Below are pictures from my 42nd appointment with Horizakura. As mentioned in my last post, he began shading my left leg. It’s so nice to have the peace and quiet of tebori back in my life. I know lots of people who have a fondness for the noise of a tattoo machine, but after experiencing both, for my money I love the gentle plucking of tebori. These pictures were taken a week after my appointment, as opposed to my customary following-day photos, because we are trying a different aftercare approach. As a result, you will see a bit of dryness in the new work and it may be a little difficult to tell what is new and what was previously shaded during appointment 37. This appointment also marks the first true “edge” of my tattoo. Since nothing on my back is connected and my other leg and current arm will be extended, the end that was shaded here represents the final line of this body suit. It’s an odd milestone to consider, but it’s a milestone nonetheless. I love a good milestone.
It’s a little hard to know how much of an improvement the new aftercare is. Generally, areas of tighter skin seem to scab less than looser areas (my jiggly thighs and fat ass, for instance), but all in all this seems to be healing more smoothly. Instead of wrapping the tattoo for the night and then unwrapping and washing the next day, Horizakura used these large waterproof bandages. I’m not really sure how to describe them, but I’ve included a picture below of what my leg looked like with them on. Anyway, I was advised to keep them on for 3 nights, then remove and clean up as usual. It feels like an improvement, but things can vary so much in the healing process, maybe it’s all in my head. That being said, you should absolutely follow the aftercare advice of your artist. Unless they are recommending rubbing dirt on it, they know best.
After a 7 week hiatus, Horizakura and I were finally able to meet for an appointment. After consulting my spreadsheet (shut up.), this is the third time we have gone 7 weeks without an appointment. I could have sworn this was the longest tattooless stretch since we started, but I guess not. It felt like a damn eternity, perhaps because of how busy life has been. Enough calendar talk! On to the work!
Horizakura was beboppin’ and scattin’ all over my leg last night. He added some cherry blossoms and waves to fill in the outside of my left knee and near the tail and head of the koi on my thigh. Additionally, and this is weirdly the most exciting part for me, he connected the shaded portion of my thigh to the outline on my leg. It’s finally all one piece! The current plan is to begin shading this outline with our next appointment. It will be nice to take a break from the noise of the machine.
Oh, about the title: in the pictures below, I opted to wear my fundoshi because it was getting a little tricky trying to keep covered and take photos without obscuring the work. The fundoshi is what I wear during our appointments. Mind you, it’s not a true fundoshi. I believe the traditional garment is created from a single piece of fabric with no strings. Mine has strings because the learning curve of traditional Japanese underwear beyond my ability. It’s also easier to put on or remove as Horizakura works.
It finally happened. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the day when we would finally tattoo the back of my knee. That day was yesterday. It was not fun, but I still think the ass is worse. It was painful, but bearable. Shading will probably be worse because it’s slower. Horizakura worked on me for about an hour doing some inner thigh, inside of my knee and the back of the knee, as you can see below. As always, I’m very pleased with the results.
When I got home, I was laying on the couch snuggling (wrestling) my cat when he leaped off my body and scratching me in the process. You would never know I had just had the back of my knee tattooed as I grabbed my side and wailed and gnashed my teeth. I guess what I’m saying is, if you’ve ever survived a cat scratch, you can survive having the back of your knee tattooed?
It’s a good day when you can work Yeats into a blog post title. My final appointment of 2017 was a quick 1 hour shading session on my lower leg. It was all light gray waves and as you can see from the pictures, it’s still quite bleedy. Yes, I know bleedy isn’t a word. If you want a blog that only uses “real” words, you can go elsewhere! Happy New Year!
It was only a matter of time until I had to learn what it’s like to have my knees tattooed. That is precisely what happened last night and it was just absolutely no fun at all. Everybody deals with pain in different ways and everybody experiences it differently, so I don’t consider my take on this to be a fact. That said, I find when we get to an area that hurts more than usual, I find the best method for dealing with it is to accept the presence of the pain while forcing my mind to focus elsewhere. It seems to help for me, if for no other reason than it keeps my mind occupied. The tricky thing with the knee, however, was that every time my mind would start to wander, I would feel my reflex kick in or my leg would want to flinch. It’s hard to flinch a butt cheek, so I hadn’t had this problem before. My mental gymnastics were rendered useless and I had no choice but to focus on what was happening and try like hell to not let my leg wiggle. It was a blast.
What’s better than that? Knowing I still have one more knee to go. And they both have to get shaded. I have made good choices.
Ok, enough whining. It hurt like hell at the time, but feels pretty good now and that’s what matters. Horizakura added some cheery blossoms and water/waves on my knee. I love how kinetic it looks, especially when I bend my leg. As always, I’m really happy with the results! He worked really hard to get the waves on the inside of my knee positioned so that it would look good with my knee bent and straight. Gotta love that attention to detail! Two notes before photos: 1) I’m so swollen it looks like I have no knee cap. It’s under there somewhere. Is there a such thing as cankles for knees? Thiees? 2) I took a side photo but the door was in focus, not my leg. I am too ashamed to post it, but not so ashamed that I wouldn’t tell you about it. It mostly just showed where this appointment stopped and the empty space on the back of my leg.
I’m sorry this post was so long. Photos!
Last night, Horizakura opted do a little shading on my leg. Since the last four appointments were all outline, it was nice to get back into shading. It’s so much more peaceful without the noise of the machine. This was complimented by Horizakura’s music selection for that evening. Normally we listen to different kinds of jazz (I don’t know much about jazz, so I’m not going to try to be specific), but last night he was playing this experimental improvisation by a guy named Marc Ribot. I found a link to the exact video on YouTube. I don’t really know how else to describe it, but it was really, really cool to get tattooed and listen to this:
Below are pictures from this morning. For some reason, my leg looks like it has already begun to heal. Normally it doesn’t look like this until later in the evening or the next day. The only logical conclusion is that I have developed advanced healing powers a la Wolverine. Behold!
I have joked for a while that the whole reason I’m doing this is to cover up my white hairy man-thighs. Maybe I’m only half joking. Horizakura took the first step towards making that tanline-less dream a reality by tattooing a koi on in the inside of my left thigh. Definitely not the most pleasant area to be tattooed, but overall it wasn’t too bad. Pictures are below. I finally went ahead and just shaved my whole leg too. Since Horizakura only shaves the area he plans to work on during a given appointment, I had about 5 different lengths of hair on my legs from bald to full grown. This morning when I looked at my leg and it looked like my knee was wearing a yarmulke. Not that I have anything against yarmulkes, but I’m not Jewish and they don’t belong on knee caps.
Looking ahead, the plan seems to be to outline my entire left leg and torso and then begin shading from the ankle up. After that, we will move on to my right leg. If that’s the plan, I should be starting my sleeves sometimes around 2027. -_-
Patience is a virtue.