The Biography of the
- Around February 1991:
- The first look in the catalogues of Erik Reime in his
Studio. He has got some examples of the Celtic/Urne style, that I am looking for.
- August 10th 1998:
- More checking of catalogues. There still is some
examples in his catalogues of what I want. I make an appointment for August 31st.
- August 31st:
- The big day. I arrive 20 minutes before the appointed
time. Erik has already finished his first customer. Colin is in the middle of a tattoo. I
tell Erik that I would actually like to get a Celtic dragon, twisting around my left upper
arm. I can not find the catalogue with the examples, but that does not matter much. Erik
already has an idea of the style. To get room for details, I ask him to do it in a
suitable size. Erik starts drawing on my arm with a soft tipped pencil. I look at in the
mirror, and don't really like the dragon's head, so I make him design a snake instead - of
course still in the Celtic tradition. By now I have moved a small mirror, and placed it so
that I can follow what is happening while Erik is designing. The snake's head starts off
quite small, but along the way it grows bigger and bigger, and I sit there trying to get
used to the idea. Intellectually speaking, I know I had asked Erik to do the design
"suitably big", but with my feelings it takes time to accept that Erik is doing
it that big.
When Erik has finished the design, he redraws it with a felt pen, and then he puts out
needles and ink. The tattooing of the outline and other lines hurt a bit, the rest is a
bit easier. The actual tattooing process lasts about 2 hours and I am quite exhausted
afterwards. I get liquid plaster (sealing) sprayed all over the tattoo in the end. As the
plaster wears off in washing, I am to apply Helosan salve on the tattoo, and when it
starts itching (like any wound will do when healing), I must under no circumstances
It is a very special and quite wonderful feeling to sit and look at my new tattoo.
Thank you, Erik.
Later that day, the rest of the family gets to see the tattoo - the accept it and finds it
good (my son thinks it is wildly cool). That night I sleep partly on my
back, and partly on my right side (!).
- September 1st, 1998:
- I am not washing the plaster off the tattoo yet. My
left shoulder is a bit sore.
- September 2nd 1998:
- The plaster has started peeling off, and most of it
washes off in the morning shower. I am only a little sore in the shoulder. Not much scab
has formed yet.
- September 4th 1998:
- Increasing itching.
- September 5th 1998:
- Increasing itching. I bought a t-shirt without arms,
good idea. Parts of the skin peels off as part of the healing process. Some of the colour
goes as well. I hope not too much of the colour disappears.
- September 6th:
- Decreasing itching. By now, so much of the outer
layer of skin has fallen off, so I get an idea of how the tattoo will look in the future.
Not nearly as much colour as I feared for some time, is missing. I don't think I will
notice the change in the intensity of the colour at all after a while.
- September 8th:
- Itching is by now almost nothing, and I do not apply
- Several times - every day:
- It is noticeable how much more aware I have become of
my left upper arm. Many times a day I think of my snake, and can "see" it, even
though I am wearing a shirt.
- My planned dragon got to be a snake - I wonder if
that is because dragons are to the right? or because they look backwards?...
I really don't know. Maybe we meet again, Erik.