Several weeks ago, Todd and I went out to add to our ever-growing collection of tattoos. We visited our favorite artist, Josh Howard, at Pioneer Tattoo in Chicago. I had a plan for a design in honor of my grandmother, who passed away over a year ago.
Pioneer is an unassuming shop. There is no sign from the street, and it's located on the second floor. You have to get buzzed in to walk up to the shop, so I'm pretty sure it's not a walk-in type of situation. We've always preferred to book our appointments with Josh wherever he's been working at (we've followed him from Deluxe Tattoo, to Chicago Tattoo, and now to Pioneer Tattoo). Also, we went on Sundays, which is (in my opinion) the BEST time to go because parking is 1.) available, and 2.) free.
Oh yeah, Josh lives in Milwaukee and works out of Solid State Tattoo most days, but comes to Pioneer on the weekends in Chicago for folks out this way. Yay!
One more fun fact: our dog, Dio, is one of Josh's dog's puppies! So, that makes us sort of weirdly related... right?
Because I can't photograph myself getting tattooed, I took a photo of Todd getting his. I really like the big windows that let in a whole bunch of light into the studio space. And Josh always has a bunch of weird and fun music playing in the shop, typically with some Rush sprinkled in to the shuffle, so we give two thumbs up!
I thought you might appreciate seeing the evolution of my tattoo design as it became a reality. I originally toyed around with the idea of getting a black and white portrait of my grandmother when she was 16... but it didn't necessarily fit in with my traditional-ish color tattoos that I already have on my arm. So I thought about what objects might symbolize my grandmother over the course of a few days...
...and then it hit me, and it seemed so obvious! My grandmother wore Chanel No. 5 perfume and red lipstick - it was kind of her "signature." And I love girly symbolism in tattoos, so I was really excited to have a super good reason to put these items on a tattoo design!
I grabbed some images online and used photoshop to compose the overlapped perfume bottle and lipstick tube. I then printed it out and traced it onto paper, which is what I sent to Josh when I made my tattoo appointment. The final tattoo lines and coloring though - that's all him! I'm always amazed at his work. I think the reflection on the gold of the lipstick tube is my favorite part, but I also love the addition of the blue and white to the perfume bottle. I wouldn't have thought of that.
These photos aren't 100% healed, but they're close. I just couldn't wait to share. I'm very pleased with the final result! As the designs on my right arm begin to fill in, I have plans to connect the designs eventually with tiny black stars...
While I was getting tattooed, Todd spent his time doing what he does best: taking photos. Here are some of the things he spotted through his lens:
Jen @ Hell Razor