gougetheeyes

Full Back Piece Experience Thread

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First time posting.

Have an appointment to get started on a traditional Japanese back piece in a few weeks. 1st session will be 4 hours outlining.

Any suggestions on how to sit through this? I do kind of zone out/in on tattoos, but 4 hours on my back I'm nervous af.

Also concerned about aftercare/not scabbing/clothing.

Sorry if this has been discussed but could use ideas.

Cheers!

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welcome, @scottyg! congrats on going for the back! you've found the right place for advice. best thing i could say is to skim thru this thread from the beginning.  there's a lot of great advice from some of the LST veterans and even some well known tattooers who no longer post here. there's many treasures to be found among these here threads.

you have good reason to be nervous. it's going to hurt like hell. but it'll all be worth it in the end!

who's doing your back?

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Thanks for the reality check/confirmation @Hands On!

Takashi Matsuba's (traditionaltool) doing it. I've got another piece by him, and am looking forward to this tremendously. It'll be Jikokuten, the Buddhist deity/protector of the East and the heavenly musicians.

Reading these posts makes me less nervous: the sense of shared suffering.

Thanks again.

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4 hours ago, scottyg said:

Thanks for the reality check/confirmation @Hands On!

Takashi Matsuba's (traditionaltool) doing it. I've got another piece by him, and am looking forward to this tremendously. It'll be Jikokuten, the Buddhist deity/protector of the East and the heavenly musicians.

Reading these posts makes me less nervous: the sense of shared suffering.

Thanks again.

nice! feel free to share a photo your tattoo from him in the appropriate thread, if you're so inclined.

misery loves company. if all these folks can handle it, then you can too! just a matter of testing your will and overcoming. also looking forward to you sharing your experience in a few weeks!.. and, of course, we all love ogling pictures!

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Well, that was brutal. I tapped out after an embarrassingly short time, but whatever. He was able to finish the outline for the face/head and flames, which is great. Eyes on the prize: it's a long-term commitment, a journey, so I'm not worried. I'm in it, now.

But goddamn that hurt: especially the left hand side of my back, for some reason. Involuntarily tensed up every time. Not looking forward to that. Also difficult is that he pushes down on your back the whole time, making it harder to breathe.

Music helps, and talking. Talking really gets your mind off things.

Well, even though so little was done, it looks amazing already, and next appointment's in a month.

Thanks!

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@otisc thanks man! If you go to traditionaltool's IG you can see it with the surrounding sketch. There's going to be another say 6 hours of line work.... Like I said, I tapped out early.... But my understanding is that traditional Japanese back pieces are usually 2 hours every two weeks. Shorter sittings over a longer period. That suits me better: it becomes a discipline that way, a practice. Anyway, thanks again.

IMG_1758 copy.jpg

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I can see a 2-hour sitting for a back piece. I have one smaller tattoo on my upper back that took an hour and wasn't bad at all. I can see it may be worse around the sides getting into the white meat. Fortunately with a big piece you can skip around a bit and work on different areas easily.

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@scottyg Looks rad man! Lining is pretty awful, feels a bit like being cut in half haha. But as said before earlier in this thread, the stoke will pull you through! How far down are you taking it? To the ass or to the knees?

On Saturday, I just tipped over 20 hours in on my back and very satisfyingly started colour. The black is completely done and it now looks like a proper backpiece. Three and half hours to finish up blocking out the thighs, and a quick sit on some red before calling it quits. Going from the last couple of sessions on soft, squishy areas back to over spine and shoulder blades was quite a shock. Definitely not looking forward to the massive block of colour over the middle of my back.

 

15356738_1193755624041057_3739693016158238467_n.jpg

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@Matej Haviar thanks man! your's looks amazing; nice to see the lightening! and thanks for the advice/sharing the experience.

I plan to go to the knees, especially because this Buddhist deity is always pictured standing on the heads of demons (apparently held over from the Indian idea of dancing on the heads of your enemies).

But I am absolutely stoked to continue!

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@Matej Haviar digging watching your progress man! big up Edmonton haha. but say some prayers, you're in for a whooping when Cap'n Scott hits your lower back. Almost there. You'll be healed in time for the Lucky Strike summer party and you can join our buck-naked tattoo crew gong show. cheers

 

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I have one last session to go on my back,I already had tattoos on my chest/stomach, two sleeves, legs, feet, hands, fingers and neck so ok with the pain. Ive been waiting ages to get my back done as i couldn't decide what to get or who to do it but anyway i found a guy and an idea and away i went.

First session was just outline and it was tough, i realised that the back was comparable to my stomach/chest/feet

Second session was black and some color on shoulder blades....this session was a bit easier as i knew what to expect, sat for 6 hours felt crap after

Third session blasted it for 6 hours with not much left to do...I found the top of my back the absolute worse.

here it is so far roughy 15 hours of actual tattoo time. its worth it but it does hurt and itches loads but looks badass and makes you look fully sick and the disco.

 

tomstattoo.jpg

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So on Friday I went down to Denver to see my man Walter McDonald at Lifetime tattoo, got a pretty good start on my back.  We left some details out of the initial outline (tiger stripes, radiating beams of light..) and plan to add some background and extend downward in future sessions.  Super excited to finally start this and see where we go from here, also my back feels like I've been utilizing less than proper lifting techniques.

IMG_20161216_230406467.jpg

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@9Years I started drafting an imaginary consultation discussion ("hey, lemme get a jesus on the cross backpiece, but give him boobs and a panther head"), but every time I look at that tattoo I see something else new. I can't wait to see that as it progresses. Walter has some really awesome prints on Raking Light Projects right now that I almost bought. Went with a Freddy Jesus head, but may still scoop one up. 

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@9Years @suburbanxcore

 

I knew I wanted either a Rock of ages or like that Ed hardy drawing of the tattooed tiger, we talked about combining the two into something wild and this is what came out of the walttron4000s brain.  A little bit different than what we planned initially but I'm so stoked on it so far.

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@exume Terrifically envious of that. Walt is an amazingly unusual tattooer. Also, you look like you may look just like my older cousin, who happens to live in Denver. At least in the red beard, glasses respect. I have a moustache that I hate to say, may have to be posted in all its glory soon. Good luck with the shading.

 

I made an initial contact with Ben Cheese at Everlasting. I am getting a Chinese tiger v. blue wolf Battle Royale. Super excited to get started with the most important tattoo I've yet. 

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@Twin Guillotines yeah Walt is exceptionally unusual, definitely out there doing his own thing, also he's legitimately one of my favorite humans I've had the pleasure of spending time with.  

 

Mike Aul tattooed me last year and we were talking about Lifetime as he just got home from guesting out here and he asked if I had any tattoos from him, I didn't at the time and the only reason I had for that was the magnitude and quality of awesome guest artists he has visiting his shop all the time.  Due to all the chances he's afforded me to collect from some of my favorite tattooers and just the crazy weird tattoos that I'm into, it seemed only right to give him my back.

 

Tiger/wolf battle is going to make a great backpiece, excited to watch the progress on yours as well.

Edited by exume

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Well, Session 2 went better: 

As @Matej Haviar said, I kept reminding myself that the stoke will pull you through. ha! That and I started an antidepressant/antianxiety that has the benefit of also being used to treat general pain.... so, I sat much better this time.

Looking forward to the ass/thighs in March!

 

 

@Matej Haviar thanks man! your's looks amazing; nice to see the lightening! and thanks for the advice/sharing the experience.

I plan to go to the knees, especially because this Buddhist deity is always pictured standing on the heads of demons (apparently held over from the Indian idea of dancing on the heads of your enemies).

But I am absolutely stoked to continue!

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