So it might not be a secret that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. I wanted a Harry Potter tattoo. There are so many common Harry tattoos, heaps and heaps of deathly hallows symbols. I wanted a back piece which means a few things: it needs to be big, it needs to be bold and it needs to fill space. When I was thinking about all the things in Harry that I love, I thought about moments in the books that really touched me. The sound of the phoenix song after Dumbledore’s death being one of them. Then I started to do my research (re-read the books). When we are first introduced to Fawkes is actually in the core of Harry’s wand. Then next we know about him when we meet him he bursts into flames in front of Harry.
And we are told about some magical things about phoenixes. They can carry large loads, their tears have healing powers, they are immortal, their song gives you courage and calming and they are immortal.
There are many moments in the books that Fawkes comes to the rescue or has a power effect on the characters. He also represents for me starting again and renewing life.
I found a tattoo artist through my friend Kath. I was looking for a new artist as really I did not have one from my previous two tattoos that I had bonded with at all. I wanted someone to do a design and I wanted a female. I was recommended Victoria Lundberg from Wild at Heart Tattoo in Brisbane. So I made an appointment to meet her, and go over what I wanted. I wanted Fawkes who was true to the model from the movies but also had some things from the books. I gave her multiple pictures of Fawkes from the movies and also other pictures of tattoos I liked. I wanted it to be a full back piece, so it was going to be A3 sized. I also wanted wings spread and belly facing out, with both ribbon and peacock style tail feathers. And it had to stick with the Fawkes colours. Above is the initial design that I okayed. From this initial design I asked that the body be half the size and the tail feathers to be straightened.
I really loved how she put him into a fighting stance. Every phoenix tattoo I had seen they were in flight. But this is Fawkes fighting and I loved that.
So here is the first stage of the tattoo, the outline. It took 3 hours and it was very painful.
Second session we did the wings. This stage took 2.5 hours.
Next step was going to be finishing off the colouring. Unfortunately at 3 hours after majority of the work on my spine I went into shock and my body just could not take anymore, so we stopped there.
There were two stages here, but I did not get a picture of the 4th. It was finishing the colouring. The 5th and final stage was bold outlining and touch up colouring. So another 2.5 hours and 1.5 hours. And then it was finished. It took 5 sessions, and was started at the beginning of November through to the end of January. I am really happy with how it turned out, and it healed really well (all except for the brown/grey which I had a reaction to). Amazingly the red and line work healed amazingly well. I was ready for continued sessions every 3 weeks. And I got to know Victoria pretty well over all that time. For a tattoo that size and in that position you kind of just have to go for it.