Monday, December 30, 2013

The Coveted Dr. Woo

I've been wanting to get a tattoo for a while of a compass. After I left college, my life has felt like such an abyss of uncertainty that it's hard to know where I'm heading and if it's even the right direction, so I felt like a compass would remind me that even when I feel the most lost, I'm still following my own path, even if I can't see where I'm headed at the moment. In my head, it's reminiscent of the great Jack Sparrow with his compass that doesn't point North, it instead points to his heart's desire. Who doesn't want a crazy pirate as a role model?

So with this in mind, I began trolling Pinterest for ideas. I wanted something abstract, not just a chunky, comic-like compass rendering. I stumbled across this guy Dr. Woo at Mark Mahoney's Shamrock Social Club in LA (If you're One Direction nut, you'll remember the boys recently visited this exact parlor). I instantly fell in love with this style he seems to have created on his own.

It must be noted that these aren't just "cool looking tattoos." These are a compilation of the most difficult elements of tattoo art to master. 1) Perfect circles. I can't draw these on a flat surface, imagine how hard it would be on elastic skin. 2) Shading. I don't even know how someone does this with tattoo needles. Magic maybe. 3) Straight lines. I went with my boyfriend to get his first tattoo and the artist actually paled when he saw all the straight lines. May be the hardest thing for an artist to master.

Dr. Woo's work is so intricate and beautiful, it's not wonder he's booked months out. When I called for my appointment yesterday, his first opening was in April. Needless to say it's worth the wait for the perfect tattoo. If I'm putting something on my body forever, I want it to be a work of art, unique and inspiring every time I look at it. I feel like Dr. Woo's designs could appear in a modern art show, and I want to be one of his walking canvases.

Here's a few examples of the particular style he's invented. I'm not sure if he has a name for them, but guessing from his Instagram I think he's calling them "vibes."

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