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March 31, 2014

Martial 'Art'

As many of you may know, I am a bit of an art collector. My collection stays with me at all times, and is on display when I'm in the cage, or any time I shed some clothing. If you don't get where I'm going, we're talking about tattoos.
I got my first tattoo at the age 24...(almost 15 years ago!), and instantly became hooked. I loved the way it looked on my skin, and also the fact that not everyone is willing to endure the often painful procedure. Fast forward several years later, and my body has several large pieces. Tattoos have become a big part of my life, and a way of expression. Its cool that fighting has given an opportunity to showcase my ink in the cage and photos and videos of the fights.

For the last few years my good friend and amazing tattoo artist, Jeremy McIntosh of Pygmalion's Tattoo (of Greenfield Ma) has been a great and loyal team Ravenous sponsor. Myself and Joe The Artist have several hours of ink from J Mac's skillful needle, and look forward to much more! Jere is a superb artist with years of tattooing under his belt,  known for his custom art and color work and we recommend anyone who is looking to get tattooed to check him and Pygmalion's Tattoo out! Although Jere's art takes up a lot of real estate on my body, I do have work from other artists and (when my wallet allows..) like to look to add to my collection.
One artist who I have been watching for many years, I actually began watching for another art...MMA! Theo Desjarden is a pro MMA fighter from RI who has fought at several weight classes, but proves he's top  ranked at his true weight of 125. Theo and I became Facebook friends through MMA but I quickly noticed we shared another passion.... for tattoos. Theo had several himself, and (back then) was a budding tattoo artist. I watched his skill as a tattooer grow and grow, and started to think about a potential future tattoo from him.
Over the past few years I had been thinking about getting a tattoo, to represent my MMA team, Team Ravenous. After thinking and thinking, I decided I wanted the word "Ravenous" in script tattooed on me. Theo was my choice. His background in graffiti made his lettering really tight. I messaged him and talked about setting something up. I told him what I wanted and in no time Theo had a sketch done, and it was perfect!! Not only did he get right to drawing me something, it was amazing first go! I set up my appointment for the following week to go see Theo at Irish Rose Tattoo and Piercing in Cranston, RI.

After I made it through an agonizing week of "can't wait to get new ink", it was time to go. The drive although a bit rainy wasn't bad, and I made it in about two hours. Irish Rose Tattoo and Piercing was easy to find, and I parked in a small lot directly across the street. I walked into the small but neat shop to be greeted by the friendly piercer. Theo came up the stairs from the lower portion of the shop to greet me, and quickly got to work finishing my stencil. His station was neat and set up, ready to go. The wall was adorned with a few sexy tattooed ladies from various magazines, as well as some of Theo's past stencils and drawings. His certificates were hanging, letting everyone know he had all the credentials needed to be a professional tattooer in the state of RI. The shop was very busy, as another artist, and shop owner Josiah Dodge worked on clients downstairs, while the piercers upstairs behind us had a steady stream of young girls waiting for their next piercing. The guys were very professional, letting any underage patrons know they needed a parent and proper id on several occasions. At one point during my tattoo, we saw a young girl, freshly pierced, pass out in her mothers arms as they left the shop. Joe quickly helped out and after a few sips of water and a rest, the girl was fine..and  we all had a little laugh.

Theo was very gentle with his needle and diligent with his work. He didn't waste time and got right into the tattoo. We talked about our families, tattoos, and MMA. We agreed that we need to train together at some point as we are close in size. A few hours later we were done. Time flew, and what seemed like an hour or so actually turned out to be a two and a half hour tattoo session.
Theo putting ink into my skin.

I'm so glad that I got this piece done by Theo. It means so much to me, being that it represents my team and path and ongoing journey through MMA. The fact that another martial artist (professional MMA fighter) is the tattoo artist who inked it into me makes it that much cooler, and meaningful.
When I finally got to see the finished piece I was ecstatic! It was better than I could have imagined! Theo's script tattoos are amazing, and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a great tattoo! He has a very skilled hand and works at a great pace. Do yourself a favor and go see Theo and the guys at Irish Rose when you're in RI.....and keep a heads up as Theo hopes to return to the cage sometime this year!!

Finished  Tattoo!
Theo and The Boss..a very happy customer!!
Theo and fellow artist/shop owner Josiah Dodge.