Here's the rest of the tattoo story, and a look at the final result. Apologies in advance to anyone who is squeamish about needles...
Brian's appointment at Model Citizen was for 5:00 on Friday afternoon, the day before he was to leave town for several months. I was still drawing the final version until about 3:00 and getting a little panicky about it. It's not every day that your artwork is going to be tattooed (like permanently) on a friend...so if there's a time for perfectionism, this is it! When I got to the shop, I was definitely the nervous one.
James, the tattoo artist, made the stencil and we talked over the details of placement, etc. He transferred the drawing, Brian approved of how it looked, and they settled in to work while I settled in to watch and photograph the process. Brian said it didn't hurt too much, just kind of pinch-y and stinging, and was really calm...but about 5 minutes into it his eyes rolled back and he passed out. Yikes! Apparently not uncommon, since your body can react to the outrage by basically going into shock. James calmly revived him, and I got him a sweet soda to raise his blood sugar, and once he was back to normal they carried on. I appreciated the chance to watch the process, and was especially impressed with the shading part.
An hour and a half later it was finished and everyone was happy. We negotiated our way through the teenage punk band crowd in the outer room, and I steered my happy-but-wobbly friend out through the Ithaca Festival crowds to get some stabilizing food. Not my usual sedate Friday evening.