Reed

Joined for advice

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Hey everyone!  I've seen a lot of cool work and good advice on here, and I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for a long time, so figured this would be a good place to go for opinions.  So if you care to help me out, here goes:

It'd be a super personal custom piece and the design is now something like 10+ years in the making, and there's a lot of things in it that would have a lot of meaning to me.  It'd be a gnarled tree in a black and grey style, and I really like tattoos that try to work with the natural body lines, but would need to be concealed by a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up (I work in a fairly professional environment).  It would have a single bodhi leaf on it, and the branches of the tree would be twisting around each other and the leaf like they're fighting to protect/destroy the one leaf the tree has.  I'd also put a notch in the base of the tree like it almost got cut down in the past, but somehow got spared and continued to grow. 


For the stuff I'm less sure of, and starting to get into what I need advice on.  Placement is one of the biggest things:  I'd probably see if the artist could try to center the leaf over my heart, or the other spot I like is a birthmark I have on my side that is already almost the right shape. With a little outlining and shading it could easily be turned into a leaf, which goes along with the working with your body thing I like so much.  I'm not sure how feasible it would be to lay out the tattoo to get it there, so I'd probably talk with the artist about that.  I've also thought about a split in the tree like happens when they get damaged and one side can't really be supported anymore, but that's beyond my limited drawing skills, so again would have to see what an actual artist thinks of that.  I'd be fine with omitting it, though. 

I'm by no means an artist, but I've drawn it a hundred times, so here's my most recent one.  And a picture of the birth mark for good measure.  Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/comments? 

I went to an artist once whose work I really admired, but he acted like it was just a chore that he'd have to do, and didn't seem to have any passion or interest, so I walked away.  Anyone have any suggestions on artist near Philly that would get more into the personal aspects of the piece, and inspire a little more confidence?
 

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Welcome!  I think you have a cool idea if you can find the right artist to execute it.  The way you're describing it and the way you want it to fit your body, the first thing I thought of is finding someone capable of doing kind of the more organic type of biomech on you (bio organic?).  I don't really know any tattooers in the Philadelphia area so I can't recommend anybody, but for inspiration check out Jeff Croci in SF because I recently saw an in progress sleeve he's working on that's this really cool bio-woodland thing and it was super rad.

 

As far as wanting the artist to connect with the personal aspects of the tattoo, I'd advise you not to concern yourself too much with that.  I've once had an artist ask me about what I wanted to get from a tattoo, and I view that as exceptionally rare.  You want somebody you can get along with as a person, because you'll be spending many sometimes challenging hours with them, and you need somebody who has the artistic skill set to capably pull off what you want, but I'd not get too hung up on making sure that the artist gets every last personal aspect and what it represents.

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Thanks for the reply Graeme!  I included a picture of what I had drawn, not sure if you saw that or not.  I do really like Jeff Croci's work, too bad he's all the way in SF.  I've got family down in OC, so even if he were down in LA, that'd be actually doable for me.  Is this the one you're talking about?  That is insane artistry!  

Hmm ok, thanks for the reality check with the artist connection.  It's definitely good to know when your expectations are unrealistic.  That'll help me be more open to other artists, but I probably won't go back to that guy.  

 

Also for anyone else who might read this, any artist within like an hour drive of Philly would be totally fine.  I work in Wilmington, DE so especially if it's down that direction it'd be super easy for me. 

 

  

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Dang, both of those guys do amazing black and gray work!  Looks like really long waitlists for Chris Adamek, but I'm sending them both messages to see what they say.

Nice piece Sullivan,  I think he's really proud of it, I've come across at least three different pictures of it... haha

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@Reed yeah wasnt sure what kind of wait list chris had - I've never been tattooed by him but I have been tattooed at the Immortal shop in Clinton a few times by Jamie Sawyer - like I said though - he did a whole sleeve - color - Marvel themed - on this local guy - when I first saw it it was several years healed and it looked amazing in person - I believe he does mostly black and grey now - and as you can see on his IG he seems pretty comfortable with that type of tattooing - I've also heard he's a super guy from my friend and Jamie - anyway - good luck - remember - whoever you choose - the wait list part should be last on your list of factors - especially when you have such a detailed piece in mind - enjoy 

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@marley mission  Yeah Chris has an auto reply which says he almost exclusively takes black and grey now, and likely won't get back to everyone who emails him.  I've seen quite a few raving reviews on various sites, and everyone seems to agree that he's a good guy.  I've waited years, so two months is nothing.  If I hear back from either of them, I'll keep you guys updated, but they're both great artists, and I would think both have pretty long waiting lists.  And don't worry, I won't base my decision off of a wait list alone.

 

Edited by Reed

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