Joey As Japanese
Today was a fun day. Feller i did a pretty cool 1/2 sleeve Chest panel came up again from Virginia to get his back piece started. Now IM not well known for doing Japanese stuff. But over the past several years I've done my fair share of the stuff. In fact, I've a great love for the style. And although I choose to not do it in its "Traditional" form. I do dig it. As a matter of fact many, many Years ago. In the second shop I worked in (Lotus tattoo. On Long Island NY). One of the owners at the Time, Thom Butler, Or CIV, coined the phrase "Joey As". This being, for the fact that I tended to draw my own style. A style they felt looked like me. Well I don't know bout all that. I'll let you decide.
Here we have the start of the back piece sketches. The client wanted a Samurai Fighting an Oni Demon. Like I stated earlier, I feel its more important to me to make the tattoo, and idea my own. As neither my client or I are Japanese. IM not trying to go super Traditional. I know a lot of tattooers frown on this. But Hell, it's worked for me these past 20 years. Besides ya wanna a traditional Japanese back piece, go to a traditional Japanese tattooer. Theirs plenty ta pick from. Its more important to me that my work looks like... Well, my work.
I usually start on the smaller size, trying to match the scale of the sketch to the back its going on. Unfortunately this is far from a perfect way to work. but Till I feel more comfortable, thats how I do. From here, I'll work up a final sketch, and line drawing closer to the actual scale (usually working on a transfer of a copy of the clients back). As you may notice in both the sketch and final line drawing. I changed the Oni Demon. Choosing to go a bit more traditional, and less ape like. The client had emailed a couple of files, and a few had the oni's looking more like an ape. I tried to match this look. But poorly, and changed it. The stencil is made by piecing together a bunch of hectograph paper, and copies, with tape (too lazy to make a full size, hand stencil). And than placed on the body. Thank Crap it went on in one shot. As my stencil was pretty shot after the first attempt. Little changes, and add on's are done with a pen. And Wallah! after many, hours, of grueling pain (for him, not me). we have the final line work. Looking forward to finishing this Lil guy. SO keep an eye peeled for updates.