I am settled once again into my LAST semester working for the ECU Italy Intensives Study Abroad Program. Exciting things are in the works for my next step (hint: more travel!), and I can't wait to share my next adventures with you all. Most exciting, however, was my opportunity this summer to complete my first tattoos on human skin.
To ensure that any rookie mistakes I made weren't going to stay on some other shmuck forever, the first tattoo that I did was on myself. I designed a thistle and, under the careful eye of Chris Merker from Ink Therapy Tattoo, I tattooed it onto my thigh. I could not be happier with it. There are some definite wobbles and questionable lines, but for a first go I am pretty damn pleased with it. More importantly, it taught me how ink lays in the skin and how the machine feels on a person rather than latex. Once I figured it out on me, my DAD offered himself as my first canvas. (Ten thousand million Dad points to Reed).
I am completely infatuated by the machine and the beautiful effects that you can accomplish with it. I still have a lot to learn and a lot more practice to get in before things get up to my usual standards, but I am thrilled to have started in on this journey. The support and enthusiasm I've gotten from all of you has been truly humbling. I am planning on getting licensed to guest-spot when I come back to America in December, so if anyone is interested in getting on my books, keep an eye on my facebook and instagram- I'll be making a call there sometime in November.
Other than that, life is a beautiful mess. Italy is, as always, gorgeous, and I'm enjoying the bitter-sweet taste of my last semester living in Certaldo. I've started working with Florentine Leather and am in the process of making hand-bound journals and change-purses that will be for sale on my store (which I'll open soon) for Christmas. Please let me know if there are any prints that anyone would be interested in purchasing- I'll be printing and processing work here in Italy and bringing it back to the states with me.
Also, a huge thank you to Brian Lyman and his sisters for bringing another of my pieces to life this weekend at Thistle & Pearl Tattoo in Asheville, NC! There are so many wonderful things happening in all the corners of my life that it's hard to choose which to focus on. As Madeline L'engle and Carl Jung assure me, art is cosmos in chaos. I'll suppose I'm just along for the ride. :)