Traditionally, a dagger through a rose, like my grandpa got in the 1940’s. I got a dagger and rose on my forearm with my kids’ names to represent the coming together of two people creating life perpetual in our children. This dagger through a peony is a modified version. It can represent many things, duality, dichotomy, harmony, Yin-Yang, death and life, sex, creation and destruction. It’s really up to the wearer and the viewer which ironically is a dichotomy itself, intention and perception they go together but are obviously two distinctly different things.
This tattoo was done in one session and healed incredibly well especially for a single pass through the ditch of the arm.More Info
14 years ago I tattooed this young lady. A butterfly and small tribal about the size of a mandarin orange on the top of her right foot. Later a low back piece, (tramp stamp as some would say). There’s a switch that can be triggered in some people, not all, and in regard to the whole planet, in very very few, but when that switch is triggered, it begins a transformation in the person. I have witnessed this a few times now, and am only beginning to understand enough to try and communicate it. The switch is a surrendering to a decision. It reminds me of the first time I went skydiving. The decision was easy, but the reality of its potential outcome? As the door to the plane was opened, and the rush of wind came in, going head first into a full minute free fall, the horizon steady as we dropped towards the ground at 180 miles per hour... The only thing you can do is surrender at that point. It’s useless to resist. In fact, it is dangerous to. It becomes a spiritual thing.
1.Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
Getting your body tattooed as one whole is spiritual also. It's also about surrender. It has to do with your soul more than your physical body. It’s about your decisions, your emotions, how you feel inside during those trying times of how “it” feels on the outside. It’s about the sacrifices needed to be made, about the work one has to do to pay for the work. People who see large scale tattoos as just something a crazy person does, or just being obsessed or extreme, often don’t see what’s gone on inside that tattooed person. They don’t often see the transformation that’s gone on beneath the tattoo in the soul.More Info
After five years, a vine side piece, a Mucha sleeve, a back piece of two egrets and the front torso, of mandalas, and lotus flowers, we are trying to tie it all together with some cherry blossom branches, and petals falling throughout. Below the blossoms there is a koi on her left forearm and will be another one on her right thigh. A tribute to her grandmother, being a mother of three herself, she understands all too well the stress and strain of caring for people that you wish the best for, but cannot make decisions for. The toughest thing about being a parent is letting go of someone and letting them learn the lessons on their own.More Info
Norse goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brisingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, keeps the boar Hildisvini by her side, possesses a cloak of falconfeathers (Valshamr) This was the first session. I got to use my client's low back tattoo of Thor's Hammer as Freyja's own stomach tattoo which was cool. There's a bit of cover up going on in the upper back area and tying into sleeve work.I'm excited about the lightning wrapping around Nomi's sides I love this piece and look forward to seeing it progress.More Info
This is her only tattoo, a mom, a grandmother, a business woman, a role model, a friend. We did the koi a couple years ago. The decision to move forward led to a short session of framing in the top with what will be a repetitive element throughout the rest of the work. Having lived in Japan as a child she wanted a reminder. The cherry blossoms and water will be a constant in this work.More Info
Symbolic of her four daughters, I did four Kokeshi dolls referenced from some wooden dolls I brought back from my trips to Japan. They are placed here among some Alphonse Mucha peonies which match the ones I did on her chest a couple years ago. Starting with a sleeve, onto a back piece that extends down her leg to her foot, then across and now traveling up her other leg with the dolls and peonies, we hope to resolve the work on her front and eventually tie it into her chest piece and another sleeve. My intention is to have the story meander throughout the different subjects and supporting elements to tell of the many facets of my client's personality and life.More Info
I wanted to do an abstract piece about juxtaposition, sugar and spice, flow and movement with some tension, contrast… I have been starting my design process with arcs. To be more precise, with a starting point and a spiraling movement out and off of the person. I then place points of interest along the spirals. My client brought a very colorful photo for the color reference. I’ve been going in a direction of fewer colors, fewer contours, just a “less is more” general direction, so this piece has been a challenge on many levels. I tried to keep the feathers somewhat flat and simple but maintain a good sense of movement and layers, tucked in beneath the feathers there are a few areas of fangs. The goal was to not notice them at first glance but to have them kind of sneak up on you as you look closer at the tattoo. It's always amazing to have clients who let me explore symbolism, metaphor, and artistic expression. What an amazing job I have.More Info
This Geisha back piece has been completed over the last three years, My client brought in a photo reference. As much as I tried to stylize it more towards a “tattoo” it seemed to want to remain pretty refined. There are some very simple elements and other areas are soft, dimensional, and layered. some flat areas and some with depth. I try to just respond to whatever has happened in previous sessions and see where the tattoo goes. this one went here. I’ve been challenged by this piece and have learned things. My utmost respect and gratitude to my client for her dedication to complete it. many hours, lots of expense, and a lot of driving time for the sessions driving seven hours each way for each session. I’m grateful to have done this work.More Info
This view of his ox skull with an orchid mind's eye is a part of a full freehand bodysuit I have worked on for three years. My client from Chicago spends three days at a time getting his work done. He has met me at conventions around the country and been one of the most dedicated people I've ever met to completing his work. It's comprised of the animals from the Chinese zodiac calendar. Years of the Ox, Snake, Rat, Monkey, and Dog. I have drawn everything on his body and tied things together with elements like birth flowers from each person represented which are himself, his wife and their three children. Water, wind, petals, and mandala patterns overlap and provide background for the entire piece. We have over one hundred hours invested and I'm not sure how many more are required. We are refining areas now in what I can the "push and pull" phase of the project. I'm honored and humbled to be doing this work.More Info