Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Life in Ink

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Rating: 3 Stars

It usually comes as a surprise to people when I talk about my tattoos. Mostly, I think, because apparently I don't look like a person who would have any. Stereotypically, it makes sense. I am, after all, a teacher by day, writer/reader/blogger by nights and weekends, and a mom full time.

Well guess what. I DO have tattoos.

In fact, I have eight of them. And every single one was done at Iron Brush in Lincoln, Nebraska. Best shop in the state, no contest. The guys at the shop are amazing and even though it has been about five years since my last piece of art and I no longer live in Lincoln, I am always toying with new ideas and randomly telling Kevin on Facebook that I have a new idea (Kevin Chasek is the artist who has done 7 of my 8 tattoos and he is phenomenal and patient. Seriously, I have the lowest pain tolerance of anyone, ever. Nate Deal did my very first one and was equally as patient with me. Nate is no longer at Iron Brush, but you would do well to get a tattoo done by either of them. Or Tyson, who owns the shop. All really good guys). This book made me seriously crave a new piece of art, because I love tattoos. I love looking at them, hearing the stories behind why people chose what they did to represent themselves in that way, I love coming up with new ideas and seeing Kevin make it a reality, all of it. I love tattoos. Just not the pain part, but all the time and pain is worth it when it is done if you have a good artist.

Now then, on to the book.

Well...it was okay. Bang Bang (real name Kevin McCurdy) is one of the most sought-after artists in the world and has celebs flying him all over the place to do their tattoos. He doesn't come across nearly as arrogant as he could, but it's there, like he COULD just come out and be the most arrogant guy in the world at any moment. Honestly, I was surprised at how humble he came across to me, but then again he did admit that Justin Bieber is his friend, so he kind of has to be humble because Justin Bieber is a tool.

Admittedly, I was more interested in the photos than his stories, because the artwork is amazing. I don't really care about any of the celebrities that he works with, and loved seeing photos of non-celeb tattoos more than anything. I myself am not really a fan of the whole 'tattoo a face on my body' kind of work, but his talent shines through even in tattoos I would not be interested in getting for myself. But that is kind of the whole point and what makes getting a tattoo such a personal experience - we all have our own stories to tell and things that mean something only to us. With every single one of my tattoos I toyed with wording and design, then set it aside for a couple months and if I still wanted it after that time, took my idea to Iron Brush and let Kevin work his magic on the final design, lettering, etc. I was never disappointed, because the work was quality and he knew even better than I did what I wanted. That's how tattooing should be. Yes, they are costly, but this a piece of art you are going to wear for the rest of your life, shouldn't it be costly?

Sorry for the sidetrack, I can really talk about tattoos forever.

All in all, it is not a bad book. It is clear that Bang Bang is not a professional writer, but I get the feeling the book is written in the way he talks, as it is very conversational. I am okay with. I just can not take someone totally seriously who has a high opinion of Justin Bieber. Don't let that make you shy away from the book though. If you are genuinely interested in tattoos, give this one a try. The photos alone are amazing.

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