Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Alice in Wonderland

I worked on a client today who we shall name Mike, because quite frankly, his name is Mike and making up names for people is almost as disrespectful as calling their mother a whore. Almost. 

Mike has many tattoos. And when I say many, I mean that I have worked on him at least 6 times and I still continue to find details in his tattoos that I hadn't noticed before. On one shoulder he has a gigantic Bald Eagle that is dramatically falling out of the sky and on the other side he has an entire sleeve that encompasses every inch of skin from his wrist to his sternum. It's one of the most astonishing pieces of artwork I have ever seen. I don't really remember what he said it represented, but it's some sort of jungle scene with Aztec warriors and conquistadors battling dragons sent from the heavens by demon gods with volcanoes, tigers, and medieval knights all beautifully incorporated into the piece. His lower legs have equally incredible ink, but my favorite is this samurai with a drawn sword, on his calf. The detail is so flawless that if you look close enough you'll notice that the pattern on the warrior's kimono is actually marijuana leaves. Brilliant! I didn't know Samurais smoked the ganja. I suppose their ponytails should have given it away, because everyone knows that men with pony tails are either pot smoking hippies, or maniacally sinister warlocks with erratic tendencies to eat thousands of pistachios in one sitting. 

As far as tattoos are concerned, I routinely notice the same familiar ensemble of designs that weren't given much thought and more often than not, were taken right off the wall at your local ink shop. I mostly see the ever present "tramp stamp" (tribal of course), some baby daddy's name, or a retarded dolphin. Then there's the panther made to look like it's climbing, (very popular with the sisters), or the classy rose that always seems to find its way onto a droopy breast. Let's not forget the the Asian writing or the butterfly, however there are so many variations that these don't tend to bother me as much. It would be refreshing to witness tattoos that transcended the more commonplace observance however, like flying farm animals, cartoon super heroes, or scene from a movie. 

From elaborate Japanese dragons to lotus leaves in the wind encompassing a woman's entire back, to intricate snowflakes with vibrant hues of icy blue, I've seen some pretty masterful artwork on my clients over the years. And yet others that convince me to believe that both the artist and the client must have been blindingly inebriated. I do wish that more of my clients had captivating ink adorning their bodies though, it definitely makes the time go by a little faster, even if I spend that time thinking about what would possess a person to put the Cheshire cat on their ass.