Sunday, May 4, 2008

Isaac's Tattoo!

Isaac's tattoo three

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.

Isaac's tattoo one

Here is another shot of the process, this time with a close-up. Pushing the needle in, again and again.

Isaac's tattoo two

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!


Lisa said...

Nice! I'm so glad you came up with something you're both happy with. I think it will look good once the colors have faded just a tiny bit too. I will have to get used to the cicadas ;)
We'll look forward to seeing it in person next month!

Isaac Epp and Kerry Laws said...

Thanks Lisa! The cicadas are friendly ;) I can't wait to see you guys in June!

Christina said...

It's absolutely gorgeous! And it's making me itchy to get off my chunky rear and go back to my guy to finish my sides.

So have you been bitten? Are you ready for more?

Isaac Epp and Kerry Laws said...

Thanks Chris! It was a really awesome experience and who knows maybe someday I'll have both the idea/cash/motivation to get more :)

Insanity said...

Hi ! (yes a newbie on your blog... Moreover, a frenchie girl !)
I was passing by on your gallery ( please, do say me that this is YOUR gallery Isaac or I'll really get to think I'm stupid :D do you share this gallery or is it entirely yours... ? Aaah such a curious girl I can be).
Well, I really think this is a great job, your tatoo is absolutely awesome ! you've been waiting so long... Tell me, at the end of the day, didn't your arm hurt you ?

Sorry for the mistakes I certainly make, do not hesitate to correct me.

who will now on follow this charming blog... (:

Isaac Epp and Kerry Laws said...

Hi Mathilde, welcome! :)

Thanks for the post, and yes my arm did feel pretty sensitive for the first day, but it really wasn't that bad.

The deviantArt link you mention: is my gallery, thanks so much for the kind words :D See you around!


Chris Klie said...

Holy crap, you got a tattoo!

I mean, it looks awesome, but... holy crap!

To be completely honest, I'm jealous because I've always wanted a tattoo but never had the guts. Here's to you, my friend! [takes drink in honor of isaac's way-cool coolness]

Isaac said...

Hey Chris, how's it going! Thanks a ton, it's been a long time coming. I couldn't get myself over the hurdle before either, but now that I have one, I'm not sure why I waited so long! :D