I wanted to share my work-in-progress tattoo. It’s inspired by the “Four Gentlemen Plants” or the “Four Gracious Plants” as it is known in Korea. The plants consist of the plum blossom, chrysanthemum, bamboo and wild orchid. It was important to me that the tattoo looked like a painting with delicate brushstrokes.
I went to Onizuka Tattoo in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles and met with their guest artist from Japan, UG. I told him generally what I wanted and I trusted him to come up with the design.
He took a pen and started sketching on my shoulder/back, which I thought was interesting. He finished his rough draft then started on the tattoo. It took about 4 hours, which included a couple smoke breaks for him. It cost $400 (or was it $350? I forgot) plus tip. Be sure to tip well, at least 15-20% because tattooing is such hard work! It was painful at the time, but I’ve already forgotten how much it hurt and I’m ready for the next one. I won’t lie, by the last 10 minutes I couldn’t take it anymore and I started crying. hehe 🙂
As for tattoo care, I found it pretty simple. Times are a changin’ because the care instructions were different from when I had my first tattoo done back in 2005. No more Neosporin, I guess. If you’re interested in a tattoo, follow the instructions of your tattoo shop (a good tattoo shop will tell you to take care of your tattoo). One tip from me – Lubriderm STINGS like no other. Oh my goodness, my boyfriend slathered some on my tattoo and a few seconds later, I felt the most horrible stinging and it made me scream. I found that Aquaphor (ahh, my beloved Aquaphor) was great to apply on my tattoo. It did stick to my shirt during the day though.
When looking a tattoo artist/shop, do your research first. I chose Onizuka based on reviews and their artists’ portfolios. You want to see your artist’s portfolio to make sure what you want fits within his talent range and/or specialty. It’s also important to have a consultation to make sure the artist understands your concept or design intent. I highly highly recommend Onizuka if you’re looking for Japanese-inspired tattoos. Everyone there is extraordinarily talented, almost unbelievably so.
1 down, 3 more plants to go 🙂