It was like The Amazing Race.
Up at 6am in Bangkok, 11 hour flight to Oslo, transfer, three hours to Leonardo da Vinci airport, rent a stick shift, drive 40 minutes to a small town in the north of Rome, speak broken Italian...ok, Spanish...eat at terrible burger at 11pm (the only place open), sleep, wake, cappuccino and two cigarettes....made it.
Escorted through a gated driveway, I walked onto a private terrace overlooking what could only be described as a Cezzane painting, kicked a glass table, and, finally I met her.
If, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery mediocrity can pay greatness," as Oscar Wilde once said, then Sasha (@sashaunisex) must at times feel like the 😊 emoji, while being stylistically one of the most unique and talented tattoo artists of her generation. Not only have others "followed" (read, copied) her style, some blatantly plagiarize her work. When asked, it doesn't seem to bother her (except the plagiarizing), but she is certainly on notice. Observing as well that other artists have moved into the temporary tattoo space she inhabited about a year earlier with her beautiful line of impermanent body art. She's more than just a tattoo artist, to limit her to that label would be to imply that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (humble Shakespeare flex). She is not like any other rose, or tattoo artist. She is a complete artist manifested through tattoo, and her vision continues to expand through her clothing and accessories line. I'll stop gushing, and leave you with the biggest impression from those four hours in the tattoo chair, that, it is rare in this world to meet someone as nice as they are talented. So, take a look at her work, do the math on that, and work backwards.
If you're wondering, I got a rose. On my forearm. The one above, dummy. It's in memory of my mother. And I couldn't be happier with this incredible gift. But no more time for that...
Back in the rental car, dinner, five hours of sleep, hit the highway, gas station, 7am flight to Stockholm, wash and clean my tattoo in a VERY small airport bathroom with two Turkish dudes staring at me, ten hour flight to Bangkok, this woman sitting next to me must have elbowed me 20 times...no bullshit...BKK, hotel, sleep.
Indeed, an amazing race.