Sunday, June 04, 2006

I met with Shinji today to begin fleshing out the details of the next phase. We entertained the idea of working a goldfish into the tattoo. It fits the river scene and is a subtle pun on the main theme (Kintaro is literally, "Golden Boy"). But after some discussion we decided it wasn't really a traditional design element and opted for more koi. Then there was the matter of how many koi. Shinji explained that only some numbers of koi would make for a good design and that 1,2,3,5 and 7 were all good numbers. We settled on 7. With 2 koi already on my back, that leaves 5 for the front. Perhaps a rock will be jutting out from one of the lower edges. We discussed other items which might fit into the scene. Definitely more maple leaves. A frog? A turtle? Kappa or crabs? As we spoke, Shinji began working on a sketch of the layout in his sketchbook. He also spent some time sketching directly on my skin with a brush-tip marker. He took some photos for reference and we were done. I scheduled a few appointments in August to begin the outlining work, but I will be stopping by the studio for more discussions with him and to see preliminary sketches.

The real question left for me is the length of the sleeves. Today when I spoke with Shinji, we decided on shichibu, or "seven tenths" style, which would extend approximately 2-4 inches past my elbow (as illustrated in my last post on munewari style). Shinji and I both think this length looks best. The only problem is, it is difficult to conceal. It would absolutely be visible when wearing my usual casual clothes (t-shirt), and would probably be visible through a white long sleeve shirt - making it a potential issue at work. So my practical side is forcing me to reevaluate. Decisions, decisions. I may need to buy a few more blue shirts for work.


Mark said...

hi Mike
It has been a pleasure over the past two years reading the blog diary of your remarkable adventure in irezumi. Your intelligent and lively mind describing a process of such imaginative artistic quality and scale, (on such a fine body too), elevates this blog to the best on the web. Thanks for all your shared insights and many congratulations on the marvelous results. You're an inspiration to the rest of us who still dream of achieving somethiing similar.


Mike said...

Your hyperbole makes me cringe, but thanks Mark..

Pyrrhus Darwin Castello said...

When I was reading this it also reminds me about one of the reasons why I have chosen to get traditonal japanese tattoos. Because I also think it is the most mature style. Not that others would be childish, but to me it best conveys respect and harmony to the world.