Tattoo You

Even before I went to Heather’s wedding (where it seemed to be Heather’s friend you needed to be a science/math person with a tattoo), I decided to get a tattoo.

I actually decided to do it a few weeks ago because of the amazing Greg Brown and his grassroots, do-it-yourself comedy festival. Because Greg reminded me, with amazing bravery and flair, that life is not a dress rehearsal.

I’m brainstorming about an original design, possibly something based on my favorite atmospheric phenomenon, the Kelvin-Helmholtz wave, which I think would make a killer armband. And lucky for me I am friends with an absolute Asheville Tatooed Goddess, brilliant and beautiful, who has a full back tattoo, a sleeve on both arms and a tattooed upper chest. It’s good work, too, bright and clean.

Here’s her snake and chrysanthemums, and her burning heart:


Part of her sleeve:


And the woman herself.


She bleeds cool. Without even trying. If you had to try, you could never be as cool as her. She is also very well read and an amazing cook.

She recommends this guy:

And here’s what she said when I asked for advice:

that’s my guy. he’s the best. great artist. listens and then does his magic. really easy hand too. worried about his clients well being.

if you don’t like the style, give him a chance to see your idea and see what he can come up with and while you’re at empire tattoo check out jay chastain’s portfolio. that’s the owner and he’s awesome. he and danny are great friends.

empire is professional, neat, clean, safe and talented.

my advice to you. make sure it’s what you want. work with the artist so he can create a piece of art, not just a tattoo, listen to his suggestions. use the plastic method for healing. look it up online. overall, it just means for the first three or four days washing well with antibacterial soap, drying thoroughly, then applying plastic to the wound using medical tape to keep it on…you do this every four to six hours until the tattoo peels on the third or fourth day. after it’s fully healed, ALWAYS USE SUNSCREEEN!!! AT LEAST SPF 15, BUT HIGHER IS BETTER. THIS PRESERVES THE COLOR AND QUALITY OF YOUR TATTOO. have fun. be prepared for pain but, don’t be scared. it’s tough but, it’s over in a couple of hours and you have a beautiful tattoo when you are done. i know empire has a shop rate of a hundred and fifty bucks an hour, which may seem hefty to you…..remember you get what you pay for. try to get an appointment during the week at noon. that’s when they open, you can be first, which is the best. after, treat yourself to a nice lunch and a drink… deserve it!!! remember, keep it clean when it’s healing, it is an open wound after all.

i’m so excited for you. i can’t wait to see it. what is it?

oh yeah, and if you want to check out the empire tattoo myspace it’s on danny’s friend list, as well as jay’s…..

let me know how it all goes.

your personal lord and tattoo saviour,


Anyone else have any advice?

5 responses to “Tattoo You

  1. Brian Setzer says his dad told him never to get a tattoo “where a judge can see it.” Seems like good advice, though perhaps not for your friend.

    Naturally, I want a raven tattoo., but I’ve never found artwork I liked, plus I’m a big ol’ scaredy cat.

  2. >Brian Setzer says his dad told him never to get a tattoo “where a judge can see it.” Seems like good advice, though perhaps not for your friend.

    LOL not for Brian Setzer, either. I do think about how having a tattoo in a semiobvious place will affect my job prospects. But as I plan on being a freelance writer for the rest of my life, I don’t think it’s as big a deal for me.

    And I think that people “want” tattoos the way they want a motorcycle, or to lose 30 pounds. Which is to say, not enough to actually do it. They just talk.

    I’d be a talker still if not for Greg and the LYAO festival. Really. Because he showed me that you can talk yourself out of anything if you want to. There’s always a good reason not to do something amazing and usual, like getting a great tattoo, or holding your own 3-day grassroots comedy festival. There just comes a point where you can just start walking in the direction you want to go, and deal with problems AS THEY HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE, as opposed to battling the million phantoms that we all seem ready to believe will defeat us in anything extraordinary we dare to try.

  3. That’s so cool, Jennifer! Please post of photo of your new tattoo … well, once the inflammation dies down. It sounds like you’ve found a good local artist to work with.

  4. Erik, I will ABSOLUTELY POST a pic.

    I will be working with one of the two artists from Empire that my friend recommends. I’m just not sure about the design, and plan to brainstorm about all the things that have overarching emotional and intellectual meaning to me, like the seasons, biological geometry, and the imposition of order and meaning. I’ll be fiddling for awhile with ideas before I even get with an artist. And then there’s the cost, which I figure will be close to $600 just for an armband, which is what I am currently planning. A lot of money.

  5. Nice post about getting your tattoo Jennifer. You are on track to have an awesome tattoo that you will loe for the rest of your life. You are putting thought into it, working with talented artists and getting things that are significant to you and have meaning instead of they just look cool on the wall.

    Here are some other tattoo sleeve ideas that might inspire you. ALthough nothing like what you have mentioned but still fun…

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