Playing Catch-up, Like a Slacker

I’ve been horrible about blogging this semester, inexcusably lazy about it really. The fact is, I haven’t done much tattooing or travelling lately. I started out well enough, tattooing some coworkers, getting my needles out at least twice a week. Then I got bogged down a bit with other shit…like trying to finally finish my papers for my Master’s degree (not there yet, but making progress). In the very near future, I’m planning a couple blogs: one on becoming vegan, one describing my life here in Nanyang, China before I leave (in just a few weeks!), and maybe a couple others if there’s time.

I’ve also started putting together a physical portfolio of my work, both tattoos and drawings. It’s interesting to see the past year or so of my efforts all together in one spot (other than a computer screen…I guess I’m a bit of a Luddite at heart; it all seems much more real/valid when put into a book one can flip through). I’m hoping to continue working towards becoming a professional tattooer when I return to the US at the end of June, so a physical portfolio should come in handy.

In other scintillating news, I’ve started a YouTube channel. It’s weird, I never thought of myself as much of a social media person (see above technophobic comment), but I’m gradually spreading out onto more internet platforms. Over the past year-and-a-half I’ve joined Pinterest, Instagram (sev_1900), started this blog, and made an additional Facebook page (“Sarah Seveney Ink”). What’s next, Twitter and Snapchat? No…probably not. Anyways, if you’re interested in travel videos, which are basically compilations of videos clips I’ve made in places like Florida, Thailand, and here in China, then my YouTube channel is the place to find such things…”sev1900”. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re having a beautiful late spring/early summer!

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Belated Update…

Hey guys, I’ve just realized that I never did a post on my 6th and final week at Bangkok Ink. Psshh, what a lazy piece of shit.  So, here’s the body of work from that last week in Thailand…

 

I feel like I ended things on a high note…the last few pieces were really fun for me, and came out pretty nice.  I never thought I was a fan of traditional-style tattoos, but my taste is changing a little. I might try designing some tattoos kind of similar to the native girl and tattooed man–I’m into it now.

Anyways, I’ve now been back in China for a little over two weeks.  I’m not happy to be back here…I already miss Bangkok too much, and I have a feeling that the spring semester will pass excruciatingly slowly.  My job is finished here on June 24th (maybe a little before that with some clever exam scheduling), and I can’t wait to get back to tattooing in Thailand.  In the meantime, I’m trying to tattoo as much as possible while I’m stuck here.  I’ve tattooed a few coworkers, and I’ll put up pictures as soon as each piece is finished.

Here are a few more pictures, from one of my last nights in Bangkok, which happened to be Buddha’s birthday.  I went to a temple with some friends:

Thanks for reading!

 

Week FIVE :/

My fifth week here has now come to a close…I have about 8 days left in Bangkok, and maybe six more tattoos. Then it’s back to the teaching grind in central nowhere China. I’m coming back to Bangkok Ink at least one more time. The spring semester ends in June, so I’ll be back here as soon as my grades are turned in…hopefully for about 10 weeks!

This week was a bit of a struggle. I had some tattoos that challenged me, and a few one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of moments. Here’s the week’s work:

I also got a new tattoo myself this week.  One of the bamboo tattoo artists here at Bangkok Ink gave me a turtle on my forearm.  It’s a Sak Yant tattoo, a traditional Thai spiritual tattoo done in the hand-poke style, from before the time of the tattoo machine.  The one I got is for health and long life, and success in business.  Here it is:

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Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day, and an awesome week!  Talk to you again soon…

Week 4…

Hey peeps. One month down, two weeks left to go here at Bangkok Ink. Shit man…it’s disturbing how fast time slips by, right? So, tattoos. Better this week, definitely better. My tattooing Jedi master, henceforth to be known as “A,” taught me some good stuff this week. I played around with color a bit, worked on improving my speed, and found a style that I want to focus on in the future. I showed A some photos of tattoos I love, and we got into a discussion about neo-traditional tattooing. I love it, man. The lines are important, just like in regular traditional tattoos, but the designs feel more artful and unique to me. Then, there’s the use of color. I think that the incredible, varied shades of ink used are what put the “neo” in neo-traditional. I’ll do a full post on this later on, in case anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about. If you do the Instagram thing, check out the tattooist Emily Rose Murray (emily_rose_murray). She’s one of my favorites…I’m on there as “sarahseveneyink” by the way.  I have yet to actually DO a neo-traditional piece, but hopefully will soon. In the meantime, here’s some pics from the past week:

I learned a lot this week, and had a few “breakthrough moments.” I’m starting to feel more comfortable and confident.

I hope you all had a great well as well, and thanks for reading!

Week 3 at Bangkok Ink

Hey guys…this week was pretty good, I think. I’m halfway through my time here (fuck!).  Three weeks doesn’t seem like enough time, three months wouldn’t even do it.  However, I did get to do some tattoos I like, and am reasonably happy with the quality (even though, as ever, I can see a lot of mistakes in the pictures). There’s definitely been improvement; I can say that much at least.

Here’s the batch from this week:

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Koi fish
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Idea of actual size, and picture comparison
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Creepy lady…should have done more shading in the hair.
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Again, hair problems. This is unfinished, more shading in the hair, and lots of color.
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Samurai…also could have used more shading.
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From today, which my teacher said is my best so far.
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Idea of actual size

In a lot of these pictures, you can see some little white specks…this are tiny bits of paper towel I think (invisible to my eye when I’m wiping down the fresh tattoo, but obvious with the flash).  We need better quality paper towel here, but anyways, I think it’s been a productive week.  My goals for the coming week are: 1. More consistent line work. 2. Better, smoother shading. 3. Better coverage with solid black and color.  Friday’s tattoo was actually just adding color to a tattoo I did during week 1 (the sugar skull), but I didn’t include a picture because it’s still not finished.  Her skin wasn’t totally healed.  My coloring sucked though, trust me.

I’m amped for the coming week…I hope I get some interesting, different designs to try.  Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has an excellent first week of February! Xoxo.

Week 2 of Return to Bangkok Ink

Hey guys…I hope everyone’s having a good, productive, awesome 2016 so far…

As for me, this is the end of week two out of six here at Bangkok Ink. Went by faaaast, I can’t believe my time here is already a third of the way over. Here’s what happened this week. Firstly, I got my first full-body massage ever. It was nothing short of fabulous, even though it was Thai-style and a little painful at some points. I felt amazing afterwards, and had a perfect night’s sleep. I don’t know why I waited this long to try it…I’ve always wanted to get a good massage, but I felt weird about having someone put their hands on me like that (weight/body image insecurities, sigh). Secondly, I’ve been eating a lot of excellent food. The food where I live in China is good, but I end up eating the same handful of dishes over and over. The culinary variety that Bangkok presents is just…epic. Middle Eastern, Indian, American, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Greek, and of course Thai and Thai-fusion all within easy walking distance of the tattoo shop. Heaven. Finally, I found a great place to go running while I’m here. There’s a park across the street from where I’m staying, and I’ve been running there about five days a week. Gotta burn off all those tacos and gyros, know what I’m saying? I think I’ve actually lost a couple of pounds here, which is shocking…could be all the sweating and water drinking, in addition to keeping up with the exercise.

Anyways, Bangkok feels like a good fit for me, it always has. I could easily see myself living here full time in the future. Besides daily-living type stuff, the other thing I have to mention is, of course, the tattooing..!

There have been some ups and downs this week, but I’ve got a general feeling of positivity going at the moment. I reread my post from last week, and the tone was pretty negative. After another week of intensive tattoo practice my work is showing some improvement. Finally.

Here are a bunch of pictures (sorry about the sideways ones, I’ll fix that next time).  My line work is getting better, but not consistently so.  My shading has improved a bit, I think.  Overall, a better batch than last week:

 

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Sugar skull, unfinished

 

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Sugar skull Snow White, unfinished
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Lines…working that pigskin

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My first watercolor-y piece, an addition to an existing tattoo
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My first stomach tattoo…lines looking like shit again, sigh.
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Koi, from yesterday
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Owl, from today
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Close-up: some lines look pretty clean, some…not so much. Working on consistency.

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Final note: I’m feeling good about the work, but damn, my hands are killing me now. Especially my right thumb, from gripping the tattoo machine hard for hours on end. That’s something I never thought about before I started out on this journey…how tired a tattooists hands can get (especially stretching all that belly skin for the cat tattoo, that’s what did it this week).  Below I have two more pictures, just from walking around near the tattoo shop.

As always, thanks for reading! ❤

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Sukhumvit
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Walking down Sukhumvit at night