When Daryl L.L. Houston got my illustration for page 131 tattooed on his back I was blown away. That is the highest compliment I have ever received. A huge hone. Well, I have been blown away again because Ryan S. in Wisconsin is in the process of getting an entire sleeve tattooed on, all based on Moby-Dick illustrations of mine. This kind of thing just thrills me to no end. I love tattoos and even though I only have one very small one (a wedding tattoo on my inner right wrist) my wife has LOTS, and plans for more, and I just think they are incredible. Art means so much to me, so to add art to your skin takes it to a different level. And when I see someone adding MY art to their skin, well, it's hard to describe just how incredible that feels. And this is, I believe, the third time it's happened to me! First Daryl, then my wife, no Ryan. Really, just an amazing compliment and a humbling honor.
Ryan was kind enough to send along a few photos of the work. So far, it's just been outlined on his arm and he expects the entire thing to take several sessions and 4 to 5 months total. The work is being done by artist Julio Avila of Solid State Tattoo in Milwaukee. What amazes me about these photos is that, after sitting through many many tattoo sessions with my wife, I know how much modification has to go into an image before it is fit for inking on a body. And yet, in spite of that, I can clearly see my art in every one of these. Julio has done an astounding job of preserving my images, and my intent, and still adapting them to the form of Ryan's body and the properties of the tattoo needle and ink. I am in awe of Julio here, and if I ever meet him I'm going to thank him personally for this. It probably means as much to me as it does to Ryan.
Okay, take a look at these photos Ryan sent, and see my art coming to life under Julio's needle...
Ryan has promised to keep sending me photo updates as the piece progresses. I look forward to that very much. And if you're near Milwaukee, Ryan gives Solid State his highest possible recommendation. After seeing work like this, I agree.