I'll stop lurking now. I've been creeping on ya'll for a couple years actually, I started hanging around here before I got my first and only (for now) tattoo. I read quite a few threads and reinforced what I wanted. The process of finding a decent references and the right tattoo artist was fantastic. I looked through a lot of portfolios and talked to two artists the second of which was definitely the right fit, in terms of being stoked to do the tattoo and listening to what I valued. It was definitely the right person at the right time for me, and I was pumped to work with the guy. The creative process was amazing! I showed up a week or so later I checked out the stencil. I literally couldn't believe how great it looked and how pumped I was on getting that on my skin. So I show up for my first tattoo and proceed to sit for an eight hour outline, which was pretty burly, I was sweating bullets in the last hour or two. Since then I've found four hours is a LOT more manageable while still getting work done. Anywho it's been longer than I'd like to admit and we're still not done, but the last session got me seriously fired up on this tattoo. There was some aspects of the tattoo I really wanted at first, that I would change now if I could so it's not perfect but it's mine and I love it, and it's EXACTLY what I asked for. I love Japanese work and American Traditional too. In the future I'd like to do some one-shots that won't be such a commitment of time and resources. I now have huge respect for anyone with a full back or any other huge piece as I now have a bit more respect for that sort of thing. There are many members of this forum who's insight in threads has been really help full in finding what I like about tattoos and own collections have blown my mind (Hogg). Anyone reading this prior to getting seriously tattooed I recommend really reading several threads and look at the gallerys here and see what you like. Better yet get tattooed make mistakes and then get more tattoos that you like even more. Sorry for the novel. D out!