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.