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!