Photographer since 2001

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tattooed Lady

So, anyone that knows me, knows I'm a big fan of tattoo art. Montreal is a big city packed with really talented artists and there's always a large amount of amazing foreign talent flying in for guest spots. So.... How to choose? My advice:

-Look at tons of portfolios - not just of the illustrations but of the artist's actual tattoo technique. Make sure that your artist has a history of stellar work that you really like.
-Stick to a style. Don't approach someone who excels at horror/gore and ask them for pretty ponies (unless you WANT a gore influence in your pony, of course). You're just looking for trouble.
-Don't f*&k around with your artist. Pay a deposit & don't ask for it back if you chicken out. Don't skip on appointments without notice. Don't be a douche bag. This person is putting art on your body with sharp needles - you want them to like you and care about your tattoo.
-Expect to pay 100$+ /hour. Anything less is probably a scratcher. Are you seriously so cheap that you can't spend the extra 50$/hour on a PERMANENT piece of art on your body? Come on now...
Photo and tattoo on the left courtesy Hilary Jane - Photo on the right courtesy some asshole scratcher who thinks (s)he's an artist.

Lately my tattoo artist of choice is Hilary Jane (we did a set based on her work a few months ago) I just realized I never blogged about my last experience with her and before I get my second tattoo by Hilary I figured I should talk about why I'm choosing to stick with her. Last time I wanted an "Alice in Wonderland" inspiration - but without it being openly obvious. Hilary came up with a great drawing in her signature style which I loved right away (good start). The piece is pretty big - about 18inches long and 5inches wide and is on my inner forearm on my right arm. The whole thing took about 7 hours which we did in three sessions, mostly because I'm a big sissy when it comes to having my wrist tattooed. (Big rose = lots of colour = awful pain = me barfing) Thankfully I did not barf on Hilary but I was glad to get the F out of there after my second session of colouring the rose. The tattoo itself has lots of cool elements like a flamingo in the hat jewel, the plume is the colour of the cheshire cat, there's a vial with heart shaped smoke that says "drink me", a rabbit (which I already had done by a super talented artist named Eilo), a pocket watch, a red rose and the neck tattoo that says "the mad ones". Hilary definitely has a gift for line work - they're clear, straight and beautiful. Hilary is very focused and gentle with expert technique. I'm extremely proud to have her work on my arm.

The tattoo healed exceptionally well once I switched to vitamin E gel instead of green polysporin. I've never had problems before with polysporin but it just wasn't jiving with the red of the rose. Once I switched over to Vitamine E gel (as Hilary Suggested) The whole thing healed up quickly and vibrant.

Next week I'm going in again to get a cover-up piece on my ankle - it's the dreaded (bad teenage choices) Chinese ankle tattoo... I got it when I was much (MUCH) younger as a memory of a friend that had passed. As much as I love my friend, I don't love that shitty tattoo. I went in for my consultation with Hilary this past monday, basically it's important to me that my two (visible) tattoos have the same style. I trust her as an artist to come up with an original piece but the guidelines were as follows: Roses, birds, hatpins and pearls. Hilary suggested a Magpie... I have to say that's a nice looking bird:
A Magpie (upon further research at home, because on the spot I was clueless) is usually seen as unpredictable, high-spirited and expressive, which suits my personality just fine - Also, they're obsessed with shiny things (Yeah, I know I have a glitter problem).
Stay tuned for before and after pictures next Tuesday - one of the roses is on my ankle (another barf spot) Jay will probably be taking bets to see if I lose my lunch ;)

Hilary works at MTL Tattoo / Tatooatouage both studios are on St-Denis, check out the website HERE
Call them at 514-288-9767 for appointments and info. You can find Hilary online HERE

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