One thing I wanted to try in Japan was getting another tattoo (in spite of my onsen incident earlier this year). I expected it to be difficult, expensive, and patronising. Turns out, it was only one out of three; the cost was the only draw back.
I researched some tattoo studios in the area, and made excursions to visit. After reading a report on an English Nagoya Web Zine, I decided on "Boobies" tattoo studio in Sakae. In spite of their attention-grabbing name, they have a well-established customer base and a professional website, available in English and Japanese. There are three locations in Nagoya, each home to unique artists with different styles.
I drew the design myself and carried it in to the studio to make an appointment. Much to my surprise I was able to choose an artist and set up an appointment that same afternoon. My design was of two swallow birds, one holding a star shaped key, and the other a heart shaped lock.
I wanted to commission Nakatake-san for this tattoo, because of his delicate line work, retro style and beautiful colouring. He adapted my design perfectly, and also cleaned it up for straight lines and symmetry. He's very kind, very talented, and very helpful.
For example, I originally wanted the birds on my collar bones, but thanks to Nakatake-sans's suggestion, I placed it up higher on my shoulder instead. I think it looks so cute and feminine here, but it is also easy to conceal with a cardigan or shirt.
Since the cost was more than I anticipated, I will have just the blue bird for now. It represents courage and opportunity from my loved ones, which helps me fly.
When it was done, the artist said my freckles looked like the bird was sparkling.
Till next time,