I have a few things to catch up on, but the most important thing (at the moment) happened yesterday. I got my tattoo! Well, the outline of my tattoo. I arrived at the shop and checked in with Ron, my artist. He pulled two pages out of the research I had brought him and said that they were his favorite images; luckily he picked out my two favorites as well. He hadn't really thumbnailed it at all, given that an ankle/lower calf isn't really a tube and therefore hard to create for without the ankle there. He began to draw on my ankle with red sharpie, using alcohol to periodically erase sections and draw again. Then he outlined areas he was happy with using a thin point black sharpie. He did nothing but draw on me for 2.5 hours!! Then came ink. Which, ow. Yes, Virginia, tattoos hurt (especially around the ankle bones) but it's not unbearable pain. Though I've been warned that color will only be worse.
We have two more sessions scheduled - one for him to do more black work, and one for him to do color. Probably another five hours of ink. I'm thrilled with it so far - and I can't wait to see what he does with it.
(I hope this works, someday I'll have to get smarter about dealing with photos online.) Yes it's big (about 8" tall from the ankle joint to the top of the front piece). The thing I don't have is a picture of the back of my leg, he erased that entire section at least three times to get something he liked, and yes it does all connect. I'm still really excited about it, though a little disbelieving that it won't wash off at some point.