Getting a tattoo has taken a surprisingly long time. I decided I wanted something Norse / Viking / Scandinavian on my arm for a few years, and finally decided on a Vegvisir because “if this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known“.

Then I decided I should get my entire arm and shoulder done, too. I found designs, inspiration, and brought them to a well known tattoo shop in downtown Vancouver. I checked out all their artist portfolios, and found an artist who I thought matched the style I wanted, and set up an appointment with him. When we met, he immediately seemed to understand what I wanted, and had a ton of great questions and ideas right away. Good.

So I paid a deposit an was to wait for some ideas and drawings to come in … they never did. Eventually my unanswered, patient queries had me contacting the shop directly, who told me he was in a habit of taking deposits and not following through. I finally got him on the phone and he was all too happy to refund me, so I was back to square one. I still don’t understand what happened there, at no point did he seem unwilling or unhappy with the task at hand. Artists. :shrug:

So I found and researched anther tattoo shop closer to home. I went in, showed the receptionist what style I was looking to do, and she hooked me up with one of their artists. When I met the tattoist, she seemed to fully understand what I wanted. Again I paid a deposit (four times what the much bigger, more established shop downtown wanted!) and we immediately set up an appointment to get it done a few weeks later. This seemed very positive to me! That she was so sure she’d have the drawing done exactly like I wanted! I was promised the drawing a week before the appointment so we could fine tune things.

Alas, that date came and went. She had to cancel due to illness, but no pre-appointment drawing came like I was promised. Hmmmm. We immediately rescheduled, and I was told I’d be emailed the drawing prior to the appointment. Of course, the appointment time came but there was no drawing to be seen ahead of time. So I wasn’t sure what I was going in for!

So I went in, and oh boy … that drawing. Sure it had a snake, and ravens, and the other bits and pieces, but it didn’t look Viking at all. In fact, you would guess it was Native American. I can’t stand Native American art. I hate it, in fact. I hate totem poles and their stupid masks and their giant black and white whales.

But the Vegvisir wasn’t up for interpretation, and that she had drawn perfectly. So I had her put in on my forearm, and it looks awesome. We’re going to keep working together on the rest of it, I’m sure we’ll get that figured out eventually.


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