Just starting to get settled back in from a whirlwind work trip to New York.
Had pretty much the best trip ever and can't wait to go back next year. I was very honored to get an invitation to be a guest artist at NY Adorned for a few days and had an amazing experience there. It's very high energy shop with an extremely talented and down to earth crew of tattooers. I felt completely welcomed and really enjoyed my interactions with everyone there. It was an interesting experience for me as I usually work in a private room where it's pretty much just me and the client. To be in a big open space working alongside all these great tattooers non stop all day was hugely motivating and helped push me a little further than usual.
I had one client a day for the four days, and put in a lot of time on each of them. The peonies above were this guys first tattoo. He sat great and was a real pleasure to interact with. All of my sessions there went really well, and everyone I tattooed was a seriously great person and pleasure to work with.
I was sort of hoping to get this all done in one day (very wishful thinking), but the reality of doing peonies in this style (bright white tips, color edged up in rows between the white, little air spaces in the leaf veins etc.) is that they take a very long time. Most of the ones I've seen done by friends of mine in the Horitoshi family (whose style I'm emulating in these) take 3-5 hours each by hand poke. My friend Horizakura who I was staying with was joking with me that he thought machine work would be faster than that, but with this look there's no real shortcut or time saving with a machine. It's all about following a stylistic formula and making sure every part of the process is perfect...
Big thanks to everyone at the shop for being so welcoming, Horizakura and his wife for putting me up for 9 days, and an extra big thanks to the owner Lori for all of her advice and inspiration.