Into the Wild

2018 has been a year of growth and change. Both for the business, but also for me personally. I am learning a lot about my strengths, my weaknesses, and the ability to navigate through them equally. I have also reconnected with my instincts in a way I didn’t necessarily expect in my mid thirties.

Over the years, I have gotten tattoos in various cities I have lived to mark certain moments in my life. I have the word Always written over my left chest because I always follow my heart. I have Julio’s heartbeat over my right chest to remind me that despite everything in life (and relationships), love is as simple as the soothing heart beating of someone special. I have a red rose on my right wrist because it reminds me every time I write something down to ensure it would be something my Dad would be proud of – it was his favourite flower. I have a quote from my ex fiance on my lower ribs to remind me that everyone deserves to be forgiven, even myself. And finally (bet you didn’t know I had so much ink!) those three hearts you see in photos of Catherine & I’s hands. It’s to mark a long standing friendship with one other woman – the three of us will always carry each other after over 15 years of friendship. So why am I talking to you about tattoos and how they mean something to me you ask? Good question. 

I should give you some context. Being that Catherine & I have been friends for over twenty years, chances are if you ask us to do something together for the blog that we’ve never tried before, we’ll do it. So when we were invited to the grand opening of the new Black Line Studio Don Mills location, and offered a tattoo for attending, we said yes. Without question!

While having my chest tattooed with Julio’s heartbeat, I had the pleasure of meeting Ania who works at the Don Mills location. Immediately, I knew I was in good hands. This is something I think some people don’t know about the world of tattoo artists – you have to click with yours. First of all, I am not the kind of person who would get a frivolous tattoo. That’s not me. All of mine mean something to me and mark an important part in my life – I also have respect for an artist who will say no if they don’t want to tattoo something. At the end of the day, it’s their art on your body. But let’s get back to Ania – an artist trained back home in Belarus, she might has some of the best line work I have ever seen! Click here to check out her Instagram account.

So what does the process look like? Well, first you send your artist inspiration photos (thank you Pinterest).

For me, it had to have flowers, incorporate my current tattoos, and a wolf. Why the wolf you ask? As mentioned above, I am reconnecting with my instincts as I continue to learn and grow. There is something quite majestic about the wolf in my mind. Not to mention that Catherine keeps running into wolves in her life (you’ll have to ask her) and I like to think we are soulmates who will continue to guide each other in life. That’s a lot to think about, but all thoughts that have crossed my mind when I sent over inspiration photos like these:

From this point, Ania and I went back and forth on the concept. I made changes, and she made suggestions. It was a collaborative and creative few weeks. 

This is where I should take a minute to mention that as someone who is impatient and quite impulsive, I wanted it to be done properly. For a creative idea to take weeks for me at one point in my life would have been torture. But the lead up to my first session was inspiring. Finding the right Black Line Studios artist is the first step. Working with them is the second. And after we reached a design we were both happy with… well, it was time for my first five hour tattoo session ever. 

So, after one tattoo experience where I learned about her and her art, I was inspired. I’ve been wanting to design a chest piece tattoo (a term used to describe a large tattoo which usually covers the a large portion of your chest) for a long time. Spurred on by the fact that Julio likes the idea of me having more tattoos, I decided to start on the process towards a chest piece with Ania and Black Line Studios as the best tattoo experience in Toronto I have ever had. 


You can have a tiny pre-@dothedaniel peek… 5 hours down, 10 to go. ?

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I will say that a five hour session being tattooed isn’t an easy task. For those of you who have never had a tattoo before, I would encourage you to come to Black Line Studio so you have something to be proud of. But for those of you who have ink already, the following statement will make a lot of sense. Black Line, and Ania, kept me relaxed while she works on my piece. Her line work is amazing, the shop is immaculate, and the whole team really makes the experience enjoyable. Although the process of building a chest piece has been a learning experience in patience, creativity, and collaboration for me, I wouldn’t trust anyone or any other studio with it. 

For more information on Black Line Studio make sure to check out their website here. Join in on the social media conversation by following @BlackLineStudio on Instagram, @BlackLineStudio on Twitter & ‘Like’ their Facebook page. Keep your eyes open for a familiar face to make an appearance on their accounts! Stay tuned to our #DoTheDaniel channels for some fun videos we are creating around the experience as well! I’ll reveal the final tattoo for you all when we are all done in a few weeks! 

For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing brands we are working with around the world, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account. We would love to have you join on our adventures! 

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Photos: All social media accounts listed above, Black Line Studio Don MillsHuawei Canada & Daniel Reyes 


Daniel Reyes

Mobile photos were taken with my #HuaweiP20 on the Rogers network 

*Please note that this is a sponsored post – our disclosure can be found at all times by clicking here.