Monday, February 24, 2014

that will buff right out, aka cover up tattoo

despite what modern pop culture might teach you, the great thing about tattoos are that they are a reminder of who you were at that time and place when you got it. they shouldnt be a mistake at 3am at a biker bar.

when you look back, you remember, for good and for bad, all the things you were into, what kinds of stupid shit you would spend your time on.... sometimes they are a symbol of how much youve grown, and sometimes they are a symbol of what will never be forgotten.

when i was younger, i got one of those "han mun", "kanji" "chinese" character tattoos. at the time, i thought it was actually more meaningful than the random white or black dude getting one, cause hell, im asian, and well, theres back stories to its meaning too.

i used to get into a lot of stupid trouble when i was young. i remember one time, i must have been about 17 or so at the time, my mother took me to a fortune teller. she wanted to see if there was anything she could do to keep me out of trouble. the fortune teller told her i was "wood", that i need to be around water. he said i feel at peace by water, the beach or in the snow. he said fire will kill me, that fire for me are women, drinking and fighting.


of course now i look back, ok, what kid doesnt like a trip to the beach or the mountains? i was hungover and probably stunk of remy martin and i had a black eye. it doesnt take a genius to call this "fortune".

anyways, that added with the rave culture of the late 90s, and what was popular in tattoo culture at the time, i got "water" tattooed on my shoulder with blue waves crashing around it. (i know, it looks more like wood, but thats another story too)

when youre that young, these tattoos are kinda cool.

in your mid 30's, not so much. in your late 30's well, if you have a bad one, you should really do something about it.

ive been meaning to get a cover up, but the blue waves and solid black lettering right in the middle are hard to cover up. and besides, i want to do it right this time. i was determined to do this cover up right. (dont go to a biker bar tattoo place like last time). research and take my time.

i found an awesome artist. colin stevens. i got super lucky getting him to do it. good luck finding him, let alone getting an appointment, but i can point you in the right direction if you need.

i went through the process of working with, coordinating schedules and sitting through the session after session after session. (harder since he doesnt have an online presence, nor does he have vm or a person to make his appointments for him. you just have to know what to do.)

right to it.

i had to get four laser sessions to remove some of the pigment first. OF COURSE blue is the hardest color to remove....

this is after four laser tattoo removal sessions. do yourself a favor, if you ever do get laser tattoo removal, no matter HOW INTRIGUING it is, do not sniff the burning tattoo. 

at the studio, you can see the purple stencil still, halfway through the first three hour session.

after first three hour session. 

all sessions were three - four hours long

first shading session. colin is a genius with the negative space shading

getting some color. fyi color takes much more effort than black ink. hurts more and takes much longer. be prepared!

i love the "white dots" on the red feathers. my photo skills, especially after a four hour session, are a bit shaky. sorry for the bad pics.

after another color session

colin stevens is a money. 

the details on this is amazing. he didnt like the way some colors looked so he did  them over again. you have to respect that.

missing a couple after session pictures but you get the idea. for the most part, the piece currently looks like this. 

its not quite done. id say at least a couple more sessions, but like life, its an on going process. i think this piece really does represent me right now. its covering up some mistakes of the past and although its beautiful and amazing the way it is, its not quite done yet.

and yes, i know, i need to work out more and lose the gut.