Tag Archives: japanese

21 Days to make a habit.

Almost 9:30pm, been working non-stop since 9am, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep up this weekly post! They say it takes twenty-one days of repeating a behavior before it becomes a habit. I wonder if I’m at that mark with this post or would it be at the twenty-first post that this task will become a must do, like brushing my teeth. None of this has anything to do with anything, and so here are the pictures from last weeks tattoo work.

Got to work on this Japanese sleeve a little more, it’s coming along pretty good.  This is my favorite point, I like to call it the coloring book stage. All the tedious line work is out of the way, and the life giving shading can begin.


That weird mask looking thing in the bicep there is called a Daruma Doll, a representation of the dude that began Zen Buddhism in Japan. The tradition is that you get the doll with blank eyes, you make a wish or goal and fill in one of the eyes. Once this wish / goal is gained you then proceed to fill in the remaining eyeball. I had no idea about any of this, learned it all looking into it, making sure I knew what I was tattooing. Thanks to my sister for the translations!

Here is a pic of an actual doll:

This next piece, came to me with just the center pieces, which you can distinguish by their old and blown out look. He was very concerned because it came to his attention that these design were off centered and unbalanced on his arm. My solution here was to add something that would give the illusion of symmetry by distracting with complexity. In this final session we did some touch ups and added a light shading “frame” around the whole thing.


Afterwards, we took some time to fix another little thing on his upper back.


Here is a little Sanskrit  with an Om


I was supposed to work on an Egyptian half sleeve, but life often happens and things gotta get postponed. Just in case anyone is following the narrative and notices I was supposed to post pics, but haven’t. Just in case.

I did however get to start a cool new project, whose fist step in the ten thousand needle poke journey was this flower here. The leaves with the lady bugs were already there, I’m blending them in into the whole as we go along.


This next piece, I did not start nor design. It was extremely  faded and falling apart for lack of contrast when it came to me. I have put in about 6 to 8 hours of fixing into it at this point.


And lastly for the week, worked on the zentangle style half sleeve, one of my most different projects in recent times.  Finally got some shading and texture effects happening.


Got some stickers and T-shirts made with the Kokopelli tattoo dude (Kokopellink, as I like to call him). Pass by the salon and I’ll hook you up with a free sticker. They are printed with white on clear vinyl, so they are great on almost any color surface… but white.

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This one is on my home studio door.

Tees are 10 bucks if ya wanna pick one up, sizes S to 3xl. I will be giving some away, as I did last week, once in a while through the FaceBook. Follow me there if you want a chance to win one.


Thanks for stopping by. Sink a fork in me.


Click here for the TATTOO GALLERY.










There is no History, only Biography.

My tattoo week began working on this Classic Hollywood themed sleeve.   You can see the James Dean I did last month here fully healed, and the Hollywood sign that we just added this day.


Here is a wider shot of the arm as it stands now. I’ve done it all except for the Marylin portrait.


Next up is this Japanese Sleeve that I posted the drawing process for last week. This is 2.5 hours into tattooing it.


Some pots, pans, and an egg.


A Traditional-ish Compass rose Sun


Another very fun sleeve. This one I had not worked on since about this same time last year. Can’t wait to see it all done, so much more to come.


Lastly for the week, a very modern classic design. I believe this to be the first popular ambigram, before they became wide spread.

(Life / Death)


That’s another week at the Salon. Got some cool new projects to start drawing this week, will post some stuff if the universe allows me the time.

Thanks for stopping by,

Sink a Fork in Me.


Drawing a Custom Japanese Sleeve

I was asked recently for one of my favorite things to do, a Japanese sleeve. Here is a little documentation of the designing process.

We fist met up for a consultation to clear up ideas and make sure that I understood what he was looking for. I sent him home with the homework of finding images that he liked of the motifs he wanted, this allows me to get a feel for the aesthetic taste of the client, which in turns saves me from wasting time with drawings based on assumptions of taste, or restrictions of my own preferences, which would also miss the mark a lot of times.

Once he found all the reference, he emailed them to me, and we set up another consult. At this point we discussed how things were going to lay on his arm, and how they would relate to one another.  Took some measurements and came up with this layout:


I then took this and quickly laid down the main shapes onto his arm and took a tracing


Earlier this week it was time to start drawing. So I printed out all my reference material and started to sketch.

Taking shape here already.


And this was the final sketch, ready to be made into a clean line drawing.


All this took about three to four hours, and not tattooing had been done yet.  We did start the tattoo this week, I will be posting the pics from our fist session, along with all the new work of the week, come Monday.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

– Ez