There’s something about the smell of antiseptic soap, ink, and alcohol. The combination of these scents always makes an impact on me upon walking into any tattoo shop – it never fails to make me giddy with nervous excitement, even if I’m just there for support. Walking into Phat Joe’s on Wednesday night made me nostalgic and wistful. Coupled with familiar faces and the promise of new artwork beaming colorfully from every inch of wall space, places like these tend to feel for me like a home from another lifetime.
Nicole was a bit anxious about this particular tattoo due to its size and permanent placement in a highly visible spot, but I know she felt more at ease once she was greeted by petite pixy Maytee Bringas, longtime artist and creator of Mayeville, a place for all things cute with just the right amount of cult edge. Maytee manages to make permanent ink application appear no more difficult than skillfully applying liquid eyeliner. She balances cupcakes and skulls in a way that just works and that’s just a girl after my heart.
Working in a tiny cubicle covered in Hello Kitty, Betty Page, and Mark Ryden, what felt like only a few “brushstrokes” amid a flurry of girl talk turned into the final product (pictured below) that made me have to resist lunging towards her and volunteering my own limbs for canvas.
I forgot to bring my camera along, but here are a few shots from my phone. If you’re feeling the urge for ink as badly as I am, consider Phat Joe’s on 84th Avenue and Bird Road.
Note: I was a little worried about the skewed perspective of my blog – specifically the disproportionate amount of bubbles versus ink. I hope to begin redeeming myself with this post, honoring my friend Nicole and her recent experience with talented tattoo artist Maytee Bringas at Phat Joe’s. I’m hoping to feature more talented artists, and keep praying that at least one of them will be working on me soon.