I was always intrigued by tattoos in my early years, but never thought enough about them to ever want one. Thoughts like Why does that guy love barbed wire enough to have it tattooed on his arm? or I wonder what “tribe” that tribal tattoo represents? would cloud my mind and sully the idea of ever getting something meaningful tattooed on the temple I call my own body. Fast forward to my (really) late twenties, here I am thinking of different designs paying homage to my parental units to be permanently drawn on my skin. I knew I wanted something and began my research about two months ago.
In L.A., there’s really just one choice when it comes to 100 percent vegan tattoo joints. I came across a couple of artists that could use vegan inks, but James Spooner of Monocle Tattoo was the only one who would be using vegan-friendly soaps and aftercare, and, as far as I could tell, the only vegan himself. I remember either an old Quarry Girl post or tweet or something regarding Spooner a couple of years back, so when my own research came back to him, I shot him an email (or nine) with some basic questions. He was extremely helpful and informative, and once I met him in person and he was as excited, if not more, than I was regarding my idea. I knew it was a match. Plus the “Vegan Tattoos Don’t Hurt (Animals)” framed artwork in his shop warmed my heart more than standard adjectives can delineate.
I was ridiculously impressed on Spooner’s ability to put his art on paper based off of my descriptions. He sent me a drawing and the next day it was on my arm, permanently. I’ve never been as excited as I was, still am, about this tattoo. I have many more sessions left to fill in and have it colored, which I feel like a kid on Christmas morning in anticipation. This was my first tattoo but Spooner made it feel like I’ve been there before, and even after 3+ hours on the “table” (it was actually a chair) I was never uncomfortable (other than the needles-into-the-arm part.)
Southern Californian vegans would be making a mistake if they went elsewhere. And if you get a non-vegan tattoo because you like the artist’s work, it’s the same as eating a non-vegan pizza because you like the taste. Ya dig? If you want more information on vegan tattoos or if you’re serious about getting something done, for the first time or 100th time, hit him up. Tell him Vegansaurus sent you.
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, California. He co-created and contributes to a Rhode Island based Hip-Hop website, The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.