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Planning a big tattoo(s)


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So I have been reading all the threads I can find and still need some help.

I am trying to plan half a body suit, elbow to knee on my right side.

I have my half sleeve and chest done now and ribs are next, I think?

So my first problem is this, I want to collect from a few different tattooers but I want everything 'tied in' do you all think this will be an issue?

Second is the planning part... where the hell do I start? I don't mean the design of the tattoo but I guess the placement of the entire thing.

I see a few different sections, I want two tigers on my ribs. I think there should be enough room for that.

Something else on my front hip area, like a Hannya mask or something.

Something else on my ass and hip area, I don't know what

then either one big design on my leg or maybe two, front and back

Which leaves my back open and maybe the upper part of my shoulder, which I was going to get a Koi on this summer.

Does this sound reasonable, insane or something?

Is this something that I can figure out on this forum, I know it's probable a lot to ask, or should I stick to individual consultations?

Thanks for reading this long post :)

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I think it could is pretty closely related and could be tied together fairly easily. You know what you want so that is half the battle. I would go with single consultations and just try to tie together as I go, But worrying more about putting emphasis on the big tattoos vs. the filler stuff. I think once you get going every tattooer is going to want to add a little something extra to outdo the guy before and give the next guy something to beat so it might just all tie itself together. Who do you plan to get tattooed by?

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Who... that is another question?

To be honest I am very new to the tattoo scene so I really don't know all the players.

Coming from Newfoundland we don't have a lot of good tattooers.

We have one great place, where I got my cover-up done but I think I want better (that sounds bad and I don't mean it to)

So I will be traveling around to get this done... so it will take time.

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Whenever someone comes in for a sleeve I have been instructed to try to get them to just do the main image first and add the filler later. because then if it's a couple months between your appointments you have a finished tiger instead of an outline with some shading in different spots, Just not having people walking around with unfinished tattoos if possible. I know some people do this the opposite way, for whatever reason, but I feel like it works out for both sides in our case and I think it might work out better for you. Once you get all the stuff you want you will see the spaces you have left and could develop a plan to tie it all together and I think as long as all that stuff is consistent it will look like the stuff was planned all along. As far as suggestions for Artists I would say there are plenty on here, some good threads about Japanese tattooing and a thread called who deserves recognition that has some good names too. For me I would go to New York or San Fran. There are a lot of great tattooers in both places and if you had the money could make some good progress.

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"Half bodysuit"? You mean like half, vertically? Right side tattooed, left side empty?

That's not a bodysuit, it's a terrible idea.

If you want a bodysuit, get it from one tattooer, or 'family' of tattooers. Mostly you don't get to plan it. You have an idea of what you want where but it may be that the relative proportions of animals/flowers will be fucked up. Take your tattooers advice. Your tattoos will be better for it.

If you want a body full of Japanese style tattoos from different tattooers, just start with one guy/girl and get a bit at a time finished then move on. It won't be a bodysuit, but you'll be covered in tattoos. If you go to good tattooers and choose well, they will be sympathetic to each other's styles and choices. Once you start with a good tattooer, you'll notice more and more options and subject that are suitable or that appeal to you. Don't worry if you don't have it all planned out.

But really you should start by taking to tattooers who you will get tattooed by. In person or by calling the places they work at is usually more informative than via the internet.

Remember that good tattooers think about this stuff all the time. Not just on their downtime in the evenings, but all day, every day. So they will probably have some neat problem-solving tricks and advice.

Good luck.

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never thought about adding the filler later, that makes very good sense. See I said I was new :)

I have been reading threads and researching like a madman, I don't know what my rush is.

I have made no decisions yet, other than I want two tigers and keep to Japanese theme

Any other thoughts

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@Stewart Robson I know what you mean about half a bodysuit. I guess I should not have called it that.

You are right in what you said basically just a lot of Japanese tattoos that are tied together with filler.

I guess where I should start is finding a tattooer that I want to start with.

I get tied up with foolish details all the time, this may be one of those times.

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I never mentioned anything about 'filler'.

With large sale tattooing (particularly Japanese style) there isn't any 'filler'. The background is an important part of the design and certainly not an afterthought.

Good tattooers will understand how the body can be divided into 'panels'. Then those panels can be joined together. Literally like a suit.

Anyone thinking about getting large Japanese tattoos should check out Taki's book "Bushido", you can buy it pretty much anywhere. It's not too expensive and really informative. If you are feeling cheap, most public libraries have it.

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Let me ask another question.

Right now I have a half sleeve and chest done.

I am sure in the end I will end up with a bodysuit from elbow to knees, the more I look at designs the more I know it's want I want.

My question, what next? If I get one person to do the whole thing or if I get different tattooers to work on the different panels, what would be the next place to go? Ribs or would the back be better?

Sorry to everyone for asking so many questions, I am sure you all get sick of noobs like me... but I am looking for guidance.

I wish I lived in a place that had lots of tattooers that I could chat with face to face and plan... but I don't :(

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