Friday, April 27, 2012

Custom Tattoos

I got my first tattoo when I was 18, it was a ladybug.  My second I was still 18 and it was a sunflower.  When I was 19 I got a gnome.  Not a single one of these items meant anything really, they were just things I liked.  I was always proud that they didn't come off a tattoo wall, but there was really no other significance.  Those tattoos were followed by others, the ladybug became a fish, a bee on my shoulder for my husband, a horseshoe to mark my wedding.

I had seen over 10 tattoo artists.  I jumped around, had one started by one person and added onto by someone else.  It never really mattered to me as long as they were good.  I never had a real connection to anyone because to be honest, a lot of them were assholes.  You could be amazing, but if you were a prick while you were pricking me...I wasn't coming back.

In 2007 I got injured, spent a a year recovering from a knee injury and relearning how to walk.  When I was starting to see the light at the end of this dark journey I decided that I wanted a tattoo to mark it.  I didn't want to just find an image though, something that I liked.  I wanted something that was custom drawn to mark this moment in my life.  Something that would tell the story.

That was when I found Alfredo.

I went in on crutches and told him my story.  I was hurt in the ocean, I got a blood clot, I had been on crutches for half a year and was relearning how to walk.  Could he create something for me.

It was perfect.  The waves were angry and bleeding at the bottom.  My crutch was there and the key word "transcend" reminding me that I could make it through anything.  I knew then and there I would never be tattoo'd by anyone else.  I also thought that was my last tattoo.  I didn't stick to that word, but I'm proud to say that I have had four more tattoos since this one and they have all been done by Alfredo.  What makes Alfredo wonderful is he is not just a really good artist, he is also a really good man....a pleasure to spend time with.

If you know Getty, you also know the Getty Owl.  Alfredo is also the man behind the owl, something I don't think he has ever gotten good enough credit for.

Alfredo and I started my recent tattoo earlier in the month.  This is the first tattoo I have had that will take sessions to complete.  I know I won't ever get another tattoo, the only thing I would do is have the one on my arm grow.

It's not even finished and I love it.

Sadly, Alfredo is leaving the Sacramento area and going to tattoo in the Seattle area at Cicada Tattoo.  Now, for me, getting tattoos will also include taking a vacation.  It doesn't matter if I don't stick to my word and end up with 100 more tattoos, but I tell you this....I will never have one done by anyone other than Alfredo even if he moves across the US (please don't!).

Check him out if you are in the area, or take a vacation and see him!

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