If you are like me, travelling inspires noteworthy experiences ... doing something you've dreamed about but just not taken the plunge ... for us, that included tatouage.
The west coast of the U.S. is (in the cities, that is) considerably more liberal. In the SF Bay, Portland, Seattle and So. Cal. areas ... you'll see loads of tatouage (tattoos) and tattoo shops filled with (mostly) creative and professional artists. The range of artwork is amazing... but how to find and choose someplace/someone who indelibly marks your precious body?
Well, in my opinion, the best way is by referral. If you are considering a tattoo, most likely you know folks who have them ... and within that group, you know someone who has tattoos you admire. Ask them. Trust them. (make sure it is someone who has more than one! that isn't a one inch butterfly or heart... :P)
My first tattoo was done by an artist that was referred to me by a Portland'er I know who has many tattoos in a wide range of themes, all of which were really cool. He told me about 3 different artists and I went for the woman ... who made the experience smooth and easy. And didn't just slap something on my body but really 'interviewed' me and was careful to insure I wasn't going to end up with regrets...
This go around, our friends Kathleen & David told us about their friends at Infinity Tattoo in Portland. This place appealed to us not only because it was recommended ... but also because the owners travel to Paris every year for a month or so and do a sort of 'tattoo exchange' (as I understood it) program, staying in Paris, doing their art with a partner shop and even teaching.
Given their level of experience, they weren't available on the drop of a dime to work on us (of course, there was no planning ahead on our part! lol) ... but an artist in their shop, Sean Lanusse, met with us ... consulted re: our ideas and then in a follow-up appointment for the actual tattoo, presented us with the artwork he rendered from the conversation.
I knew I wanted a sparrow and the phrase "Je Ne Regrette Rien". Kibbutzing with friends, I came up with a Fillmore-inspired idea ... I wanted the phrase to form the body like those 60s psychedelic concert posters and album covers some of you might remember (example above). When I arrived and saw the art, it wasn't at all what I had in mind. Undeterred, Sean continued the convo with me, regrouped for about 20-30 minutes and came up with the exacly perfect art design. He then listened carefully to color ideas, contributed his as well and I ended up with a tattoo I know I will adore for life. It is in organic shades of green and teal ... no black at all (a req't of mine)... and perched just below my right shoulder. The sparrow's face is simple and portrays an inquisitive little spirit (what else would you expect?) The wing has Je Ne, the word Regrette forms the bulk of the body, with Rien tucked below.
So, should you be in Portland ... Infinity tattoo is highly recommended for a personalized and professional tattoo experience.
And in general, I encourage all of you dear readers to seize the moment today and do something you've always dreamed about but never taken the plunge ... make today (and every day) the day you have one of those memorable life experiences that, over time, add up to your life of no regrets!