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I'm Steve. Currently 23 and living in the Southeast USA. I got my first tattoo just over a year ago at Tattoo Bill's in Charlotte, NC. I'm very, VERY particular about marking my skin, and I love tattoos that have deep meaning. This means I like to really ponder over cool designs, what they mean to me, and if it's something that will describe me in 30, 60, or 90 (ayyy!) years. I also prefer to keep most of my skin clean; I want my art to be a pleasant surprise for people, not to be the first thing they notice about me. Therefore I don't plan on getting many pieces over the course of my life (though of course I'm willing to change my mind.) That being said, I LOVE my tattoo (it's a heart with some lettering) and I'm currently playing around with the idea of a second.

Even though I'm not super stoked to collect a lot of art, I seriously enjoy looking at and asking people about theirs. It's a fun way to learn how people think. I never really had a favorite artist or style, but recently I've been quite taken with Dr. Woo and Thomas Hooper's geometric designs.

I studied Physics in college and I strive to make God the center of my life; the ideas that proceed from this combination tend to be a bit harebrained. Currently I have an idea that involves a lot of precise lines and circles. I've attached a plot of the basic pattern I'm looking for. I probably wouldn't want it more than 4-5 inches tall, but I know that severely limits the potential for detail. My limited knowledge from reading this board and Google images says that I'm looking for something like Dr. Woo's single needle work. Questions for you:

Is my assessment of the style accurate? Are there other artists who use this style that I should know about?

Is single-needle work a good investment? Honestly I love the way it can look but I'm worried that it won't last long. Should I try to go bolder?

Does anyone have any pieces that are similar to this? What do they mean to you?

Nice to meet you all.

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Good to hear from you Sstu. This is just the concept, the idea would be to have as much detail as possible. The beauty of a fractal is you only render what you can see. I agree four inches is a little tight, though. (I'm trying to talk myself into thinking bigger!)

Say that I get it big enough to include as much detail as I and the artist want; do you guys have an opinion on the longevity of such finely detailed pieces? I've seen a lot of "bold will hold" floating around. linear-tattoo-doctor-woo-shamrock-social-club-7.jpg

For example, something with this amount of detail and elegance is very attractive to me but I worry how well it will hold up under normal wear-and-tear. Does anyone have any examples of this style after a few years or decades? Or is it pretty new?

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Welcome Steve. My concern with the picture you posted above is less to do with the lines, though certainly a lot of the detail especially with the dotted line segments will be lost over time, and more to do with pictures like that being inherently misleading. The tattoo looks wonderful in a picture, but the body is rarely static and something that really depends on this precision is going to be deformed constantly by regular arm motion, never mind the effects of weight loss and gain, age and skin slackening, etc. if your heart is really set on something like that, by all means go for it and find the best artist you can to do it, but don't go into it with the unrealistic expectation that the tattoo will always look like that.

With that said, I think that with the right artist, and the willingness to follow the artist's advice especially regarding size and placement, you could end up with a great tattoo. Thomas Hooper did one of my arms and I brought him a whole confused mess of ideas, including some of Kepler's drawings, and while he didn't give me exactly what I asked for, he took the essence of what I brought him and really gave me the tattoo that I wanted, and I still have moments when I am kind of taken aback at what he did. I don't want to get into what my tattoo means, because it ultimately means that Thomas does incredible tattoos and I wanted one from him, but I kind of wanted a science and myth theme (hence the Kepler reference) and one of the elements of the sleeve is a nautilus shell on my forearm. Now, the tendency for spirals to exist in nature isn't the most unique observation, but this summer I was reading an article about the search for dark matter and the article was illustrated with photographic collages including those famous photos of neutrino paths, which are of course spirals, and totally correspond to the spiralling of the tattoo on my forearm. And that just struck me as a neat and kind of profound moment. So what I'm saying is seek out Thomas Hooper and bring your ideas to him because he will give you something that far surpasses your expectations. And don't worry about wanting to keep most of your tattoos out of everyday line of sight: this still leaves something as large as a full back as an option.

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Thanks Graeme. I'll be careful and I'll keep thinking about how I can make this more workable within the limits of the medium. I'm sort of wary of letting someone else take the reigns because for me the details in a design are what give it meaning, but I also know that I'm no artist at all so my ideas might not be realistic or "good." I found a happy medium with my previous piece and I'm willing to wait as long as I need to until I can find it again. These forums are great because I can get more of an idea of what artists consider good or bad ideas, without having to hassle some guy all day long.

Just looked at your gallery, that's a pretty sweet raven.

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