Old School Dagger Tattoo. Custom Design

in #art2 years ago

The experience behind this tattoo was pretty emotional as it was my first piece done in an official studio.

Some months ago I visited my friends from Tattoo Shop Old School in Stara Zagora. They are awesome people and artists. There is a whole post dedicated to them, which you can read here.

I went there with the idea to be an apprentice and they did not only accept. After I tattooed there, next time they announced me as a guest artist.

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Left: final design; Right: healed tattoo

From the studio's name is it obvious what style they enjoy the most. Good old, Old School! This style guarantees a time-resistant tattoos because of the think lines and solid-color fills.

The first person who showed interest was another apprentice (Alex) . A teenager with an urge to become a tattoo artist. He wanted a traditional design with a dagger with a rose. It symbolizes the duality sides of life.

The dagger signifies death, betrayal and such. The rose - love, vitality and friendship. If the rose, along with its vines, swirls around the sword this symbolizes the symbioses of good and evil. If; however, the dagger goes through the sword, then this symbolizes the dominance of life's dark qualities.

I sat at the studio and drew the design. Then Zhivko (one of the tattoo artist) came, took the pencil and completed it his way. I liked it a lot! That was why I was there. To learn how to emphasize on details.

I pay big respect to the people in the studio who generously share knowledge. Anything I learn there helps me to progress faster.

Tips & Tricks

Thick lines require a higher number of needles, which can irritate the skin. I went with 9RL (round liner) because that is the highest I used.

After the first line Alex insisted on thicker lines. Teodor (the other studio's artist) came, took the needle, lid a lighter on the needle tip and dipped it in water. The temperature made the little needles on the top to spread, so from a 9RL I got a 9RS (round shader).


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It turned out shaders can make a solid line. With the same number of needles to make a thicker line. It took me some time to get the hand of it and a lot of effort to finish. Alex was in a lot of pain and promised himself to avoid that place and getting tattooing for some time.

Last time I saw him he was getting the other leg done in the same place. I will just finish off with this favorite quote:

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