Although the Puget Sound does have a good amount of Pagans, the Pagan community here is far smaller than the communities that I was used to when we live in Nevada and California. This has also posed an issue in finding a tattoo shop that will do Pagan tattoos, not charge me insane amounts, do good work, and have respect for the Pagan symbols that I might want tattooed. For the last three years we have both abstained from new tattoos because of this. Saturday night we decided to take a leap and see what we can find.
The first shop we stopped at did not impress us one bit. They had two artists working, only one client in the shop, and both had very bad looking tattoos. However, I asked for a quote anyway. They wanted nearly $300 for my tattoo at less than half the size that you see pictured in the slide show. Although I understand that Pagan tattoos tend to be difficult with strange lines, circles and spirals, the price was out of my price range and I was not impressed with what I was seeing in the shop. Disappointed, I was nearly in tears. Then my wonderful husband (Paul Marseillan) recalled a little shop that he noticed the night before while we were at Dorky’s arcade with our friends Kevin Krona and Heather Wallen in celebration of Kevin’s youngest daughters birthday.
We found ourselves in a small shop called Till Death. The walls of the shop were covered in graffiti and what looked to be signatures. There were a few books of photos showing work that had been done in the shop and that’s when I began to get excited. If a graffiti filled shop with books of what I would call gangster style tattoos makes you think that someone like me looking for a Pagan tattoo doesn’t belong, you would be very wrong. The gangster style tattoos have a lot of odd shading, mixtures of colors, strange shapes and odd lines. This is exactly the type of shop that I wanted to be in.
AJ came up to us and offered us assistance and I showed him what I wanted. The price he quoted me was $80. My jaw about hit the ground after being previously quoted $300. Of course I was going to go for it, but then there was the question of the tattoo for my husband. He knew what he wanted but we couldn’t find a picture of it and its outside of my design abilities. After a few moments of describing to AJ what he was looking for, AJ showed him a photos of the type of tattoo that my husband was trying to describe and quoted him $120. That’s $100 less than what we had been quoted for just my tattoo at the other shop and I am pretty sure that they would not have been able to come up with my husband’s tattoo design.
I can honestly tell you that I have never seen someone tattoo like AJ did on my husbands piece. At first I had no idea what he was doing but figured that I had best just let him do what he does and keep my mouth shut about my confusion. What AJ did on my husbands arm is amazing. He took my husbands idea and made it real on his arm. You will have to see the photos to understand. After a short break it was my turn.
Lucky for me but not for AJ, he had a computer malfunction that prevented him from being able to minimize the size of my design that I brought in and I ended up with a much larger tattoo than I had anticipated for the same cost. When talking to AJ about my tattoo I had only mentioned color a little bit, and honestly wasn’t sure how to express how I wanted the coloring to be. I didn’t exactly want it solid but wanted the color to be evident and sort of show off my goddess and spiral in the center of the triple moon/goddess symbol and pentacle. As he started to outline my tattoo I noticed that he had set out a great shade of red, a reddish brown, black, bright purple and a dark almost blue shade of purple. He was going to shad it rather then do the solid color. That’s exactly what I wanted but hadn’t known how to express it correctly. AJ was very good with my Pagan design, there are a few lines that will need repair another day. It was cold in the shop and he was tattooing on and around goose bumps. He could not have done the spiral better an that was a very important part of the design for me.
The end result, near perfection. He treated our odd Pagan designs with respect and creativity. Although I am sure there is a proper term for it, the gangster style of the normal tattoos they do in the shop gives all of the artists in the shop the ability to do some amazing work when it comes to Pagan tattoo work. Not only would I suggest this shop to everyone I know, I will also be going back again. For some time I have had a tree of life idea that I think they can make come to life. Till Death for Pagan tattoos, yes, that’s the place to go!
207 South 9th
Tacoma WA 98402
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