I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published January 11th 2012
Word of mouth is a powerful business tool and when you have a reputation like these guys, it shows. Victor Tattoo has been inking and piecing bodies for over 20 years and their success lies in their artistic skills from being able to illustrate what's in the client's head to permanently inking it on their body.
My boyfriend had wanted a tattoo for over ten years and always knew this was the place to get it. Having booked a trip to Egypt for later in 2012, this seemed the perfect time to get the longed-for Eye of Ra, the Egyptian sun god, inked on. The shop is particularly busy on weekends and over school holidays so we did need to book in and could get it done three days later. This was perfect as we'd just finished holidaying nearby and had he got it done earlier, he wouldn't have been able to swim or sun bake!
The staff were very professional from that first day. While they showed us pages of their own illustrations of the Eye of Ra and different colour options, they were happy to give us the final say without being pushy. The chosen design was a picture from the internet. They graciously used their artistic pen skills and tidied up the sketch from the net, quoted a price and gave us a time estimation.
On the day, I couldn't help but take last photographs of my boyfriend's bare arm! Mark, the store owner, would be inking him and who better than he, with his reputation on the line with each client and years of experience here and overseas behind his belt. He expertly suggested some shading around the tattoo to give it some lasting definition. At first we weren't so sure but were delighted with the end result. We trusted his advice and experience more than our own. He also said that because the black lines were so thick that they may need to be "darkened" in years to come due to natural fading. His honesty was refreshing.
Mark was happy for me to be there and take photos and video recordings while watching LA Ink on the TV. The pain was not what my boyfriend had expected and we concluded that you only hear the bad stories. He described it as multiple paper cuts being dragged across your skin as the needle went to work. It was over in an hour and a half and cost $130.
The end result
While it was incredibly tempting for me to also get one while being there and in the best of hands, I resisted. I hadn't yet found anything significant enough to have permanently on my body and feared the addiction of getting more tattoos that the first one can inspire. My boyfriend is already considering one on his other arm...At least we'll know where to go for a reasonable price, an impeccably clean and sterile environment and performed by those extremely skilled and passionate about tattoos.