I love tattoos so if you consider tattoos taboo, this post is not for you. I’m excited to share my recent tattooing experience at Name Brand Tattoo in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ancient and mysterious history
The Smithsonian history blog has a great post by Cate Lineberry that details the history of tattoos. Cate said:
Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment.
My tattoo is very personal and I would describe it as a declaration of love for my family and running. I hope that I can continue to add to it for many years to come. Chuck now has three tattoos and these are also very personal.
Name Brand Tattoo
How do you select a tattoo “parlour” and an artist? CAREFULLY. Do your research! I recommend Name Brand Tattoo in Ann Arbor for all the reasons listed in this post on wikiHow.
(The lobby of the Name Brand Tatttoo.)
Jen Munford Tattoo Artist
I cannot stress how important it is for you to like your tattoo artist. You must trust them and like their ARTWORK. Your tattoo artist will design your tattoo for you.
You can skip that step and select a design from a box, but I wouldn’t recommend that approach.
Avery takes this approach and has a peacock and a unicorn tattoo.
Your first meeting with your tattoo artist is a consultation. You’ll share your ideas and they will provide a cost estimate. You may have a drawing or not. Or you may just have a vague idea. Your second visit is when you’ll get your tattoo. Sometimes these appointments are combined. I really like Jen Munford‘s artwork. She is friendly and very talented.
(Me with Jen at her station. She is drawing with a marker the additions.)
In August 2011, I got my first tattoo – two flowers and 8 orange buds. Each bud is for a marathon that I’d completed. The flowers are for Avery and Isaac, my sons. Since then I’ve completed 4 more marathons and found the love of my life, Chuck Marshall. It was time to add him to my tattoo.
Yes It Hurts
Some spots hurt worse. I recommend Advil or Tylenol before you arrive. It is not that bad, but it does sting. After a while the endorphins kick-in. It helps if you have someone to distract you. (Chuck’s comment – The buzzing of the tattoo gun can be very zen-like and really takes away any pain. Plus pain is good 🙂 )
The Finished Product
Chuck’s process was a little different. He brought Jen a drawing he had made. They discussed it during his consultation. She created a design from it. When we arrived for our tattoos, Chuck and Jen discussed her design and she made a few changes. From it, she made a stencil. She pressed the stencil on to his arm. If he’d wanted to make changes after the stencil was pressed on to his arm, she would have made them at that point. He liked it so we were good to go.
Chuck had a gnome with a beer under a Crooked Tree on Blackrocks. (Chuck’s comment – So I like gnomes, I love Dark Horse’s Crooked Tree IPA, I’m also a huge fan of Blackrocks Brewing in Marquette, MI. That said, I wanted something that was fun, kinda psychedelic, and had a gnome drinking beer some of my favorite beers 🙂 )
It is a messy process.
Chuck’s tattoo is not finished. He’ll return to have the shading completed in a few weeks.
We’ve got many more photos in our gallery. Do you have a tattoo story you’d like share? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you.