a tattoo sleeve with an Alice in Wonderland theme. It’s kind of creepy, but super cool, and looks great hanging on the arch between the living and dining room. She tried to argue with me about paying for it, but I knew she was saving money for a vacation, so I told her to take the money in lieu of tattoo payment, and she could just “gift” me the mannequin arm. Either way, I get a cool piece of art, a new tattoo in her style, and she gets some money to take a vacation in November.

Speaking of art, I’ve gotten a lot more done for my embroidery show than I’d thought. I’m disappointed that I only have a few more weeks before I have to put stuff up because I’m not doing a really great job of churning out much more than gifts for the holidays. This is good, of course, but the Things I Really Want to Do, you know, the ARTart, are on the back burner. I have started some weird — for lack of a better description — vegetarian things. Basically, I embroidered a cow and a pig really large, then sectioned them off like they do to show you what parts get eaten. Only instead of labeling the parts to be eaten, it says stuff like “Obesity,” “Heart Disease,” and “Alzheimer’s.” Kind of creepy, I know.

I keep asking Charlie to cut me some pieces of wood because I want to do these installation pieces that connect to other things . . . easier to understand when you see it. But the cow will be mounted on wood with the descriptions pinned on, like when people kill and display butterflies.

Don’t steal my ideas.


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