So it looks like it's been almost a year since I've added anything to this blog. It certainly hasn't been from any lack of working hard or fun projects to be had...but not having been able to prioritize the time or really just find the head space. Within the last year I've opened up a new studio, had an amazing trip to Japan, hosted some amazing guest artists and decided to handle my scheduling and communication without a helper (hence the horrible delays if you've tried getting in touch). All the while raising a new child (aka not sleeping much) and trying to keep up on the home front.
Lately I've been feeling pretty good about the tattooing, but that there's kind of been some component missing. I think that once you get to a certain level of comfort in your work it can become more difficult to push yourself and keep improving at the rate that you might like. It's been my experience that the older I get, those mental or technical "next steps" are kind of more subtle and less often, but more meaningful. I've realized that a big part of what's been lacking for me is the need to self reflect. I think that it should be a practice in everyone's life, and I'm feeling really ready to get back to it by keeping up on this blog.
I guess the above tattoo brings these things to mind. It was done a few weeks ago on a really great guy who came out from Utah. He's a talented tattooer from Salt Lake, and that really adds a layer onto the process. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who's been coming to me for work, but there's something about a fellow tattooer going out of their way to get something from you that makes you feel honored. There are certain things about this job and lifestyle that only another tattooer can really relate to or understand. That coupled with the fact that I believe like energies attract (meaning that I feel that I share a pretty good connection with most of my clients) made for a very enjoyable tattoo session. It was was nice to have some good conversations about life and tattoo philosophy while getting to do a fun piece...working and reflecting at the same time.
As far as the tattoo, not that it's the most groundbreaking idea ever, but I always wanted to try and do peonies with some different colored tips. I'm always getting the request for flowers with white tips (the Horitoshi look that I love deeply and is my main inspiration), but he wanted a white snake, so this was the perfect time to try something a little different. The white tips on the flowers provides such a dramatic contrast with other colors and dark background, but would've been lost on a white foreground. Great experience getting to do a very subtly tweaked version of a classic on a really great and thoughtful person...