Ever see something so perfect for someone that you had to get them it? I had that moment in October 2014 when Lawrence Canham posted a sketch of a tattoo design he wanted to do on facebook. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I was getting for Stu, my then-boyfriend and now-fiance, for his 40th birthday in April 2015!
This is the photo that he posted. Perfect! It has a skull, dot work, and a beautiful death head moth. Stu has been admiring Lawrence's work since my first visit to Loaded Forty-Four in May 2014, and had been desperate to get something by him. I messaged Lawrence as soon as I saw the design, and asked if he would be prepare to hold it for such a long time for me and explained why. He was super sweet and eager to help. An hour later, Stu noticed the photo on facebook....
Too late though Stu.... I had already paid the deposit and it was booked, but not till April! I spent ages debating how to tell him and when. In the end, I settled on the night before the appointment, which was a week before his birthday.
In the end I opted for this, a little heart made out of paper, with the photo taken from facebook, and a little message written on it too.
I was so nervous, but thankfully Stu was so totally thrilled! Yay! So the next day we got up and got ready and drove to Swinton to see the crew at Loaded Forty-Four.
Lawrence spent a bunch of time getting the stencil just right, with it having straight lines he wanted it just so. We naired Stu's legs the night before and Lawrence remarked that they were the 'smoothest men's legs he'd ever encountered' haha. And off they went!
Lawrence tattooing Stu.
Half done and time for a break.
Thanks to Lydia (I think it was Lydia, sorry if it wasn't!) for grabbing Stu a straw so he could comfortably sip his Relentless. We nattered most of the time, and towards the end I sat reading Game of Thrones on my Kindle and he played Cookie Jam haha.
The finished piece! Seriously, how amazing is that? The detail and dot work is just incredible. Stu loves it so much which makes me super happy. He's been living in shorts since he got it done to show it off and is already planning what he wants Lawrence to do on his other calf.
And now, the tip! I take tipping tattoo artists very seriously, I like to buy them little gifts and presents, and as soon as I saw this I had to get it. It's a cake, that's a pie, a pie, that's a cake!! With chocolate gravy and icing chips and peas. Amazing!
Thank you so so much to Lawrence for helping me surprise Stu, and holding this design for over 6 months. I cannot recommend Lawrence and the whole crew at Loaded Forty-Four enough. They are a seriously talented bunch and I hope we will be back over to them soon to get more work done.
And here is healed photo!
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