On my twentieth birthday, waaay back in 1992, I got a very 1992 tattoo. It was a thin, tealish-greenish vine with little purple flowers spaced along it encircling my right ankle. The details of the flowers were too much for their tiny area, and they never looked like anything more than little purple blobs, really. All the colors were sort of dark and muddied because the guy listened to my request that they not be too bright and cartoonish, but didn't take into account the fact that my olive skin scars darkly.
For years, I've daydreamed about getting the vine redone and made into something fuller and prettier. For a long time I thought it would be a grape vine, lush and twining. In the past year or so, I started thinking seriously of having it redone, and my vision moved from one of a realistic looking grape vine to a more stylized, Art Deco looking one. Then I could never really find an example where the grapes looked like I wanted, and I moved toward the idea of a Deco-looking flowering vine. For Mother's Day this year, my wonderful husband bought me a gift certficate at No Regrets. It was finally going to happen! While he was there getting his really cool compass tattoo a couple weeks ago, I got a chance to talk to Tony Max, whose book I had liked. We talked about my design ideas and looked on line at images that had elements of what I wanted, then set an appointment for yesterday.
Tony was all ready when I arrived and had drawn up a stencil for me. But when we started talking about color, I was disappointed to hear that all of the vine parts would have to be black. I had thought when we talked, he'd said they could be dark green, but now he was saying that just wouldn't work as cover for the old tattoo. He suggested that if I didn't want a black vine tattoo (which at one point was what I considered getting, but I decided it would make me feel even more silly in feminine clothing like dresses), I could get groupings of photo-realistic flowers all around my ankle, and the only black would really be the shadows and spaces in between other elements, which would work nicely as cover. He brought me a book of flower photographs and I picked out some that I liked. The idea was actually similar to one I've been thinking about for a whole different tattoo, so it didn't feel like too much of a leap.
Long story short, I liked what he drew up, and here's what it looks like after the first session. I spent about two and a half hours of actual needle-on-skin tattoo time yesterday, and it will take another session of almost that long to color in and shade all the flowers. But I love it! I won't get the next part done until after our beach trip because it wouldn't have enough time to heal before then.