Nine year-old- "Can I help you?"
Me, a perplexed look on my face-"Um. I'm here to talk to so-in-so."
Nine year-old who at this point couldn't be bothered and resumes her coloring (I don't really remember if she was coloring, but she was doing some sort of pencil-to-paper work.)-"He's over there doing a tattoo."
Nine year-old-"You can go over there."
So, my first impression of this particular shop was so unprofessional. Not good. So I walked over to the studio area, not exactly sure where to stand, because he's clearly busy. He greeted me and was super nice, but it felt awkward interrupting his work on someone else. Plus, the studio seemed cluttered and a little disorganized to my tattoo virgin eyes. It was just weird. But I was there, so I talked to him about my idea, left him some pictures, and he said he'd get back to me with a drawing. And he did. And it was great. But my gut feeling was to keep looking.
So, two months later, after the holiday rush in my shop, and after a lot of internet searching and portfolio browsing, I contacted a different shop. Their work is stunning! I pretty much already knew that this is where I'd get my tattoo. I stopped by one afternoon to let them know what I wanted. I talked with one of the artists about the idea, he had some input and advice, which I was a little put off by at first, because his advice meant changing the tattoo a bit. (The more I thought about it later, though, the more I appreciated his input.) So after our initial chat, it was then my job to pick which artist I wanted to do my tattoo. This is not really what I was expecting, but it makes complete since. (For some reason, I was hoping that they would tell me which of them would be best suited for my idea. But like true artists, they each have their own style, so of course it makes since for me to choose which of their styles fits me best.) So, after thirty minutes (read: f o r e v e r) of staring at their portfolios, I finally picked Gabe.
And honestly, it was this tattoo in Gabe's portfolio that convinced me. (This photo is not me.) And no, I'm not getting butterflies. At least not yet. ;)
I gave him a quick run down of my idea, and he liked it. Cool. But here's the kicker. His waiting list is a year long. A year! Oh, I was so disappointed. After having already pondered this idea for a year, I was ready. Like put-me-in-the-chair-and-let's-do-this ready. And, understandably, a deposit is required to secure a place on his list.
So, we left the shop with plans to think it over. Not even five minutes later on our way home, I had decided that I would go back the next day to put down my deposit.
So now I'm on the list!
Which is still disappointing, but folks, it will be WELL worth the wait.