Fresh Ink

First tattoo since well before pandemic, and I could not be more pleased with it. This is a tribute to two dogs gone too soon – mine, Thela (named for a King Crimson song, Thela Hun Gingeet), five years ago, and my friend’s, (Otis)  two or three months ago. Both far too young and much missed. 


Also though, it’s for my current dogs, Vera (named for a Blue Öyster Cult song), and Levon, named for Levon Helm. 

Really though it’s for all the frenchies, because they’re awesome dogs and I love them all. 

 

 

done at Fog City Tattoo in Santa Cruz CA, by my friend  Blake Brand. 

 

 

Tattoo Future

So much for writing every day (it’s been almost a week now) but, I do my best. Fuckin’ life, you know how it is. It has a way of interfering even if you’re getting fuck all done.

That said, i’m feeling a bit more positive than when I wrote this a week ago. Conversations with my employer are progressive but things felt less adversarial.

Meanwhile, i’m scheduled to get tattooed on Tuesday the 11th, which i’m looking forward to. It’s been more than 3 years, and that’s a long time, for me.

My last piece was a walk-in on a whim, at my friend’s shop (since closed, a victim of pandemic), Samuel O’reilly’s in Santa Cruz, CA. It’s a old school ‘cut throat’ straight razor with the latin translation of Occam’s Razor engraved on the blade (ergo, Occam’s Straight Razor).

This one is a long-planned neck tattoo; i’ll put a pic up after it’s done. My first neck tattoo, though most of the rest of me is pretty covered. So this will be a slightly new experience.

This site used to be FULL of tattoo pix, but as i’ve mentioned, loss of my server a few years ago wiped most of the pics, so i’m slowly fishing them out of my backups and replacing one by one.

I’ve mentioned in the past; it’s common for people to ask, how many tattoos do you have. But at some point the question stops making sense; as tattoos merge into, say, a full sleeve, how do you count? Sessions? The whole as one? How many there were? It’s meaningless, so you go to a point whee it’s percent coverage.

I put myself somewhere north of 60%; full back, arms filled shoulder to fingertip, lower legs mostly full, feet partly full, chest and stomach mostly full. My sides, thighs, hips, butt, head and neck remain mostly empty. So those are the areas I count as 40%, though of course those numbers are rough.

I have a number of larger pieces planned, which will go on thighs or sides, and after that, it becomes fill-in of smaller things where they fit.

I may never get close to 100% coverage; we’ll see. But at 60, my skin is less good for tattooing than it was 20 years ago, so i’m not waiting on anything other than finding the right artist for the next couple things I have planned. Meanwhile, my neck is going to be largely filled soon (I have another piece planned there, before end of 2022).

The face, I have a plan, but, the artist I want to work with is in Berlin, and as yet i’m not feeling like going to Europe (i’m in California). When I do feel like making that long trip, the artist I want to have tattoo my face is Durga Siapati (that last name may be wrong it’s from memory). I do not expect to do that in the next year or so, but, unless I wind up opting for something else meantime (perhaps Maori inspired), Durga remains the plan.

I do, though, feel a bit of a ticking clock on these things. At 60, i’m now all too aware of life expectancy questions, not to mention some risk activities (scuba, mortorcycles, etc). My health is good, but, my family history is full of heart disease and cancer, and of course, in pandemic area, there is also the looming virus question, which, despite how we’re action, is far from settled.

My philosophy has alwayts been, and remains, don’t put things off, do them while you can. That is very much how i’m looking at tattoo decisions in next couple of years.

What she looks like

When I wrote Wanton, the character was vividly imagined, created by my subconscious, in a dream.

I describe her in the text:

 

Blood-red hair cut just past her jaw line, brushing her long, slender neck. Big eyes some strange color I could never put a name to. Full lips in a perpetual sneer. Her teeth were a little bit crooked (most of these things I noticed only later). Early 20s, probably ten years my junior, but with something in the eyes that seemed much older. 

Later I add that she’s tall (half a head shorter than our narrator, who described himself as a big man so he’s something north of six foot.  Hey arms are sleeved with tattoos, as well tattooed flowering vines covering hips and sides. 

Several years after I wrote it, I bought a book called Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm (an incredible book by the way, by one of my favorite comic artists of all time; out of print now, but I’ve heard a re-release is coming — EDIT: here is the re-print

 

In any case, when I first opened said book, there was Wanton looking at me, straight out of my mind’s eye. 

the tattoos are not there, of course, and hair color; but imagine before she was heavily covered. Wanton’s blond, naturally, hair a honey color. But we know she dyes it, red in the story. So imagine this is a black hair phase, pre-tattoos. The pubic hair would be blond, of course, but again, easily imagined. 

I’ve actually tried to get my Timm to draw my version of this girl (it’s been impossible to reach him thus far). At some point I hope to find someone who can transform this for me, digitally, or even re-draw it in something like Timm’s style. 

Alas I no longer have the book, for some reason, so can’t get a higher resolution image. Until the book is reprinted, this will have to do. As best I can present it, this is her. 

 

 

 

Bruce Timm Naught and Nice page 87

Roland Pacheco’s blog

I wanted to give a shout-out to Roland Pacheco, a tattooer, writer and owner of X-Isle Tattoo in Hawi, Big Island, Hawaii.

I’ve met him a couple of times, but have yet to get inked by him (timing problems; I dive a lot when I’m in hawaii so it leaves my windows to get tattooed somewhat problematic).

The thing I specifically wanted to share was some of his brilliant breakdowns of how he designs the polynesian work he does; I’ve never seen anything like it.

Here’s an example of one of his diagrams (click the image to see Roland’s writeup).

 

 

cara_foot

 

 

The details on design elements like use a the fibonachi sequence and meaning of both shape and content is absolutely wonderful.

Roland’s blog is here, and his shop website is here.

This is the best shop I’ve found anywhere on the Big Island. It’s a long way from Kailua-Kona, but it’s worth it.

Shoot First

My new tattoo. By Blake Brand, Polished Tattooing, San Jose, CA.

 

blaster

 

If you don’t get it, google “dl-44 heavy blaster” and “han shot first

 

 

 

Edit: it’s kind of amazing, this pic got picked up on fytattoos.com, and yet I got only ONE comment. almost 800 likes and reblogs on fytattoos, you’d think SOMEONE would say hi here.

I guess anything more complicated than a ‘like’ is a think of the past. I guess I better look for a ‘like’ plugin for WP. B^)

the polynesian tattoo

My friend Tricia Allen has a new web site (finally). She’s the tattooist who did most of my Polynesian work, and is, I think, one of the world’s leading experts on Polynesian tattooing. Go check out the new site at ThePolynesianTattoo.com (that’s not Tricia, but it is some of her work)

My friend Tricia Allen has a new web site (finally).

She’s the tattooist who did most of my Polynesian work, and is, I think, one of the world’s leading experts on Polynesian tattooing.

Go check out the new site at ThePolynesianTattoo.com

homepage-photo.jpg

(that’s not Tricia, but it is some of her work)