The Resplendent Quetzal, Part One

Even before I wanted my Bucky tattoo, I wanted one of the Resplendent Quetzal.

Resplendent_Quetzal_JCBThe quetzal, you see, is an amazing bird. It is the national bird of Guatemala, and it is both on their currency and the name of their currency. Because they have a tendency to die or kill themselves in captivity, they are considered a symbol of freedom and independence. They are also exceptionally beautiful birds. The males are vibrant green and red with tail feathers that are ridiculously long and beautiful. I had plans for a tattoo of one, then Bucky died and I put it on hold so I could memorialize my dear kitty.

Now, it’s time to Put A Bird On It.

Quetzal Tattoo 1Behold, the result of my first session. It took about 3 hours to do this outline and the more I look at it, the more I love it. Imagining what it’s going to look like when it’s finished is blowing my mind.

Gotta admit, I was a little nervous about the whole thing. You see, my usual artist is a fabulous guy who goes by the name Per. He’s the one who did three of my small tattoos and my big Bucky piece. I also knew that he had done a quetzal before so I was looking forward to having him work on me again.

And then he moved to Temple.


I asked my piercer to recommend an artist at the studio and he turned me over to Miles, who I remember from 14 years ago when I got my first piece at Dandyland. He’s been working there since Hector was a pup but it’s always a little nervous-making trusting someone new with your skin, especially when it’s a piece this size. However, I think it’s obvious that I picked the right man for the job. The detail work and delicate lines on the tail feathers are ah-mazing.

As an interesting aside, when I got my first big piece back in *ahem* 1998 it was at Dandyland by a guy named Chris Lyons. I spent a lot of time in his chair tucked away in the back of the shop. Imagine my surprise when Miles took me to the very same station and motioned for me to sit down. It was comforting. Tattoo studios are comforting to me anyway; the hum of the gun, the smell of disinfectant, and the vibe I get from the guys there. If you’re in Lamesville, I HIGHLY recommend Dandyland for both ink and piercings. They’ve won lots of awards, too!

I’ll post more pictures as I have more sessions. Next one is October 5th!


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