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New Year, New challenges

 I know it's been a LONG time since I've posted on here, but there's a good reason... I FINALLY made it overseas!!! The end of 2012 marked a life changing year for me. Tattooing has taken over my life more than ever. It's exciting to finally be able to support myself with my artwork, however finding the perfect balance between work and at home has been the most challenging. I am still working out the kinks in my workaholic-ism, with the help of my oh so supportive family and coworkers and friends.

And now for my trip! I spent the first two weeks of my adventures in Sydney, Australia and Melbourne. In Sydney I worked at Tony Cohen's Illustrated Man Tattoo. This shop was super busy and really fun! This tattoo on the left was the first larger custom piece I had the pleasure of working on. I stepped out of my comfort zone with this one, working on my polynesian and trying to be as accomodating as I can to my clients. This was his first tattoo!
 A better view....
 After Sydney, I went to Melbourne to work at the Tattoo Convention. This was my first tattoo of the show. This one marked a turning point for me. Not only was this my first time tattooing at a show, this was my very first girl head drawn entirely in my style on a client who let me take artistic license. Not that I haven't been able to design my own tattoos before... but this one was different. I had an hour to draw it up and with all the buzzing of the machines I felt so overwhelmed... not to mention the fact that both Anna and Bill were right there watching me the whole time. It's like I had a flashback to the first few tattoos I've ever did, having the both of them lurking over my shoulder.

I think that after working this convention, I finally understand why alot of artists out there prefer to stay out of the convention circuit. It's loud, crowded, you feel rushed, you feel like you can't give 100%, the pressure is crazy because there's so many amazing artists there doing incredible tattoos, the lighting is bad, etc, etc. I had a pretty bad anxiety attack this day...however as soon as I started this tattoo all my worries disappeared. This to me is the epitome of being in love with what you do.

To be able to completely block out all the crap going on around you and totally focus... not an easy thing to do. I felt so excited to be tattooing in the same room as these artists whom I have not only looked up to, but look at their artwork as inspiration when I draw.

The hibiscus was done at the show the next day. This lovely lady was there working as well, doing amazing pinup style hair and makeup for whoever wanted to. Sorry for the crap photo. This was another challenge.... tattooing ribs and waist without having a bed or something for her to lay on.
 This was the last tattoo of the show. After my mini-freakout, Anna hooked me up with this woman who already had a design on her foot, however the original artist didn't use enough black, so I reworked her exsisting design and added some more pedals/flowers to it.

After the show Anna and I went out to hang out with everyone from the show at the afterparty. I had the opportunity to chat with some of the artists from the show -Bill, Anna, Damian McGrath, Paul Booth and Bob Tyrell, as well as Tamar Thorn whom I had the pleasure of meeting this weekend....after spilling to them my issues and fears about the show, I realized that I'm not the only one who had/has these fears. I can't thank them enough for their support and kind words which helped me through hectic weekend...not to mention the fun party we had! I think my anxiety just gets in the way. I made it through, and I'll do it again.

 These two were done at the show as well!
 There's WAY more to tell about my trip, however this post is about tattoos. I'll create another post just for the trip with photos next time.

When I got back from my trip, Tim came back for some more! This is for the newest addition to his family, Little Miss Taylor!
 This was another fun one! This was done on a woman from outside of PA, she wanted a version of Kathleen Hannah holding a feminist novel. Hopefully I will see her again to add some color to this. She is in the process of creating a sleeve with feminist art and content involved and is collecting her tattoos from various female artists around her. I was honored to be chosen to be a part of this... she also has work from my Coworker/friend Tegan Beyer!
 This was another one... my first attempt at a monarch butterfly. I was having some machine trouble that day... was doing some tinkering and to me this is not my best work. It could have been more perfect... the lines aren't the best and the black could be smoother as well as the drop shadow. I would like to see her back to see how it healed and give a touchup for the areas I'd like to clean up and make perfect. Just one of those days, which happen to all of us. I have to say these are harder than they look.
 Remember this one? I tattooed him MONTHS ago... we did an outline on him and just colored the rose, no vines or shading. I was stoked to see him back and the rose healed up GREAT except one little spot which was touched up during this session. It was awesome working with him and hopefully he'll be back in for more sometime!
 Very excited to do this one, on my boyfriend Erik. I got to do an awesome girl head of my design on him! It was scary tattooing someone that you will see's got to be PERFECT. Always has to be. I had put an outline on him a few months ago, and when I came back to shade and color it there were also some imperfect lines that I cleaned up as I shaded it. For the most part I was pleased with this tattoo and I will post a healed photo soon!
 Finally finished Jim's leg! We started this one months ago as well... it looks hazy in the photo I think because the lines were healed. I will be seeing him this week to get a healed photo of this and to work on another design for his leg as well!
 My first Mickey. And he rules!
 Another one on Erik! This one epitomizes him. He's loud and hard of hearing. Hahahah!
 Tim came back for more! This is done on the back of his knee! So excited for this one! I need to go back into the right side skull one more time to smooth out spots and we're going to create a background next time as well!
 His first tattoos! One strip on each side! Great practice on this one!
 Another first tattoo! Haven't done a wolf before so this one was fun. I definitely have a different way that I would like to approach this one next time....
 Second tattoo on the guy above... the pictures got mixed up while uploading!
 Scarab on the arm - walkin at No Ka Oi
 Another view
 Megan's arm is 95% Finished! We have one more touch up session left then we're done! So excited about this one!
 Another view... sorry about the glare!
 Lower back tattoo!
 Another shot of Megan's arm... uploading issues again
 Yet another first timer! He sat wonderfully and I hope to see him back to see this healed! This pic isn't the greatest due to swelling
 Nik came back for more! He sat for 6 hours on this chestpiece and all we have left is a touchup session to add some white highlights. Sat like a champ too!
 Kenny came back for an addition to his arm! It's just about finished!!!

 Teddy bear fun at the NJ shop!
 Another bear in the same day
 Another view
 Tim's back for more! This time my first full finger tattoos!!! I'll be seeing him soon for a touchup on these because they usually always need them and to add to the back of his knee!
 Walkin while at No Ka Oi one night! Thanks to the lovely Miss Brooklyn!
 Always fun - tribute to Mom! on the same guy as Mickey Mouse! How awesome!
 One of my very first clients as a professional tattooer came back for another one! I did some small lettering on his wrist. He's a doctor who has a love for fishing! Hope to see this back soon to see how it healed up!
 Her first tattoo! Sat like a champ too! For her Dad who had passed away...Will be seeing her back for more soon!
 Another view
 All these first timers! I have to say that I love giving people their first tattoos... something about giving them a good experience is always key to keep them coming back. My first experience getting a tattoo wasn't the greatest, so I make it a point to give everyone the best treatment I can.

This one was done on a friend's wife - will add color next time!
 Miss Brooklyn came back for another one! Hidden names are always fun!
 New beginnings, kharma, simplicity. love this design and would love to do it again!

 Becca's new doll!! Crappy photo... will repost this one soon!
 On my cousin! His first one. Can't go wrong with a Taz! My first time tattooing one too!

 Crap photo... finally finished Heather's leg!!!!
 This past weekend I had the opportunity to work at another Tattoo Convention. This time at the DC Tattoo Expo. This was the first one of the show on Byron Wallace... a well-known tattooer in the business and friend of my Mentor. I was honored to be asked to tattoo him and hope it heals perfectly! BIG thanks to Byron for this!
 A walk-up from the convention. On a chef for his first tattoo!
 Nothing is too small to get while at a show!
 Added this carnation to an exsisting tattoo! Another fun one.... I could do flowers all day!

Got to do this one this past week! From an albumn design from the band Demon Hunter! Love this design, big thanks to the lovely Miss Alice for this one!
 Zeus' arm is officially finished! YAY!
 BIG thanks to Zeus for trusting me with his first big tattoo! Loved doing this one!
 Another view...
 Did this one on Saturday... crap photo.... nerd tigers rule!!!!! thank you Jim!
Started this one on Saturday as well! Thanks to James for coming back! It's clearly unfinished, still need to add more black and color... unfortunately we ran low on time! This weekend was busy!

Looks like that's all for now. Thanks for reading if you made it this far... will post more soon!

Here's to a new year, getting better and keeping my feet on the ground!

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