After a great deal of planning, research, and discussion with Kerry and fellow artists, I finally moved forward to get a tattoo. Most of you know, I've had a strong drive to get a tattoo for many many years but never pulled the trigger for various reasons; wrong design idea, nervous, some amount of fear and regret about old ideas from my youth.
This time however, I really did know what I was looking for, but finding an artist turned out to be a great deal harder than I had anticipated. I spoke to a whole slew of tattoo artists around the bay area before finally finding the one I was looking for in Philip Milic. The rub then was in getting on the schedule. After about 6 months of waiting for my appointment, I was finally in!
The first shots here are of the process in the first session one week ago. I arrived for the first session at about 2pm, and didn't leave until maybe 7-7:30, so it was a really long day, but having Kerry to hang out with and having Jen and Garland come by with some good wishes and awesome caramels (THANKS!), it was a fun and fulfilling day. Here is a shot Kerry took inside the studio of Philip mid-session.
Here is another shot of the process, this time with a close-up. Pushing the needle in, again and again.
The piece, as you can see in the first image, is of a cherry blossom branch (sakura), with a pair of cicadas on a trailing, weighted limb. There are many layers to the meaning for me, but here is one. I have very fond memories of cicadas from my childhood in Indiana. It was magical to play with them both alive and in picking their shed exoskeletons from the trunks of trees. They represent my roots. The blossoming branch is a reference to many things, but one is that in the traveling that Kerry and I have done, bar-none our favorite place has been Japan. In was an inspiring, beautiful, cultured place, and in that way the branch represents looking forward, full of appreciation, Spring-like optimism, and life. Kerry and I are extremely happy with the final result, I hope you all will be too. Because the final session was only yesterday, the colors are deeper and brighter than they will be after they have settled in a few months. I can't wait to share it with you!