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Once again I arrived in Knoxville a bundle of nervous energy. This time I knew what I was in for, where last time it was more of a spiritual journey. This time I had to really focus to remember why I had dedicated myself to putting this large amount of ink on my body. I tried to use the prayer I'd written as a mantra, over and over. This was before I even got to her booth!

There she was, working on a guy's arm, a beautiful black and grey angel:



We spoke briefly and she said she'd be another hour and a half, so I had lots of time to walk off some nerves. I poked around and looked at lots of other artist's books, but honestly, I saw very few artists that I liked. Like maybe two! I am very picky I guess, so it's a good thing I did find an artist I like, huh?

When I got back she had me lie down on a comfy hotel flat couch, which was so much more comfortable than the silly chair I had to use last year (this year they were back at the Hilton, and it was a much nicer event overall). We chatted a little, but I just said lots of stupid fangirl blabber that I'd rather forget. She was really happy that everyone seemed to like it so far though. I didn't have quite as much money as last year, so she worked on me this time for about four hours. She did a lot more work on the horseheads, and I realized why I'd ended there last time! Great gods did it hurt! The little section between your front and side abs was the worst, with the bottom of the ribs a very close second. A couple of times I had to stop her and refocus. I did a lot of concentrated breathing, meditative relaxation and praying, but it still hurt. I had lollipops this time, which helped a lot! For some reason my nose kept getting stuffy, which made it hard to do my breathing exercises, so I had to breathe only through my mouth for some of it.

Anyway, I made it through, obviously. I had a bit of a fan club, several of the other artists remembered the piece from last year, and would come by and ask me how I was holding up. The hardest part this time was that I couldn't see it! Oh, man, it was driving me nuts! I got to see some of it when I took a break to go to the bathroom, but I wanted to watch her add the color, you know? She's so talented, I thought maybe it might rub off on me a little.

I suggested "I'm a Judy Parker Whore" t-shirts, but she didn't think that was a good plan.

Right, so you want to see how it looks, yes? Here it was before:

Click here to see how it looked before.

And here it is now:



More detail pictures behind the cut! )

My Tattoo!

Jun. 11th, 2006 12:34 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] mezzanotterose and I left about two hours later than we'd intended, but it was all good because the show didn't open until noon anyway. When I got there, I took 1/2 a xanax--I was very excited, and I needed to calm down. Anyway, I met Judy Parker(http://www.judyparker.org/)and she was funny and cool and sweet, just like I'd hoped she whould be. She still thought we were doing the mermaid (she explained later that she talks to a lot of people and it is hard to keep things straight), so I showed her the sketch (http://webpages.charter.net/jademermaid/neptunesketch.jpg) and she was immediately inspired, I could tell. She turned me this way and that, asked me a few questions, and then she just started drawing on me. Now to her this is 'doodling'; to me and most people, it was amazing. She took my idea and gave it such depth and emotion and detail, that when I went to look in the bathroom mirror I broke into tears! I am not one to get all emotional, but it was so beautiful, so far ahead of what I'd hoped for, that I couldn't contain my happiness. What a sap, I know. A woman in the bathroom, who was well-covered with tattoos, said it was beautiful, did I plan to try and do the whole outline today? I told her I was doing it all today, and she got real big in the eyes and just said...OW.


So while I walked back from the bathroom with the drawing on me, people were stopping me and asking me about it, and when they learned it was Judy, they ooohed and ahhed and told me I was very brave. I smiled and thanked them, not realizing what was going on until later. She had found me a big padded chair to lie on, which was hard on my knees because I kept sliding, and they make the artists cover all pillows, chairs and whatnot with plastic garbage bags. By the time it was overwith, my knees were quite unhappy with me. A couple more people came by the booth before she started and said if I made it through this, I was one tough lady. I said I was a tough lady, and I was not worried. I mean, I knew it was going to hurt, but these people were not helping me. I told them to go away because they were fucking with my head. They smiled and backed off.

Then Judy says to me, "You know what they call me, right?"

I said, "Call you? What do you mean?"

"My nickname. It's Jackhammer Judy."

I tilted my head a bit, because it sounded like something you would say to fuck with someone, and I am pretty wary about being messed with. But the artists in the next booth (Just about all the artists at this smaller sized show seemed to know each other) nodded their heads knowingly, told me again that I was very brave, and Judy explained the nickname.

See, I wanted Judy because I love her artwork. She is the only tattoo artist's work I've ever seen that made me just KNOW. I knew she would do it because she had a soft value line instead of hard outlines, but more than that, she knew how to accomplish dimension as well as perspective perfectly. And the big shiny bow on top was the fact that she specialized in sea creatures and mermaids.

In order to accomplish her style, she explained, she had to go over and over in many layers with a shading needle only (no outlines), and since I wanted color, she would go over the then shaded areas with successive washes of color, just like painting. This means that an area that was dark could be gone over many, many times. She was a little merciless about her speed, because she knew that if she left the area too long, the natural endorphines would wear off and it would be much harder to finish that spot. So, she was fast, merciless and repetitive--hence, Jackhammer. People chickened out from her tattoos often, in fact one guy paid her a deposit and then wimped out after twenty minutes- the tattoo I wanted would take at least four hours.

I tell you all of this because I did make it through, I was on her table for about five hours, though at the end I was in a place where every touch of that needle was like searing, white hot fire that shot past my skin and into my guts. I told her at that point that she had me for a few more minutes and then I was going to leap off of that table and I wasn't going to be able to stop myself! She could not do all the color that she wanted to, especially in the horses and in Neptune himself, but I will definitely be going back to get it finished by her. I wish I lived closer to San Diego, because I would be broke and covered in vicious art.

I will be going back to see her at some point for more color, though it is still finished enough to show off at this point. I entered it in the tattoo of the day at the show, and several people said I was a shoo-in, but I think the fact that it is not totally finished kept it down.

All through the day they had shows by a local burlesque troupe (http://www.whitelightninburlesque.com/index2.html) and they were really very good, but what really surprised me was how well two of the girls could sing--I mean belting out old numbers that I danced to all the time, All That Jazz, Fever, Stuff Like That There. Another plus was that they were hot and sexy without looking fake or untouchable. I was overjoyed to hear that old music again, and they were actually quite good as far as the bawdy spirit of burlesque, though I thought they should have done more dancing. But as we know, I am very critical of the new burlesque shows.

Enough blather. Pictures!

Lots of 'em!

Read more... )

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