Thursday, November 27, 2014

No stink, just ink - Southgate Ink and stage two of my full sleeve tattoo

It has taken a while but I finally got around to going back to Southgate Ink to talk through the remainder of my full sleeve tattoo and price up how much it would cost to finish.

People coming to this fresh can read about why I opted to go for a full sleeve tattoo to cover up older tattoos and my experience of the Southgate Ink studio by clicking here. Today I’m going to be writing about stage two, from my elbow down the front of my forearm.

Before I start a few pictures of my half sleeve are below to give an idea of where we started from recently.



Why the delay in going back you might ask? A few reasons mainly, money is obviously a factor at £80 per hour for a complex tattoo means that the remainder will cost in the region of £800. The second is that the original tattoo artist left the studio earlier in the year and I’ve been nervous about making sure the colours and shading match up. The last thing I want is a two tone arm!

As the remainder is on my forearm it is incredibly difficult to sketch up a design, instead I provided a few pictures to the studio and then visited to see what they had come up with.


I booked in for a three hour sitting with Luca, the new tattooist at Southgate Ink. He showed me the design he had sketched of a large stone work face as I had asked and we had a general discussion how we could fill in the gaps later with stonework before we set about inking.

Prior to starting my arm was completely shaved (I never realised how cold a bald arm could get), he rubbed down the skin with disinfectant and then a further wash. Not only this, Luca didn’t set up his needles until I had sat down so I could watch the fresh needles being removed from the packaging and placed into the guns (I’m calling them guns, I have no idea what to call them). I found this incredibly reassuring, especially as I had been reading lots of horror tattoo stories recently.

A few jokes aside - like him in broken English saying he had an eye condition while crossing his eyes and coming at me with a needle broke the ice and the transfer was placed onto my arm. 

The first part of the tattoo which dominates my upper arm and covers the original tattoos hurt a bit, more of a stinging which I could tolerate for hours on end while listening to the music choices of the owner. My forearm is clearly more sensitive and I have to say that I was in pain, uncomfortable pain from the moment he started. Not fun, but also not their fault. Luca sensed this and asked a few times if I was OK. Thoughtful but nothing could be done and we ploughed on.

Using a single needle to outline the tattoo and colour deep lines we moved onto the multi-needle to start the shading. Ouch, ouch and double ouch. 




While uncomfortable it wasn’t as though it was so bad I flinched (thankfully) and as we progressed the pain was replaced by a voice in my head mouthing ‘wow’ as the image started to come to life (no I wasn’t tripping) on my arm.

Three hours on the dot and it was finished. 



Excess ink was washed away, a further round of disinfectant wash was used and then cream and cling film was used. At the time the pain subsided and I walked through the aftercare with the owner of the studio before placing a deposit for the next stage on the rear of my forearm and some ideas for how to finish near my wrist.

I’m delighted with the tattoo from Southgate Ink, I love going to the studio and find that they are well priced for the level of detail I have asked for in my designs, nothing is too much trouble and finally, the studio is clean with hygiene being the order of the day.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, at Southgate Ink you get no nonsense service, honest opinions (they will refuse to undertake tattoos if they think they are unsuitable) and an inking that will blow you away.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Southgate Ink
96 Crown Lane
Southgate
London
N14 5PA

Telephone: 0208 920 2517

The studio is located just behind Southgate Underground Station on the Piccadilly Line.

You can see how the inside of the studio looked at the start of the year (it's been refurbished since), my design on the wall and shots of their sketches and tattoos by visiting the video here at Youtube and their page here on Facebook.

TOP TATTOO TIPS:

  • Don’t be rushed into having a tattoo – a good tattooist will not rush you;
  • Review the portfolio of the artist;
  • Ask for them to draw the design for them to trace;
  • Don’t let someone tattoo directly onto your skin without an outline;
  • Cleanliness cannot be understated – Southgate Ink was spotless and they cleaned around the clock;
  • Always make sure you see the tattooist unwrap fresh needles that haven’t been tampered with;
  • Always follow the aftercare instructions;
  • If you have even the slightest of doubts don’t do it – wait until you are 100% sure;
  • Relax and try to enjoy the experience.
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30 comments:

  1. An impressive arm. I'm quite fascinated by tattoo's although I don't have any myself. Looking forward to seeing the full sleeve when it's done

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    1. Thanks Anthea, hopefully I should have it finished by the end of January. Then I can start planning the next one!! Stephen :o)

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  2. Amazing work! I too have had a couple of tattoos done at Southgate Ink (small world!) Have always wanted a sleeve not sure the hubz would be as enthusiastic about it as me though lol

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    1. Wow, it is a small world. They have a large turnover in staff but I'm yet to find an artist that isn't top notch. Personally I think full sleeves look good on a woman as long as they are subtle - demon skulls and lots of shading look a bit OTT. Stephen :o)

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  3. That is one incredible tattoo, but I was wincing at the idea of all those needles!

    #UKBloggers

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    1. Oh, this stage absolutely murdered my forearm for about 10 days. It is now about 3 days away from completely healing!

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  4. 3 hours!! I'm not sure I could manage it but good on you and the inking is amazing.

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    1. My first ever sitting was for 5 hours! It was agony! I have a friend who sat for 8 hours for a full back tattoo - to this day I have no idea how he did it.

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  5. I'll be honest, I do not like tattoos at ALL , but this one is certainly really impressive! Quite a work of art!

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  6. Great tattoo! SOunds like a really pro studio, always important to go somewhere with a great reuputation as sadly there are some terrible ones around!

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  7. I am shocked you sat still for that long without Football Manager ;P

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  8. I love how personal tattoos can be and how creative the whole process is. I personally don't have any at the moment but it is something I will most probably consider in the future. Good on you for sitting through a 3 hour period!

    Sophia Meola | A Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  9. I'm not a tattoo fan at all but I do recognise that this guy has talent. It does look great. You must be delighted.

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  10. Cool tattoos, I wish I had the confidence to get one.
    x

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  11. Well I feel really informed now. I remember waiting for my brother having his done and they certainly didn't rush

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  12. wow :o that looks painful >.<

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  13. Aouch it looks painful, but amazing work

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  14. I always have wanted to get a tattoo, but it seems too much of a commitment, so I haven't done it yet :D

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

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  15. Ahh it's lovely! :)
    I'm always on the look-out for more London based tattooists so thank you!

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  16. It is like an artwork! Tell me it didn't hurt.

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  17. It is looking great! I could never have one done though-I am too much of a wimp :-I

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  18. I am often impressed by tattoos but never brave enough to have one myself!

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  19. Tattoos are soooo expensive but at the end of the day tattooists are artists and their time is money I guess. It's great that you were happy with the service. Off to read your original post now

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  20. It looks amazing! Love tattoo sleeves!!!! I don't have one but they are just gorgeous pieces of art. I have two tattoos and have been itching to get another one.

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  21. 10h! wow! I could hardly sit for 1h in the chair. Not sure I would make it much longer.

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  22. The artwork is amazing but I have to admit I am really not a fan of tatoos

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  23. That's one impressive tattoo. you're braver than me. A small one is.enough for me

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  24. Gosh, very brave! Looks incredibly painful! But the design looks great, I remember my brother drawing his own design for a tattoo many moons ago and having to go back a few times... not as big as yours though. I like tattoos although too scared to have my own one done!

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  25. oh wow your brave , my husband likes tats but i more a no thankyou kinda girl, i dont have one and dont want one but i do think they ,look fantastic x

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