Isn't it beautiful! I am so excited about how it turned out. The tattoo artist I dealt with, Nemo, is amazing with the old school/traditional tattoos. I came up with the original sketch, it took me 3 years! But Nemo "tweaked" it and added his special touches.
The swallow stands for loyalty and fidelity, they choose a mate for life and will only nest with that bird and no other. One of the hearts is for Hubs and the other is for Little Miss. The nautical star represents a deployment and I'll add another star with each deployment.
I have been thinking this whole tattoo thing over for 3 years now. I've always wanted a bird of some sort because if I could be any animal, it would be a bird. I would love to be able to fly! Over the years I've added all the little things and pieced it all together so it would be packed with meaning and significance. The drawing has changed over the years, at one point there was an anchor incorporated into it. After we decided not to re-enlist in the Navy I decided to do away with the anchor idea. Its been about 6 months since I've changed up the sketch so I figured it was about time to put it on my body.
I know most swallows are traditionally blue. This is a male swallow which doesn't have all the blue. Plus, it makes my swallow different from alot of the other ones out there. This was a very personal decision for me to get this tattoo. I didn't get it to show off to everyone, though right now I don't mind showing off something so artistic! This tattoo will be covered up unless I am in a bikini. I know one day I'll be working again (hopefully as a nurse!) and I know that tattoo's being visible in the workplace is generally a no-no.
I asked around for recommendations before I came home to visit, and decided to check out this place. I came in to discuss my tattoo because I didn't want to show up and be like, "I want a tattoo do it now". I showed Nemo my sketch and told him what I wanted. He told me to come in later that day and he would work on it for me. When I came back, we discussed the tattoo, decided on the sketch, and made the stencil for it. I was a bit nervous because it was bigger than I had intended but I couldn't imagine getting all the detail if it were any smaller. It took 3 hours from start to finish. We took 2 breaks: once after the outline and once after the red & black shading. I haven't decided which is worse, the outline or the shading. To be honest, it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was uncomfortable and whenever the needle was near my hip bone or my ribs I won't lie I let out a few choice words. Overall, it wasn't a bad experience as far as pain goes. From my perspective, if you've had a baby and haven't had the epidural until you were 7 cm dilated then the tattoo isn't any worse. If anyone is in the Baton Rouge area, I recommend Nemo over at Burning Lotus Tattoo and Piercing!