Joe Stratford

Do it all again?

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Meh, I dont really know. I like what I have, but maybe I wouldn't get the girl on my chest, maybe back shoulder. Only because it's a big commitment to have your chest tattooed as a woman, and as much as I love it, it's hard to cover in professional clothes. Wouldn't remove the tattoo for the world though, she's a keeper.

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I had 5 tattoos done by the time I was 27. Got back into it at age 50, so most of my OG work has been done over except for one piece. Now I have 11.

I really wouldn't change a thing and I'm glad I went with mostly large work to start with.

Rob

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I want to visit Japan and would dearly love to not offend everyone I meet.

More about this, please. I'm intrigued.

- - - Updated - - -

And to answer the question myself: I definitely have a patchwork quilt goin' on, to borrow Bunny Switchblade's term. Sometimes, I meet a guy who has all Horitomo work or a a full body suit from Horitaka and I wish I'd gone that route, but honestly, I love the experiences I've had meeting different artists and collecting the way I have. So in the end, I probably wouldn't change anything.

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@hogg I have two of these on my forearms:

Mon (emblem) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

At the time I understood their significance as emblems or identifying symbols, but not specifically as heraldic emblems. I'm not even remotely Japanese.

I'm not sure they'd get you into any trouble. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I've seen that mum mon on paper lanterns in Japan, and as long as the ones you have don't signify a specific tattoo or yakuza family, then you're probably OK. Even if one of yours does coincide with an actual yakuza family, my guess is that no Japanese would think you're an actual yak.

For what it's worth (read: not much!), I kept all my tattoos covered on my trip to Japan (unless I was in a tattoo shop) out of respect.

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If I was going to go again I would be tempted to get less big Japanese pieces and do more one-shots, traditional american, and just gradually fill up the body. I really like the open and shut nature of one-shot appointments... I think I'm a little jaded with endless chipping away on big projects. It can be cool to walk in and out the same day all done.

Getting quite specific: I don't regret my back at all, but if I were doing it over I would probably try to get Tomo or Shige to do it and go for something with lots of colour and detail, in fabrics etc.

But the grass is always greener...

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@hogg Yeah, for me it's not really much of an incrimination thing so much as an appropriation thing. Like.. when a westerner moves to Japan, they have to accept the fact that they will never fully integrate into Japanese culture, even though they may live a Japanese lifestyle for years. Personally, I think it is kind of tasteless to have them on me as such an outsider (and truly, I have never even been to Japan), given that they are symbols representing a family's heritage and traditions. Like what if I ran into someone whose mon was on my arm? I can't feel good about that.

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@hogg Yeah, for me it's not really much of an incrimination thing so much as an appropriation thing. Like.. when a westerner moves to Japan, they have to accept the fact that they will never fully integrate into Japanese culture, even though they may live a Japanese lifestyle for years. Personally, I think it is kind of tasteless to have them on me as such an outsider (and truly, I have never even been to Japan), given that they are symbols representing a family's heritage and traditions. Like what if I ran into someone whose mon was on my arm? I can't feel good about that.

Understood. Thanks for the explanation.

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And to answer the question myself: I definitely have a patchwork quilt goin' on, to borrow Bunny Switchblade's term. Sometimes, I meet a guy who has all Horitomo work or a a full body suit from Horitaka and I wish I'd gone that route, but honestly, I love the experiences I've had meeting different artists and collecting the way I have. So in the end, I probably wouldn't change anything.

I've been thinking about this a lot since watching the Japan Gypsy Gentleman episode and that Vice Horiyoshi 3 interview. One of the things I really took from those Horiyoshi 3 interviews is that he seems to see his life and the pursuit of his craft as being identical, and while I can't quite articulate my thoughts here, it seems to me that there's a connection between that kind of philosophy on life and living and coherent full-body tattoos.

Whereas for me, I'm all about farting about. I've travelled a bit, lived in different places, tried different lines of work, I try to be as interested and as open to new experiences as I can, and in a way I think the patchwork look kind of works with that.

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I've been thinking about this a lot since watching the Japan Gypsy Gentleman episode and that Vice Horiyoshi 3 interview. One of the things I really took from those Horiyoshi 3 interviews is that he seems to see his life and the pursuit of his craft as being identical, and while I can't quite articulate my thoughts here, it seems to me that there's a connection between that kind of philosophy on life and living and coherent full-body tattoos.

Whereas for me, I'm all about farting about. I've travelled a bit, lived in different places, tried different lines of work, I try to be as interested and as open to new experiences as I can, and in a way I think the patchwork look kind of works with that.

Great post! I haven't moved around as much as you have, but I've certainly had countless jobs and lots of varied interests. Hell, I've studied nine languages. Do you really expect me to have one cohesive tattoo?

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I've only just started getting tattooed so I would make no changes in the 4 tattoos I have. As a late starter the only thing I would do over is that I would buy way less stupid stuff from age 20-33 and instead have a "get tattooed whenever I want" bank account today.

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To start off with what I have now, I have one sleeve of black gray fine line, and my entire chest covered with black gray fine line as well.

My next few tattoos will be a sleeve and a stomach piece in black gray traditional and I plan on covering my entire body eventually.

If I could go back in time I would forget for the most part about designs and pictures and instead get polynesian style tribal work on my entire body. Both sleeves and my chest for sure. I would leave a few spots open on my stomach and thighs to put images that would be framed by the tribal work. I would not touch my entire back/buttocks and would still go with the same piece I'm panning to put there currently (an african shaman with leopard headdress).

But yeah basically instead of going with fine line and traditional I would just get a cohesive body suit of polynesian style tribal.

Something like this.

Hawaiian-Polynesian-Tribal-Tattoos-58.jpg

Part of me wants to get my second sleeve in polynesian tribal but I feel like it looks better if it's cohesive and forms a body suit if it's not a stand alone tattoo.

I'm not sure how realistic it would be to go over my arm and my chest in like 10-15 years to cover it with something like this. Probably not realistic at all. But yeah that's definitely the way I would go if I could go back to the beginning (oh to be 18 again).

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I've only just started getting tattooed so I would make no changes in the 4 tattoos I have. As a late starter the only thing I would do over is that I would buy way less stupid stuff from age 20-33 and instead have a "get tattooed whenever I want" bank account today.

All of my old work has been either covered up or freshened up/expanded upon. But the basic designs were always good. I too blew tons of money on partying, exotic vacations, race cars, boats, etc. I put $250k (at least..) into my house over the years so my tattoo funds until recently have been sparse. I salt away $20 here and there and it adds up quick.

Rob

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In the early 90s several of my friends go together and got Roy Boy to come down to Bloomington for the weekend. I was invited but got drunk and missed it. If I had it to do over I would not have missed that weekend, but I did. Oh well. Now that I think about it very few of those guys are still alive either.

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