Just a quick post... Finished the Sailor Jerry Flash sheet and my cousin decided on a raccoon tattoo on the side of his calf from my brother last night.
Finally started painting one of the flash sheets I lined last month, as seen on my entry back on 4/29/11. I like seeing how the pieces start to come together and come to life. Check out the girl in red, 2nd from the right, as an example. This one has a deadline, so you'll be seeing a completed pic in a couple weeks or less. If you didn't already know, the linework is from Sailor Jerry. Much respect! Design for tattooability.
I put the pain to my cousin on Saturday... she got a Philippine sun and stars on her foot. My boss and I are huge fans of Pulp Fiction, so we quote it all the time. One obvious conversation came up since three out of eight of the tattoos I've done at the shop thus far have been on a foot... so I'm turning into "the Foot Fuckin' Masta." For those of you sad readers who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, check out the youtube clip I provided for your convenience.
On a more historical and educational note... my boss just so happened to tattoo a Filipino dude later that afternoon and I told him I had tattooed the sun and stars earlier. He reminded me and let my boss know that the eight rays of the sun stand for eight provinces that revolted against the Spanish and the three stars symbolize the three main islands; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. I was actually singing Lupang Hinirang in the shower that morning... no joke! (Thanks, Barkada!!)
I've had a few dicussions lately about finding the right balance between everything that's going on in your life. I've also heard the terms "juggling" or "having a full plate" used for the same metaphor. Whether it's keeping all the balls in the air or keeping the arms of the scale level, I seem to like throwing another ball into the mix every now and then, just to keep myself challenged.
Everybody has their own plates or scales, but for me, this includes (in no particular order) wife, family, friends, work, shop, drawing, house work, exercise, alone sanity time, reading, and the latest addition of my Sand Flea. I stay pretty busy, but looking at the list, I feel like I should add community work or volunteering of some sort... in the future, perhaps.
Anyways... the point of this post is that I feel like I'm getting back on track with a few balls that may have dropped. Shop time and drawing have picked back up... I did a practice skin Philippine Sun and Stars which will hopefully go on my cousin and finished coloring that reproduction flash piece. I'll have to find the black and gray picture I took before I colored. Now that the Lakers lost (in a disturbingly horrendous fashion), I definitely need to pick up the exercise ball that got dropped and get that back into the mix.
It's all about being conscious enough to keep the scale balanced. If you fall asleep, the balls drop.
"WAKE UP!" <-- This reminder is tattooed on my wrist, thanks to Mr. Chad Koeplinger. "WAKE UP!" can mean a lot of things. It can mean to stay conscious. Stay present and aware. Don't be a zombie! Life's too short to let it slip away doing things you don't enjoy doing. Take those things off the scale and throw those balls out. Let 'em drop. Pick up more important and meaningful ones. I'm rambling... it tends to happen sometimes. Hopefully you get my point. Peace and thanks for reading!
My good friend, Christy, came in for a little more ink yesterday. She's been thinking about getting a bodhi leaf for a while, but has been waiting for the time to be right. Seems like everything came together last night, with her being on spring break and my skillset getting up to snuff. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel like things are coming along. I learn something with each tattoo and each project, so now it's just a matter of getting on some more skin!
Here are the pics of the reference that Christy provided, my drawing, and the final tattoo. Thanks, Christy!
Every time I do a tattoo, I just itch to do more and more! If you're thinking about getting some work done, let's make it happen!
Here are the black and gray and completed stages of my latest project on practice skin. This was a super fun little piece. I completed the linework and most of the shading of the triangle on Tuesday and finished up the black and gray shading and color yesterday, after a complete apprentice mishap of spilling ink all over myself and the shop. Another lesson learned. I finished the piece in about 4.5 - 5 hrs. This practice skin is much cleaner than that cheap stuff I bought before, but there are still traces of the stencil at the black and gray stage. Thankfully, most of it is gone in the final piece. Gimme some skin!! And by skin, I don't mean a high five... I'm talkin' tattoos here folks! Lemme hurtcha!! Thanks for reading.
Today, I learned a valuable lesson... now that I'm trying to take this new path, my hands have become WAY more important to me. If I can't hold a machine or a pencil, I won't be able to make money! They've become my livelihood. Luckily, this minor finger jam won't impact my grip... but the lesson has been noted. Gotta be careful with these things!
That being said, no more reaching in when players are driving strong to the bucket. And I probably don't want to have a run in with the mafia either.
This is what happens when you give me an hour lunch, some colored pencils, and a quiet place to draw...
Things get colored in.
I received my new rotary machine in the mail last Friday and I've been itchin' to try it out ever since. Since I didn't want to experiment with a new machine on my own leg, I decided to wait to scratch that itch on practice skin. It just so happens that inspiration hit late last night, which had me tattooing this eagle until about three in the morning. Thanks, inspiration... way to hit as I'm going cold turkey on coffee. Alright... not completely cold turkey... but decaf is like showering with no soap or shampoo... it kinda feels the same, but you don't get the full effect. Anyways, here's some pics of the beautiful rotary and the eagle I shaded with it. Linework is from Chad Koeplinger's sketchbook and the shading is from my brain.
And yes, in case you're wondering... that IS a swastika pattern on the machine. The swastika is an ancient symbol, used to represent good fortune, thousands of years before the Nazis pimped it as their logo. Read more here...
Thanks for reading!
Every time I start the machine and get the needle right next to my skin, there's always the same thought... "Why am I doing this to myself?" That thought only gets stronger when I actually start tattooing and doesn't really subside until I see the progress I'm making. Then it all makes sense. I try to go to my zen state, forget the pain, zone out, and concentrate on on the craft. I grit my teeth and grind away on the upside down piece of art in an awkward, bent over position. Every time I get up to stretch and take a look at the piece right-side-up in the mirror, I feel accomplished and can't wait to get that needle back in my skin and finish this thing. Sadly, there comes a point where my chakra runs dry and my mind and body can't take any more pain or ink. Which means I'll have to go thru this same song and dance at least one more time... and I LOVE it. I'm sure one more time won't be enough, as my wife can attest. Yesterday I finished the black and gray shading and made a lot of progress on the color. Now I just have to finish orange and yellow in the ring of fire, add more brown to the horse, pink in the ears, and maybe a color burst in the background. Check out the phases of evolution...
Thanks for reading!