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cfgsteak

Choosing your tenth tattoo

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I have a question that seems appropriate to this thread.

For those who have patchwork sleeves, how much planning went into choosing all the pieces/placements. I feel like I want everything to flow really well and be really cohesive (think the Stuart Cripwell legs), so I've been trying to think pretty far in advance about the pieces I want and stuff and I was just curious about how common this is.

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I have a question that seems appropriate to this thread.

For those who have patchwork sleeves, how much planning went into choosing all the pieces/placements. I feel like I want everything to flow really well and be really cohesive (think the Stuart Cripwell legs), so I've been trying to think pretty far in advance about the pieces I want and stuff and I was just curious about how common this is.

Well, I guess my sleeve was pretty damn patchwork!

I had quite a bit of homemade work on both arms, and as I got a bit older, I started to cover it up. The second pro piece I got was by Dale Grande of CTC, a pair of roses over a banner with my name and my wife's name on it. I was just shy of 21. A year or so after that, I went into CTC with a couple of my brothers, and as long as they were there, well, hell, I had to get SOMETHING! Anyhow, there was a dragon curling around a dagger that I took a liking to, so Dale used it to cover an old nickname in a banner I had poked into my right bicep. Sometime after that, I happened to stop into CTC and took a liking to a parrot on a branch with a flower and some flourishes on each side...that went onto the inside of my lower arm, directly opposite the roses and banner.

And there it sat for many, many years. We had five kids, worked a bunch of different jobs, and got some work done on my left arm. Started that with a dragon rising out of a mass of swirling black clouds with a couple of lightning bolts through it. Pretty crude by today's standards, it was done at CTC by, I believe, Mark Miller, on a night that Dale chickened out and stayed home because of a blizzard. It was a coverup of a rather large piece done somewhere very secure that was causing me some trouble in keeping a job. Shortly after that, in 1984, again at CTC, Dale used a composite of a demon's head from some flash and the cover of the face on King Crimson's "In The Court of the Crimson King" to cover a homemade "Death Before Dishonor" around a sword on my lower forearm, just above a panther head he had done as one of his first pro tattoos, also a coverup. When he did the demon's head coverup, he worked it into the dragon on my upper-left arm, using clouds and a design of different sized circles. And there that sat, for many, many years.

Maybe ten years ago, I decided to finish out my right arm, and went back into CTC. To my surprise, Dale wasn't tattooing much, but he turned me over to Miles Maniaci. Miles wrapped my arm in onion skin and traced all the work that was already there. I had been researching images from Odinic lore, and had five basic designs I wanted. The first was a shield device worked in gold that dated back to about 900 A.D. that was unearthed in what is now northern Germany, the second was an image of the world serpent found on the same shield, the third was actually two separate sets of Celtic knotwork found in a manuscript in an Irish temple predating christianity, and the fourth was a set of Elder Futhark runes that I felt represented the path of my life, and the fifth was a line-drawing of Wotan seated on his throne with one of his wolves at his hand and one of his ravens overhead.

Miles worked on the drawings for about a month, and then called me in to look at them. It took me about a minute to say yes, and we started to knock-out four and five hour sessions shortly after. It turned out quite well, I do believe Miles is a master of his craft, as well as a true artist.

And there it sat. Not for many, many years, but about ten.

I had gotten divorced, and am engaged to a wonderful Lady who brought a daughter of her own to the house. This last year, we went back to CTC and had Nick Colella, whom I had met while Miles was sleeving my right arm, put a Sailor Jerry piece on each of us, and put an old Black Cat Firecracker logo on each of my knees. Nick's work is a trip. I believe he is one of, if not the, master of Traditional, yes, with a capital T, Tattooing. I went back maybe a month ago and had him put on a "seated eagle", an old piece of Cliff Raven's flash that I had wanted since I got my very first pro tattoo at his shop, along with a group of roses, surrounded by banners with the names of our six kids on them.

I go in tomorrow for Nick to put on a very old piece on my ribs, and at the same time, to start planning for sleeving out my left arm. It will be a challenge to mix the Japanese elements that Dale used in his cover-ups, the traditional panther's head, and whatever we come up with. I have some ideas, but I'll just sit on those until after I have a chance to sit down with Nick and see what's possible.

Whew! Mucho Typo! Anyhow, yes, a lot of what I have was researched and planned, I pulled art books by the pound out of the library and had a librarian spending damn near full-time researching images from pre-christian Europe for me. Had color plates of all of those elements with me when I went in to consult about the sleeve. But a lot of what went onto my arms was fairly random, stuff that caught my eye and my fancy when I saw it, or that was concocted on the fly by Dale with a ballpoint and a collection of snipped-up acetates.

Planning is good, but letting events and your heart take charge sometimes is good too. I sometimes feel sorry for the guys I see now who go in an order up a sleeve ready made when they're like 23 or 24. I think maybe they are missing out on the chance to live their lives, record their adventures and their beliefs, and then, when they're old enough to have lived them and seen the meaning behind them, to link them all together.

.02, and apologies for the length!

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I have a question that seems appropriate to this thread.

For those who have patchwork sleeves, how much planning went into choosing all the pieces/placements. I feel like I want everything to flow really well and be really cohesive (think the Stuart Cripwell legs), so I've been trying to think pretty far in advance about the pieces I want and stuff and I was just curious about how common this is.

Go to experienced tattooers like Stuart Cripwell. Not being facetious here- a good tattooer knows how much breathing room to give a tattoo.

hogg likes this

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Go to experienced tattooers like Stuart Cripwell. Not being facetious here- a good tattooer knows how much breathing room to give a tattoo.

Well yeah, in the long run I'm hoping to just have Mario and Nick at CTC finish the arm, with maybe a few smaller pieces here and there by other artists who I like if the opportunity arises.

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Well yeah, in the long run I'm hoping to just have Mario and Nick at CTC finish the arm, with maybe a few smaller pieces here and there by other artists who I like if the opportunity arises.

Nick is in all weekend, and I know Mario has some time as well. Someone actually blew Mario off for an appointment tonight, didn't even call in and tell him so sorry! Anyhow, call 'em up and get your time booked-how can you go wrong with those two? LEt me know when you're going to do it and we can have a "junior meet-up" there.

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Nick is in all weekend, and I know Mario has some time as well. Someone actually blew Mario off for an appointment tonight, didn't even call in and tell him so sorry! Anyhow, call 'em up and get your time booked-how can you go wrong with those two? LEt me know when you're going to do it and we can have a "junior meet-up" there.

I wish I could just go asap and set appointments, but living 5 hours away (granted there is a daily train) on grad school income kind of prevents that from happening. I'm thinking near the end of the summer I'll probably set up something with Mario to get my bicep done and hopefully talk to him and Nick about future plans. What I love about that shop (besides the obviously talented tattooers) is the fact that you can usually be worked in within a week or so, rather than having to schedule something 4 months in advance. But when I do set something up I'll be sure to post about it.

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I have a question that seems appropriate to this thread.

For those who have patchwork sleeves, how much planning went into choosing all the pieces/placements. I feel like I want everything to flow really well and be really cohesive (think the Stuart Cripwell legs), so I've been trying to think pretty far in advance about the pieces I want and stuff and I was just curious about how common this is.

I'm having an issue with this. I have 6 tattoos. I didn't really plan ahead to make them cohesive...they are all over the place. Now that I want more I'm putting more thought into it and am a little stumped about the layout and what should go where. My husband just got a 1/2 sleeve and I'm kind of jealous--he has this one big tattoo that flows so perfectly while I have this mish-mash of stuff. I still like all of my tattoos and rationalize that they are individual pieces that meant something to me at the time and they don't need to go together as if they were one big piece. But, I'm still stumped on #7. So if #10 is a panther (duh), what's #7? Ha ha.

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I'm having an issue with this. I have 6 tattoos. I didn't really plan ahead to make them cohesive...they are all over the place. Now that I want more I'm putting more thought into it and am a little stumped about the layout and what should go where. My husband just got a 1/2 sleeve and I'm kind of jealous--he has this one big tattoo that flows so perfectly while I have this mish-mash of stuff. I still like all of my tattoos and rationalize that they are individual pieces that meant something to me at the time and they don't need to go together as if they were one big piece. But, I'm still stumped on #7. So if #10 is a panther (duh), what's #7? Ha ha.

Simple.

Skull, duh. ;)

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hahaha my next step is getting my bicep done, and I'm actually planning on either a skull or a panther.

TrixieFaux likes this

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hahaha my next step is getting my bicep done, and I'm actually planning on either a skull or a panther.

Well DUH

Just kiddin lol

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hahaha my next step is getting my bicep done, and I'm actually planning on either a skull or a panther.

Change that "or" to a "and"

Jack and exume like this

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I'm having an issue with this. I have 6 tattoos. I didn't really plan ahead to make them cohesive...they are all over the place. Now that I want more I'm putting more thought into it and am a little stumped about the layout and what should go where. My husband just got a 1/2 sleeve and I'm kind of jealous--he has this one big tattoo that flows so perfectly while I have this mish-mash of stuff. I still like all of my tattoos and rationalize that they are individual pieces that meant something to me at the time and they don't need to go together as if they were one big piece. But, I'm still stumped on #7. So if #10 is a panther (duh), what's #7? Ha ha.

Are the ones you've already got of just 1 style?

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Skull eating panther

panther with a skull hat

panther embracing a skull

Skull w/ sleeping panther on head.

Out of ideas.

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Skull eating panther

panther with a skull hat

panther embracing a skull

Skull w/ sleeping panther on head.

Out of ideas.

This is why I post here. *tear in eye*

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Are the ones you've already got of just 1 style?

Um, not really...

Two on my upper back are solid black (a lotus and a cat silhouette), then my right upper arm has three black & gray roses (as seen in my avatar) and inner forearm has a barn owl --similar style (more realistic) but the roses are large and the owl is small. Other upper arm has a black & white nautical star w/my daughter's name in script above it.

I like my roses the best, sometimes I just think I want to continue them and wrap them across my back or get other types of flowers. Other times I think I want a tiger and/or a mocking bird. But then I worry about size/style/placement in regards to the others. Over-thinking? Maybe. Perhaps just leave it to the artist. That seems to be the common advice here and good advice.

And then there's the panther and the skull !!

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I think this kind of thing gets mentioned on here a lot, and I really like it. That is to work with someone who you trust and is good and the end result will be happiness. I've got 2 nice medium sized(about the size of my hand) tattoos that are unrelated on my left arm. If I'm a good boy and save my pennies properly I'm going to have the honor of having the great kore flatmo make an entire sleeve out of it. I haven't a clue what he's got in mind, but I REALLY trust him.

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I think this kind of thing gets mentioned on here a lot, and I really like it. That is to work with someone who you trust and is good and the end result will be happiness. I've got 2 nice medium sized(about the size of my hand) tattoos that are unrelated on my left arm. If I'm a good boy and save my pennies properly I'm going to have the honor of having the great kore flatmo make an entire sleeve out of it. I haven't a clue what he's got in mind, but I REALLY trust him.

That's what it's all about, you ask me. If you have a relationship with an artist you trust, and who trusts you, then it's all golden.

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That's what it's all about, you ask me. If you have a relationship with an artist you trust, and who trusts you, then it's all golden.

The only problem that I found is, when you establish that relationship it is hard to go elsewhere because you don't 100% know what to expect. I personally keep going back to the same guy because I know what to expect (generally awesome shit) and I know the drill. At this point I just swing by and throw a few ideas out there and have know that awesome tattoos will be done.

Dan S likes this

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