Crayons 2 Cans: My Tattoo Excursion

On the fifth day of 4-Star my city gave to me....the courage to go and get inked. With the threat of impending doom supposedly scheduled a few days away I allowed myself to wonder what things I'd like to do before I get rubbed off the face of the Earth. So when word started floating around work that we would take part in a tradition of punk rockers and drunk college kids, I was intrigued. No virgin to the tattoo world, I wasn't too excited about the ordeal. I remember my first tattoo and all the work that went along with it. The bleeding, the peeling, ick! I decided instead to go as a spectator. When workmate, Diego Moreno suggested that his cousin did tattoos I was interested and when he further mentioned the price I was swung! With Tonantzin Gamboa, my "boss lady" in tow, we headed out on the most adventurous Tuesday I'd ever had.

Camilo Cumpian
1100 West Cermak
(appointment only)

Despite the rough exterior, the studio space where tattoo artist and muralist, Camilo Cumpian, has set up is plush and very inviting. Camilo along with his business partner, Ben Duarte, are licensed tattoo artists with 15 years experience between the two of them. They pride themselves on offering a more exquisite setting, more comfortable experience and ultimately more affordable than the traditional tattoo parlors in the city. No need to worry if that tattoo you want on yoyr butt will expose your private area to practically the entire shop, with only two artist chairs but enough space for you and your private guests, this tattoo studio creates a more intimate vibe. Add to that they use fresh, sterile needles every time and pay yearly to have the Hazmat department properly dispose of the materials instead of dumping in landfills. So your tattoo may hurt you, but not the environment!

I watched as Tonantzin braved her first tattoo and then the moment came on me as to whether I'd go under the needle. Maybe it was the 60 degree weather during December in Chicago but I decided to get swept up in tattoo fever. One less regret to have on the end of days, I suppose. I braced myself for not only one but two tattoos and was wishing I had taken that complimentary beer Camilo offered me earlier. The experience was painful, I can only imagine what child birth may have in store for me but I found my tattooing experience was better the second time around. The studio is open nearly everyday but they go by appointment only. So you'll have to say no to that 3 a.m. urge to "do something crazy" with that oh so special girl you met at the bar that night. I'm happy with my work and I'd gladly recommend Camilo's services to anyone. We spent the rest of the night chilling, finishing beers and discussing the meanings of our tats until near midnight. All of this, with work looming over our heads the next day. Check out the pics from the studio and of my cowardice under the needle.

Thanks so much to Camilo for providing a great atmosphere and awesome chair-side manner!

And don't forget about the chance to win fabulous prizes from 4-Star Explorer. All you have to do is collect all 12 "Jingle Words" and email them to us! Read 12 Days of 4-Star Giveaway for more details.

Jingle Word-Infinity

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