Sunday, December 05, 2010

Shinji pulls out the tattoo machine to work on the outline on my back, circa late 2004 when he still worked out of the 2nd Ave. Adorned location. Wish I had some picks from the old 55 Tattoo shop!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Apologies for the lack of updates, unfortunately there just isn't a whole lot to report.  Shinji is in Japan getting his visa sorted, and until then I'm just holding tight and hoping we can finish up this project soon.
Recently I met up with Adrian Lee of Bloodwork: Sleeves fame for a photo shoot.  He's working on a new book entitled "Bloodwork: Bodies" that's out in October of 2011.  If the pictures turn out well then I'll be in that book,  but even if I'm not, I'm curious to check out it out as the previous book looks amazing. Photographer Max Dolberg was also there making the camera go click-click and being very patient with me. Two very nice cats, best of luck to them on the book! 
Thanks to the folks at New York Adorned for the color pic, nabbed from their blog here. They also hosted Adrian's shoots while in NYC. The b&w pic is from Adrian's page.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates. I don't have an appointment with Shinji again until next month. I'm anxious to get started again! For now, check out this great gallery of tattoo pics, mostly pretty old:

(Link via Needles And Sins blog)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh yes - the outline is completed! Bring on the color! Not fully healed, but I'm just too excited to wait. The only downside of this latest tattoo session is not being able to swim during some of the hottest weather in recent memory. ;)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Here are a few shots of the latest work.  It's been a month since I was last tattooed and I'm still not fully healed! Yes, my healing time is a little slower these days, but I think the main issue this time is the area in question is constantly rubbing against my jeans and being irritated. If I had to do it over, I would have worn a bandage for a few days.  That or not wear pants for a week - although, that tactic may not go over well with my neighbors. ;)
Is it strange that I'm often unable to answer questions regarding the details of my tattoo?  If someone asks me, "What exactly is tattooed on your left thigh?",  I usually can't remember.  I guess it's because I don't spend a whole lot of time looking at it, and I didn't really participate in the design process other than in the broadest sense (along the lines of "Yup, more koi and maple leaves sounds good.")

Question of the week, from random guy at the beach:

"Yo! Yo! Yooooo! How much that tattoo cost?" 
"A lot" 
"Yeah, but how much?!" 
"A lot"

Gotta love the classy folks at Coney Island.

Next session: will the background be completed? Could happen, we're pretty damn close.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I've been considering putting this together for a while now based on the amount of questions I get, and I finally got around to it.  I was reminded yesterday after Shinji decided to do a little touch up work on my backside.  Here's a chart which illustrates my personal experience with tattoo pain.

Green is "Drill, baby, drill!", yellow is "Yeah great, I can deal", orange is "How much longer?" and red is "MOMMY!".  You can't see it here really, but I'd put armpits in the red and inner biceps in yellow-orange. Two important things to mention: first, this is my own personal experience and is by no means universal - I'd really like to hear if this matches your own!  And secondly, behind the knees, shins, and top of feet is based on anecdotal info - but opinion seems to be unanimous. 
For the record: I think anticipated tattoo discomfort is a terrible reason to not get a tattoo. An hour or two in the studio is over before you know it and forgotten that day, but a tattoo lasts a hell of a lot longer.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A few things:

  • Here's a great tattoo blog I read occasionally, and I was reminded of it again today when they gave this blog a mention: Needles And Sins. Why can't I come up with a catchy name like that? Another difference is it's regularly updated and covers a variety of topics. So check it out! Today's post talks about some big changes at Adorned.
  • I've said it before, but really folks - there's a pretty big difference between a cannabis leaf and a japanese maple leaf.  For those who rarely get a chance to look at the stuff before smoking it, I've put together a handy visual aid. 

I have a tattoo appointment today, wonder what we'll work on?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today marks the six year anniversary since I embarked on my Japanese tattoo adventure. Wow, time flies! A lot has changed since then. When I started, Shinji was working at the since shuttered 55 Tattoo studio on West 19th Street. After the last 4 1/2 successful years at New York Adorned (during which the fabulous Brooklyn location was opened), I'm very happy to say Shinji is now on the verge of owning his own private studio! Congratulations, Shinji - I'm so happy for you!

Let's break down some numbers:

  • 5 full years of tattooing
  • ~190 hours of tattoo time (that's about 1 2hr session every 3 weeks)
  • 2 book appearances and 2 magazine appearances (and featured in all sorts of Adorned material)
  • 1,000,000 bottles of ointments and creams

One number people are always asking about is money spent. I won't give a figure, but I will say that my initial estimate of 20K-30K turned out to be quite accurate.
Here's a shot of me after my first 2 hour session on 5/29/2004 from Ye Olde Blog archives, with the three tattoos I since covered up still visible:

This morning I was looking over my very first blog post, in which I wrote "To me this is a work about strength, perseverance and transformation." How did I do on those? Yes, I persevered. Am I stronger? Well, I guess I am more confident in my strengths after the aforementioned perseverance. Have I been transformed? Yes - but only to look at ;).

Some things I learned:

  • Don't consider undertaking such a tattoo unless time and money are no object.
  • Respect your tattoo artist and their craft.   Treat him or her like a professional and an artist.
  • Be ready for pointed questions and stares.  I can be aloof by nature so this is still a tough one for me.
  • Japanese tattoo was an entry point for me into the world of Japanese art and culture in general,  which has been tremendous.
  • There is a vibrant tattoo community out there which is worth exploring.  The artists can be fiercely competitive but I also sense a common bond and mutual respect/admiration among peers.  Those of us who enjoy receiving tattoos are in it for as many reasons as there are people, but at the end of the day the is an understanding through shared experience and art.

I'm not sure why I started blogging about this.  Hopefully this has provided some sort of useful information to someone out there and is not a worthless journey to the center of my ego.  There have been some great people that were connected to me via this blog, and for that, I'm thankful.

Now lets see if I can get this finished in the next year!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just got back from the NYC tattoo convention. A few artists that caught my eye: Jess Yen, Boris Tattoo, Dan Henk, Noon, and Horitoyo. Oh, and "hi" Dmitri! Nice meeting you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Here's a great article with tons of old school Japanese tattoo pictures and some wonderful insights from artist Horihide.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The background on my left side is moving along nicely, slowly approaching my waist from both ends. Definitely feeling some dread about today's session! (I whine a lot, right?)
In other news, I recently discovered Google thinks I'm some sort of authority on "munewari" tattoos. Ah, those foolish, foolish algorithms.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The background on my left armpit area is now all filled in! Now it's just the slow steady march down towards my knee. I'm hoping he takes a break to throw some color in my arm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

After a long lag, here are the latest pics. You'll note we did some work on my left torso, attaching to my back and creeping up towards my armpit. We've basically run out of pleasantly places to tattoo, so I know what to expect going in - a few hours of arrg.
I found out the other day that New York Adorned has a fancy new iPhone app which showcases work from the shop. Guess who's ass is prominently featured? Yup, yours truly. I'm glad they photoshopped out my old tattoo which you can still see in those pics before my arms were covered. Tribal armband FTW! Hah.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here's a shot of the session from about 1 month ago. We shaded the water surrounding the koi on my left torso and also started connecting this area to my back. We edge a bit closer to completion every time.