This time around we headed down to Manhattan for a week. We rented an apartment using AirBnB, which we highly recommend to anyone looking for more of a local experience and an affordable place to stay. We drove down in Jared’s old cadillac with our then-girlfriends and made a mini-vacation out of it. It was a pretty grand time. We love New York.
As per usual our time in NYC was incredible and our trip home was a nightmare! Right after we finished our (Jared got a tattoo!!) tattoos we went out and grabbed a bite to eat. By then it was starting to get late (10 or 11) so we decided we’d better start our trek back to Canada. The cadillac broke down right smack in the centre of the Brooklyn Bridge.
I was only in New York for two days, so I decided to make the most of them. The day after my whale tattoo I went in for round two: the great white shark. The day before Thomas Hooper had said he was game to do a big ol’ shark if I was. I naively said yes, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I’m really glad I had no idea what I was getting myself into… because then I may not have it! Turns out a body doesn’t recover all too quickly from the trauma of a tattoo. It probably didn’t help that I’d had a few drinks and stayed out late and gotten up early. I arrived in good spirits and feeling pumped, but boy was that ever short lived!
He showed me a pretty fearsome shark sketch and we toyed with the idea of putting it on my thigh. I didn’t really like the idea of it being so hidden away — I really liked the sketch — so we decided to pop it up a couple feet onto my torso. Thomas Hooper found a great spot for it and off we went! Turns out there’s some sort of nerve bundle on the torso. I’d always heard that getting your ribs tattooed hurt. It hurts a bit. But it’s nothing close to the pain of getting your obliques tattooed! I felt like I was dying. But two and a half hours later the tattoo was finished and I managed to get my rattled ass off the tattoo bench and over to the mirror. This time around Hooper exclusively used “dot shading” instead of typical shading. Created a pretty badass result 🙂
This tattoo went much smoother than the last one. Jared, our good friend Rebecca, and I all hopped on an overnight bus to Manhattan, arrived bright and early in the morning and headed straight to Union Street. Unluckily for us Saved Tattoo is located on Union Avenue. We ended up confusing a few very kind and innocent people who were very shocked to hear “Excuse me, is there a tattoo shop in your house? I think we have the right address…” Oops! 4 hours later and just in time we arrived at Saved.
Why a blue whale? I find the ocean fascinating and mysterious. Ominous and exciting. Nothing gets my blood running better than staring into miles deep water and wondering what kind of enormous creatures are swimming below. I had proposed a few ideas to Thomas Hooper: a fearsome great white shark, a beautiful blue whale 0r maybe even a giant octopus. They seemed to best capture the mood. , Thomas Hooper amazed me once again with a beautiful sketch, and this time, unlike last time, I got to say “Make it bigger!” which lit up his face and got us off to a great start. And the icing on the cake? The tattoo was a bloody breeze! Upper arm and back tattoos, it seems, are a piece of cake in terms of pain. I thought his placement of it was a little strange, but I decided to go for it regardless, and it quickly grew on me.
I’ve wanted tattoos for 8 years now. First I had to turn 18, then I had to find the right tattoo artist. Finding the right tattoo artist is tough. There are so many out there and I’m pretty picky with my artists. I spent years hunting and after almost giving up several times I found one. Then I had to decide what to get—but that actually wasn’t too hard, once I had found the right artist. Then I had to wait 5 months to get the tattoo because the good artists, it seems, are in high demand. But I’ve finally finally got it!
It’s a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) inspired skull. The holiday seems a bit morbid at first glance but it’s about celebrating life, not death, and the artwork I just find so damn beautiful—and it runs in the family. My grandmother is a Cuban bundle of energy with one of the most interesting life stories I’ve ever heard. Her outlook on life is inspirational and she’s one of the people I most respect most in the world. And the latin influence and passion for life runs through my family. When my cousin Alexei married Dan Boeckner a few years back they had a Day of the Dead themed wedding. That’s where I first wore the skull. Yep. A few years ago, this was me.