I didn’t realize it but the Aquabats tattoo was my last tattoo that I put in my blog. Turns out that was a LONG time ago! So much has changed since then!
Let’s start off back in October, 2012. Meant to be the uppermost part of my ska-themed half sleeve, this design comes from Less Than Jake’s album “Pezcore”, the perfect ska/punk combo with staples any ska fan would include on their “Ska 101” syllabus. This tattoo was done by the great Rob Jarrett at 2 Ton Tattoo Gallery in Kingsport, TN and is located on the front of my right shoulder. The session ended with Rob proclaiming “I think this is my favorite one I’ve done on you.” The feeling was sort of mutual.
Fast forward to February / March 2013. Back when I was getting the “Pez Girl” I mentioned to Rob that there was an accompanying “Pez Boy” on the inside of the CD sleeve and he suggested maybe getting him on my left shoulder. That wasn’t really my intention but I liked the girl so much I took him up on it and we made it happen. Same shop, same artist. I later found out that the designs originated on a very, very old Pez advertisement for these plastic Pez guns you could buy for 49¢. I learned this by finding the piece on Tumblr.
By the way, Follow me on Tumblr.
After getting the “Pez Boy” tattoo I spoke with another artist at the shop, Brandy Patterson, about doing a custom piece for me. If you’ve followed my blog for any time you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Raw Rock band Showbread. Their logo has changed over the years but has always included a music symbol being crossed out. My favorite was the variation where instead of a circle around the music symbol, an omega symbol is used – “The end of music [art] as you know it”. What an awesome approach to art and creativity. Take everything you know about art and throw it out the window because that’s not how we’re going to make it. What an inspiration. Being such a big fan of graffiti art, I had Brandy custom design this with a graffiti feel to it – this is what came out in March, 2013 by Brandy Patterson at 2 Ton Tattoo Gallery, located on the front of my bicep on my left arm.
Fast forward yet again to May 2013. Erin and I were in Kingsport so I could get fitted for a tux for my sister’s wedding in July. We dropped by the shop to talk to Brandy and Rob about some other tattoos I wanted to get in the future. I scheduled a time with Rob, but after scheduling a time with Brandy I was informed that she may have an opening that very afternoon and that’s what ended up happening. This time I brought some references for some script I liked – now scrawled on my left wrist: “Peace”. My right: “Be Still”. “Peace! Be Still!”: words spoken by the Son of Man after being awoken by his disciples when a sea storm was raging all around their meager little boat. His words calmed the sea during the storm and he chewed the disciples out for their lack of faith. Talk about a great reminder to be cool during the day and let go of that which I cannot control. Again, these were done by Brandy Patterson at 2 Ton Tattoo Gallery in Kingsport on the insides of my left and right wrists.
Unfortunately, Brandy is no longer at 2 Ton. I wish her only the best.
Finally, we get to last night. Back in Rob’s chair at 2 Ton. A couple of years ago my mom wanted a tattoo. I told her I would buy her one for Mother’s Day and we set off to make it happen.
She backed out.
That was fine. After all, my policy has always been “If you have even one single doubt – don’t do it” when it comes to getting tattoos, so I respected her decision, but let her know that the offer would still be on the table should she change her mind. A few months later, she did. So we set back off to get her a tattoo with Rob designing something up for her – a couple of hearts together. She even came with me to get whatever tattoo I was getting that day and then…
She backed out again.
Again that was cool. Offer still on the table. Some time later, my folks got a motorcycle. Feeling like a born again bad ass, my mom wanted her tattoo again so we set it up and were ready to rock when, you guessed it, she backed out again. The difference this time was she let me know that she was probably never going to get it. And again, I respected that.
Meanwhile, each time I got a tattoo my mom would ask me “When are you getting a tattoo of your momma?” half-jokingly. After a while it hit me – why don’t I just get a modified version of what she was going to get several months ago? So that’s what we did. Over the course of about 2-1/2 hours (with breaks) Rob busted out this beautiful piece right in the center of my chest. It looks great, I’m very happy with it – Rob was very happy with it – and most importantly: Mom loves it!
It hit me a while ago that just in 2013 I have nearly doubled the number of tattoos I had been collecting since 2008. Freaky. I think I’m going to take a little bit of a break, but don’t hold your breath.