Budding Tattoo Artist?
Well when the bunny came to our home this year, he brought my daughter another pack of markers. Needless to say, as I left my daughter in my mom’s den with Noggin on the television and went into the kitchen to put some cinnamon rolls into the oven for her this morning, she emerged with a smile from ear to ear and bright colored flames drawn up and down her arms.
My mom gasped and began preaching how she shouldn’t color herself, at which tears began to roll down my daughter’s eyes. I actually praised her on how good she’s getting with her flames and lines, and then said that pretty soon we’ll be opening Metry Kiddie Ink and she’ll be the main attraction. Honestly, Kat from Miami Ink is definitely one of her idols up there with Barbie, Disney, and Sesame Street. My daughter, Kylie loves to watch the Miami Ink show and even knows when it’s on television.
Of course, my daughter loves mommy’s tattoo and I’ve always kept her in fake tattoos since she was a baby just to piss my in-laws off and because I personally love ink and the stories behind it. Yep, hopefully one day my budding artist will be inking and even piercing people all over their body, and guess what, I’ll be a very proud parent waiting in line to get ink and piercing’s from my own kid.
Actually, I’ve paid to get pierced before and quite frankly I do a much better job self-piercing, guess it’s just the sadist in me. Now for ink, over four years ago I called the most popular inked Saints player, Kylie Turley, and found out where to go and who did his ink. He said that Walt Clark from the Freaky Tiki, www.freakytikitattoos.com, was the guy to go to, at which, my cousin actually had some work done by him on her lower back, or as we say in the family, bulls eye. I always loved ink, but finally knew it was time to get some on my body when my first son, Kaleb Ezra, had passed in my arms from SIDS when he was 3-days old. This Old Metairie girl got inked in bright colors, an original piece of artwork by professional tattoo artist, Walt Clark, and loved the whole experience. I later discovered that tattoos are very popular in memorializing a loved one since it’s a permanent piece of that person always being with you on your body. For me, my ole’ school eternal flame heart with angel wings and a fleur-de-lis was completely healing and part of the grieving and acceptance process. For my parents, my mom couldn’t believe how large it was on my left ankle at first and my father couldn’t believe that not only did I pay this man to do this to me, but that I also tipped him very well and showed it off with great pride. Now, my mom doesn’t even realize it’s there unless I’m sitting a certain way and she can see it, and my dad doesn’t like it, but respects and understands why I felt like I needed it so much. My legally married husband didn’t get inked at the time, hated it then, and still hates it, but for those of you that know me, as if I care what he thinks, especially when he wasn’t the one carrying our child for nine months.
Now, most parents would be mortified with their child wanting to be a tattoo artist or body piercer and would rather see them become a doctor or attorney, but not this parent. There are way too many attorneys and doctors in this city and I have many of them as friends. Truthfully, I admire people, especially any artist that can fudge their earned income for the year and deal in cash. Oddly enough, I have always had a problem with people not viewing tattoo artists as “real” artists. Personally speaking, they’re much better than most commercial artists out there, they have a much harder medium to work with, and yet they never get the true artistic credit they deserve in the public limelight. Fortunately with tattoos jumping in social popularity for younger generations due to sports idols, actors, and musicians it has become more mainstream and acceptable.
Of course, some people just have really bad looking tattoos done by really bad and inexperienced tattoo artists. This is why you should always do your research on an artist before you decide to get ink done on a drunken whim. Luckily, professional tattoo artists can do some incredible cover-up work and turn an ugly piece into a beautiful work of art on your body. Now there’s also the choice of having your bad tattoo lasered which is becoming very popular with dermatologists everywhere. My friend, the glorified pimple popper dermo doc, often points out to me that it would cost over $5000 to have my tattoo removed because a “real” professional tattoo artist did it. I usually tell him it will cost him even more to remove my foot from his rear if he ever mentions the removal of my tattoo again.
I did want Walt to do some other artwork on me at the time, a fleur-de-lis cross under my belly button in a henna style ink to hide my mother’s mark line that most women have after giving birth to a child. Due to time conflicts and myself getting a surprise pregnancy with my daughter, I never did get any other artwork done. After having my daughter, I’m actually pretty happy that I chose not to go with any tattoos on my stomach area. I pretty much looked like someone strapped a turkey on by body when I was pregnant with her, and with my daughter’s 9lb 11-ounce weight, my tattoo would have stretch marks on top of stretch marks for sure. I guess I’ll one day get another tattoo in honor of my daughter, Kylie Ember’s birth and renewal of life for me personally. Perhaps it’ll be on the Valentine’s Day when she turns 18-years of age, so we can do it together.