I got another kick ass Brian Grover tattoo on Monday. Jon gave me an Autonomy Tattoo gift certificate for Christmas. Thankfully, I scheduled a January 21st appointment last August. Worth the wait, I assure you. I love this tattoo! The colors pop and the lines are super solid – it hurt like a bitch, also worth the pain. Brian is an interesting cat to talk to, thank god because it distracts you from the discomfort. I have a great deal of respect for this talented local artist and am so glad that most of my right arm is covered with his work. This time he did a fly reel and flower Mandala inside the state of MN. Brian’s got some great ideas to finish a ¾ sleeve. Maybe he can disguise my stretch marks. This bright, lovely new blessing is the perfect time to tell you about tattoo after care. Always ask your tattoo artist what they recommend for aftercare. I like to use Hiker bar on my fresh ink. This soap is made with a relatively large percentage of castor oil which has both conditioning and moisturizing qualities. The Avocado and apricot kernel oils contain vitamins A, D and E which are healing and moisturizing. The cocoa butter olive oil and beeswax contribute to the hardness of the bar, contain antioxidants and give this soap that great slippery feel, which feels pretty awesome on fresh ink. I might love this soap more than my tattoo (no offense Brian). I'm all about pampering my art investment and Hiker bar totally fits the bill. The Great Soap Company’s Hiker bar is also awesome shampoo, it gets your hair squeaky clean and contains no chemicals or preservatives, it's all natural. The guys at autonomy encourage you to leave the bandage on until you want to start dealing with the after care. My bandages typically don’t last long as I always have to show someone ASAP. Try to resist the urge to take off your banddage though, everything I have read indicates that you should leave it covered for at least 2 hours. I like to keep mine clean with Hiker bar and wash it every 2-3 hours. I wet the new tattoo with warm water, work up a good lather in my hands, gently wash, rinse and repeat (use your hand, no washclothes allowed) and gently pat it dry with a paper towel. I apply Aquaphor (a Eucerin product) with a rubber glove and am able to use a very small amount to create a thin even layer. I carry around my little tattoo pampering pouch for about 4-5 days and then just switch over to lotion instead of Aquaphor. Hiker bar is scented with some power packed essential oils too. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and antiseptic and Clary sage, peppermint and rosemary are super clean and refreshing. I highly recommend this awesome product to care for fresh ink investments. I saw Brian Thursday and he said my tattoo is healing beautifully.