Having a half sleeve has its up and downs. Especially when you have a half sleeve that is super bright. See my artist used a new kind of ink that lets the colors stay vibrant for a longer period of time. I also am out in the sun quite a bit so usually the color fades after running around in the uv rays for long periods of time. So far though the colors have stayed vibrant and I am so in love with the way it turned out. Of course though there are some interesting things that happen when you have a half sleeve and you serve customers at an ice cream shop.
You get a lot of people that want to grab your arm and look at your artwork. you get a lot of people who ask you where you get it done and lots of people who want to physically touch it. Yesterday was one of those days. I had a lot of people asking me where i get my work done and a lot of people who wanted to touch my arm and turn it to see all the details.
But my favorite experience was this couple who came into our store an hour and a half before we closed. They were cracking me up and just making my night so amazing. I had been working all day and I was having a blast with my team but with a few hours to go it really was difficult to keep myself cheery. For one I was tired and I also was struggling with the fact that I was starving a little bit.
Once this couple got their ice cream the guy looked at me and goes "Ok so I have one more request" and I smiled and replied "what else can I do for you?"
He looks at me, smiles, and holds out his hands. "Can I see your arm?". I smiled and responded with "Well I can't really disconnect my arm and just hand it to you" and his wife cracked up at my attempt at joking with them.
I went up to the ice cream bar and held up my arm for him to look at. He started turning it, looking at the lines and color. Once he was done he then asked me what my art represents. I told him about the whole half sleeve and what it meant to me. I explained each part of the half sleeve and which machine they came from. He was into the whole thing and once I was done he smiled at me and nodded while looking at the artwork.
"Very very cool. Thank you so much" and I told him
"No thank you. I really appreciate you guys."
It always feels good to have my artwork be appreciated. My artist deserves all the recognition and I am so happy I decided to get this half sleeve. It’s a beautiful thing and I feel so completed with it.
I have come to the conclusion that Half Sleeves are equivalent to pregnant belly's. Why have I come to that conclusion? Well it would be because of the attention my half sleeve has been getting me recently. Well its mostly been the colors and R2-D2 who has gotten me the most attention. When I am at my part time job I have to serve customers and keep myself together most of the time. You need to be on your toes and think quickly when it comes to answering questions.
The other day I was at work and I was standing at the fudge counter. A family came in so I opened with the usual greeting "Hi Welcome to Kilwins! Would you like a free sample of our homemade fudge" The family came over and decided that they didn’t want any but instead wanted some of our homemade chocolates from the case. So I got them their items and as soon as I handed the gentlemen the peanut Butter cup that he ordered his eyes lit up. He turned to his wife and pointed to the tattoo on my arm.
"Oh my gosh, can...can I see your forearm?" and of course I hesitated. I knew what getting a half sleeve meant but this was another level. I had nowhere to go and I Really was trying my best to keep conversations as well as interactions with my half sleeve at a minimum. As much as I love talking about it I also know that I have to be quick and efficient so for people to stop me and want to have half hour to hour long conversations is something I can't really be a part of. Noticing my hesitance he actually begged me slightly. So I held up my forearm and turned it for him and his wife to see. We talked for a little bit about how old it is, the color and the story.
The past few weeks have been like that. I even had a customer touch my forearm and try to grab it to show her family. Like excuse me, that is attached to me...And of course me being who I am, I almost let that slip out but knowing that I needed to be as sweet as what we serve I just kindly pulled my forearm away and finished up their order.
Oh how life is so interesting when you have art on your skin. Especially when it’s something like R2-D2.
So I have been getting a half sleeve done over the past few months. It’s a pinball half sleeve that I decided to get to represent my childhood. So my family has been very fortunate and one of the things I got a chance to play as a child were actual pinball machines. I grew up with five of them and I have played them from the time I was a toddler to the present time. I play them on a pretty regular basis and I quite enjoy the pinball machine itself. I love the artwork in each game, the details that they put in the wood, the layout, the difficulty, all of it. It’s fun and to me it’s quite a challenge.
Pinball is a skill and I have a few of them. I grew up playing them whenever I wanted to and I will say that I am pretty decent. It takes me a while to get used to a new game and I sometimes get emotional about the games themselves. There have been a few pinball machines I Have played in arcades, museums, and so forth that have made me sad. Sometimes the flipper are beat up and it makes it hard to earn points in the game. You miss most of the shots and no matter what you do you can't really "win" the game.
Then there are other games that you can tell haven’t been in the right hands. Parts of the game won’t work, the flippers are weak, and there’s dust on the game board..well then it has a different emotion. Really I am sad that they own something like a pinball machine and let it get beat up like that. Donate it or let someone properly help you fix it up. Something.
So this pinball half sleeve is to represent my love for them and also something from my childhood. I am so excited because I get to finish it tomorrow and I know its going to look amazing when it all comes together. I can't wait to see it and for you all to see it as well.
So stay tuned, cause I think it's going to look awesome.
I always think about my tattoos as a work of art. They not only represent my life but they also represent the things I have experience and been through. So for me it is not only therapeutic but also is a way for me to learn to love my body and myself. Every time I get a new tattoo on a new part of my body I can’t stop staring at it and smiling. Each new design is always better than the last and I honestly love that. One of the tattoos I got to help me out on loving my skin was a tattoo on my thigh. Front and center. For as long as I can remember I have always hated my thighs since they were so big and they stood out. Now that I have that tattoo I honestly feel good about my thighs. The art makes up for everything.
Now in this instance my left forearm is pretty much getting replaced. 3/4ths of it is covered now and its awesome to see how far I have come with it. It’s beautiful and it makes me smile just to have it. Really it’s like I took my old forearm and replaced it with this one.
I’m not sure if I will be fully covered by the time I am in my 30's or if I will only do certain sections but I can say that so far I love getting tattooed and I love that I am learning to love myself through all this artwork. Sometimes loving yourself isn’t just about taking care of your body, exercising, or taking care of your skin. Sometimes it’s also about what you do and how you see yourself that matters. For me I have always hated my skin and the way it looks on my body but, slowly I am learning that my skin and this artwork is precious and it is making me stand out as a person. I love every part of it and I can't wait for this whole forearm to be done so I can show others not only my childhood but also how much I love my skin/body.
The Hand Tattoo was a solid 8 on my 1-10 scale. But I say that after about an hour of being constantly needled.
Yesterday I went and got the next part of my half sleeve done and as it turns out it is on my hand. The item that got tattooed on my hand is the clock from safe cracker. It’s a pretty simple design but it is also something that really stands out. The specific lettering, the way the arrows are placed, the little splash of color. All of it is in the design and if you’re not paying attention then it can get a little messy. Luckily he was paying attention and made sure to get in the finer details.
The first thirty minutes the needle felt like a shot that I was getting administered...except that it was way more than a normal dosage of anything that is administered that way. From there it felt like a safety pin being dragged around my hand and into it but not enough to cut it open. After that it felt like sandpaper but a sharp stabbing mixed with it. Towards the end I was sure that my skin was getting cut open and I could tell that he was paying attention o m breathing. Somewhere in the middle of it all I just closed my eyes and focused on big breaths. That was all I could really do and I wanted it done. After a little over an hour I felt him look it over and while he was doing that I opened my eyes.
Looking over I saw that it was amazing but I was still diluted from the pain so it took me a while to register how it really looks. Sitting her as I write this I am amazed at how well done it is. I am so happy with how it turned out and I couldn’t ask for anything better. Now onto the next one.
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