I’m not too humble to admit that I’m pretty proud of this tiger we (the customer and I) finished yesterday. Japanese style work is my favorite to do and I seldom get to tattoo tigers (now that I think about it I think Ive done a grand total of about 10 of them in my 12 years of tattooing. and 8 of those were rinky-dink little flash ones in the late 1990’s. . .)
In a few spots the customer art directed me a little bit, change this color, do this instead of that, add some color here or there. That kind of stuff used to piss me off, and it started to a little bit yesterday as well. But I put the ego away a little bit and tried to accommodate what I thought wouldn’t hurt the tattoo and saved my arguing for the things I was convinced wouldn’t work on a technical level instead of those which would bruise my little artistic ego. If you read my blog it will come as no surprise to you that i found 99% of his requests actually were improvements, once I shut up and listened instead of thinking of ways to argue with the guy it turns out that i dont know everything. again.
But I think that I am getting better at not being a know-it-all! which is nice to feel, these days id rather be perceived as a nice guy than a smart (ass) one.
In this same vein I cant wait to work with Cara. Her apprenticeship is progressing well, shes already well ahead of where I was after only a few tattoos. She did this “Darwins monkey” off some old flash (i think it was Coleman but it might have been Grimm)
and her linework has dramatically improved and her shading is better than some folks i know who have 10+ years tattooing under their belts. That picture is about double the size of the tattoo and yet it holds up!!! look at the fingers! Clean.
but the reason I’m excited to work with her is that, like me (heh heh) she is very opinionated and wont hesitate to suggest things in a tattoo that wouldn’t occur to me. When I ask her opinion she usually comes up with a variation that is outside the bounds of what i thought ‘workable’ and it is always right for that particular piece. Ill miss having Brians point of view, but at least i will have another artists to keep me from falling into a rut.