It was the Spring of 2004 and I had been deciding over a period of several months to a few years, when I finally concluded that I was going to indeed get a tattoo.
I'm an "accidental" collector of dragonflies... accidental in that I didn't start this collection myself. I received a necklace several years ago from a friend who has since passed on... the necklace became kind of a signature for me in that you'd never find me without it. Those not knowing the significance of the necklace may have assumed I had a special place for dragonflies... I didn't then. I do now. Thus continues my collection of dragonflies. And now back to this review...
Mentioned I collect dragonflies so it may be no surprise that I chose a dragonfly for my first tattoo. Not just any dragonfly. I wanted a strong looking dragonfly who looked like it'd just run into a fan, but survived. This dragonfly I tell of represents my childhood... even some of my adulthood. I thought that since this was going to be permanent, I should put some thought into what it was I wanted from it. Enter John Kautz, my tattoo artist.
I'd bombarded this man with hundreds of questions followed by more questions... half expecting to talk myself out of this, half expecting to see his patience run dry. Neither happened. He answered every question I had followed by reassurance and a patience I'd never experienced before. Trust me... he's heard it all. Nor does he seem to mind hearing it all again... if that's what it takes to reassure a frigid client, like myself.
It was kind of like losing my virginity. I had been just as nervous that day just as I was then. I once was a girl. Girls kind of plan when they are going to lose their virginity... where... with who. I have to say, honestly, my tattoo artist was way more gentle, patient and sincere than the guy I lost my virginity to.
John had made sure I was comfortable, explained everything that he was going to do before he did it, made sure I still wanted to go through with it, made sure I was happy with the artwork and where it was being drawn on my skin, made sure I was happy with color choices... satisfaction strived for. I couldn't have been more at ease or comfortable in his care... I'm definitely satisfied.
The end result is a rugged looking dragonfly resting on the back of my left hip, that looks as though it's just been run through a fan, wings tattered and torn... but alive. I got what I asked for and then some.
If this is the kind of bedside manner that I get from him, I'd expect to be in great hands with anyone else, also. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. I'd personally recommend them to anyone looking for not just a good tattoo, but a great tattoo.
I know they do body piercings as well but that's not my thing. Nick appeared to be busy enough the few times he was there while I was getting my 2nd tattoo worked on by John earlier this Summer ('06). I didn't actually witness any actual piercings as he had a way of blocking the actual puncture from someone else's view... unless they was standing right next to the client. So, I guess if I were to receive a piercing, I'm slightly relieved that there is some privacy allowed. I don't really want to know about below the belt piercings... can you say "OUCH!" Nonetheless, observing Nick's workspace from where I'd been sat to receive, I could see that it was organized and well kept. He was on top of his game. If I were to get a piercing (I'm not) you could bet it'd be Nick that I'd call.
There are others at O'Tool that I may not have mentioned but that doesn't mean they aren't worthy of my words. You can find out more about the rest of the staff for yourself and possibly even view some of their artwork by visiting www.otooldesign.com
Tell them Shannon sent you!!